Top 5 Reasons for iPhone 3G Buyer Remorse

My friend and podcast partner, Alan Shimel, recently succumbed to "cool gadget" pressure when he broke down and bought an iPhone 3G after several years of being a happy Microsoft Windows Mobile user. Alan knows very well my views about Apple's closed hardware and "we know better" arrogance to creating consumer products but decided to take the plunge into the world of Apple anyway. Alan was awe inspired by the iPhone's gorgeous display, cool graphics and advanced Safari mobile Web browser. But the bloom fell off the iPhone rose in a relatively short time period. It looks like less than 2 months after switching to the iPhone 3G, and Alan's ready to go back to his Windows Mobile 6 SmartPhone. Read Alan's blog post Apple Is A Black Box Company for the full story.

By far the majority of iPhone buyers "love" their iPhones. But not everyone does, especially those who expect more from their phones than Apple's delivering, or can see past the "cool factor" and don't buy into Apple's big brother and anti-competitive business practices.

Here are the top 5 reasons iPhone buyers are most likely to experience iPhone buyer's remorse.

1. Bad phone. The iPhone has suffered from poor call quality and dropped calls from the beginning. In the business world, that can be a productivity as well as a deal killer. For the iPhone to be a great SmartPhone, it first has to be a great phone. Blackberry learned this lesson long ago. Despite the purported fixes in the iPhone 2.1 software update to reduce dropped calls, it looks like the iPhone 3G's call quality troubles aren't over yet. 

2. Bad battery. The iPhone 3G's suffered from short battery life since its introduction. Users have had to resort to turning off 3G data network, e-mail synchronization and Wi-Fi or scurrying from charging session to charging session to keep their iPhones alive. Despite the purported fixes in the iPhone 2.1 software update to improve battery life, it looks like the iPhone 3G's battery troubles aren't over yet. (Is there an echo in here?)

3. Closed hardware. No user serviceable battery. No upgradeable battery. No upgradeable memory. No SIM card for data storage or data transfer. The iPhone's a closed box just like the iPod. That may be OK for an mp3 player. It's not OK for a SmartPhone.

4. Closed App Store. Yep, there's lots of cool little do-dad apps on the Apple Store for you to download and play with. No question. But just like Apple's closed hardware approach, they're just as closed about software. You can develop an app, but Apple still controls whether you can offer it to customers through the only authorized mechanism, the App Store. Now Apple's engaged in non-competitive behavior by denying access to apps that "duplicates the functionality of ... iTunes." Welcome to big brother Apple.

5. P00ned By Apple. A number of users upgrading to the 2.1 iPhone software have seen their phones lock up or "brick". The same happened with the 2.0 software upgrade. Apple's recent simultaneous launch of the iPhone 3G, iPhone software upgrade and MobileMe service (one week later) demonstrated how unprepared Apple is to offer an online service, of which iPhones are very dependent. When you buy into Apple, you buy into not only the hardware and software of the iPhone, you also buy into the dependency on iTunes and Apple's iTunes and App Store servers. You've been p00ned by Apple.

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