Ever since the iPhone supported Exchange, I’ve been a huge supporter. I’ve spent two good years on the iOS with my iPhone 3G. My job bought it for me back in 2008 and I got it shortly after launch. It was a solid phone with a lot of good things to say about it. I evangelized to everyone I knew about how they should get an iPhone, how it’s the best smartphone around. I got a 3GS for my wife, I’ve told countless other family members to get one. In most ways, when it was introduced, it was the best thing around. But things have changed.
When the iPhone 4 was announced, I followed the WWDC keynote with great anticipation. I ooh’d and aah’d at all the advances in design and software. When pre-orders started, our company bought 11 to start, and we waited until last week when they finally arrived (early) from AT&T. I rushed across campus to rip open the box and activate my new toy (err) tool. There it was, the iPhone 4, before most anyone else on the planet had their hands on one. I took pictures, I tweeted about how amazing it looked, how the screen was fantastic (it is) and how fast it was compared to my 3G.
Taking it home that night, I started to notice something was a little off with my phone. In Kansas City, AT&T really is the top carrier, and with my 3G, reception was never an issue. I can think of only one place in the city where coverage is any type of issue, and it’s not an area I frequent. So with the iPhone 4, the fact that I was only holding 4 bars at maximum, and typically 3, seemed a bit odd.
Later, I realized I was on EDGE service with hardly a bar to see, for most of my time before I jumped on my home wireless. As I started reading the news on various gadget blogs, I quickly realized I was suffering from the antenna problems that were plaguing almost ever other early adopter.
I dropped a few calls that weekend, including one to my father who seem’d to have lost my mother, but I could make due. The view from most of the people within the Apple world was that it was firmware related, and would be quickly fixed. Then Steve Jobs opened his mouth.
“You’re holding it wrong.” … or something to that affect.
Beyond that, one of my co-workers (our telecom manager, of all people) got an iPhone with a totally non-functional home button. The only way she could close apps, is to reboot the phone. Since the Apple stores and AT&T were slammed that week, and the SIM cards are a totally different size, she was stuck with a broken phone until today when she was able to get a new one. I’ve also seen issues with the new camera, taking pictures of solid color backgrounds (especially in florescent lighting), where a green ghost appears in the middle of the image. Many I’ve talked to online (although non of my co-workers) cannot sync their iOS 4 devices to Exchange. My bosses phone started making a horrible clicking noise (what inside this thing moves?) yesterday although it seemed to be a one time event. I could go on and on, but just read Engadget, Gizmodo, or any other gadget blog for the daily iPhone/iOS bug.
Not to mention, simply holding the device in my hands for a couple days already allowed my wedding ring to put a scratch in the back glass so deep you can feel it with your finger.
My point is. Any one of these single events, may be something small and not worth getting upset about. Combine them together, and you have a product that is far from 4th generation and an operating system that already is flawed. Now, I’ve been around IT long enough to know major software releases have bugs, and that major hardware refreshes require driver and firmware updates to correct issues. But maybe I’d come to expect more from Apple, with their integrated platform, to expect something that would be near flawless by version 4.
While I don’t expect perfection in anything man-made, I found myself deeply disappointed in the device and the operating system.
Enough so that I’ve made the switch to Android. Yesterday I announced on Twitter and Facebook that I’d be leaving the job I’ve been at for over 4 years now. As a result, I’m turning in my iPhone 4 and going rouge. My new weapon of choice?
Ordered it from Google this morning, unlocked and out of contract, for AT&T bands. It has shipped, and arrives tomorrow. While I know there are other more interesting phones out there, and some like the Droid X soon to come, I will reserve my explanation for choosing the Nexus One for my next update … after I’ve made the switch and fully integrated later this week.
But this decision has some ramifications. Up until last week, I was all set to pull the trigger on the purchase of a Apple computer, something I’d never done before. I had a bright and shiny new iMac all picked out, and was waiting for some news on the job front to come through before giving Apple my credit card info for my own iPhone 4 and that iMac. But now, given my recent burn by Mr. Jobs, I believe I will be rethinking that decision.
Maybe one of those new AMD 6-core processors or a Intel i7, running something other than Mac OS X, is in my future as a home desktop replacement?
Monday June 28, 2010