Recently, at a party, I was asked by someone if he should replace his old flip phone (which is about 6 years old and still runs like a dream) with a brand spanking new iPhone 4.
All I could say was, "I love my new toy, but I can promise you, without a shadow of a doubt, that your paperweight over there is a much better phone than my crappy iPhone."
The crazy thing is, nearly every iPhone owner you ask will agree. They love their phones, they're developing startling addictions to technology and blisters from over-swiping their fingers on glass. Their thumbs are stricken with arthritis caused by the consistent tweeting and facebooking from their little robotic friend. Despite this undying love, the phone function of the iPhone is consistently crappy. No matter what Apple advertisements, established tech writers, or goons like me say, the iPhone is an iPod/toy first, an emailing and organizing device second, and a phone third. The function for which this hunk of metal, glass and wires gets its name is third in line.
That's not even the worst of it. You can read all about the iPhone antenna problems (which fellow Charge-Shot !!! blogger Andrew covered excellently back in July) here and here. My particular device is equipped with the standard issue protective prophylactic bumper (gotta bag it up), solving the problem completely while adding a little extra protection. Nevertheless, considering the little hardware issue combined with the software glitch that makes the phone mute or unintentionally dial a contact during use (the muting thing has happened to me, it totally sucks), you'd think iPhoners would be ready to chuck their phones out a third story window.
Ah...but we iPhoners have resolve, we don't even care about the incredibly underwhelming ATT coverage and data speeds….I'd say at least 10% of phone calls made with my iPhone end with me screaming "blast this [expletive] iphone, [expletive] piece of junk!" Also, it can take 2 minutes to do a google search, come on!
So why are we so attached? Why don't the flaws turn us off? Well, the answer is, surprisingly, that we do care! It bothers the hell out of us, we just aren't bothered as much as we are completely amazed and turned on by all of the cool toys and bells and whistles that are designed to distract us from all of this inconvenience.
As you can imagine, my answer (to the original question, asked hours ago at this point) included the entire diatribe above (not to mention little angry side tangents that were sure to be peppered into my speech) for my initially curious friend and now incredibly bored listener. I told him that getting an iPhone (or any high quality smart phone) would change his life, and make him wonder how he survived for so long with out it. I told him that even with all of the problems and glitches, it's still the coolest thing I've ever held in my hand, and that I wouldn't dream of replacing it with anything...except of course, the iPhone 5. I'm ready for an upgrade…anyone else?