I would absolutely love to buy an iPhone…
-BUT- (there’s always a but)
Here are the top reasons why I have not purchased my iPhone yet. If Apple wants my $600 and at&t wants my wireless business, they will have to address these items first.
1. Voice Navigation/Calling
The most crucial problem facing the user interface of the iphone is its lack of tactile buttons. You can’t use your motor memory to make or even receive calls. For example, using my current cell phone, without even looking I can press Softkey 2 to open my contacts and press the M key will bring up “Mom”, then I press talk… no need to even look at my phone. With the iPhone, I have to look for “Contacts”, flick through the list until I find “Mom” then press her contact, then press to dial her. I had to look at my phone at least 4 times, not including a very prolonged look to flick through the contact list. What this equates to is millions of drivers having to LOOK at their cellphones to actually use them. This will create major safety hazards on roads (as if the current state of the 21 and under crowd txting from their cars wasn’t bad enough). Even when I just had a standard iPod, I found myself distracted by it, trying to switch playlists or genres while driving.
2. 3G EDGE Network
There is no excuse for launching the worlds most anticipated mobile device, promising to unleash the mobile internet in a way that has never been accomplished before, and then (in effect) putting a 14.4kbps modem on it and expecting everyone to love it.
We crave SPEED! Launching iPhone with the 2.5G network is dumb. Maybe it was the excessive power requirements of the 3G chip. Maybe it was the added cost. Maybe it was that at&t hasn’t rolled out the 3G network widely enough. Maybe the iPhone is just ahead of its time…
And don’t try to sell me a line about how the built in wi-fi will satsify me. Unless I am at home or at work, I am not in a hotspot or near a hotspot. I am freakin’ mobile! Public hotspots at coffee shops and airports cost WAY too much money… no way i’m using them!
3. Corporate Discounts/Accounts
Although this one doesn’t affect the public at large, this IS a PRIME segment of your market, and the ones I would argue are the most important to iPhone success: people who work for tech companies… THE EARLY ADOPTERS. Many tech companies pay for their employees phones, and Apple’s/at&t’s absolute refusal to grant them the ability to offer the phone to them is just plain silly.
I would even be OK if they didn’t want to discount the iPhone, but precluding corporate paid users from even purchasing the iPhone is shooting yourself in the foot. If you haven’t guessed by now, I work for a tech company. My co-workers and I would absolutely LOVE to buy iPhones. We would love to recommend them to everyone we see. We would love to show them off and tell everyone how Apple has made our dream device… but you just simply won’t let us.
4. Support Stereo bluetooth headphones and get rid of the proprietary headphone jack.
You can’t advertise an iPod that you can’t plug a set of non-Apple headphones into. People spend BIG bucks on earphones these days, and it’s no secret that Apple does not have the good ones. The white wire sure is stylish, but if I want a good $200-500 set of noise-cancelling earphones that lets me hear the music rather than the plane’s engines, I CERTAINLY want them to work in my $600 iPhone.
Along these same lines, let me utilize the bluetooth capability and go wireless with my headphones! iPhone does not currently support stereo bluetooth headphones. This is a MUST!
5. The Battery
This has been one of the biggest issues for everyone, and simply summed up it is this:
- People can’t live for 3-5 days without their phone while Apple replaces their battery (or actually swaps the handset)
- People want to be able to have spare or extended batteries in case they are using power intensive applications (which on the iPhone is pretty much everything: video, voice, data, wireless technology)
Honestly, it is less of an issue for me. I have owned an iPod for 3 years and still haven’t seen much degradation in the battery, such that I would want to replace it. However, knowing the flawed nature of Lithium Ion batteries, Apple needs a better battery strategy.
That’s it Apple. Fix those 5 things, and I’m on board.