Alec’s iPhone experience

Alec Saunders has a terrific post: iPhone: Brilliant. Frustrating. Alec has pretty much echoed my sentiments described at iPhone – Look but don’t touch and summarized beautifully with “I want to love this phone – it’s that good” but in the end he can’t due to its limitations, saying “The iPhone has the most potential to change the mobile phone industry of any device out there today, but it’s not the best phone … yet.”

Alec and I are in almost 100% alignment, but here are a few details I can challenge.

The network. [The Edge network is] so slow as to be unusable outside WiFi hotspots.

One man’s “useless” is another’s “adequate”. Edge is indeed slow. But it’s not useless on the iPhone. At least it provides a functional connection out of the box, in almost any area. The slow speed constrains what it can be used for, but it does work and permits on-the-go Internet access when there is nothing else available, for travel, news, and even Youtube movies, if you have some patience. Don’t forget that there is still a significant population of Internet users on dial-up and Edge is about the same performance, and somehow those users still find the Internet useful.

Stability. My other two favorite phones (BlackBerry 8300 and Nokia N95) crash, probably once a day.

Unrelated to the iPhone, but my N95 used to crash frequently. However, with software version V 20.0.015 and disabling a certain app (that shall remain nameless – you know who you are), the phone now essentially never crashes – it may still do so, but it’s infrequent enough that I can’t even remember the last time it crashed.

The browser. It’s a desktop class browser. Websites that don’t render correctly on any other mobile device work fine here

The exception is flash sites – The iPhone does not support flash in any way, shape, or form. Some say flash support is coming soon while others say it will never happen.

I’d also add a section on Fragility. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why I cannot make iPhone my primary mobile phone. It is simply too difficult to protect, and putting it in a large protective case sort of defeats the purpose of it being so light and thin.

Many people would also consider battery life an issue and in this regard, iPhone beats the N95 hands down.

Summary

As I state above, I think Alec highlights some key points, which I’d summarize as follows:

  1. So-called “Smart Phones” like the Nokia N95 have better hardware specs, but the iPhone does a much better job of making these features accessible to us mere mortals.
  2. Blackberry is still the number one device for extreme mobile email, bar none.

The iPhone is an incredible achievement for a first attempt at a mobile phone, but still has a way to go to be “the best ever”.

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