3 Reasons Why I Hate The iPhone

by Tanner Godarzi Jun 15, 2007

I’ve always been told hate is a strong word when describing one’s feeling towards something and boy am I glad it is. The anticipation, the suspense, the rumors, and the speculation all get to be too much and I’ve about had it. Even though I’m ready to punch the next blogger in the face who so much as suggests Apple is piling on new features before June 29th, I’ll still buy an iPhone, but that doesn’t mean I can’t describe my feelings about the wait.

Too Much Hype
Since January 9th, 2007, the amount of noise generated about Apple’s iPhone, a device we have yet to hold in our hands, has been unprecedented. There is no review of an iPhone yet, little to no benchmarks and no videos of what it can really do, but there is an occasional morsel of information that slips through only to be debated upon for what seems like an eternity, and a teaser put out by those who are very close to Steve Jobs. But who is creating the hype? Not Apple, not AT&T, but us. We don’t know enough to truly judge the iPhone or to make an accurate buying decision; this thing could be the buggiest 1.0 product Apple has ever released. Yet we still talk about, we still give Apple the free marketing they want (guilty as charged) and through this we saved them oh, about 400 million dollars in advertising.

But throughout the hype, there has been massive confusion. False facts have been tossed around and our attempts to make corrections have been neglected by a wave of uncertainty. I’ve considered delaying my iPhone purchase until either the next revision or major update and no doubt others have considered the same course of action. All this hype has done for Apple and AT&T is keep people anticipated for June 29th when you can finally buy an iPhone in stores or possibly online. Both of these companies didn’t have to lift a finger, just keep things under wraps but not so tight that potentially false information couldn’t crawl out.

Even though people will want the iPhone more and more, the massive hype machine may persuade buyers to purchase other devices. If someone was comparing smart phones for a potential purchase they’d either have to wait a while, only to possibly be displeased by the lack of features generated by the hype machine, or rely on rumors and speculation for the basis of their decision. Very little has been confirmed about the iPhone, and this could ward off not-so-serious buyers. Even the amount of confusion is very annoying. I honestly never thought there would be enough news per day to fuel our iPhone-focused Blog iPhone Matters, but I seem to be wrong.

The Contradictions
When announced in January, Steve met all of our expectations regarding how a mobile device should be designed…well, almost all of them. One of the most heralded features of the iPhone is that it’s capable of displaying the full Internet, not the half-baked version nor the watered-down version but the full Internet. Yeah, right: the iPhone does not support Flash or Java. These are major components of web browsers and by skipping on them you do not have the full-featured Internet that other desktop-based browsers allow. A lot of videos and applications are in the Flash format (YouTube being a prime example) so the lack of this totally contradicts Steve Jobs and a recent commercial touting the iPhone’s advanced Internet capabilities. Skipping Flash in order to promote a better format for video content is not a valid reason to exclude it, a Flash Plug-In as well as H.264 support could both exist on the iPhone without conflicting.

Another contradiction Apple has made regarding the iPhone is the status of their applications. They claim the iPhone will sport true desktop-class apps but last I checked this isn’t an easy goal to reach without a real SDK for developers. True web apps are gaining capabilities left and right but hardly measure up to their offline counterparts. These apps can only be free while containing a certain number of features for so long before advertising comes into play or even a subscription model. I’d love to see how a Google ad wouldn’t bother your browsing experience when using online applications.

Lack of resource utilization
I’ve got to hand it to Microsoft for one thing regarding their hardware: they sure know how to utilize their resources better than Apple has. The Zune has wireless sharing enabled, allowing you to send songs and photos, and the Xbox 360 can stream media wirelessly to your TV. And what can the iPhone do? None of these, but I’m sure Steve wouldn’t have forgotten an important feature such as this. Nonetheless the iPhone should be able to stream and interact with devices via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. How cool would it be to include something like this into the iPhone, allowing it to possibly control an Apple TV. Or why not stream content from an AppleTV or Mac to an iPhone?

And why forget 3G on the launch model, eh? Edge and Wi-Fi are our only real options to get an Internet connection, but hotspots aren’t everywhere. Perhaps I would like to use Google Maps in no man’s land when traveling where a wireless internet connection does not exist. EDGE would be perfect because it might be available in the area but I cannot justify paying 30 to 40 dollars a month for near dial-up speeds.

Still, Apple needs to get its act together on the iPhone’s wireless functions. If they would allow Software updates from the phone itself and downloading from the iTunes store then this would be a perfect option for anyone wanting a computer in their pocket. Apple could even offer a high-end version of the phone that accomplishes this. Surely you think I jest but I’m serious, if Apple knew how to better utilize the resources of an iPhone, every other mobile media device would be blown out of the water.



  • Great piece, Tanner. Spot on.

    Chris Howard had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 1209
  • Thanks Chris!

    Tanner Godarzi had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 70
  • Jobs said that the iPhone will be able to play Youtube videos through the iPhone Apple’s format. I need to stop reading this site. The most ill-informed ‘journalists’ on the web with nothing constructive to say.

    diablojota had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 25
  • @diablojota, I didn’t say that YouTube wouldn’t be supported at all, I only gave YouTube as an example regarding the massive amount of flash based videos available. Yes, YouTube videos are being converted to H.264 for the iPhone and AppleTV but by time we get this option, there still will be a lot more to go. Plus it’s probable that Apple would develop it’s own interface for YouTube and some features might be cut out.

    Even with H.264 YouTube videos this does not give Steve a valid excuse to not allow Flash on the iPhone. Seems like they’re going through quite a bit to forget Flash on the iPhone.

    Tanner Godarzi had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 70
  • Gee, it doesn’t play Real videos either, I bet.  Oh, the humanity.

    Ever considered that it’s strategic?  I wouldn’t even put it past Apple to support M$‘s Silverwhateveryoucallit competitor to Flash if it fits into the master plan.

    ricksbrain had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 14
  • Interesting..you’re telling Apple they need to get it together about a phone that you don’t even know the full featureset.  I think the article is confusing because the author has such a paucity of actual and verifiable knowledge about the iPhone so that he makes sweeping assumptions and generalizations.  The headline is flamebait and there’s no summary to be had.  If you want to have any success writing you will have to do better. This is not even High School level journalism here.  What happens when June 29th rolls around and we find the iPhone does indeed support flash?  FWIW I’ve read a blurb about the iPhone from a WWDC attendee and while I don’t know him from a can of paint he’s duly impressed with the iPhone based on demoes given.  I’m not faulting you Tanner but the content and delivery here is pretty weak.

    hmurchison had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 145
  • You hate it, yet it hasn’t even been released yet? Unlike Microsoft, Apple tends to under promise and over deliver.

    Come back when you’ve actually had a chance to use the iPhone for more than 5 minutes and then tell us what you think.

    Until then, this is simply flame bate.

    Scott had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 144
  • I have to second hmurchison. How can you rate how you hate a product without as much as having even used it? Are what you state truly limitations to the product, or are they a product of your own narrow minded, shock tactic headlines to draw in readers? These same readers will eventually grow tired of reading these ‘limitations’ that you through out, not knowing if this is truly a hindrance. We don’t know how much youtube is doing behind the scenes to make this functionality work. Also, the reason why apple doesn’t want to support flash is because of the limitations in security available in flash. Plus, who wants these damn flash banners on their iphone internet taking up the whole screen with some stupid advertisement like the ones that you have here on your site. Oh yes, I need those next generation smiley faces like I need another hole in my head. I don’t use flash on my MacBook Pro, but I do have it installed on my iMac. My existence is much better without it.

    diablojota had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 25
  • And the number 1 reason to hate the iPod - is my long term contract with Verizon

    HowardBrazee had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 10
  • I typo’d in calling it iPod - which is how I think of it, an iPod with phone capabilities. 

    I’m not going to pay that kind of money for a phone that plays songs.  Too much of a premium over the phone I have now.

    But if I start off with an iPod’s price, the upgrade seems reasonable.


    HowardBrazee had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 10
  • well at least you got the hype part right. Apple did on keynote, some conferences and a few ads - the rest of us ran with it.

    as for the rest - flash & java are designed to win designer awards since html at best ‘blinks’ a little (99.999% of it is pointless) especially idiotic websites that unknowingly turn the front door keys over to adobe - the ones who refuse to let you on until you turn on java/flash. if anything, it interferes with true web surfing. THat is why google is switching to H.264 for quality also.

    the iphone has all the working apps you’d need - other phones need 3rd party apps because the included are crap. And all the included apps are working apps so what was your question? the last Apple needs is some app to load “free” ringtones that is a spambot. the ipod is closed but you can load apps into that also.

    as for wireless, if you’re impressed with the Zune, great, buy one - personally, I would rather have the battery power to talk versus looking to download a song I heard at HOT TOPIC - everyone has priorities - if Zune delivers what you have at the top of your list, buy one. For the rest of us,  that’s unimportant - and sure 3G is nice but at another couple hundred dollars, less battery - 3F is not exactly burning up the charts now - less than 1 million subscibers in the US.

    Of course, you’re entitled to your opinion.

    jbelkin had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 41
  • Well, the writing syntax was much better this time around, but I somewhat agree with some of the other posters.

    To say you “hate” a product with a review of it before it has been released is really just an inflammatory device to gather eye balls to the article since you couldn’t have used it.

    About the hype—as you mention, this is all created by the media because it is considered a “hot story” and will generate page views… And you jumped right on the bandwagon with yet another story about the iPhone. For that, you can only blame yourself. That doesn’t appear to be the fault of the phone…  smile

    Now about Flash on the iPhone…

    If you don’t install the Flash plug in on Safari on your Mac, does that mean you don’t have access to the whole internet?

    I think you’re picking nits with the marketing terms. The whole point of the “whole internet” ad is to show that the iPhone has a true internet browser—not some pseudo-text menu system most other phones have.

    Have you used other web-enabled phones? Though I can’t speak to the Blackberry or Treos (which may have better web capabilities), phones like ones from Sprint, Verizon and such that say they have “web access” are sorely mis-labeled. The so called web access sucks hairy butts.

    Usually you are sent to a start page the phone company has set up to point you to a few somewhat phone friendly features (ie- simple text layouts)... but if you ever visit a regular URL, it’s hideous.

    Browsing the the web on a so-called “web enabled” phone is like setting your computer’s browser to 100 pixels wide, and stipping out all tables and CSS formatting. It squishes all the content into one long column, which works horrifically for typical web site layouts.

    First you get the left part of the header, the left side navigation, the left side ads, the ads along the top, any middle navigation layer, and then finally at the bottom of all of that, you start to get some content. Since phones don’t have an easy way to scroll, you have to use the direction ring to slowly click down until you get to content.

    On my phone, this is about 100 down clicks for a typical page… which is why I don’t pay for net access on my phone anymore. It’s worse than useless.

    The point of the “whole internet” advertisement is that you don’t have to experience all the pain a typical “web enabled” phone gives you.

    On my Mac, if I don’t have Flash plug in, Real Player, or Flip4Mac installed, I can’t view Flash animations, Real Player movies or Windows Media Files… but I wouldn’t say I didn’t have access to the whole internet just because I couldn’t view YouTube (or such).

    The point I can somewhat agree with is the SDK. Without a true software developer’s kit, the “killer app” sitting in someone’s head can never make it on the phone. However, Apple has to strike a balance between openness vs. usability and security.

    For every great developer out there, there are 99 others who make crap. Apple wants the user experience with the iPhone to be absolutely flawless. Third party developers can screw that up horribly… Just ask Microsoft.

    vb_baysider had this to say on Jun 15, 2007 Posts: 243
  • Well…everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course however let’s try to maintain some accuracy in our assertions; I have no problem with most of tho, tho I don’t agree. Most of it.

    The notion that EDGE data speeds are “dialup” or “near dialup” seems to come from not knowing how fast it is…or not remembering how slow it is.

    So, here is a reminder:

    GPRS is dialup speed….around 6K/sec.  HSDPA is about 70K a second; this would be ATTs WCDMA “3G” technology.

    Now what about EDGE, the ubiquitous GSM “High Speed” neetwork that is sooooo inadequate? How “slow” is that?

    Well, as of yesterday when last I checked, across several different US Points of Data origination…about 30K/sec.

    See what I did there? I actually hooked up a phone to a computer, on EDGE, and did speed tests!

    30K/sec is NOT dialup, or anywhere near it…so you know, keep that in mind as you “hate”...

    3G would be nicer, sure, but since we won’t be video conferencing, or flashing, or skyping or any of that on iPhone….I dunno…

    Feel free tho to hate for your other reasons. The i"Phone” is essentially an iPod with phone and some “internet” features…nothing less, but certainly, nothing more…or as JObs himself put it:

    “An iPod…a phone…an internet device…an iPod…a Phone…an internet device…an iPod…a Phone…an internet device…Are you GETTING it yet?”

    Apparently, no wink

    Kai Cherry had this to say on Jun 16, 2007 Posts: 3
  • “To say you “hate” a product with a review of it before it has been released is really just an inflammatory device to gather eye balls to the article since you couldn’t have used it.”

    Well we do have enough information on the iPhone to judge it and know what it should do.

    “About the hype—as you mention, this is all created by the media because it is considered a “hot story” and will generate page views… And you jumped right on the bandwagon with yet another story about the iPhone. For that, you can only blame yourself. That doesn’t appear to be the fault of the phone… “

    Indeed I did, I can’t stop talking about the little thing, so yes I should blame myself as well.

    “The notion that EDGE data speeds are “dialup” or “near dialup” seems to come from not knowing how fast it is…or not remembering how slow it is.”

    This is going to sound really, really stupid and I apologize but I got Kilobits mixed up with Kilobytes.

    Tanner Godarzi had this to say on Jun 16, 2007 Posts: 70
  • I gotta say, you write in an extremely odd way- in and of itself that is not a bad thing, I write in a stupid way that is exactly as it comes from my brain (and is usually full of errors, so I am being pretty hypocritical here, but what the hell). But it is honestly kinda hard to read yours; the sentences are formed in strange way and almost universally they are really short. It gets to a point where I find that it just becomes difficult to take anything in, I feel like I am stopping and starting all the time or that you have no consistent line of argument.
    I know it is horrible that the only people take the time to comment are the people who criticise, and for that I apologize.
    (I don’t visit that often, my thumb may well not be on the pulse here. I am basing my views on this article and the one you wrote about Apple vs. Microsoft. If I am totally wrong, tell me to fuck off or whatever)

    yoharryo had this to say on Jun 17, 2007 Posts: 9
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