A bumpy ride for the iPhone

Its been over six months since Steve Jobs unleashed the flashy iPhone to the world, and the sleek, do everything gadget has met his ambitious initial sales targets (and then some) with over 1.5 million sold.  And despite all the prelaunch hype and fear mongering, you dont hear many gripes that the novel, finger-driven user interface doesnt work, or that videos look crummy or the battery sucks.  if anything most of the iPhones features have exceeded technological expectations.

Still, the iPhone frenzy seems to evaporate even more quickly than it built up, with little gotchas seemingly popping up at every turn, the biggest probably being AT&T.  The official details haven’t been made public to my knowledge, it is believed Apple is getting kick backs on monthly subscriptions.  Apples customers have been pretty verbal with the quality of the AT&T network, coverage and data speeds – wanting better performance.  Apple recently estimated nearly 20% of the iPhones purchased so far havent activated their AT&T accounts; in other words, if they are in use – they’ve been hacked to work on other networks which has been reported as pretty easy to do.

Being hijacked right out of the gates doesnt instill alot of confidence in the new “platform”.  To combat the problem, I’ve heard Apple now refuses to sell more than two iPhones to each walk-in customer and wont take cash as payment.  Not very consumer friendly.  I’ve also heard they’ve released a software update that turns hijacked phones into “bricks”.  I’ve also read this problem to be a motivating factor as to why Apple has yet to allow outsiders to write applications for the iPhone.  The quick price discounts after launch also rubbed alot of consumers that forked over the $500+ bucks the wrong way, some evening resulting in lawsuits.

Between the quirky keyboard, locked-in vendor dependance, lack of 3G support – some say there are better phones for the money.  I know I certainly recall the first time I bought a phone from a first generation provider (HP) – man what a horrible experience that was, needless to say, I sat this one out.


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