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News

The Times’ “Top 25 reasons to avoid the new iPhone” – Just plain wrong…

times

I’m normally a fan of The Times but today the paper (its online version to be precise) has dropped in my estimation.

A writer, with the good sense to avoid putting their name to the column, has posted 25 reasons to avoid the new iPhone on the Money Central Blog. According to the page, this is “advice you can bank on”. Let’s see who agrees as we run down the alleged top 25 (suggesting there may be more of this rubbish) and provide our thoughts.

1. It’s less expensive than its predecessor but still not cheap. The 8GB version is free to O2 customers who spend £45 a month or more on a new 18-month contract. The handset, available from 02, Carphone Warehouse and Apple outlets will cost £99 on a new £30 monthly tariff and the existing £35 per month tariff.

You have to question how the first iPhone was a success at around £269 if this new, superior model is deemed expensive. For a very advanced device which is more than simply a phone, this is a decent price compared to a standard mobile phone, which appears to be the comparison here. 

2. For the more powerful 16GB version it will cost £159 on the £30 and £35 tariffs, £59 on the £45 tariff and will only be free on the £75 tariff. So the cheapest deal over 18 months – the 8GB version on the £30 tariff – costs £599. For that you get “unlimited” internet surfing but a measly 75 free calls a month and 125 texts.  You can compare it with existing deals here.

For a start, the 16GB model is not “more powerful” it just has more storage. Granted, the call plans may not compare to standard phone tariffs but they don’t offer full web browsing features like the iPhone. For unlimited web access the deal isn’t too shabby. 

3. It will not be available on Pay & Go till later this year. This has angered some O2 customers. Moreover, it is in super-short supply even on contract, with only a few dozen initially supplied to each O2 store.

The iPhone really isn’t a device fit for PAYG. It’ll wind up so expensive to pay per use for internet access that you may not bother and you wont be able to comfortably use the full feature set. That’s probably reason number 26 stored up by this writer. 

4. The touch screen isn’t great if you’re an obsessive texter. This was a problem with the first iPhone, although this guy seems to have cracked it.

Why not? I understand the tactile keyboard vs touchscreen debate but this isn’t a reason not to buy the iPhone 3G. Why just texting? If your fingers are too fat to press buttons on a piece of glass you’re surely going to struggle with web browsing, email, iPod features, maps, calendars… the list goes on. “This was a problem with the first iPhone” You mean because it had a touch screen too?! It makes me wonder if this guy has ever used an iPhone. 

5. Like the Model T-Ford the 8GB model is available in any colour – as long as its black.

Clever sidestep of the obvious “Ferrari Red” reference but… hang on, what have cars got to do with this? The 8GB model is available in black only, get over it. There are plenty of mobiles available in one colour. 

6. Go for the more expensive 16GB version and you can get it in white too. Rumours had been that Apple was going to be a little more adventurous.

So now we’re annoyed that there’s a choice of colours? What’s going on here? How adventurous do you want to be? Transparent? Polka dot?

7. Its camera is rubbish. At just two megapixels with no flash it’s worse than many standard phones leaving even fans feeling short changed. Phones such as the Nokia N95 boast five megapixels.

The iPhone has fewer pixels but, as we all know, megapixels aren’t the be all and end all of cameras. The lens is important for quality, megapixels important for size. Let’s compare a 5mp pic from the N95 next to an iPhone shot reduced to blog size on the web. There should be little difference. If so, maybe I’d use my compact camera instead. Cue “25 reasons never to buy a camera again” from The Times. 

8. You can’t use it to take videos, leading some critics to the conclusion that it’s not sexy enough.

I don’t actually understand the not sexy idea here. Lack of video is fair enough. Well done Sir, one out of eight so far! 

9. Like its predecessor the 3G handset is large and bulky. Not something you can just stick in your pocket and forget about. True, the new phone is thinner at the edges and weighs slightly less than the debut model, but otherwise the measurements are the same. It’s even been nicknamed the monolith.

Of course. And the Nokia N95 is a lightweight sliver of plastic that sometimes gets lost in pockets it’s so small. 

10. To enable Apple to cut costs something had to go. The original iPhone had a hard-wearing silver aluminum back; the new one a less durable black plastic skin. So will it be able to cope with a beating like this?

It probably did cut costs, yes. It also enhances the reception of the phone with plastic not affecting the signal like aluminium. I’m not so sure plastic is less durable in this case either and… you guessed it, most phones are made of plastic. 

11. The absence of a metal back means that it is unlikely to blend as prettily as its predecessor.

What does that actually mean!? Blending as in smoothies or blending as in fitting in with your wardrobe?

12. It’s going to be popular with terrorists if Apple’s official ad is anything to go by.

Silly, childish, in bad taste. How many terrorists has this guy actually seen outside of an episode of 24?

13. Battery life is poor – just five to six hours of 3G calls or web browsing. One reviewer found that the indicator fell below 20 per cent by early to mid-afternoon on some trial days.

Agreed. 2 out of 13. Good going…


14. The battery is sealed into the handset, which must be sent off for replacement when it starts to wear out. This is a hassle and means that you can’t carry around a spare for use on the move.

I’m feeling generous. 3 out of 14. 

15. It inspires people with anger issues to post pointless and mistitled videos at Youtube.

A reason not to buy the phone? 

16. If you are an Apple fan, you already own the old iPhone. Much of the new handset’s improved functionality is already available in the free 2.0 software update.

Vaguely true. iPhone 2.0 is a great piece of software but the new phone still offers 3G, GPS etc 

17. If you are not an Apple fan, you may be an Apple “hater”. In that case, you wouldn’t want one.

That’s like saying one of the 25 reasons not to eat cheese is that you don’t like cheese. Ridiculous.


18. If you live away from the big cities, you may well not have 3G coverage (check here). That would make the whole 3G phone thing pointless…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – that’s not a reason not to buy the iPhone 3G. You could say this about any phone on any connection. 

19. It has no instant messaging function – forcing users to SMS. But it doesn’t have multimedia messaging (MMS), which means that users must send and receive photos by email.

Go onto the App Store and download AOL Instant Messenger for free. Problem solved. Don’t like that? Download the Facebook app with live chat or one of the countless other apps. You would surely know this is you had actually used the phone and app store…

20. The web browser has limited Adobe Flash support, so cannot display videos from many sites.

“Many” is pushing it. Flash support is an issue but there are plenty of videos that will play on the phone including those found on a little site called YouTube. 

21. Incredibly for a “smart” phone, it has no copy and paste ability. Duh.

Who said it was a smart phone? Copy and paste is a downer but will soon be added. 

22. Who needs a phone with GPS? Anyway, it can’t find a decent pizza when you need one.

I beg to differ. Why are SatNav devices so popular? Why are hundreds of developers making use of GPS in the phone? My iPhone found me a pizza just the other day. It also finds pubs, cafés, cinemas…

23. The iPhone is sometimes termed the “Jesusphone”. Tasteless.

Says Mr “Lets Make a Terrorist Joke” on reason 12.

24. Bluetooth enables headset voice calls on the new handset. A less-limited Bluetooth profile could have enabled wireless music streaming and file sharing, too.

Partly true but, with copy protected music unable to be shared anyway and syncing to your Mac available for purchased songs, this isn’t really a requirement.

25. Its unveiling by Steve Jobs, of Apple, was predictably and unbearably smug.

I think we’ve found the reason for this whole article. You don’t like the CEO, don’t buy the phone. Why tell everyone else not to? 

Final score  3/25

To view the full article and post comments on just how poor it is, visit: http://timesbusiness.typepad.com/money_weblog/2008/07/reasons-to-avoi.html

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