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Opinion: Why iPhone is wrong, wrong, wrong

Too much money, too little power

By George Jones
June 26, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - The level of hysteria associated with the arrival of Apple's iPhone is just a notch, maybe two, below that of the Second Coming. However, there is a very good chance that, when the smoke clears in the next weeks and months, a whole lot of disappointment, frustration and dissatisfaction will be left behind.

If iPhone is like other wildly anticipated products in the past, this could well manifest in one or more of the following forms:

  • The iPhone has a massive hardware defect that results in a recall of the hardware. This is not likely, but it is a risk with all first-generation hardware.

  • The iPhone is initially received with warmth, but after the first year of AT&T's two-year sentence, the public begins to realize that it's been had. See the Motorola Razr.

  • The iPhone is a smashing success and marks the beginning of a run of Apple dominance that, like other successful rebellions, becomes twisted and shortsighted, leaving the public with limited market options.

  • The iPhone is an immediate disappointment in both the power and performance categories and is immediately recognized as such, for some or all of the reasons explained below.

Those are the generalities. Now, read my 13 most probable reasons the iPhone will break your heart.

13. No GPS. The more you compare the iPhone to the BlackBerry, the more it pales. Imagine attempting to navigate your way through the streets of New York, or anywhere else for that matter. It's really, really nice to have a built-in Global Positioning System capability showing you the way. And it's really, really frustrating that Apple has neglected GPS in iPhone.

12. Text entry won't work well. There is no way -- no way! -- that the virtual keyboard on the iPhone's touch-screen interface will work as well as the physical keyboards found on BlackBerries or most other handheld devices. Most assuredly, entering text will be a frustrating, convoluted affair. Complaints about typing have already begun to surface, like this early usage report by Bruce Nussbaum of Newsweek.

11. It's ugly! There, it had to be said. The iPhone's awkward, neofuturistic design looks like something out of an old Star Trek episode. Remember the me-too styles and hairdos that were in vogue at the tail end of the '80s? The iPhone feels like that, and it likely marks the end of the relatively pleasing design aesthetic that marked Apple's rise to grace.

10. Slow Internet access. The iPhone will utilize AT&T's old EDGE (enhanced data rates for GSM evolution) wireless network, which means data speeds that aren't nearly as fast as far-superior 3G technology. In 12 months, when everyone you know is surfing the Web at lightning 3G speeds while they're mobile, you'll be stuck in the slow lane. And you'll still have one more year of locked-in service contract to go.

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