First 24hrs with an iPhone…By
Yesterday, I walked past an O2 store that had iPhone 3Gs in stock (a rare event these days!), so on impulse, because I’d already been drawn in by their sexiness and my friends who had one couldn’t stop going on about them, I decided it was finally time to buy one.
My disappointment started as soon as I went through the small print of the contract (but for some reason didn’t stop me signing it!). Below is a summary of my first 24 hours having the much over-hyped iPhone, first the disillusionment, then the frustration, followed by acceptance, then a warm glowing feeling inside…
Act I: Disillusionment
- [Me to sales guy] – So by “unlimited” Internet on my phone, I’m actually only allowed to use a very insignificant 200MB per month, and only 60hrs of BT WI-Fi every month before your “fair-use” act comes into play and blocks me from using anymore Internet…that sucks…
- [Sales guy to me] – Well we’ve taken a lot of studies of existing users that show most users never go anywhere near 200MB blah blah blah
- [Me to myself] – BULLS**T! (hasn’t anyone raised this to trading standards yet!??)
- [Sales guy to me] – I’d advise you to take the £7.50 insurance as there is in-fact no way to replace your iPhone unless you have insurance with us.
- [Me to sales guy] – Come again?
- [Sales guy to me] – Well there is no “price” on an iPhone yet, so you can’t buy another replacement if you don’t have insurance with us. The only way we’ll replace it is if you have insurance with us.
- [Me to sales guy] – So what happens if I lose it or damage it during my 18 MONTH contract? I have to keep paying but have no phone??!
- [Sales guy to me] – You can still use your minutes on another phone blah blah blah but no, you won’t be able to get another iPhone replacement..blah blah blah…that may change in a few months so you can cancel your insurance then if you want..
- [Me to myself] – BULLS**T! Out of all the phones I’ve ever bought this is the most expensive, most likely to break with that big touch screen, and most likely to be stolen, this is extortion…
Sitting there for 20 minutes thinking about it while the sales guy goes off to attend to another customer, phone a friend, and somehow justify getting the iPhone based on the fact I am supposed to be a tech-savy professional who is on the cutting edge of web technology and NEEDs to have one of these phones so I can understand the implications of this new type of phone. Basically I bulls**ted my self more than the sales guy did. After another 20 minutes I walk out of the store with my new phone. Fortunately being an existing O2 customer, I could just switch the sim card over and play with it…I thought….
In a bar a couple of hours later waiting for a networking event to start (DrinkTank):
- Right, how do I put the sim card in? (Start fumbling around the phone and the box for some clue as to how to put my sim card in!)
- After 5 minutes give up and phone a friend (the one who helped convince me to buy it in the first place)
- [Friend to me] – Oh yeah mate, took me ages to figure out too, there’s a little metal tuning fork thing in the box that you need to use to push the sim card out.
- [Me to friend] – I thought the iPhone was meant to be the most intuitive phone out there! They don’t even have a get started guide in the box to tell me how to get the bloody sim card in!
- 2 minutes later sim card in, oh I need to attach it to my laptop to synchronise with iTunes. Fortunately I have my laptop and iTunes installed.
- 10 minutes later, laptop started, oh dear, I need Internet to activate it….I’ll have to wait until I get home…
Act II: Frustration
- IT DOESN’T CONNECT TO MY HOME WI-FI!!!!!!! I’LL HAVE TO CHANGE ALL THE SECURITY SETTINGS ON MY ROUTER AND ALL THE OTHER COMPUTERS IN THE HOUSE JUST TO GET MY IPHONE TO WORK ON IT!!!!!!!!
- IT WON’T CONNECT TO MY SMTP SERVER TO SEND EMAILS AS IT NEEDS AUTHENTICATION AND I CAN’T FIND THE MENU TO APPLY THOSE SETTINGS (I eventually did :p)
- KEYBOARD TAKES AGES TO TYPE ON!!!!
- BATTERY LIFE IS SH*T!!! I BARELY TOUCHED IT LAST NIGHT, IT JUST SAT SCREEN OFF NEXT TO MY BED LAST NIGHT AND THE BATTERY IS HALF DRAINED!
- OH – YOU CAN ONLY USE APPLE BLUETOOTH DEVICES WITH THE IPHONE…errrrrrrrrr
- GPS WORKS…AS LONG AS YOU STAND IN THE SAME PLACE WITHOUT MOVING AN INCH FOR ONE MINUTE!!!!
- I’VE TRIED EVERY SETTING BUT THE RINGER DOESN’T WORK WHEN SOMEONE PHONES ME SO I KEEP MISSING MY CALLS!!! (that tiny little button at the top is the silence button, should have read the instructions properly…)
Act III: Acceptance
- Finally got the phone to work on my friends WI-FI. I can actually watch BBC iPlayer on it, pretty cool…
- Finally got my email to work properly, I can receive AND reply now…
- OK, I’ll change all my WI-FI security settings just to get my iPhone to work even if it is a hassle so it can work like my friends WI-FI
- As long as I remember to charge it EVERY day I should be fine with the battery…I hope!
- Keyboard takes some time to get used to typing fast, I’ll practice so I can type faster….
Act IV: Warm Glowing Feeling
- I don’t have to carry my laptop around anymore to get email, browse web-pages (not the complicated ones), and read files (using the Files application I downloaded). That saves 3KG on my back and the worry of my laptop being stolen in the bar at the end of the day!
- I got lost finding my friends house, but the Google Maps showed me the right direction from where I was…pretty cool.
- These apps are pretty cool, I wouldn’t mind writing one myself, could make some money here ($$$)
- I’ve got a load of games that use the level sensors in the iPhone to play them, very cool!
- I’ve downloaded a Greek audio dictionary for free to help improve my Greek before I go to Greece next week
- I’m actually beginning to like it. Completely over-hyped, but still a very nice phone and hopefully going to change the way people use phones in the future!
- O2 are ripping us all off big time with this “exclusivity” deal, I guess Apple is too.
Hey David, funny how you knew you shouldn’t, but you went ahead and signed up anyway. Personally, I avoid having an all-in-one machine so I’ve got the ipod Touch, an EeePC and a cheap, crappy phone that’s practically disposable. So, one month on would you still recommend the iPhone?
Its one of those pieces of technology that once you get used it, you can’t imagine how you got by without it! The internet on it means I’ve got a whole laptop in my pocket and don’t need to lug my laptop around everywhere! I managed to work for 2 hours on it in St. Pancrass station using the Wi-Fi the other day while waiting for a friend! Definately keeping me productive!
I personally have extremely low expectations of apple products: # poor build quality (returning a macbook every 6 months to get repaired is very common) # poor software (my ipod used to bring down winxp) # poor interoperability (my ipod refused to sync with some devices) # poor web services (Mac.com, MobileMe are a cluster-fuck of biblical proportions) So I expected the iPhone to be crap. And lo-and-beyond it ISN’T perfect. However, I like it a lot. Despite all its flaws, it’s the best phone out there for my particular use case. Sometimes it’s better to ignore the hype and set your expectations low 😉