I did not buy an Apple iPhone 4.
While I don’t want to be a decade behind the technology times (“Hey, I’m going to buy a Playstation 2!”), I am not an early adapter. For one thing, I like waiting for prices to drop. For another thing, I like knowing that most technology issues have been fixed by the time I’m buying whatever.
For example: I bought an Xbox 360 last November. Sure, I’ve bought some new games, but there are years and years worth of old games I can buy for $10 from the local GameStop. I don’t actually know where there’s a GameStop in the DC area, but my point is valid: it’s been out for a while, so I don’t have to spend $60 to buy games to play on it.
So I have an iPhone 3G. I bought it last June, for $100 with a two year service plan. The iPhone had been out for two years at that point, and I was motivated to purchase when the 3GS’s imminent release caused Apple & AT&T to reduce the 3G’s price.
I like it a lot. I understand why a buddy of mine mocks it as “the Jesus Phone.” In a year or so, when I’m eligible for an upgrade, I might even buy one. Then again, because I really only use my iPhone for internet, the occasional call, and apps (like NextBus and Battleship!), and I don’t store a lot of music or movies on it (wears down the battery to fast), I might just keep the sucker I’ve got now for an additional year or two beyond that.
But — as an iPhone user for a solid year now, I know I really only hold it one of two ways — in either my left or my right hand, aligned so that my thumb (and that squishy part of my palm at the thumb’s base) are firmly against one side, and my fingers clutching it at the other. I mean, honestly, there’s not that many ways to hold one of these things.
So, technology issues is why I wait on new purchases, right? (Well, that and I’m not flush with cash). In the case of the iPhone 4, a big technology problem seems to be that the antenna is built into the left hand side of the phone, and that holding it with your left hand blocks reception. (Specifically, that touching the antenna somehow disrupts what the antenna needs to do – I’m not certain of all the technical details).
It’s like Apple designed the phone without even taking a bare notice of how people use the phone. (I guess their engineers don’t use iPhones?) As ridiculous as that seems, there’s Steve Job’s reply: “You’re holding it wrong.”
Pardon me for suggesting an alternative, Mr. Jobs, but I believe you probably designed it wrong.