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My name is Steve and I have an iPhone.

And now I have a Motorola Droid too.

And if Apple & AT&T don’t get their collective crap together, I think the Driod will almost certainly kill the iPhone. In fact, I thought I saw it toting around a muddy shovel a few minutes ago. Where did my iPhone go anyway?

See, here’s the thing that makes you want to pound dents into the wall with your head. Between the two, the iPhone wins in my book. Better, more intuitive interface, easier to figure out, better touch screen, heck, better screen all around, it takes better photos, apps are better (for now), and it’s just more “natural” to use (you know, if a phone was a naturally occurring phenomenon). It only has one Achilles heel – and it’s a big one – consisting of three little letters:

AT&T

Yup, the iPhone is the best ever, as long as you don’t actually want to use it to call someone. Maybe they should have just named it the iPhoneIfYou’reLucky. Sure, if you’re in a major city then, well, no, strike that. Nope, spotty all over. Since getting mine, I’ve traveled from Ohio to as far south as Florida, as far northwest as Seattle, and as far southwest as Lone Pine, CA. Most of these miles by car (25K on that baby since May 09!)

And AT&T lets me down more consistently than a weatherman at a nuthouse. Even if I have a corner chock full of little bars, it still seems like I have the same chances as a coin toss when I try to make a call or check my e-mail.

True story:

My daughter and I (both iPhone users at the time – yes, she’s as spoiled as last year’s milk) were literally standing side by side in the mall over Christmas a few months ago. Despite the fact that we both held a fistful of bars in our cellular hands, the iPhones couldn’t call each other.

Her friend, however, had no problems with Verizon.

Sure, I could dismiss it as a fluke the first couple dozen times it happened, but even the stupidest of dogs will run away if they get kicked in the head often enough. Heck, I was out at CES this year and AT&T was a joke – check this out.

Enter the Droid.

See, after using the iPhone for a year, it just wasn’t possible to go back to a “normal” phone. I have come to enjoy NOT having to yank out my laptop every time I need to check e-mail, look up a potential product for WorldStart, check sales, find a deal on flip flops, etc. In fact, when I’m out on the road, I can pretty much run WorldStart with just my phone (and a good staff doesn’t hurt either :) )

Ah…But not without a signal.

See why the Droid is so appealing?

So, I had a Verizon phone at the end of its contract, and instead of just closing the account as planned and becoming a full-time iPhone user, I upgraded to a Droid.

I get signals where once there were none back in the iPhone days. In fact, I like using the Droid in front of iPhone users. While they’re getting the “Cannot Activate Cellular Data Network” error for the sixth time, I get to surf and check e-mail with a bliss that was formally reserved for significant life events like marriage or childbirth.

Alas, it’s not as good as the iPhone though. It’s really not. It’s not quite as easy to use, the MP3 player blows compared to an iPhone, it’s all but impossible to watch a movie on it (unless it was an illegal copy), and the Apps just aren’t out there like they are for the iPhone.

It’s frustrating, but I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

See, I think one of two things are going to happen.

Scenario 1 – Apple tells AT&T to get their network up to standards that are actually useable or they’re going to open their iPhone up to all the other carriers (like they have in other countries). Or maybe Apple doesn’t do this and AT&T continues to spend money on stupid commercials trying to convince everyone they have a good network, and we get…

Scenario 2 – The Driod replaces the iPhone as the premier smart phone. Sure, it’s not quite there as of this generation, but phones get changed and updated more often than a sit-coms toss out sexual innuendos. Also, as time goes on, the apps for the Driod type phones are going to catch up to the iPhone and possibly surpass it.

So, if I were Apple, I think maybe I’d have that worried little trickle of sweat running down the side of my forehead right about now. AT&T is killing your phone guys. Sure, it’s the best now, but when I talked to the Verizon guy as I was picking up my shiny new Droid a couple months ago, he said iPhone users are flocking over in droves. After all, an iPhone you can’t use half the time is simply an expensive iPod.

Yeah, I’m sure plenty of people are going to think I’m crazy. To them I ask, hey, how’s your collection of 8 track tapes, betamax videos and HD DVD players? Great ideas can and do crash and burn.

I think I understand why the whole audience groaned during the Apple iPad announcement when Steve Jobs mentioned AT&T was going to be handing the wireless access for the, umm, “magical” (his words, not mine) new iPad.

So, what’s the point of this excessively long rant? I just hate to see something really good fail. It’s frustrating to me. It’ll be ashame to see the iPhone resigned as nothing more than a footnote in the mobile phone history books. I know mine will revert back to an iPod just as soon as my contract runs out.

~Steve

PS – Check back here in 3 years or so and we’ll see if I was right :) Or hey, comment below and let me know what you think.

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19 Responses to “Death Of The iPhone?”

  1. TOM BOYLEN says:

    STEVE,
    YOU ARE EXACTLY CORRECT ABOUT AT & T. I GO TO ST GEORGE EVERY YEAR. IN SEPT. WELL, IF I WANT TO MAKE A CALL, I HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE TO END OF DRIVE WAY AND NOT MOVE MY HEAD WHILE I AM TALKING. WELL, AT NIGHT WHEN THE MOSQUITOES ARE BUZZING, IT IS VERY HARD TO KEEP FROM DOING A DANCE TO KEEP FROM GETTING BITTEN BY THE LITTLE BUGGARS. WISH THEY WOULD PUT A TOWER CLOSER BY?? OR IS IT JUST THE WEAKNESS OF THEIR SIGNAL??…………THANKS FOR LISTENING
    TOMMY BOYLEN

  2. Cherie Fruge says:

    I don’t have a Smart Phone for this very reason! I use my laptop for anything connected to the web, and my Verizon phone is reserved for phone calls and texting…

  3. Kitty says:

    Hi,

    I live in the south and have At&T. I have friends and family quite nearby. They have either Tmobile or Verison. Neither of these companies have good service here. My sister, a Verison user, was at my house the other day and wanted to make a call to New York. She could not get any service at all with her phone…she uses Version. She says she gets reception in her house….great if you are on the road….NOT. LOL My neighbor 3 doors down who uses TMobile actually called them and a rep came out and admitted that there was bad service here. Something about towers…etc. Bottom line…she can’t use her phone in her house or in the area in general with any great success. So, not that I am especially a fan of AT&T…I will say that with my plain old flip phone I have great service. I am also glad that I have the roll over minutes included with my service, since I have a lot of other people using my phone, who can’t get service on theirs. Maybe it has something to do with the IPhone or Droid? I don’t know much about either of those things. For me I want a phone to be a phone, a camera to be a camera…etc. I guess it must be an age thing? Does this make you think of Boomer Generation? LOL
    Anyway, your blogs are great and I enjoy reading them. Good idea you came up with. Oh, and if you are every in my area, give me a call, if you can…. LOL You are more than welcome to use my plain old At&t flip phone to make your calls. :)

  4. Dwight Hill says:

    Steve . I don’t know about you , but my phone works , and I have been using AT&T for over 4 years now . I drive a big rig , and I put around 100,000 miles a year , and I drive all over North America , Canada , the United States and Mexico . No problem to call for directions to where a company is located . Or call in for my next load , or if my truck breaks on the road . Same as my brother . I think you got a bad phone , it’s not the carrier .

  5. Carol Jacobs-Carre says:

    Or option 3: Have the peabrains at Apple sue HTC and Motorola for infringing on your patent and watch history repeat itself

  6. Nadine says:

    I am TIRED BEYOND TIRED about AT&T’s commercials how they have the BEST coverage. (Don’t forget that little disclaimer at the BOTTOM of the last frame of their commercials. “3G service not available in all areas”). All my friends and my kids friends that have IPHONES are jealous of my DROID and Verizon in general.. I’ve never experienced an Iphone so my DROID is wonderful. I’m just TIRED of all the BS AT& T puts out thinking that if they SAY it enough times we will believe them and not our own experience.
    Done with my soapbox now :)

  7. Chuck says:

    You know I only have a simple cell phone and can use it any place in Arkansas. Why in the heck would I need a Droid or iphone. I like talking to people not text messsages.

    • Dan says:

      I agree with Chuck. As an “old-timer” for most WorldStart staff, i have no use for an iPod or a Droid. If the screen is at least 22″ diagonally, I can’t see what’s on it. Besides, when I’m traveling I don’t need anything more than the ability to make or receive voice calls. When at home, there are no cellphone companies that give sufficient service to use my cellphone, so I use my PC to communicate rather than pay a long-distance telephone bill. Employers who expect their employees to always be available for immediate contact are fools, bordering on being murders.

  8. John Judge says:

    Hi Steve, just wondering if this blog will ever allow
    the readers, like myself, to post thier own daily
    experiences like the few who post / blog here do? I
    just now today figured out there is an area where you can “Respond” to your postings. I suppose that will
    suffice for now, but would you consider allowing
    your membership to post thier experiences and or ideas about something / anything interesting to this
    blogs membership? Thanks. Capt. John

  9. Sharon says:

    Steve I am as well tired of AT&Ts BS…Ops did I say that? :) yep I guess I did. Any way I will be going to a new Moto my hubby has my old Moto and he likes the way it works and is simple to use. I like my IPhone, but not the dance AT&T is doing with no regard to there customers.

    I am not surprised AT&T does not cover all areas shoot they do not have our area covered for WiFi connections, for the past 4 years since we moved to the house we are in, they keep saying there working on it. so we are with Charter, and glad we are.

    Thanks for the heads-up Steve, it is good we have someone like you to keep us in the loop. : * ) here is a kiss of thanks. ; )

    Sharon

  10. I still don’t understand the target group for this gadget. If you want something pocket sized without 3G – get an iPod Touch. If you want something more powerful and non pocketsized – get a netbook. What niche is this supposed to be filling?

  11. Eric Peterson says:

    Steve, I’m glad someone else orher than myself have recognized what I have been saying for the last 2+yrs. I moved from Los Angeles, CA to the Dallas,TX area in 2007. In L.A. I had a Verizon phone for personal use and the company I worked for gave us Sprint phones. At the time I believed even Sprint was better than AT&T, althogh sometimes while I was out in the field I could not get a signal on my Sprint phone to call my dispatch. My faithful and trusty Verizon phone never let me down. Form the North Valley of L.A. county to the high deserts of San Diego County, I always had a Verizon signal.

    Anyway, when I moved to the Dalls area in a job transfer, I still maintained both phones while my family that had live in the area for years said I should switch to AT&T because that’s what they had and we would all be on some friends and family plan or something.I resisted for awhile because the apartment I lived in was a dead-zone for Sprint and caused me nothing but headaches with my job. But alas, my Verizon bill was starting to get outrageous so I finally knuckled under and bought an iPhone. To this day I love my iPhone because of it’s functionability, apps, and ipod features. But the day I brought it home I found that my apartment was also a AT&T dead-zone. No calls in or out while I was at home. Imagine how pissed I was al my family for convincing me to switch from Verizon and at myself for doing it. Agian, I love my iPhone for it’s features, but I also have an iPod Touch that does all the same stuff except make phone calls.

    But if I remember correctly, didn’t Apple sign some 5yr exclusive agreement with AT&T for rights to the iPhone back in 2006 before its introduction to the public. And if so, won’t said agreement be up next year. If that is the case, I would sincerely hope that Apple will come to it’s senses and offer the phone to other carriers, because if that happens I am definitely going back to Verizon at the end of my contract. Apple made a great product in the iPhone but a poor choice in carriers.

    In the immortal words of Forrest Gump; “And that’s all I have to say about that!”

    Eric

  12. Creakyjane says:

    Steve:

    Thanks for the heads up on the AT & T coverage/iphone problems. We are now due to upgrade our Alltel/Verizon cell phones and we plan on staying with the service. Here in Michigan, some Alltel customers have been switched to the verizon cell towers but we are still connected with the Alltel cell towers. Something about they would have a monopoly on services in Michigan. We have traveled all over the USA and our coverage has been great. Other folks have had awful connection and dropped call problems where we have not. I hope AT & T get their act together soon. If not it will be one less cell phone company we will have to choose from. Somebody isn’t doing their job at AT & T. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

  13. DJ says:

    I have an Iphone and have traveled alot and seldom had a problem losing signals. I have had several carriers in past years and had more dead space and lost calls due to it. I like my iphone and will hang in there. I do agree that at&t needs to smarten up some. I will not change to anyother service.

  14. tech gadgets says:

    Superb! Generally I never read whole articles but the way you wrote this information is simply amazing and this kept my interest in reading and I enjoyed it. You have got good writing skills.

  15. Kitty says:

    I guess, from these replies to the iphone, Droid thing, I am the only one who gets great, yes I said great, connections with my AT&T plain old flip phone. I always did think I was special. LOL :)

  16. Firesong says:

    I have to say around my part of Texas it really doesn’t matter who you are with the cell service stinks. I have AT&T and frankly I love my iphone. I wouldn’t trade it in. I do get frustrated with the lack of service. Some days I can talk inside the house others I have to go outside, but this isn’t just on my iphone, my daughter has a samsung solstice and my son and husband both have the LG VU. My sister is with sprint and my brother in law is with Alltell/Verizon. None of us get good service out here.
    I think there are just things lacking in the service in general and as more people get on cells on a system that is already dragging I don’t expct any improvements soon.
    Thank heavens for all that we do have!!

  17. Irisfleur says:

    That is exactly why I decided to get an iPod Touch and keep my current phone service with Verizon. I don’t have internet access on my phone. I don’t even text. I can use the iPod Touch wherever I can access free WiFi for internet functionality, such as email and a few apps that I use. I don’t even use it much as an MP3 player. I have a tiny Sandisk MP3 player with 8GB of memory and a 15 hr battery life.

  18. Gay says:

    I had Cinguliar service when it was going strong. I built my anytime minutes up to 2000. Cinguliar sold out to AT&T. We were suppose to upgrade from an analog phone to the other. AT&T offered a free phoneso we took it. We bought so many daytime and anytime minutes.
    They told us we could keep the phone for 30 days and if we didn’t like it then we could drop it. They said the contract would be in the mail.
    Well, the contract came. They had us for 20 daytime minutes and a few anytime minutes on there and charged $40 for the free phone.
    I got on the phome with an AT&T person and spent over 2 hours arguing with her. She tried to tell me that was not my contract and even got someomne else on telling me that. I said I can read and it says it is my contract. I said I ma not accepting this contract. She said you weren’t suppose to receive that now. I said oh then it was suppose to come in after my 30 days were up so I couldn’t do anything about this?
    I told her I want dropped. She told me to wait till Monday. We argued about that contract. So I hung up. My hubby said he was not waiting till Monmday for them to cover their tracks. He took the phone to the local phone store and returned it and made them clear him with the contract. I sent the info to the Atty. General’s office for I didn’t want anyone else to have to go through this. That is why I do not have an AT&T phone service. I have a cheap over the counter phone and buy my minutes. It works really good.

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