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09-28-2007, 12:19 PM #1I love my iPhone. I just don't like Apple any more.
This is a copy of a post I am publishing on my Blog and also mailing to Apple.
I have been a loyal Apple user for the past three years, ever since I bought my first Apple Powerbook. Actually, it started before that with my iPod purchase. Go back and read those posts. Those are the words and honest emotions of a very excited geek. It was the beginning of a thrilling new world.
That thrilling new world is very quickly coming to a screeching halt.
Ever since Apple announced the iPhone and demoed it, itís been another source of obsession for me. Iíve had more cell phones than I care to count and owned just about every full-sized iPod model there is. The iPods have proven to be a life-changing (or at least paradigm-changing) source of enjoyment. The cell phones, no so much. I always wanted a simple to use phone with email and web. Period. I always got myself in trouble with my Treo or iPaq with installing poorly-written third-party software.
Thatís why the iPhone was so appealing to me; An Apple-designed phone with limited, but elegant functionality. I swear, itís the holy grail of gadgets.
The only downside was the unreasonable restriction to AT&T as a carrier. Aside from visual voicemail, which I donít see as being any sort of ďearth shatteringĒ feature, there isnít anything else that should have required such a lock-in. All I see here is Appleís greed.
However, I went along with it and accepted it as a condition for having the iPhone. Since weíve been with T-mobile for years and I always buy my cell phones unlocked (yes, you can do that), we have been unencumbered by committing contracts to T-mobile. My phones have always been unlocked, so I can take them to any carrier. And Iíve had the freedom to jump carriers if I so choose. Thatís the way I like it.
When the iPhone was finally released, I was very meticulous in my research; comparing phone functions and phone plan costs. As far as I was concerned, a GMS cell phone provider was a commodity and a simple spreadsheet should have been able to tell me ďwhat to doĒ. In that time, my wifeís cell phone was dying and needed to be replaced. We decided to abandon the freedom we enjoyed with T-Mobile and signed a two-year contract with AT&T in anticipation of my picking up an iPhone in a few months (once I had saved up my hard-earned pennies). The process actually made me sick to my stomach. I hated being locked in.
We stayed with AT&T for 28 days. The service was horrible, voice quality was poor, and the people at the AT&T store were no help. We literally replaced my wifeís phone THREE times in the space of less than a month. We upgraded the phone (which cost another $100) to a 3G phone in hopes that things would improve. They didnít. Eventually, we walked across the street to T-Mobile, reactivated our lines there and my hopes for getting an iPhone were dashed. I didnít feel let down by AT&T. I know that they canít have good service everywhere. Though their customer service is an issue to be dealt with at a later time. (our credit card was charged $350 for early termination fees by AT&T, despite our canceling the contract within their stated 30 day period. )I felt let down by Apple. By their greed in not allowing their phone to be used wherever their customers chose.
When the iPhone price drop was announced around the time of the early unlocking solutions, I began to think about the iPhone again. Iím sure T-mobile was sensitive in the state of the market, as they shortly thereafter dropped the price of their data plan to be on par with the data portion of the AT&T iPhone plan. With those three factors in mind, I purchased an iPhone and proceeded to unlock it for use with T-Mobileís network, a move which I consider to be fully within my rights.
Now, I havenít gone all crazy and replaced the core files of the phone. The extent of my non-unlocking modifications are a few custom ringtones uploaded to the ringtone directory. These were made out of song files that I legally obtained and using them as ringtones is also well within my fair-use rights. Again, Apple is being greedy with their implementation if the iPhone by requiring an additional outlay of $0.99 for a song which Iíve already purchased.
I know that, by unlocking the iPhone, Iíve modified the software and may cause is to malfunction. I accept that. However, I shouldnít have had to do it in the first place. Apple doesnít require you to use NetZero when you buy an iMac. They donít obligate you to use only iTunes as a source of media when you purchase an iPod. Sure, iTunes may be the most integrated and convenient way to load your iPod, but there are alternatives. Apple, you missed the boat with this. You were going to ďchange the way the wireless industry works.Ē Well, you did it in the wrong way. Steve jobs, you should have used your charisma to enlighten the wireless industry. You should have insisted on an open handset. At least open as far as providers are concerned. Instead, your actions are hurting the industry. The legal ramifications of this may undermine some of the laws and rulings which allow us to unlock our phones legally. All because you wanted an additional slice of the pie. Because you wanted to bully the industry into doing things ďAppleís way, or no way.Ē
Apple, I would have gladly paid the full original price for an unencumbered phone. In fact, I would have paid $200 MORE for that. I still would.
I know that the most recent 1.1.1 firmware update offered additional applications and features, but it didnít need to touch the core of the radio baseband, did it? Iím not a mobile handset developer. However, I canít see why they needed to undo the unlocks.
Furthermore, Apple needs to better control their retail outlets and provide guidance, publicly, on the policies of unlocked/modded iPhones. One or two people go to an Apple store, have a bad experience with a technician, and the media and blog pundits announce that ďApple has a policy that blah blah blah.Ē Well, I havenít seen any such policy officially on way or the other. If there is one, point me to it. Personally, if I brick my iPhone doing something ďstupidĒ, I probably deserve to be refused service. But that doesnít mean I deserve the hostility some people are reporting. After all, didnít Apple Computers get itís start because two geeks wanted to tinker with electronics? Didnít Steve Wozniak start out with blue boxing?
The bottom line is this, Iím afraid to do anything with my iPhone, a device which I truly enjoy and think is the culmination of terrific developments in technology. It truly is the hand-held media/communications device I have wanted my entire life. And I feel like itís going to by my last Apple product. I can get my music elsewhere. I can buy a computer elsewhere. The computing world is moving to a web-based paradigm. Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox. It doesnít really matter what computer Iím using any more. (well, maybe not Internet Explorer) Until Apple can demonstrate genuine support for their customers, I just canít support them in good faith any longer.
09-28-2007, 12:33 PM #2
The main reason I got my iphone with AT&T is because of the great service they have in my area. Now hypothetically speaking if the iphone came out with lets say nextel only I would HAVE TO UNLOCK. Nextel in NJ is the worst service ever. So i can see where you are coming from.
09-28-2007, 12:58 PM #3This I wrote apple earlier today...
I wrote this to Apple today. I think all of us should give them "feedback". That already caused 100 $ not too lang ago.
Dear Mr. Appleseed,
i want to file a complaint about Apple's politics in distributing and updating the iPhone.
Being a loyal Apple-customer for about 15 years, and an early german iPhone adopter (yes, there we are), who was willing to pay quite a bunch more for this breakthrough consumer device, - (to get it as soon as possible and without a neckbreaking contract), I am, as so many others, deeply disappointed in your recent activities involving the 1.1.1 update.
First of all, I did not update, and, if noting changes, I never will.
Mr. Appleseed, you made a strange decision in selling the phone that only leeds to two speculations, 1. a lack of confidence, 2. greed. I cannot tell, which was exactly the motivation for your single provider strategy , though greed is, for all I read and know, more likely to me. One thing is for sure, you didn't think of your customers in the first place, - and there is my problem.
Romance. I will not say, that I haven't learned anything. Choosing Apple products for me always was like "to choose the right thing", like "turning to the light, instead to the darkness", doing something good, choosing innovation against stagnation. Your company lives pretty much from this identification. Don't you want that anymore? Well, it seems to me like I made a complete fool out of myself. Romance doesn't go with industries, it never did and it never will. Power and money are stronger than the best intentions in men. You, Mr. Appleseed, you are not different from them. And this lesson, I learned.
I won't be able to buy music on your WifI Store (though I never might anyhow), maybe I will never update to Leopard, if 1.0.2 is not supported. Well, I don't have to - for the last free version of your product, with all the 3rd p. apps was good enough to use it a long time.
Although I feel like this feedback was a complete waste of time, I still have hope yet little confidence, that someone might read it - and, after that, thinks (a little bit) different.
M.S., Hamburg - Germany.
09-28-2007, 08:58 PM #4
Wow. I have to agree 100%%% Please let me know what apple says. Im definatly going to say my share espcially since im a pretty big shareholder in apple.Sent From My iPhone
09-28-2007, 09:30 PM #5
I use to be a complete Apple fanboy. However their recent activities have convinved to no longer buy yheir products.
09-28-2007, 10:04 PM #6
I think Apple's trying to just scare alot of people into contracts with At&t, and would be very surprised if they leave customers with bricked phones all stranded.. so i still have a little faith Apple will clean this up or at least restore bricked iphones to the original state.. and if not... it will be a huge disappointment and many loyal customers will be reduce considerably.
09-29-2007, 12:55 AM #7
the op was many things, but I will have to summarize it with 'beautiful!' now where's my Kleenex?
When asked what he would say to the columbine killers, Marilyn Manson said, "I would say nothing to them. I would listen to what they have to say, because that's what nobody else did" from the movie Farenheit 9/11