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In Verizon’s slam ad on the iPhone, it ticks off all the things the iPhone doesn’t do.
For a big splashy ad, we must say we’re a little underwhelmed by the problems the “iDon’t” ad lists with the iPhone.
On a one by one basis, here they are:
iDon’t have a real keyboard. This is the most boring, tired, cliched, diss of the iPhone. Sorry, but the lack of physical keyboard is no problem.
Two years ago when the iPhone first came out, it was foreign and scary, so the label stuck. It’s not necessary. Look no further than our own Henry Blodget, who was a CrackBerry addict. He made the switch, and here’s what he said:
Typing really is much better than I expected. This was my big worry about switching to the iPhone. No keyboard. After watching dozens of iPhone users hunt and peck their way to error-ridden emails, I dreaded the experience. But this fear has proven unfounded. I am now just as fast and accurate at typing on the iPhone as I was on the BlackBerry. In another week, I’ll likely be faster. (It turns out that actually depressing a key requires effort that isn’t necessary with the iPhone. With the iPhone, your fingers really can dance across the screen. You can do an OK job typing short emails with the phone held vertically…or you can lay it horizontally and fly.
iDon’t run simultaneous apps. The iPhone’s push notifications works OK for this, but honestly, it’s not a concern for us. And we use our phone more than any regular citizen we know. We keep the push notification off because we don’t want the battery to drain. If Verizon can get simultaneous apps running smoothly without killing the battery, then we’ll be impressed. Otherwise, this is a minor quibble.
iDon’t take 5 megapixel pictures. This is a good one. We never carry an extra camera with us anymore. So a sharper camera will be great.
iDon’t customise. We’re not sure the average user cares. We’re pretty techy, and we don’t know what this means exactly. The only customisation we’ve every wanted on the iPhone is the ability to slip it into aeroplane mode with one press right before we go to sleep. Otherwise, the iPhone is plenty customisable for us.
iDon’t run widgets. GASP! The iPhone doesn’t run widgets! The horror! Can it even be considered a smartphone, if it doesn run widgets? Wait. What the heck is a widget exactly?
iDon’t allow open development. For the 30 geeks in the audience, this one is big. For everyone else, who cares?
iDon’t take pictures in the dark. This is another great one. Just last night we were in a restaurant, thinking about how crappy low light photos are on the iPhone.
iDon’t have interchangeable batteries. Another throw-back complaint along the lines of the physical keyboard complaint. We’ve never once wanted to have another battery ready for the iPhone.
We can see this being a problem for a narrow slice of the public. Mostly hardcore business users who live and die with their BlackBerry. Anecdotally though, we notice those people now have their BlackBerry as their work phone and an iPhone as their personal phone.
For a consumer, we’re not sure this a big deal. Have you ever met anyone carrying around a second battery for their digital point and shoot camera? We haven’t.
For a big fancy ad campaign, for a big fancy iPhone-killer, Verizon only managed two features we actually care about. Neither of which is compelling enough for us to make the switch, or recommend a switch to someone. Obviously, we’ll withhold final judgment until the phone is in our hands.
All is not lost in the interim for Verizon’s ad folk. There are plenty of reasons to hate the iPhone. Trust us. Here’s what Verizon should mention:
iDon’t make phone calls. The iPhone is many things, but a good telephone isn’t one of them. This is a throw-back complaint about the iPhone that has validity.
iDon’t deliver email seamlessly. We have to manually check our email (GMail) for new messages. Not a dealbreaker, but a pain in the butt.
iDon’t work all the time. The iPhone will display five bars of connection on 3G, and yet we get the message “couldn’t connect” when we turn on applications like Foursquare or ESPN’s Scorecenter. So we have to hit refresh. Then we have to hit refresh again, and again, and again. Finally, we slip it into aeroplane mode, to reset the signal, then the apps work. That’s annoying and ridiculous.
iDon’t act consistently. We’ve placed our iPhone next to another iPhone and seen our signal say “No Service,” while the other phone says “3G.”
That’s just a few complaints, there are plenty more. Apple is known for making products that “just work,” but there are plenty of times when we want to throw the iPhone into a wall because it isn’t working. But none of those times have come because we were frustrated it didn’t have a physical keyboard, or a widget.
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