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Sticker price small portion of full cost

The sticker price and upfront costs are only a small part of what an iPhone (and other smartphones) cost.

If you don't currently have AT&T or a data plan then below are some of the costs of buying an iPhone.

iPhone 3G S$200
Screen protector$20
Data plan$30*24
Cost per month (24)$47

No presaved quick text snippets for texting (common replies, my address)

Does not displaying time sent for text messages

Only shows time received, so in the even that you're off the network and receive the message later, you don't know when it was actually sent.

Does not display time delivered for each individual message

No back key, touch and hold gesture is not fast or precise

No multitasking with non-Apple apps

It's nice to not have to explicitly close apps though.

No caller id voice synthesis

My old phone would speak the caller's name so I didn't have to go pick it up or even look at my phone in order to decide if I wanted to answer it or start thinking about what to say to the person. I loved that feature.

Non-functional physical design

Unprotected screen

  • No edge/lip to keep screen from hitting if dropped screen-first. After-market case necessary for this.
  • Because of this and because it's not a flip phone-like design where the screen is protected, most people buy after-market screen protectors, which does not completely solve the problem.

Slippery, easy to drop

  • Casing material and contour was not designed for good grip

Bad speaker placement

  • The speakers are easy to cover up with your hand when holding in landscape mode

Not amazing call sound quality

  • I think it sounds more tunnel-like than my LG VX8300 free phone from Verizon.

High replacement cost

Drop it and you have to pay $200 to replace it if you have AppleCare, more otherwise.

Buttons require more attention than flip phone action

It feels like it takes more attention to press a button at a certain spot on the screen to answer or end a call than flipping a phone open or close.



When you get a txt while speaking on Skype it actually puts your call on hold until you dismiss the notification.


After you've read the whole text in the notification you often have to go into an app to get rid of the alert icon.

Limited input acceleration

On a computer screen if two buttons are 12 inches apart you can move a mouse 3 inches to cover that distance. Imagine if you had to move the mouse the same distance as the objects on the screen. Your hand would get pretty tired. On the iPhone your fingers generally have to travel the entire distance unless you're scrolling, and even then the acceleration is not very big. Rollerballs on Android devices allow you to move your thumb a small distance and have the input move a large distance.

Communication not creation device

For me the smartphone is not a strong substitute for a workstation unless your main work tools are for communication not creation. I don't consider pocket office apps adequate except in a big crunch, and that's an example of a low end of product creation tools.

Home screen

No horizontal mode

It is really annoying to be using apps and games in horizontal mode and then not have the home screen work in horizontal mode. The home screen and "slide to unlock" are perhaps the most used "apps" and they do not have horizontal modes.

No sorting apps by name

Reordering home screen icons gesture is dangerous

The holding down "gesture" is way too easy to do by accident to be tied to an action like reordering home screen icons. Pulling off a screen protector (or it accidentally coming off) can reorganize all your icons. Also just accidentally pressing with your hand or finger or anything else can mess things up. It should have something like the "slide to unlock" to prevent accidents.


I think Apple and iPhone users do a good job of advertising the many positives so I don't have much to add here.

  • Everything else
  • Email
  • GPS
  • Googling for info in social situations
  • Textfree
  • SkypeOut ($3/mo) (so waiting on hold or long conversations with family don't use my minutes)
  • Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters apps

Date: 2009-07-26