back to article El Reg lobs iPhone at Genius Bar

Friday was one of life's great days: I returned my iPhone. I was tired of Apple's adult-proof keyboard. I was tired of AT&T's piddling wireless network. But most of all, I was embarrassed that I'd bought the thing in the first place. First, I suffered the public humiliation of standing in line with hundreds of people who can't …

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe the problem is you?

I know that the iPhone isn't for everyone, and never could be. But I find it funny that you seem to think that just because YOU don't like it suddenly it's a bad phone, and that you are SOOO intellectual because you don't like the phone. I mean you certainly could be, but this article doesn't prove it. My issue is not so much that you don't like the thing, it's that you seem to look down your nose at those that do enjoy the phone, and don't have a problem using it.

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Interesting...

A lot of my co-workers asked me if I was going to buy an iPhone when they came out. I answered 'no' for the reasons that Dan had stated, plus the fact that I don't exactly *have* $500 or so lying around. (if I did, I'd be replacing my 2 year old Sidekick II with either a CrackBerry or a the newer iteration of the sidekick.)

If people pressed the point, I tell them that I'm waiting for the six months or so to pass to see how well the devices stand up to Joe Consumer pressing his greasy hands on it, and for various and sundry bug fixes.

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I don't understand...

I'm afraid I'm a little confused here. As an early adopter of any technology or product you should expect to pay a little more.

It may be that here in New Zealand we pay an inordinate amount of money for our phones but all of my last four phones over the last eight years or so have cost at least $US600. The last phone I bought two years ago cost about $US900.

The price seems to be the main reason you returned it... Well I presume you knew what price it was when you bought it so I don't understand why you hadn't worked out the ramifications of owning a more expensive phone. God help you if you ever get left enough money for a Porsche!

As far as Apple being good marketers, well, hurray! I love choice. I want a vibrant market where innovation can be sold well. As a software developer I'd love to have them on my side or people half as good.

You have just convinced me to buy one as soon as they come onto the market down here!

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Anonymous Coward

And now while we are waiting for the first iDiot to start bashing you...

I'd like to say that I really admire Apple's ability to inflate this marketing bubble. Even in Molvania people must have heard about the iPhone and all the associated iCrap by now.

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Silver badge

What wait for the iDiot?

Hey, anon, you missed him... First post was from one of the cowardly fanboyz.

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How many will take the bait?

Ahaha, I haven't seen El Reg troll this hard for big flames in a while. I guess they're trying to top the last few FotWs. =D

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where to begin

What is it about The Register and the iPhone? Is it because The Reg started with an opinion before the iPhone came out and now must stick with it?

That said, i fully understand if someone finds the keyboard unusable it's not the right phone. Hell, I remember before i had an iPhone, trying to stick my fingers in a pencil sharpener to be able to use my Blackberry effectively. I can very much sympathise.

I do have to question - El Reg (once respected, rapidly declining...) what exactly is it with the tagline of "You buy something from Apple your a lemming that can't think for himself"? I never seem to hear that from El Reg about - well - any other company.

Oh well i guess it's only fair when someone buys a Mac rather than a Dell, or an iPhone rather than a Nokia. After all, a quick web search of iPhone reviews turns up OVERWHELMINGLY positive ratings from just about every gadget / tech review site. Yep, no question these must be uninformed shmucks trying to impress their peers.

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Anonymous Coward

Good story!

I applaud the author for articulating the emotional rollercoaster that owners of 1st-gen rottenApples must endure. Just be glad you didn't have hardware issues on top of the other frustrations.

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Sad

Reg, you are losing it Engadget ran this article - or one with all the same jokes about a week ago

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Anonymous Coward

The Register and the iPhone

I second the 'What is it with The Register and the iPhone'? Most of the coverage comes across like whining. The Reg is trying to be trendy by being contrariwise, but there's no content to the articles. Take this one for instance -

News flash - person takes phone back and gets refund!

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It's quite simple fanboys READ the article before getting emotional

The writer gave the primary reason for abandoning the iPhone to be the Internet connection being limited to AT&T's less than 3G network. Anything less than 3G makes for a VERY frustrating Internet experience even for HTML based content let alone flash or video.

This fundamental lack of bandiwdth coupled with the huge cost of the iPhone and the dogmatic marketing hysteria just sealed the deal for him, as it has with many others.

I am sure there will be people out there using the iPhone as a regular phone and an iPod and not for anything that demands a decent Internet connection.

People who expected more, like myself, and now and feel conned by the Apple hype machine into thinking this will replace both your smart phone and iPod, should do the same and return the damn thing. I personally would like nothing more than to wipe the smirk off Jobs' concieted face with a mass consumer reovolt. Return it, get your money back (or most of it at least) and send a message that we demand more than just clever marketing.

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Not surprised.

I'm not surprised the author returned the iPhone (and I am certainly not surprised to see the person attacking the author posted anonymously). I have had a smart-phone for years now and when I read the list of so-called features the iPhone would sport, my only comment was "yeah.... and...?" I simply couldn't believe that there wasn't an "..and..." to this list, considering how much of a "new paradigm" this phone was supposed to be.

Oh, and before someone posts about my being an "Apple-basher", I'd like to point out I refuse to upgrade to Vista for exactly the same reason... I read the list of features and... well... was utterly un-enthralled. I am now working on downloading all of the MS patches I can make myself a XP SP3 CD before MS cans XP support to force us to upgrade.

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Anonymous Coward

I also assume by default whatever is popular is probably bad

In general, what is popular is usually not the best product. For example, Windows is the most popular OS, and it sucks.

Krups is the most popular espresso maker brand in the US and what they make isn't even espresso by definition (based on the amount of pressure the beans must be exposed to Krups makers only make burned coffee.)

The original XBOX was far superior to the more popular PS2 mostly because the graphics card was over a year newer. The Atari Lynx was better than the the more popular Game Boy.

So I understand the motivation behind this statement:

More importantly, if you carry an iPhone, what happens to your self-worth? I can assure you: It plummets. Carry an iPhone, and you're just one of the lemmings.

But the reasons for returning something should be that you could look through the hype to find rational technical reasons for returning it. Now you did find a few technical reasons, the network certainly being a valid one, and if that was enough to justify returning it, fantastic. But you imply your main driving factor was your self worth.

Simply not liking a product because it is popular is just as bad as liking it because it is popular.

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Monkey See Monkey Do

"After all, a quick web search of iPhone reviews turns up OVERWHELMINGLY positive ratings from just about every gadget / tech review site."

The quality of essentially all journalism these days is terrible, mainly because so much of it isn't by journalists. I'd much rather read negatively phrased articles, its much easier to get a balanced view out of it.

With devices like phones the annoying bits are much more obvious than the flashy bits, I recently upgraded phones because the volume switch on my phone was malfunctioning. Small part, huge impact on usage.

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Apple fans make me ashamed

I've never owned any other computers than macs (and that's for over ten years) and I love them dearly. OS X is not perfect but it's the most suitable OS to me. But many, and I mean many, many times I've considered moving to Linux. The reason? The mac zealots.

I mean, my god, they sometimes make me so embarrassed to be a mac user. I've practically stopped reading any mac forums, which I used to frequent, because of this feeling of utter disconnection I feel with the fanbois.

And now because of the iPhone those crazies are everywhere, and this is probably my third or fourth anti-Apple post on a public forum in two weeks. Why? Because if someone dares to criticise iPhone he's attacked immediately and called bully or some other negative phrase sad people like to use to defend their beliefs. I feel like I have to say something, which probably is dumb, but well, that's what I do.

I have to say, though, that I've met many great mac heads during the years, people who are normal computer users and understand that they're dealing with a computer, not some relic from the bible that has to be praised all the time everywhere. For some strange reason iPhone has suddenly become a new object of faith to a lot of mac zealots. And to the earlier poster who said iPhone has received glowing reviews everywhere I must say that actually all reviews I've read have also been quite critical of its flaws. And as usual some reviews are more "understanding" than the others.

I do appreciate Apple's efforts of bringing their knowledge of great UI design to the phone industry. I hope the phone's GUI will be an inspiration to the professional phone makers.

I must add that I'm gay and I've met my share of discrimination during the years. Apple zealots crying wolf just leave me cold. They are people who buy into PR and zealotry induced mass hystery and start to cry when someone spoils their party with a critical view. They remind me of some sad religious bigots who just love to condemn other people. Well, people have a need to belong and I guess the feeling of being persecuted for your beliefs is one strong feeling to tie group of people together. It's just a bit sad that those beliefs are about a half baked and seriously crippled multimedia device.

One thing I've learned about human nature is that fundamentalism for any reason is just ugly, be it for a god or a computer. Although I guess when it stays in the commercial products it's not as lethal as it is in the world politics. So in the end it's really not that serious.

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Anonymous Coward

You're a Jackass

that's all

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Anonymous Coward

touching and caressing

no matter how much u love the iphone it can never love you back ... there is only 1 problem with this machiavellan product: it sucks way2much visual bandwidth. with ipods we have already have a zoned out generation deaf to the sounds of life all around and now a blind one to follow (pun intended). all that touching and caressing best left 4something warm blooded :)

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luser

wow. hmmm you waited in line to buy a phone that:

1. all the features were announced months in advance including at&t and edge

2. had the opportunity to view almost an hour's worth of video on apple's site about the phone's functionality in the weeks leading up to the release

3. walked into a store and had the opportunity to ask questions and *actually use one* before purchase.

and you still bought one?

you are a complete and utter moron. you are the mindless lemming.

good thing i wasn't working there. this is how our conversation would have gone:

"oh you don't like AT&T? did you not hear that the iphone only worked on at&t's network? did you think the iphone would magically make at&t not suck? are you from the past? so tell me again why did you buy the iphone?" are you on any medication right now?"

trust me, i would have made you feel like the idiot you've just told us you are.

i had all the same information you had. i knew the iphone inside and out before ever getting my hands on one. i already had at&t and have had *no* issues with them. please stop with the FUD.

emotional rollercoaster??? WTF?? it's a PHONE!!! another paid lackey from RIM i imagine...

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Anonymous Coward

Corporate Usage

Another minor AT&T gotchya is that you can't put these things on a corporate plan. We had 2 people here return them because they can't have the company pay for them (even though we're on AT&T 'Orange') and the company policy is only to pay for cell usage via the corporate plan - absolutely no expensing cell phone usage. So they would have to pay themselves.

Also, 802.1x network support is well and truely broken [keystore issues]. (Actually thats a MacOS issue that we're also fighting on other MacOS X platforms). No plans to fix this RSN from what I gather.

So all in all not a good purchase for Bay Area corporate use.

Ah well at least my Blackberry has Google Maps (with GPS and traffic condition updates) and the new audio streaming stuff seems to work pretty well too.

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Positive and negative

This guy gave the iPhone positive remarks excluding the keyboard + price.

Just my two cents.

/ I'm keeping my Symbian Nokia and HTC Dash cuz I like putting my own crap on it :)

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Anonymous Coward

Good article

And I'm a fanboy.

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The Apple iDiot tax

iPhone users pay more for a device without:

MMS

3G

ability to save files on the device to open later

ability to attach any file to e-mail

no ability to control data usage - you can not stop the downloading of pictures in safari, or the downloading of attachments in the e-mail app

no ability to poll for e-mail less than every 15 minutes.

useless yahoo push e-mail

ringtones unless you hack your device to death

wallpapers

searching contacts

etc etc etc

Its a tax on the people too stupid to use a normal smartphone.

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Cost of dropping a smartphone...

Try dropping your Nokia N95. Or any other expensive phone. You break it, you lose money. Just because a lot of the phones are subsidised, it doesn't mean you can break them and not pay the full cost. Or get insurance.

People have swallowed Ballmer's line about the iPhone being the most expensive phone in the world. But it really isn't, as those who drop their LG Pradas and the like will no doubt discover.

More importantly, phones that are subsidised are effectively owned by the network - which means in practice that they have little interest in investing any more money in improving them. When was the last time your phone gained any significant extra functionality through a SW update?

Apple has broken the networks' control, and I would expect to see a lot of the 'little details' improved and updated in the future.

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Oh dear!

The thing is dear author (and readers who continue to bash apple supporters), the wonders of the capitalist marketplace ensure competition and availability of a wide range of consumer goods.

You have problems with a gadget, that's fine...return it and buy the rivals product, but why winge. You have a choice...use it.

As for "the only real reason to buy an iPhone is peer pressure.", you are merely showing your own level of maturity (or immaturity). If Steve Jobs told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it? I doubt it very much.

I dislike Ford cars as I find them completely dull and uninteresting to look at, the marketing would have me believe otherwise, but hey...I have a mind. I choose to buy something else instead, that's free will...something the author and some readers appear to be lacking.

Sure, the phone may have teething problems. It's a first-gen product for goodness sake. If you're going to be an early adopter, be prepared to live with the bugs. Failing that, do as the author did...take it back and get a refund, just don't whine that a big bully made you buy the phone, it was your choice.

Sheesh...some people are real whingers!

Suck it up and grow yourself some bollocks.

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Silver badge

3G or 2.5G

I have no desire for or experience with the iPhone, but I think producing a consumer phone without 3G is a good call. I've just bought a Treo 680 which is similarly 'crippled', because:

a) 3G significantly reduces battery life;

b) I have no enthusiasm for watching last night's footy on a 2-inch screen;

c) I refuse to pay the networks' extortionate data rates if I use it as a laptop modem.

I expect this makes me an atypical user, though.

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Didn't anyone read the reviews?

I have been considering getting an iPhone when they come out in Europe. Considering, I should add. Naturally, because I don't want to waste a large chunk of cash, I have been reading all of the reviews. All of the good things, bad things, annoyances, niggles and omissions are all very clearly detailed all over the internet.

Surely other people did this too before rushing out to queue up with a wedge of cash, and therefore should have known what to expect?

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will they learn from experience ?

It will be interesting to see whther Apple will have learned from this experience when they launch the iPhone in European markets. If they have we should be able to expect less hype, revised software and better network speeds. Who knows

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Good man!

Nicely done, sir! Another user who refuses to buy a product that is made of 95% hype, 4% interface and 1% substance. And to iPhone users - whine and moan and bitch all you like about my heresy against the Great God Jobs. I'll quite happily go around paying less and getting more, thanks. The MDA series from T-Mobile has been giving me fast speeds, full functionality and much lower prices for years. Screw the iPhone.

Sorry dudes. The iPhone may look shiny, but for actually getting anything done with the device, Windows Mobile came along years ago and kicked your asses into touch.

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Good article

Sure, it was calculated to incite wailing, gnashing frenzy from the fanboys (and they didn't disappoint). However, it makes good points.

The iPhone was guaranteed to sell by the bucketload because of some brilliantly crafted hype / marketing. However hype is just hype. The same device in black, with a Nokia or Sony Ericsson badge on it's case would have been laughed off the shelves.

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RE: kode

Best comment on here by far Sir.

I keep my head below the parapet to avoid falling foul of the fundamentalists on either side...

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Why did he buy it?

Because he's a journalist who wanted to review it and didn't get onto a free-preview list. So please stop bashing the guy for having bought it in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward

kode, you are not alone

http://www.osnews.com/story.php/14577/Why-I-Will-Probably-Never-Buy-Another-Mac/page1/

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Having to pay to return something...

...Is that even legal?

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fan boy

I admit it - I am a dyed in the wool fan boy - cut me and I bleed crisp white blood, saw me in half, and all my icky insides have little apple logo's stamped on them..

but - not even I would buy a gen 1 iPhone when it's network locked and not 3G.

We did all know those things some time back. So why then, did elReg buy it when they knew it had those short comings?

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Anonymous Coward

111.87 USDollars!

So, life with the iPhone cost you $111.87!

Excellent!

Had I read the piece as a response from a reader of El Reg I wouldn't have bothered with a reply but your simpering so-called 'Analysis' gives both The Register and journalism a bad name.

I'm not holding the flame for the iPhone but ... for goodness sake ... can you imaging going back to a BMW dealer and saying "Take the car back. I don't like the way the bugs stay on the windscreen. I have to wipe them off!", "I don't like the buttons on the radio." and, "I can't get 60mpg."

You had evey chance to make an informed choice. You knew about the hype. You even tried it!

Then you parted with a load of money.

You truly are a w*nker.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmmmm

Just a few things:

pierrenorman, I dont think you would service in customer service long, thank god, you can buy a product, knowing its bad points, in the hope that the good will out weigh the bad, and you dont really know until you have had a chance to use said product.

The iPhone is a good product for a number of reasons, all of them to do with the UI, the phone should be a wake up call to the likes of Nokia and SonyEricsson, which like the moto Z8 should be a wake up call to anybody (SonyEricsson) making a UIQ based phone.

There is nothing new in the iPhone, what apple have done well is thought about how it will be used. (and perhaps introduced the next version of the iPod ui?)

On the other hand, you can not blame Apple if you are sucked in by its hype/marketing that is down to you and only you, MS is just just as good/bad at this sort of thing, as is any company.

Yes, I am a fan of the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads, they are very good ads, and do you know what I identify with PC, not because I think Mac is smug or because he is better or picking on PC, but because I have suffered the same issues PC does in the ad's: PC locking, crashing, having to delete all the crippledware etc. These (along with Vista) are the reason I am leaving PC land behind without a second look, I dare say I will be moaning about the bad bits of OSX withing days of starting to use it as my mean OS.

You know, the guy was right, its a product, not an artical of faith, and an insult or parise of the product is not an insult or parise of you, the user.

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Emotional.

"Carry an iPhone, and you're just one of the lemmings...."

"If you value your sense of self..."

Trust me, you will find embarrassment far less worrying when you leave adolescence.

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My God

This is far and away the most ludicrous iPhone article yet. If peer pressure plays such a role in your life, I'd recommend a psychologist rather than a new telephone. For most people, I suspect, an iPhone will be recognised as - and used for - what it actually IS - a novel mobile telephone with a touchscreen interface and built-in iPod. Of course, I can't be certain.

Some things here ARE certain - the iPod is not especially expensive realtive to other products of its ilk; AT&T are not an especially bad or good a telco; The Register has done its reputation real harm with its bizarre, schizophrenic reporting of the launch of a telephone.

You didn't forget it was a telephone, did you?

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Anonymous Coward

"If Steve Jobs told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?"

@Kevin

Most Mac fan-boys would if Steve 'The Almighty' Jobs told them to.

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Anonymous Coward

The iPhone is okay but the iPhone fans aren't

Anyone who read the article would know it's NOT an all-out attack on the iPhone. The author said the interface is brilliant but the price is too high, and the network connection is too poor. He also implied the discussions within some Apple circles are getting scarily one-sided.

Look at some of the replies on here for example, they're saying things like "As far as Apple being good marketers, well, hurray!" Does that seem like the kind of thing the average person would say in the real world? Do you know anyone in real life who would say "I want a vibrant market where innovation can be sold well" in the course of a normal conversation?

A balanced assessment of the iPhone might contain some or all of the following: "Great interface, great touchscreen, great looks, a bit pricey at the moment, slightly fiddly keyboard, shame about the lack of 3G but not everyone wants it."

What you actually get from supposed Apple fans on the internet is stuff like "It's a complete paradigm shift, this is going to redefine the end user experience, it's a new dawn for mobile communications, this is five years ahead of the competition, it's magical, it made me cry with joy, etc"

I know Apple fans in real life and they do NOT talk like that, which makes you wonder if some of these over-the-top "paradigm" posts are being planted by a guerilla marketing campaign. They keep using the specific phrase "user experience" over and over and over again, which looks a bit suspicious as it's not something that people say that much outside advertising agencies and marketing departments.

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Gold badge

Price

I don't see the issue people have with the price?

Quite simply if the price puts you off then the product isn't for you.

"If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it"

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Fanboys

Man I hate them!

And it seems like Apple ones are the worst of all! Grumpier & more defensive than Linux, MS, Sony, Nintendo, etc. Apple could release a piece of turd with a clickwheel on the front of it and sell it as "the new revolutionary 21st century kettle" and Apple fanboys would defend it! Crazy.

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Anonymous Coward

"Carry an iPhone, and you're just one of the lemmings."

Oh great, so you buy the iPhone because of peer pressure and then you dump it because of peer pressure. It's not your peers, it's you. No-one cares about you. They're not looking at you or your stuff. Honestly, no-one gives a shit.

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Re: The anonymous flame-tard

"You had evey chance to make an informed choice. You knew about the hype. You even tried it!

Then you parted with a load of money.

You truly are a w*nker."

Did it ever occur to your tiny brain that he bought it to review it. You know - given that he's a tech journalist and all? And Apple's product info doesn't exactly concentrate on the fact that it sucks.

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Rob

Blimey! iFanboys are quite abusive...

... Well done ElReg for writing an article which highlighted the main points of failure for the device, which is, it should be more for what it is.

Also well done Kode and the person who put the link in "kode, you are not alone", an excellent article there, and after reading it I now think Apple are the iCommunists of the technology industry. Lock down like they are doing now seems like a desperate measure to hold onto profits when they know they can't increase their market share much more. They would have certainly been committing commercial suicide if they hadn't released a phone to compete with Windows Mobile, especially now WM6 is about and plugs almost seamlessly into Vista.

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Dam

Re: iDiots tax

I rofl'd at this comment :p

While we're on it, anyone fancies buying a splendid DVD rewinder?

SORRY, iDVD rewinder

http://bash.org/?165759

I'm also selling a next-gen iRubbishbin, an iPaperweight and the latest iChuckNorrisMovie.

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Typical Apple-arrogance

Listen to the clerk: "You know," he said. "They're all upset because it doesn't do some tiny little thing that they're old phone could do."

And read the messageboards, like some the comments above me. Somehow, if someone doesn't love the Iphone, or dares to find faults with its interface, it's a personal insult to a Mac-fanboy... And everybody who has a mac is a fanboi... Trust me, there's just varying degrees to their lunacy.

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one more thing

Hi i posted something earlier in the comment string. I had and have no beef with the reasons for the El Reg "journalist" returning the phone. Bad internet speed / coverage, fingers too big - fine.

It's just the comments like "you're just one of the lemmings..." etc that are just sooo El Reg vs. Apple. I simply meant to point out that this would never happen with any other company's product and the register. If thousands lined up and bought a puke-green halo edition xbox360 - well they're perfectly well adjusted enthusiastic gamers. If you pranced around 3 years ago with a brand new $500 Razr - well you appreciate good phones with a nice form factor. I could go on and on...

The other thing that peeved me was that in the one article the "journalist" takes juvernile and shallow cracks at Apple staff as to their rating on the hipness-meter, and at the same time somehow turns the fact that he was able to return his 2 week old iPhone with a 10% restocking fee into a damning negative. I'm sorry but 10% restocking fee for an opened and 2-week used product is unheard of? What are you, deaf??

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