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We've already reviewed Apple's iPhone, so why are we taking another look? There are several reasons. First, a different reviewer means a different opinion. That applies to any product, of course, but Apple's claim that the iPhone is "revolutionary" perhaps justifies an alternative appraisal. Second, the first review was of a …

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Weasel words

90%? I guess The Reg is tired of being excluded from Apples parties and wants a piece of the action again. I hope the loss of credibility and respect doesn't bruise its ego too much....

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(Written by Reg staff)

YouTube

I should point out - which I didn't in the review - that the YouTube app doesn't work after unlocking.

(Entered on my iPhone)

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What's so "new" about the iPhone?

I'm still trying to sort out what is so exciting and new about the iPhone. It's just a Treo without the convenience of the keyboard.....and without the convenience of being able to easily pack it full of other 3rd party apps!

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Another iPhone review by a Mac user...

I've yet to see any Mac user criticise anything Apple does, let alone their new flagship product, so the score on this review was no different.

Where was the alternative view promised at the start?

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Anonymous Coward

@buddypepper

If you need someone to point out what's 'new' about the iPhone, I suggest you stick with whatever phone you have now and leave the iPhone alone. A Treo? Come on, are you working as an astroturfer for M$?

PS - It is not convenient to install a 3rd Party app that trashes your phone.

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Re: YouTube

"I should point out - which I didn't in the review - that the YouTube app doesn't work after unlocking."

@Tony Smith

If you use the latest version of iNdependence to activate your iPhone, YouTube does work, and works well! My wife and I have an unlocked iPhone on the Rogers network in Canada, and the YouTube app works on both of ours.

I documented our experience and have a link to the latest iNdependence on my blog: artofgeek.com </shameless plug>

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Re: What's so "new" about the iPhone?

"I'm still trying to sort out what is so exciting and new about the iPhone. It's just a Treo without the convenience of the keyboard.....and without the convenience of being able to easily pack it full of other 3rd party apps!"

@buddypepper

What's new about the iPhone is that it doesn't suck. Period. I buy new high-end phones every year, and none of them are as satisfying, productive or live up to their promises (or my expectations) like the iPhone has. For once a company has released a phone that isn't all about a bullet-point list of features. They built a phone that *gasp* is actually designed to function well! The reason the iPhone doesn't need a million customization options is because Apple took the time to figure out every detail about how it should work. The rest of the handset makers give you tons of customization options because they have no idea how to make it work well, so they leave it up to the end user to waste time futzing around with every little option to try and get it to a point where you can put up with it, yet no amount of customization can get the other phones to work as well as the iPhone does right out of the box. Yay for fresh thinking!

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So...

Let me get this straight. You can't edit excel or word files on an iphone, right? And you can't install a financial app, or a database app? Does it even have a task list that supports categories? And can I connect a foldup keyboard for serious typing at all?

These are all things I do a lot on my HTC TyTN. I like the look of the iphone, but without the above functionality it's useless to me.

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Futile

There is next to zero "news" to this "new" review, yet you gracefully manage to circumvent any of the true issues. Just to name a few of the harder punches that make even die-hard Apple clientele (like me) shudder with disbelief:

- iCal sync. You ignored sync issues such as the loss of categories and lack of week-view, absences that are 100% embarrassing. Even my decade-old Newton features a week-view, and color coded categories are one of the reasons why it actually made sense to equip PIM devices with a freakin' color-screen in the first place.

- Abysmal SMS handling. You know the review on mobile-review. You know all aspects of SMS handlng are beyond belief. You don't? It's here, but be warned it's not a pretty sight:

http://www.mobile-review.com/articles/2007/iphone-sms-en.shtml

- Copy'n'Paste. You treated this issue like it wasn't there. Which is true, in a way.

These are (my) major issues. All of them could and should have been solved via updates by now, but Apple chose not to. There's a plethora of small fry bugging other people (thankfully, the 3G vs. Edge thing won't matter in the real world). You ignored all of these for a "my new shiny iTem" report. I've read more critical Apple product reviews even on iLounge. Disappointing.

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Just a UI

Yes it just works. For that sorta money I expect it to bloody work.

Nice UI, but nothing underneath. Of course WM6 (and 5) supports world clocks and DST.

Style over sustance. To loose half the functionality of a N95 plus £270 to save a micro second when opening the menu is just horrific.

If it was being reviewed 5 years ago, then it would be awesome. Today? It's old tech with a pretty UI. If MIcrosoft can make Win2k a solid, reliable and robust platform with 7 years of tweaking from when the tech was first launched, then something as basic as a mobile can too. Re-packaged old tech, looks pretty and sold at a premium.

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Anonymous Coward

Went back to my Treo

I was so frustrated by the slow-to-display email, switching between separate Inboxes for my 3 accounts (mail ->account ->inbox ->back ->back ->account ->inbox ->back ->back -> <repeat>), mis-read swipes to delete an email rather than reading it, and no way to remove junk email from the server that I went back to my Treo. It's easy to pop the SIM out of iPhone and I was already on at&t with a more expensive data plan anyway.

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@ Stuart Boston

You don't look hard enough.

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@buddypepper 2

Gotta agree w/ buddypepper. The iPhone sounds like a solid incremental improvement from my Treo (palm OS, not MS). Which it should be, as my Treo is what, 3 years old? Cleaner UI as expected from Apple, and more improvement in multimedia. Of course, then again, I've regularly utilized spreadsheets and word documents on my Treo with no problems, so it seems the iPhone doesn't help productivity as much a enable media consumption.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: darren

umm... you do realise that Cade Mentz; aka the el reg reporter that previously reviewed the iphone as well as a week later lobing it at some genius bar, and since been enthusiastically chastising those stupid consumers who buy these shiny apple wares, etc ALSO gave the iphone a 90% rating?

you do realise all that, don't you..? I mean c'mon, you must realise THAT, if you're going to post that comment as if the rating somehow changed.

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No...

No 3G, no 3rd party apps (WorldMate, French/English dictionary, MobiReader, Samba?), no downloadable games, no GPS, dodgy bluetooth, no VoIP, no FM radio (I presume it does streaming shoutcast and realplayer streams, though?), mediocre camera, no video. And all this stuff that's supposed to be so very clever like GMail and Maps can already be done on the average Java-capable mid-range feature phone. Ooooo... but look... it's so very SHINY...

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Anonymous Coward

re: Weasel words

Darren,

I did have to laugh when you wrote "Apples parties and wants a piece of the action again". Speaking as former Mac mag staffer and freelancer, Apple's hospitality does tend to be rather... ungenerous to say the least. Believe me you're missing nothing by not being invited.

If I remember rightly, El Reg was barred from Apple events at least four years - so if you're saying it's finally had enough and in from the cold, why not sooner?

Tony's reviews are generally sound and in-depth - and I think it's your words that are weaselly here.

If you don't like the product fine - but personally I think someone who reads the review would see how it was given 90% (i.e. he's qualified the marking). True, you've quualified your words but only to the extent of 'Well, you would say that you want to get back in with Apple.'

I haven't used the iPhone myself and I'm inclined to go along with the more critical moblecentric site reviews that I've read - however, the previous iPhone review more of a subjective article.. it did have its merits but as a review was rather lacking in its objectivity, this one is more like your standard El Reg hardware review.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re. SMS etc

I have to say the iPhone's SMS works exactly the way I - and most of the folk I know; those I asked, anyway. You send message, recipient receives it. Unlike a standard phone - but not, as I noted, the Treo - you get the messages listed by recipient rather than a big pile containing all of them. I don't think it's abyssmal at all.

I *like* having messages appear on the main screen - it saves time. This is a personal preference, not a flaw in the system. Though I'd agree it would be better to be able to adjust this behaviour. Not that I know of phone that does, off the top of my head.

Copy and Paste? Most people use this to get phone numbers etc out of text messages, and it's invariably clunky on many handsets. I don't miss it.

I agree about the iCal categories, however.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Steven Hewittt

What is the crude reason making you think that there would be something "just" about any kind of UI? If it were "just" UIs, then the majority of UIs out there would not suck, and nobody would get all wet about Apple finally putting some elegance into a product most people used to experience as a major PITA. Also, I am sick of all the "but the N95" slinking into each and every iPhone-related article, as if the N95 was anything Nokia could be proud of. It is not.

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Anonymous Coward

Lack of 'features' IS a feature...

I wonder how many of the "Wot a load of rubbish, you can't edit Excel files" commentators have actually USED an iPhone. As Tony suggests, the sheer elegance of the UI means that you actually enjoy using the damn thing.

Personally I find that the mad 'shove it all in' approach to mobile features means that the phones become less usable, not more. Any phone that has an options menu that you have to scroll down to see it all is, in my mind, useless.

No mobile device – with a small screen, an inevitably low-powered processor, and no full-size keyboard – will ever be a direct substitute for a desktop machine. What a surprise. Yet while everyone else has been desperately trying to shove more and more desktop features in, Apple has allowed the iPhone to be something new.

Here's my bet: in a couple of years time, over 80% of the smartphone and media phone market will use touch screens, in pretty much the way the iPhone does now. They won't be as elegant as the iPhone, or they will rip it off shamelessly (yes, Nokia, we saw that demo).

I doubt we'll hear too much from Treo owners then... :)

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AB

Fair and balanced

Well done... a sop to all the Applistas who have been complaining about el Reg's anti-fruit bias.

Trouble is even the reviewer doesn't seem that convinced in a factual way that this device is any good. Tony Smith starts out by stating that the iPhone is "bloody marvellous", but then fails to come up with many reasons why it deserves this strong boost.

I concede that the screen is large and lustrous, as he points out; he also mentions:

The locking: sure, you can unlock, but Joe Consumer probably isn't up to the task.

The lack of an option to send music and videos directly to the device

The world clock (if this really amazes you in 2007 - or even 1997 - I've got some shiny beads which I'll trade for your house)

Maps functionality (but no built-in GPS)

No video rotation (potentially reducing the value of the big screen quite a bit)

An unnecessarily recessed headphone jack preventing the use of any non-iPhone headphones... wtf!? This to my mind is the biggest sin yet

No A2DP profile

No built-in VoIP

All of which leaves me wondering why the reviewer prefers this device to the N95, which equals or [in most cases] beats the iPhone on all of the points above.

To be fair, he also mentions Safari (I agree it's better than the built-in browser on the N95). Oh, and you get a free screen-wipe cloth.

Between the list above, however, and the usual Jobsian markup which makes the N95 so much cheaper, I'm left wondering what, exactly, is so bloody marvellous about the iPhone, as Tony, after a strong start, doesn't seem to be too sure.

I'm guessing that writing the "Apple rocks!" afterthought review is now punishment detail at Vulture Central. Please, think of your hacks' self respect and just have them put some money in the beer fund next time...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's so "new" about the iPhone?

I'm in agreement - the iPhone doesn't really have anything new apart from control using gestures. I used to own a Sony Ericsson P910i. I removed the flip from this and used my finger instead of the stylus without any problem. Granted it didn't have WiFi but on the whole it was great. Plays music in a variety of formats - browses the web very well with Opera browser. Has a whole host of apps that run on Symbian and I got the phone for free with my contract. I think the iPhone in this country may well be a flop - especially with what the rivals have in store as competition for it's release - I know which offer I'll be going for!

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Re: Re: SMS etc.

The abysmal bit is not in the way SMS are being displayed. The "threaded" approach actually makes a lof of sense. What does not make sense is the inability to delete or forward individual messages, or to send the same message to more than one receiver. The latter would be not as severe - if there was at least copy'n'paste. The "Happy New Year" example in mobile-review article is very clear in this regard, in certain cases you would simply type yourself stupid. Plus there is no delivery report. Also, copy'n'paste could be used for much more than just extracting numbers, especially on a device like the iPhone, trust me on that.

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Bronze badge

Nothing new

This review presents nothing new that I haven't already heard. An Apple user thinks the iPhone is great. Big deal. I happen to be a Mac and PC user and as has been said elsewhere, the pretty UI, Web broswer, and ability to switch from portrait to landscape isn't enough for me to over spend on a consumer device that does not meet my business needs. I need synchronization with MS Outlook/Exchange, document editing, a decent camera, and occasional data usage and my Blackjack does that for a fraction of what the iPhone costs. Quite simply put, it doesn't do what I NEED. If all someone needs is mobile multi-media with a "Wow" form factor and a non-replaceable battery, have your iPhone. Oh, by the way, unlocking an iPhone opens you up to prosecution and good luck with that once your iPhone receives a silent update that kills your non-AT&T network access. You'll get legal access to your local carrier network when APPLE deems you are permitted to. See how long that iPhone stays unlocked mate!!

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Anonymous Coward

"The contract is no worse than any other"

"The contract is no worse than any other two-year package - 18 months in the UK - from any other carrier, so that leaves us with only the up-front cost of the hardware to consider"

I'm sorry, but I'm shocked to see a complete breeze past a TCO (total cost of ownership) issue from an IT website. "No worse than any other" is it? Let's look at what you get in the UK for £35 a month, and including the N95 so there's a phone in there too:

O2 Online £35 Texter - 600mins + 1000texts + free texts or calls at weekend + free N95

T-Mobile Flext 35 (currently £5 off) - 606mins + 606texts + free texts and calls at weekends and evenings + £39.99 N95.

Vodafone Best For Both £35 - 500mins + 500texts + 3 months half price contract + free N95

and the O2 iPhone base contract:

O2 iPhone £35 - 200mins + 200texts + £269 iPhone.

So let's assume around 400 minutes and 400 texts a month, not unreasonable amounts of use. O2 charges 20p per min after allowance, and 12p per text. Here's the TCOs after 18 months.

O2 N95: £630

T-Mobile N95: £580

Vodafone N95: £578

O2 iPhone: £2,051

It's not "only the up-front cost of the hardware to consider", take the appallingly low free minutes, and a moderate user is looking at paying a premium of almost £1,500 to own an iPhone. Is that REALLY a good deal?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lack of 'features' IS a feature...

I agree on that. If you look at everything and the kitchen-sink devices from certain well established makers, they are simply – bad. Better 10 features well done than a sloppy 20. Trouble is that Apple up until now doesn't bother to apply the final polishing to the 10.

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player haters

I've been using my iPhone for 3 weeks now, and it's a great device. The haters like to marginalize the amazing UI by breaking it up into little pieces, while ignoring that the sum is greater than the parts.

As for apps, thanks to AppTap, I've now got a chat client that supports AIM, MSN, and ICQ, a VT-100 emulator, and can connect to my phone via SFTP to add my own custom ringtones easily.

I've got a phone running BSD and OSX, that allows for a lot more customization than people realize.

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Anonymous Coward

Steve Jobs to play Davros in season 4?

So it's great that an Apple device synchs so easily and completely with an Apple computer, but when Microsoft do the same thing people call them evil swines and complain that their competitor's products aren't as good!

Ultimately the iPhone is a nice device with some annoying shortcomings that could be lived with (no 3G and not even Edge if you're out of London). I think the big problem people are having with it is the price. For the huge premium you're paying, you're not getting a proportionate improvement over rival products. Remember that you buy the device outright, without a subsidy, so the media player and nice interface are all yours. So just where is O2's £35-£55 per month going? Certainly not on 200 text messages and just over 3 hours of calls. Perhaps if the iPhone was free when you took out a 2-yer contract people wouldn't moan so much, but like I say, you're not even getting a small subsidy from a network charging you a fortune.

Nice kit, shame about the rate.

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Anonymous Coward

IMHO

The iPhone achieves what it set out to do - drive data revenues.

The review confirms this - the author mentions that he has been able to *use* apps rather than try then, and is off-hand about the data costs. That's a fair deal to me - get what you pay for, as long as the experience is good, and that's an iWhatever feature. Music was easier on an iPod, and iTunes drove music revenues. Data is easier on an iPhone and drives data revenues. I fail to see why it's such a surprise.

If I want brilliant mail features, attachment editing etc etc I'll go for a Blackberry and some editing software. If I want customisation to the Nth degree I'll get some bloody awful WM device that has every feature under the sun but drives me nuts as a phone. If I just want to surf data, make calls and listen to songs or watch videos, I'll get an iPhone.

Apple seems to get slated for choosing a niche and going for it. It does those niche things well. Very well IMHO. If people don't like that then don't buy the phone.......seems remarkably simple.

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Re: Fair and balanced

"No video rotation (potentially reducing the value of the big screen quite a bit)"

@AB

By this statement, it's obvious you've never seen an iPhone or at least used one. The iPhone always plays video in landscape mode, since all video is wider than it is tall. So no, you can't watch the video in portrait mode, not that you'd ever want to. You seem to think the iPhone does it the other way around, and I don't blame you, it wasn't even worth mentioning and the fact that it was mentioned automatically lead you to the assumption that the iPhone forces you to watch video in portrait mode, which isn't the case.

I suggest you stop commenting on a product you've never tried and hold off forming an opinion on it until you've actually tried one. That goes for the rest of you armchair technology analysts. Face the facts, the vast majority of people who use the iPhone can't stop singing it's praises, so we're supposed to take tech advice from people who haven't even used one?

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Number of features...

So if you only want a few features, go out and buy a mid-range feature phone, which is what this thing is, albeit a very good one. One thing it is NOT is a smartphone. Apple are very good at two things: making shiny objects, and marketing. In this case they are aiming a mid-range feature phone at people who are too thick to use a smartphone and they're calling it a smartphone. Confused?

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I've read it all

The iPhone is a pile of old junk compared to a decent Windows Smartphone.

Its slower, lacks 3g, lacks a keyboard, it lacks a lot.

I can render pages very nicely on my pda, and I can get maps from yahoo if I so desire. What is better is having TomTom installed, then I can even get directions, all from my humble MDA from T-Mobile.

It looks slick, wow thats not enough for any sane person to buy one when the alternatives are better

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Anonymous Coward

Quality not quantity

Neil Hoskins is representative of the learned response school of iPhone criticism: that the only attractive things about the iPhone are that it's shiny and has an Apple logo on it. This really is thoughtless stuff.

I have been dealing professionally with pretty much every mobile phone that comes on the market, and can use any of the major pre-production ones for free if I wanted to. I don't, as they are all depressing and charmless (I use a BlackBerry 8700 for base utility).

As Stephen Fry has pointed out, no-one other than Apple gets it. Most phones are trying to leverage their UI and designs over too many markets and operators, which leaves no room for personality or joy. I have used the iPhone for a day or so, and the damn thing has charm in spades. It's not perfect, but nor is anything. I would rather live with its imperfections than the sterile mundanity of any other phone.

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@ Stuart Boston

see Bad Beaver, 3 posts down from yours.

If you want something pre-dating your post, try here : http://ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/customers-ask-is-apple-going-rotten/

or here:

http://wilshipley.com/blog/2007/09/iphone-ipod-contain-or-disengage.html

Now if you say "I've yet to see any Mac user criticise anything Apple does", ever again. You'll be lying.

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Tony ... Enjoy Your Mailbox Full of Apple FreeBees, PAYOLA!!

So Tony Smith joins the ranks of noted Apple Hacks in the present of future hopes of a cornucopia of Apple FreeBees, "Special favors", Invites to Press Previews and Cocktail Parties afterwards, and kisses blown from Stevie Gods himself. The "brown on your nose" is as obvious as Rudolphs red one, hope you enjoy the smell that accompanies it as you not so skillfully ignore the obvious negatives about the iPhony and Apple.

No Chat, no camera, no useful texting keyboard, no reasonable battery life, no user changeable battery, no help for the hearing impaired, no interface for the sight impared, no Bluetooth, no HANDS FREE while you drive!, NO OPEN ARCHITECTURE, no love from Apple as the Commissar cuts off your home-brewed Ring-tones, no SMS except what AT&T allows, NO 3G, no high data rates ... is this a piece of crap competitive phone? NO SHIT!

If this is a "Smart Phone", as Tony Smith and the other Apple Whores claim, then it's IQ is that of a boxes of rocks.

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Re: Number of features...

"So if you only want a few features, go out and buy a mid-range feature phone, which is what this thing is, albeit a very good one. One thing it is NOT is a smartphone. Apple are very good at two things: making shiny objects, and marketing. In this case they are aiming a mid-range feature phone at people who are too thick to use a smartphone and they're calling it a smartphone. Confused?"

@ Neil Hoskins

By what or whose measure is the iPhone NOT a smartphone??? I can install third party apps on it, it has an advanced networking stack, can surf the web, syncs full contacts with addresses, photos and notes with a PC or Mac, full POP/IMAP email clients and WiFi. As for third party apps, there are two IM clients available for it, FTP client, SFTP/SSH client & server, Terminal shell, full BSD subsystem, eBook reader, several IRC clients (both GUI and terminal-based), has a fully skinnable UI, games, VNC client, extensible dictionary app to name a few with more coming out weekly. So please enlighten us as to how you can claim it's NOT a smartphone?

It's bad enough that people try to bash something by applying labels, it's worse when those labels are not even accurately applied.

"The iPhone is a pile of old junk compared to a decent Windows Smartphone.

Its slower, lacks 3g, lacks a keyboard, it lacks a lot."

@ Damien Jorgensen

iPhone's onscreen keyboard does the job perfectly well and a hell of a lot better than Windows Mobile phones that lack a keyboard, that's for sure.

If the iPhone is such a pile of junk, then why did it blow the Nokia N95 and HTC Touch out of the water on usability?

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9037858&pageNumber=1

I guess those other phones are even bigger piles of old junk then. I'd also like to point out that user satisfaction rates for the iPhone are off the charts. Maybe there's something you don't know?

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Good Deal - Excellent Contract

The £35 a month contract is good! The figures from "anonymous vulture" are misleading at best. Here's the *real* figures:

iPhone

£35 a month over 18 months: £630 (200 mins, 200 txts, unlimited data + wifi)

Phone: £269

TOTAL 18 Months: £899

Nokia N95 - Option 1

£25 a month over 18 months: £450 (250 mins, 100 txts)

£45 a month for unlimited data: £810

Phone: £199

TOTAL: £1459

Nokia N95 - Option 2

£35 a month over 18 months: £630 (750 mins, 100 txts)

Phone: Free

£25 a month for 250MB data (more realistic?): £450

TOTAL: £1080

These are the real figures. Which is better? For me, I'm a data user, not a talker or texter - so the iPhone can't be beaten. The Wifi access is included with the iPhone, but rumors are that O2 will introduce this too with other contracts, so I've ignored it in the Nokia pricing. Should it not be included, then add this cost in.

Either way, the iPhone price is not anything but good! The data makes it worth it!

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Anonymous Coward

About time...

It's great that we have some pro-iPhone comments here. It is a fantastic device and it's true what so many people above say - use it and you'll like it. It may not deliver all the features you need (nothing ever does), but what it does, it does well and it certainly adds more to the mobile device market that it takes away...

As a long term Mac user, I'm pretty used to people calling me names (and good ol' Cade Metz has abused me up hill and down dale in almost every article he has written lately) but I really like my Mac and my iPhone - I just feel sad that so many people seem to get so angry with me for enjoying them.

Why?

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"Sterile Mundanity"

<SPLORF!!!!>

Tell you what, leave the waxing lyrical to Stephen Fry. He does it much better.

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Silver badge

"The contract is no worse than any other"

Why is it that the idiots who do these price comparisons (1) ignore the data component of the tariff (the kind folks at O2 charge £3/meg normally, plus you get WiFi via the Cloud thrown in too) and (2) use an unrealistic usage model for the tariff. If you expect to use 400 minutes per month then buy the £45/month package (600 mins + 500 texts), not the base £35 one.

The iPhone packages are basically the same as the SIM Only packages, plus an extra £20. The Cloud is £7/month. 5MB of data is £12 (the first MB is free). Use more than 5MB of EDGE data (not hard with mobile email) and you start saving money.

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re:madgunde

We;ve heard of Natascha Kampusch from Austria that was held captive for years. But she doesnt hate a captor.

Its like owning a Mac or iPhone, being locked in, paying high prices all becuase they "pretend" its great. And becuase you believe it when they say its great you add validatlity to their claims.

My MDA costs me 35 quid a month on unlimited data taraff, I can use Skype and have done for over a year without any issues.

I dont see that or any other VOIP provider getting onto the iPhone, why? Apple dont want to open it up lol. More like thats part of the deal with the Network Operators.

Come on, wake up. Maybe you can get a phone with Linux on it lol

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RE: Damien Jorgensen

This is probably the most tasteless comparison I have ever seen on this site. I am not a person endorsing restrictive PCness, not at all, but you just compared the ordeal of an abductee who was stolen almost half her life to something as mundane as a mobile plan. I hope you are proud of yourself. I am also happy that we have moderated comments here for apparently no reason at all.

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Apple vs. Microsoft? Nope. Apple+MS vs. common sense

"does Windows Mobile 6 even have daylight saving time support yet?"

Who flippin' cares? I want a telephone that makes and receives calls.

If I wanted a mobile home with a hi-fi, an Internet-connected terminal, a kitchen sink, and a toilet, I'd have bought a motor home.

Neither Apple nor Microsoft need ever offer me *any* mobile products. They're both over-priced, over-hyped, and under-performing for the dollar.

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AB

@nedgunde

"Turning doesn't work with the list of on-board videos or a movie that's being played - these resolutely remain in portrait and landscape orientation, respectively, no matter what you do."

Just because I haven't spent 24 hours a day cuddling my iPhone since I bought it doesn't mean I'm incapable of considering the issue at hand; certainly it's within my power to read an article and note inconsistencies. Also, I'm not offering you any tech advice... all I'm offering are my reasons why the body of this review didn't seem to me to bear out the the conclusions drawn at the end of it.

Even assuming that what I wrote about the lack of rotation displays a basic lack of understanding about the video playback functionality on the iPhone (which I concede as a possibility), you've only countered the weakest of my points. Let me withdraw the video rotation comment and replace it with this: "The iPhone has no 3G."

So, I remain confused as to why the reviewer prefers the iPhone to the N95, because there is precious little reason in this review to support that preference. Similarly, your statement doesn't support the reviewer's conclusion either, even if I wasn't impulsive enough to rush out and buy an iPhone.

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O2 no way

The iPhone could interface directly with my neural pathways and there's still no way in the world I'd consent to that ridiculous O2 contract. Henry Blackman, you say you are a data user. If so, I sincerely hope you are on a Flext Web'n'Walk tariff, otherwise you are having your pants pulled down.

It's the VARIO 3 or AMEO for me, no contest. I agree the UI could do with some improvements, but all that needs is some innovative developers to create a third-party customization. You can't fault the hardware in these devices.

All of which reminds me of this quote “'You are clunky Windows Smartphone, you are disgustingly clunky. 'Yes, iPhone, I am clunky. But you, iPhone are an under-acheiver, and disgustingly expensive. But, tomorrow morning, I, Windows Smartphone could be prettier.”

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Webster comes unglued

um, my iPhone DOES have a camera, AND a chat client, AND bluetooth, AND speakerphone.

You're a twat, Webster.

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Silver badge

"no reasonable battery life"

@webster

N95 in GSM mode: 4 hours talk time, 225 hours standby

HTC Touch: 5 hours talk time, 200 hours standby

iPhone: 8 hours talk time, 250 hours standby.

What do you want, blood?

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Anonymous Coward

Jobs must be doing *something* right

Look over any other mobile phone review, and the comments. Then look at the comments for anything referring to the iPhone or iPod line.

Something about these products polarizes people, almost as much as discussing global warming with George W. and Al Gore.

My conclusion is that the iPhone is not simply hypnotizing a large segment of the world's population. It's appealing to a true market segment which other, more featureful phones, have thus far not satisfied.

Of course it's also causing typical "my phone has more features" or "this and that is missing" responses in those who are feature-oriented. And predictable ad-hominem responses in Apple-haters.

The question in my mind is what exactly Jobs is doing so well as to have created legions of both Apple-haters and fanboys? Because that in itself is a great accomplishment. Mediocrity is met with indifference. Only greatness is met with love and hate.

Dell, for example, has ten times Apple's market share in the PC market but only a fraction of the Dell-haters and Dell-fanboys.

Nokia, in the phone market, again has only a small fraction of both haters and fanboys.

My source:

Google the phrases "Dell sucks" and "Dell rocks", and count the hits

Try also "Nokia sucks" and "Nokia rocks"

Then try "Apple sucks" and "Apple rocks". More than double for good and bad.

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@Futile - SMS Problems

We found some more SMS problems. There are many messages that the iPhone just doesn't deliver (this is a hacked phone so I can't be 100% sure it's the same with an original, or that AT&T use any of the interesting SMS features). We found the following:

* It will silently drop any message that comes from a "Text" source (ie Type-Of-Number = Alphanumeric) that are used by many info providers and web-based senders. No idea why.

* It will silently drop any message with a PID value other than 0. More precisely, the "replace in handset" feature of SMS doesn't work. This is where you set the PID value (in the SMS data headers) to 0x41 to 0x47 (I think, I've only ever seen 0x41 used) and then a subsequent message with the same FROM & TO numbers and same PID value will replace that message. Carriers use it so that an SMS saying "You have 1 new voicemail message" gets replaced by a subsequent one saying "You have 2 new voicemail messages". The iPhone never delivers them. Which makes normal voicemail arrival a mystery for non-AT&T people.

* I found others it would not deliver. Basically, if it's a plain-text, vanilla SMS with nothing else fancy, it delivers it. Otherwise probably not.

* I didn't get a chance to experiment with all settings (eg priority).

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This post has been deleted by its author

Splorf...

"<SPLORF!!!!>

Tell you what, leave the waxing lyrical to Stephen Fry. He does it much better."

Given that no-one does it better than SF, that's hardly a crushing rejoinder...

However, as an earlier poster has noted, the iPhone is polarising. Those who love, actually do seem to have warm cuddly feelings for it. While those who hate it, hate it either technically (not enough features) or symbolically (we must be morons to fall for the RDF).

It's not a million miles away from the love/hate of the Wii. The hardcore gamers can't understand why more people are buying the Wii compared to the Xbox 360, and keep going on about frame rates and vertex shaders and all the technical reasons why the Xbox is better. Meanwhile more normal people pick up the Wiimote and a big smile comes over their face as they see what fun it is.

No-one says that using Windows Mobile is fun. No-one says that the Series 60 UI is charming. No-one says that using the Sony Ericsson M600 is effortless.

And the manufacturers' attempts to graft on an iPhone-like interface to their clunky UIs just demonstrate how little they get it: the latest touchscreens from HTC, Samsung and LG try so hard to be 'easy', but the moment you get below the first level or two you're back to the ghastly underpinning systems.

It's not going to get any easier for them in the short term, either. The battle for control of the user (which is really how they think of it) is now intensifying. Expect to see multiple competing music stores, web portals, photo upload sites, etc. on every handset, as the manufacturers test their uneasy truce with the phone networks to breaking point.

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