An ignoramus with a microphone is still an ignoramus
I don't know why people who have not really done their homework like to spout off facts as though they understood the relevance of them in the grand scheme of things. And in the internet age, where anybody and his brother can not only have an opinion, but share it with the masses, it just becomes so frustrating, or laughable, or I don't know what. Most of the time it's best to let it go, to ignore it, but this is The Register, which I really like to read a lot, and it's about the iPhone, a subject on which I consider myself very knowledgeable and experienced. So, ughhh, please forgive me while I address each of Mr. Page's 10 "reasons not to by an iPhone (5)" (which are really not reasons not to buy a 5 specifically, but an iPhone in general).
1. Every "smart phone/pocket computer" (which this really is) has this battery-life problem. The reason that Apple builds the battery in is actually a sound one. Did you know that they build the battery into their laptops also? The MacBook series does not have a removable battery either. Now why on earth would someone do that? Well, it's to save space and weight. If you have a standalone battery installed, you have the battery, the case that the battery is in. That case has contacts which must mate with contacts in a special reserved bay inside the device. If you do away with the ability to remove the battery, you do away with the need for a case, for the contact interface, and for the specific shape and reserved space for the battery. You can put the battery chemistry anywhere it'll fit, and it'll fit almost anywhere, around and sandwiched between other components. It's the best way to maximize battery life and minimize weight. It's a drag that the battery doesn't last longer, trust me I know! But it is what it is, and the phone would be larger and/or heavier if it did have a removable battery.
2. No memory card slot. Same argument applies here. Anything that needs to interface with an external standard-spec device (like a 3rd party battery or SD card) needs to have a physical interface, which adds weight and takes up space and adds a failure point. Omitting these interfaces, if you can get away with it, is a good idea. Apple was the first to do away with the floppy disk drive in its computers. They have long since focused on wireless communications as the way to get data back and forth, and it works in most cases. Their reliance on third party software to use the iPhone as an external hard drive is a bit mystifying, but still, life is short; you download what you need, and it works. Besides, I always seem to have hundreds of pictures and vids in my iPhone, a decent amount of music, and I have 7 email accounts set up on it, and I'm not running out of space.
3. One of the best and worst things about the iPhone - and for those who know, the Mac as well - is the "walled garden" issue. The good side is obvious: there are thousands of programs available on the Windows platform, and on other phones running other systems, that should not exist. They are abortions of code, a wart on the face of all users. They are garbage, and worse. So the fact that Apple has always managed to erect some kind of structure to manage the mayhem has been one of the biggest reasons that people love these computers and these phones, it's not some kind of cult or anything. It's because you know that every program that you can get onto the thing will have been looked at by someone who pretty much knows what to look for, and that means a lot! It's like the difference between getting your news from a consortium of vetted providers like CNN, NPR, BBC, New York Times, Financial Times, etc., rather than just doing a Google search for your daily news and going with whatever comes up. If you don't like that approach, then I guess you're just an anarchist who likes to buck the system at every turn, rather than just working with what works. As I said, life is short. Pick your battles.
4. Not that great as a phone. True. I've said many times that I love my iPhone for everything except making phone calls. But I suppose the fact that it is essentially my lifeline that I carry with me everywhere, with texting, email, contacts, calendar, language translation, currency conversion, weather, scientific calculator, dictionary, maps, voice recorder, and, yes, Facebook and YouTube, that I can also make phone calls with, well, it just offers the best combination of things that I've been able to find, in spite of its downside.
5. Not going to dignify this particular observation with further comment, except to question: what is that "demonstrably better gadget"? I haven't found it.
6. The fact that Stephen Fry likes - loves - the iPhone makes me go, "See?! I'm right about this!" Stephen is a great guy, very smart, sincere, focused, intelligent, besides being funny. He "gets" people, he is very approachable and discerning, flexible, dynamic, observant, respectful. All of the better qualities that I like to think that I possess as well, to greater or lesser degree. If someone like that did NOT like the iPhone, I would seriously begin to question my own ability to read people. The fact that he likes it means that all is well in my world view.
7. I spent something like five months without an iPhone when I inadvertently left mine on the subway. I didn't immediately get a new one because I was waiting for the 4 to come out (I had a 3). So I used a plain flip-phone for the interval. It was a rough period. It made me appreciate just what a device like this gives me, and it gives me so much that I consider the $200 that it cost to engage with AT&T on this subject worth doing. I am not happy with AT&T's service in NYC, or with their pricing, which is antagonistically high, but that's the case with any of the big carriers, and is nothing to do with iPhone vs, say, a Droid phone. So I think the price for what you're getting is fair.
8. Antenna problems in the design of the 4 were unfortunate. However, Steve Jobs' suggestion for a way to deal with it, was not so far off. If it "doesn't work when I hold it like this," then don't hold it like this. There are definite ways to work with it, and most of the time I don't think about it. I have it in a case, which I would not be without anyway. And just like a pen, or a cup of coffee, or a book, or a flashlight, or a circular saw, you have to hold it a certain way or it doesn't work. Grow up folks. What did I say before? Life is short. Get on with it.
9. You don't get much screen considering how big it is. Compare it to the Blackberry, which was the primary target. Case closed. Yes there are bigger phones with more screen real estate, but none as crisp and readable as this. I have looked at all, and have found none that are as nice as this.
10. Apple, as any retailer, learned its lesson about product pricing and stuck with it. The very first iPhone was overpriced, everybody knew it, and Apple lowered it, and even refunded half the difference that those early adopters paid. The price right now does not go up for each model; each one has been introduced at $199 for the regular model; this was true of the 3, the 3gs, the 4, and the 4s. What's the beef? Buy it now, and start taking advantage of the benefits, or you'll always be chasing the market.
All in all, Mr. Page's ignorance of the subject at hand is sad, for his sake, but the fact that he espouses his ill-researched views in a public forum like The Register is what made me respond to them here. I am not connected with Apple in any way, I have nothing to gain or lose by whether anyone agrees with me or not. But I know what I've got in the iPhone, I know that everyone I know who has one likes most of it, doesn't like the same things about it that I don't like, and thinks that it's better than what else is out there. Conversely, I don't know anyone who has a Droid phone, who is fully utilizing it to the extent that the iPhone folks are, who likes it at all. This is just my own personal universe, my observation. I have worked with the Droids and found them to be a hodge-podge of different ideas and philosophies and interpretations and executions. That's what the iPhone ISN'T, by and large, and it's what makes it the phone for me.