Monday, January 18, 2010

iPhone 3G-S (Beware)

Slowly and steadily I am getting used to the iPhone which replaced my (much loved) normal phone. Though everything’s new, one thing is for sure, I will have to get used to this, paradigm shift in user interface, or should I say, mobile telephones. But, being an avid user of a (normal) mobile phone, I expect some of the (useful) features that were available in my normal phone in this apple’s version. Trivial things that made me comfortable with my old phone are no more available in iPhone, I will be listing them after some (brief) complaints on the contract related stuff …

The iPhone contract (in Japan, Softbank) in itself is a bit less user-friendly,
 The Japanese carrier Softbank sells the iPhone at a price much (much) higher than the US. Never know why? Its really ridiculous ~~~
 Previously, I used to pay a small insurance on my telephone that covered my phone against repairs, or accidental break-downs, like falling into water, etc. And, iPhone too comes with an expensive Apple care, which does not cover accidental break-downs etc. (The safety pack (Anshin pack) is no more available). So if you accidentally drop your phone, you will end up paying JPY ~20K, or JPY ~60K depending on the damages (your luck). And when I think about this (accidental fall), and the 20-60K thing, somehow I am uncomfortable handling the phone. Phooo …. iPhono-dropo-phobia is it?
 If you wish to re-pay for the iPhone in installments, then you will have to repay in exactly 24 months, and you enter into a contract for 24 months, and you need to cancel “some the contract” exactly after 24 months, not the 25th or 23rd, barring which, Softbank will extend your contract for another 24 months. And, you need to pay another JPY 9800 to break the contract. And … the beautiful (hmmm … the bad) thing is, as of now, Softbank would never know (say), when your 24 months will expire. Is it a trick Softbank?
 Once you sign your contract, there is no way out. Absolutely, no way. Funny thing is, when you sign up with them, they get your signatures in at-least 5 different places. So, you will be signing more times than, when you are buying a brand new car. Somehow this made me uncomfortable.
 One important thing, I still use Softbank, NOT because I like them, but just because many of my Indian friends (still) use Softbank, and they would kick me, if I changed my carrier. Sigh. I hate the signal quality. Once I happened to visit someone near Himeji, and there was absolutely no tower for a long-long distance in and around the area. In fact, I HATE Softbank’s signal quality. iPhone 3G only adds to the woes.

Enough of the contract, the following features that are normally available in your standard mobile phone are not available in your phone,

 Disaster warning, like earthquake warning, which was part of my earlier mobile phones, is not available in the iPhone. So users of iPhone cannot be informed of disasters.
 In my earlier phones, there used to be small (multi-colored LED), that would flash, when there is a missed call, or an un-read email message. This really helped me know about the missed call without un-locking the mobile phone’s screen. In the iPhone, there is no such LED, or any Indication, you need to check your home screen to find out.
 I like clean desktops, and in my earlier phones, I go to the Menu-bar to see the applications and perform other operations. So, when there is a missed call or something, the notification was very clear. But in the iPhone, it seems to be lost in the crowd of icons in the home screen. I think, the home screen is (very) crowded.
 Getting a App store account, without a credit card, was a night-mare. And it is mandatory for downloading applications (which you will need for transferring your phone book from your previous telephone).
 Transferring “my phone book” from the previous mobile phone to the iPhone was a pain in the Ass, really. (Especially with the procedures that I had to go through)…

Though I would never come to terms with the contract related issues, even after I signed one, I think the functional issues in iPhone are due to the paradigm shift, which apple experienced.

The standard mobile phone started as an extension to the basic cordless telephone. Features that were needed while we are on the move were then added to it, bit by bit, like, a pager, the music player, an email client, a mini web browser, the document viewer, a movie player, television, … and a host of applications.

Now, iPhone started as a (simple) Music player, in iPod touch and grew into a mobile phone. The only new thing they have given us is the touch panel. Now, if that is the only thing that made it unique, there are a host of other telephones like the Nokia N95, Sharp 941, …. Which are far better than the iPhone, in every single aspect.

But then, why did I buy an iPhone. Do you want to hear why? Frankly … I wanted the Nokia N95, I searched, researched, and found out that no-carrier in Japan has one. And … then I though, I would settle for the Sharp 941, the worst part is 941 is almost 2 times expensive than an iPhone.

Recession lurking around, I became a proud owner of the (all new) iPhone 3G-S …And started counting to 24 ;-)

1 comment:

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