6 Major Flaws in iPhone. Will Consumers Still Spend the Money?
Is the iPhone the smartest phone for the average consumer’s money?
The iPhone is already getting positive reviews. But most reviewers so far, while in awe of the trademark Apple elegance and beauty, also have some serious concerns. What remains unknown at this point is this: Once the first wave of hype buying cycles through, will the iPhone’s 6 major flaws be enough to seriously hurt sales?
Flaw #1: It only works with one carrier. Sure, AT&T is now the biggest carrier in the U.S. but this does create real limitations to iPhone sales right out of the gate. First, According to some estimates, over 30% of all cell phone users in the U.S. are locked into plans with other carriers for at least one more year. This puts a huge limitation on the number of people who even consider it a realistic option to consider buying an iPhone. Second, no carrier has perfect coverage in all areas, and there are locations where customers know from experience they get better service from another carrier. Third, this removes all pricing competition for iPhone price plans. Most will be paying between $80 and $120 per month for the iPhone, plus the initial start up costs total around $2000 for a two year contract. While this is in the range of comparable products, increased competition will likely continue to bring down the prices plans of other phones, while AT&T has exclusive rights for a long, long time. And fourth, a big enough negative to deserve its very own Flaw:
Flaw #2: The Edge isn’t. AT&T’s “Edge” internet technology, which is the only one the iPhone can use, is considerably slower than other carriers, and even slower than some other technologies offered by AT&T. This problem is exacerbated by Apple’s cool web browser that displays the whole page, creating slower download time. So, while the iPhone does have WiFi, a very nice feature, when you aren’t in a WiFi area, be prepared for some mighty slow internet.
Flaw #3: A salty battery. For all of the iPhone’s beauty, you have to send it in every year or two to get a new battery. Perhaps one day a future-thinking company will invent a way for people to actually replace their own batteries on their cell phones, but until that day- oh wait, that’s standard procedure. Well, not on the iPhone, as it continues the great Apple tradition of non-replaceable batteries. Who is looking forward to being without their mobile phone for a few days or longer?
Flaw #4: Lower than expected sound quality. Sure, when using the famous white earphones- this time with a pinch tube to fade out and pause the music and answer the phone- the sound is iPod quality. But when used as a phone, early reports are that it actually has some pretty average (meaning noticeably worse than the competition) sound quality. This isn’t about audiophile pickiness, it’s about being able to comfortably understand the person you are talking to, even in noisier environments- one of the main purposes of a cell phone, which under all the cool gadgetry, this is first and foremost supposed to be.
Flaw #5 No GPS. Ouch. These days, it’s hard to buy a watch, a key chain, even a cereal box that doesn’t come with built in GPS. Most smart phones now have it. While the iPhone has some cool faux GPS features, like using Google Maps to help guide you about where to go- as long as you always tell it where you ARE, nothing can really replace the ever-growing list of very handy, practical and in some cases vital features offered by GPS.
Flaw #6: No memory card slot for expandable memory. Yes, it’s a slim phone. Very slender and sleek. We are all seriously impressed. And we can’t wait to fill it up to its max capacity and â€“ oh wait. In no time it uses up it’s max capacity. With no slot for a memory card. Well, on the bright side, maybe that will help the battery last a few days longer before I have to send it in.
In short, the iPhone is undeniably a very cool phone. But as the hype fever begins to settle and people start asking real questions about if this cell phone is the smartest use of their hard earned money, these 6 flaws just may prove to have a much greater impact on sales than most people, understandably blinded by all the glitzy hype, are currently expecting.
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