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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Why Buy an iPhone?

   
Author Topic: Why Buy an iPhone?
Aros
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So, yeah, I'm the quintessential power user, so I've never been interested in the iPhone. It was neat when Apple had the best hardware for a few years. But the iPhone is so outdated compared to the Galaxy SIII and such. But I had no idea. . . .

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/09/27/voice-navigation-killed-apple-google-maps-talks/

The iPhone doesn't have turn by turn voice navigation????? It just barely got 4G . . . I can understand that, but how is it a smart phone without a real GPS?

I don't understand the hipster need for a vastly inferior phone.

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advice for robots
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Apple users are comfortable wherever they are.
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Stephan
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No native GPS, but some good ones are in the app store.

But, I agree, the Iphone doesn't seem that great anymore. I am holding off buying any smartphone because of the size of the current new models. They are huge. I am 6'4" saying that. I don't need something that large in my pocket.

I also don't see why the average person would shell out more than $100 for a phone with a contract.

My Dell Streak 5 was way to big, and broke because of it. I ended up getting an AT&T Avail to hold me over to the end of my contract. The thing is an antique compared to most phones, but I am enjoying it. It gives me GPS, Audible, Kindle, and email. I don't play games or watch video on my phones. I have both a 7inch and a 10 inch tablet for that. It is also reasonably sized.

I plan on canceling AT&T altogether in December when my contract is up, and switching to their prepaid plans. $25 a month would get me 250 minutes and unlimited texting. I can add data for the two months a year I actually use it, the summer. During the school year I have wi-fi about 20 hours a day.

I am on the waiting list for Republic Wireless. $19 a month, unlimited talk, text and data. We will see if my name ever comes up.

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El JT de Spang
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1) Market share is a powerful thing. Being first, in most cases, is better than being best, even in a case where there's a clear cut 'best'. And smartphones isn't one of those cases.
2) Apps. Iphones have had and continue to have the best apps, and it's still not even a close race (IMO, of course).
3) Synergy with itunes, which, for all it's faults, is the dominant media player on the market, especially among mac users. This plug and play store for apps, shows, ringtones, downloads, podcasts, and almost anything else makes setting up and using an iphone ridiculously simple. Which is why most of my parents peer group (late 50s/early 60s) can use them.
4) UI. This isn't as much an advantage now, thanks to everyone mimicking it as much as they can, but when it was first released, iphone's UI was lightyears better than any competitor. There are still only a few phones (androids, for one) that are as easy to navigate.

The real question is why would you be so contrarian as to hate something just because it's popular? Because your statement that the iphone is 'vastly inferior' is pretty easily disproved. Calling it 'overrated', I'd agree with. More style than substance? Perhaps. Vastly inferior? Not by any definition of those words most people would recognize.

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Samprimary
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Brand hype does get pretty ridiculous sometimes. The Iphone 5 is a poor choice compared to many phones which have been out for a while now.

My Razor M has about three times the effective battery life, skinnier, has a larger screen, has google maps, and is not made of poorly anodized aluminum that apparently is so easy to chip that many people's phones come pre-scuffed (which is A Big Deal even if the psychological reasons why are pretty ridiculous).

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Samprimary
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quote:
There are still only a few phones (androids, for one) that are as easy to navigate.
IIRC Android phones now have four times the market share as iOS.
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MattP
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quote:
Market share is a powerful thing.
As Sam points out, Android is the marketshare leader by far. They blow iOS away both globally and in the US. More new Android devices are activated in any given week than the total number of iPhone 5s sold in the first weekend after launch.

quote:
UI. This isn't as much an advantage now, thanks to everyone mimicking it as much as they can
Apple is doing their fair share of mimicking as well these days. I think this is a good development overall. Let's all settle on the best way to do basic tasks and accept it as a universal standard like a computer mouse or steering wheel on a car.

quote:
Synergy with itunes
I largely agree with this point. The Apple ecosystem is tight. Personally, I see it as a downside because I don't want to be locked into an ecosystem. But Android is no complete fix. The Google cloud infrastructure is more open, but not completely. What I'd like to see is more apps like Kindle which is completely device agnostic. Amazon MP3 is a step in the right direction for music (as is Google Play music) but it's still a bit clunky.

quote:
Apps. Iphones have had and continue to have the best apps, and it's still not even a close race (IMO, of course).
I own multiple devices from the Apple and Android ecosystems (I develop apps) and don't see Apple as being significantly ahead in this area any more. Yes, they have some exclusives and if an app isn't simultaneously released on multiple platforms it usually goes to iOS first, but the majority of the blockbusters end up on both platforms with reasonable feature parity. In some cases you actually get more functionality on Android because of the more pluggable/expandable environment.

ETA: For what it's worth I own both a Nexus 7 and an iPad 3. I prefer the iPad 3 for reading dense texts like college text books or technical books, but use the Nexus 7 for virtually anything else (casual web surfing, games, reading news, watching the Gangnum Style video...)

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Aros
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I think "vastly inferior" is deserved. The brand new iPhone IS vastly inferior to flagship Android models. No NFC, poor GPS, less RAM (than S3), less battery life, worse camera, proprietary connectors, no SD, no removable battery. And it's just barely getting 4G.

There are currently 7% more Apple apps than Android. Not really a good argument.

The only thing I could rationalize is someone who is enveloped in the Apple ecosystem and iTunes. At least the new iPhone is in the same playing field as year-old Android phones. You used to be able to argue that it was easier for old-people and people not particularly tech savy, but that's pretty much moot with ICS and Jelly Bean.

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MattP
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I think "vastly inferior" overstates things by quite a bit.

Maps are a disaster, but even that is basically usable for most people.

NFC is not ubiquitous yet and even as someone who uses NFC/Google Wallet wherever I can, I wouldn't miss it all that much if I didn't have it until it becomes much more pervasive (which, probably means after Apple ships with it.)

quote:
There are currently 7% more Apple apps than Android. Not really a good argument.
95%+ of the apps in both markets are crap. Pure numbers are only somewhat useful.

The iPhone 5 is a solid phone. For a variety of reasons I prefer Android for my personal device, but I have very tech-savvy friends who prefer the iPhone for their own reasons. There are areas where it excels and areas where it's still a generation behind, but Apple has rarely been about bleeding edge.

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rollainm
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quote:
The real question is why would you be so contrarian as to hate something just because it's popular? Because your statement that the iphone is 'vastly inferior' is pretty easily disproved. Calling it 'overrated', I'd agree with. More style than substance? Perhaps. Vastly inferior? Not by any definition of those words most people would recognize.
Well said. Why hate? You like your Android? That's fantastic. The Galaxy S3 is a great phone. The RAZR line isn't bad either. But seriously, your mobile OS preference doesn't say a damn thing about who you are, especially not what so many seem to think it does. It's a device that serves a purpose, nothing more.

I just got the iPhone 5 myself (upgraded from the 4). I like it a lot. It does what I want, and it does it well. It's very fast (one of the fastest on the market, from what I understand). It has an amazing camera (for a phone at least; and again, one of the best on the market). iTunes has the music, apps, and books that I want, and I see no reason to abandon it (and I still have the option to partake in Amazon's and others' offerings if I so choose). Battery life is actually really good, definitely nothing to scoff at. No NFC, but does that really matter? I mean seriously, it's no less a gimmick than Siri. If/when it catches on, it'll become useful - and Apple can always include it on the next model. Yes, granted, Apple's navigation needs a ton of work. But its interface and actual operation work beautifully, and improvements will be coming quickly, I guarantee it. In the meantime, it's not a deciding factor for me, and there are always other options if I need them.

So what exactly makes the iPhone "inferior" to Android? It does what it's supposed to do. It serves its purpose. It works. So does Android. Neither are without their flaws.

[ September 27, 2012, 06:26 PM: Message edited by: rollainm ]

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Aros
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Again, lack of a removable battery, no upgradeable memory, laughable function as a GPS, lack of Flash, and proprietary connectors. I guess the GPS thing is the only really big issue (and maybe the Flash). I was just astonished that it didn't have real navigation function without looking at the phone (a pretty dangerous prospect).

Pretty gimped, if you ask me. But in my opinion, being integrated with Google Maps (which is ALWAYS updating) and the associated reviews is a huge thing. A dealbreaker. Especially living in a metro area. But maybe if you've never used it, you don't know what you're missing? I just don't see a significant advantage big enough to lose my integration with Google.

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rollainm
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quote:
I was just astonished that it didn't have real navigation function without looking at the phone (a pretty dangerous prospect)
Say what?

quote:
I just don't see a significant advantage big enough to lose my integration with Google.
Precisely! Give that some thought. Allow it to sink in. And then, you know, go about your day.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by rollainm:
So what exactly makes the iPhone "inferior" to Android? It does what it's supposed to do. It serves its purpose. It works. So does Android. Neither are without their flaws.

Two things can each work and serve their purpose, doesn't make them unable to have a superior and an inferior version amongst them. The iphone was ahead of its time, for sure, but it's since been outshone, both in terms of flagship hardware and in terms of operating system.
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rollainm
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I realize that. But I don't see this clear outshining. They each have their advantages and their flaws, and it seems even enough to me to call it a wash. But beyond that, they're each designed with different goals in mind. Android is about flexibility, and it does that better. Apple is about reliable ecosystem, and it does that better.

As for hardware, I think it could actually be argued that, when taking Android as a whole, Apple is the clear winner because only high-end Android phones can compete performance-wise with the iPhone. In fact, most Android phones have at least one pretty devastating flaw. The S3 is a remarkable exception to this.

Heck, take a look at the market share. Yes, there are more Android handsets than iPhone, but look at individual handset sales. Check out customer satisfaction surveys. I won't draw any far-reaching conclusions from those. Just this: the iPhone is no slouch. People like it. It works well. This does not describe an inferior product.

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Aros
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It is an inferior product, and an outdated product. That doesn't mean that it doesn't work well for some things. Some people shave with a bic, too. It still works well.
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Tuukka
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S3 is the first phone on the market that can reasonably be argued to be an equal, or even better than iPhone. And I'm not talking about technical specs - 99% of people don't care about technical specs, they just want an easy to use phone that does what they want it to do, with a lot of variety in apps.

Concentrating on technical specs is what has killed Nokia.They kept on having "better" phones than iPhone on the market, and those phones sucked.

So iPhone has been the best phone on the market for 5 years, and an equal (or better) competitor has been out for only 3 months. And that competitor is as good as it is, because it has relentlessly copied iPhone - A good thing that it has done so, but it's still worth mentioning. And S2 had a lot of annoying bottlenecks that made it an inferior phone to iPhone.

Is it a wonder, if iPhone still has the best brand value, with that kind of history?

And iPhone still has more high quality apps that people want to use. S3 will have the same variety of the best apps probably before next summer.

A quote:

"Again, lack of a removable battery, no upgradeable memory, laughable function as a GPS, lack of Flash, and proprietary connectors"

...All things that don't really matter to average consumer, except maybe for GPS functions.

[ September 28, 2012, 03:14 AM: Message edited by: Tuukka ]

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Stone_Wolf_
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To my way of thinking, iPhone is a vastly inferior product for the money.

iPhone 5 = $400 and you have to go with AT&T or Verizon, who are way more expensive per month then other carriers.

My wife and I got htc Sensation 4Gs with TMobile for $500 per phone over two years with discounts to our plans which basically gave us the phones free and saved us about $50 on top.

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
To my way of thinking, iPhone is a vastly inferior product for the money.

iPhone 5 = $400 and you have to go with AT&T or Verizon, who are way more expensive per month then other carriers.

My wife and I got htc Sensation 4Gs with TMobile for $500 per phone over two years with discounts to our plans which basically gave us the phones free and saved us about $50 on top.

The two best phones on the market - S3 and iPhone, cost about the same.

If you are short on money, then you have to choose an inferior phone. But a lot of people want the best phone on the market, because it brings a lot of benefits with it. S3 and iPhone are used multiple times every day, often for work along with leisure. The prize tag isn't really that big, when you consider how much you are going to use your phone.

Mobile servicer deals are dependent on the country. I can't really comment on how good the deals are in USA. Here in Finland the deals are just as good on iPhone and S3.

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Stephan
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What are these magical apps that Apple has that are missing from Android?
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MattP
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quote:
S3 is the first phone on the market that can reasonably be argued to be an equal, or even better than iPhone. And I'm not talking about technical specs - 99% of people don't care about technical specs, they just want an easy to use phone that does what they want it to do, with a lot of variety in apps.
The Galaxy Nexus was running essentially the same OS about a year ago, just as easy to use and supporting the same apps. The current-gen Droid Razr models came out shortly after it. The S3 is latest and greatest, but it's just an incremental bump over a baseline that had been established quite a while back.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
It is an inferior product, and an outdated product. That doesn't mean that it doesn't work well for some things. Some people shave with a bic, too. It still works well.

It's not outdated and it's still on the top end of phones. It's just not the best phone value or the best phone anymore. It's not a big deal and I do kind of smugly enjoy having for months having been using a better phone than the iphone 5 (oh god is this how it starts am i becoming one of them) but iphone's latest incarnation is still on the top line of phones.
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Sa'eed
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I want one -- or rather, want any smart phone -- so bad. But I can't in good conscience justify forking a monthly fee for the the data plans they shove down your throat. If it was spending a couple of hundred bucks on a fancy gadget that also works as a phone, it would be one thing, but why are data plans necessary given the ubiquity of WiFi these days?
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
I want one -- or rather, want any smart phone -- so bad. But I can't in good conscience justify forking a monthly fee for the the data plans they shove down your throat. If it was spending a couple of hundred bucks on a fancy gadget that also works as a phone, it would be one thing, but why are data plans necessary given the ubiquity of WiFi these days?

Data is optional on the AT&T pre-paid plans. The employees at the store won't tell you that, but it is.
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MattP
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The data plans and contract are necessary because the phone cost is subsidized. You can buy the latest and greatest phones off contract, but that costs $600 or so.

You don't have to buy the latest phone though. There are plenty of older-model smart phones available in the "couple of hundred bucks" range on eBay with no strings attached.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
It's not outdated and it's still on the top end of phones.

Lack of turn by turn voice navigation = outdated. I'm not talking about hardware, I'm talking about features. And say what you will about NFC; it may not be ready for electronic wallets, but it's super handy for sharing files and music.

I'm probably being overdramatic anyway. My only point is that the game has changed. Anyone who has been an Apple supporter and is currently in the market for a smartphone should really think about changing. I think we're finally getting to that tipping point. Though I highly laud Apple for getting us here. Fact of the matter is, one company just can't compete against an entire industry and hope to succeed forever. I really hope that they can keep innovating, though, but after the last few years I'm not particularly optimistic.

[ September 28, 2012, 01:50 PM: Message edited by: Aros ]

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Samprimary
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I want to call all of it overdramatic but I guess the long and short of it is that the iphone's navigational limitations are kind of a big deal? At least anecdotally I have watched it prompt 7 switches to samsung/motorola from previous iphone users.
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FlyingCow
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(Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted.)

I don't know if you can call the iPhone 5 "vastly inferior" - but it certainly didn't move ahead of the curve in any way. It made some changes designed to catch up to some of the technology already in the market - and from a standpoint of technology alone, it's probably put itself in the top 3-5 phones as of right now.

But, for Apple, that's a problem.

Apple won't release a new phone for another year - and it didn't even catch up to the current generation of phones with this offering. New android devices will be launched for the holiday season, with even more on deck as we go into next year. The iPhone 5 is already behind the existing generation in several areas, and will slip farther behind quickly.

Apple is banking on usability and cachet at this point over functionality - its integration with iTunes and the Apple ecosystem, the inclusion of Siri, an entrenched user base, etc. But it's drifting more toward the place were Macintosh had ended up - a smaller player in the overall market that pushes user friendliness over functional specifications.

It really seems like a tortoise and the hare situation, where the hare has decided to slow down and take a break - which ultimately is letting the tortoise pass it by.

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
[QB] S3 is the first phone on the market that can reasonably be argued to be an equal, or even better than iPhone. And I'm not talking about technical specs - 99% of people don't care about technical specs, they just want an easy to use phone that does what they want it to do, with a lot of variety in apps.

Concentrating on technical specs is what has killed Nokia.They kept on having "better" phones than iPhone on the market, and those phones sucked.

So iPhone has been the best phone on the market for 5 years, and an equal (or better) competitor has been out for only 3 months. And that competitor is as good as it is, because it has relentlessly copied iPhone - A good thing that it has done so, but it's still worth mentioning. And S2 had a lot of annoying bottlenecks that made it an inferior phone to iPhone.


Not even close. I have the Epic, which was out the same time as the iPhone 2 I think, and it was a far better phone than the iPhone2 or 3. It can't keep up with the 4 or 5, but then again it is about 2-3 years old.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
... but why are data plans necessary given the ubiquity of WiFi these days?

Data plans are a lot more secure than just connecting to random wifi hotspots and are totally worth the roughly $4 per month difference for unlimited data these days.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
are totally worth the roughly $4 per month difference for unlimited data these days.

Compared to WHAT? I'm on Verizon, and a data plan would cost me a minimum of $30 extra per month. I recently looked at a lot of other plans, and most were in that same ballpark ($70) for plans that included data.

I'll be sticking with my non-smartphone for now, thanks.

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Mucus
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I'm on Wind Mobile. It's $29/month for unlimited talk, text, and data. I think the equivalent plan without data is $25/month.

Their main competitor is doing $25/month for the former but has a smaller coverage area.

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rivka
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Canadians get better health care AND cheaper cell phone plans?

That sucks.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Yea, but they have to live in Canada [Razz]
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