Back in July 2009, my almost 2 year old HTC TYTN II Windows Mobile phone was beginning to show signs of the battery wearing out. As AT&T had just sent me an offer to upgrade to an iPhone for the discounted price (and a 2 year contract extension) I decided to go for it.

Overall, I find the iPhone a love and hate relationship. It’s does have a better web browser than any previous phone, but I did give up some things I’ve had for years on every previous phone. The list of limitations includes:

  • no tethering, I occasionally can use cell phone data access for my laptop, like when traveling, and there is just no legal way to do this in the US on an iPhone
  • search only searches contact names, on my previous Windows Mobile phones, if I knew a contact was in Palo Alto, I could just search on Palo Ato and it would find it in the contact address or notes, not so on the iPhone
  • there is no built in task list (to-do list) that can sync with my Outlook task list, there are task apps, and none of them seem to be able to just sync with Outlook directly
  • voice quality is not all that great, Verizon’s CDMA network almost never dropped calls and the sound quality was better
  • iPhone calender is pretty but primitive, it’s impossible to enter a repeating event that happens on say the last Tuesday of every month, only on a specific date of a month, which is almost never the case for social events
  • the iPhone is SIM locked, my previous HTC phone, from AT&T, was SIM unlocked by AT&T 4 months after I purchased it at the 2 year contract price, all it took was a phone call to the AT&T travel serviced department, if you travel internationally at all, unlocked SIM GSM phones are usually the way to go
  • hardware unreliability, my iPhone is now less than 4 months old, and has had 2 hardware failures, the first was  line of dead pixels across the screen, the second, happening this week, the phone earpiece make no sound, my iPhone will have been operating in a degraded state for 4 days in only 4 months, requireing 3 trips to the Apple store for repair, this is more hardware failures than I’ve had on all other phones in the last 10 years
  • battery life is not great, my previous HTC phone could easily go a week of standby time, with little usage, my iPhone goes about half that time, a friend just got a Nokia E63, which seems to go 2 weeks on standby
  • the iPhone can’t sync contacts, even one at a time, over bluetooth to my 2008 Prius, my previous Windows Mobile phone could not sync the whole contact category, but could send them one by one

Only one of these seems related to my use of Windows on my desktop, every other one seem like this issues more many people.  I partially got an iPhone to do some development on. Due to the extremely low price norm in the iPhone app store, it seems less that certain I could make profitable iPhone apps. Some recent analysis I read on the iPhone app says only a small number of apps sell in high volume, and the volume falls off very steeply when priced above $4.99.

The reality of the iPhone is becoming clearer.