Forbes offers up seven iPhone 3G disappointments (and one of them is even completely valid!)

“Apple’s new iPhone promises to be 4.7 ounces of awesome,” Brian Caulfield writes for Forbes.

“It will do everything the iPhone does well–surfing the Web, serving up music and movies, and letting you flick through your voicemail messages with a fingertip–only faster and cheaper,” Caulfield writes.

“Yet imperfections still lurk, in spite of Chairman Steve Jobs’ maniacal attention to detail,” Caulfield writes. “Even before its release, there are some niggling issues–some minor, others major–that make the iPhone a mere gadget, just like any other.”

Caulfield’s “Seven iPhone Disappointments” are:

1. Cost. The iPhone (starting at $199) “will cost $160 more over two years than the original iPhone because AT&T put together a pricier data plan for the phone to help it subsidize the up-front cost of the handset.”

MacDailyNews Take: A very minor “disappointment.” Where’s the Forbes article that explains why cheapo Windows PCs actually cost more than Macs in the long run once you figure in antivirus subscriptions, lost time attempting to fix problems, etc.? The lack of such a valuable Forbes article is more disappointing that the fact that Apple has priced the iPhone to appeal to the short-attention-span/instant-gratification mentality that’s so prevalent today. Newsflash for Joe and Jane Six-Pack: “No Payments ‘Till 2012!” still means you have to pay – and more than you would have vs. simply paying full price upfront. It’s only disappointing that Apple has to cater to short-term thinkers. That’s why the iPhone is so “cheap” upfront, but really costs about the same as it always has (really a little bit more because it is 3G capable, after all).

[UPDATE: 7:30pm EDT: In response to Julio Ojeda-Zapata below: People to whom $6.67/mo. matters at all certainly shouldn’t be buying an iPhone.]

2. No Flash.

MacDailyNews Take: As iPhone users from day one, we first thought Caulfield meant flash, as in: brief bright light — for the iPhones’ camera. That ought to tell you exactly how disappointed we are that Apple has spared iPhone the battery draining, bloated Adobe Flash “experience.” We’d rather have a flash for the iPhone’s camera, than Flash for the iPhone.

3. No Replaceable Batteries.

MacDailyNews Take: This one’s been around since the debut of the iPod. It’s almost as bad as the “nobody wants all-in-one computers because the monitor can’t be easily replaced” blather. The market has already proven that replaceable batteries are not a disappointment; at least not enough of one to curtail sales. If replaceable batteries really mattered, Apple would have changed to them in iPod long ago, not started making notebooks with them (MacBook Air). Caulfield writes, “Hardcore road warriors don’t have time to stop and recharge their phones. Instead they carry their batteries with them…” Just Google “external battery for iPhone” and you’ll find Caulfield’s “disappointment” is without merit at least 50 times over. The minority who need external batteries are free to purchase them. Apple’s right not to build them into devices, raising the cost and increasing the thickness for everyone else.

4. Video Recording.

MacDailyNews Take: This one would’ve been Caulfield’s best one yet — If third-party developers hadn’t already enabled video recording for Apple iPhone last year:

Direct link via YouTube here.

5. No Cut-And-Paste.

MacDailyNews Take: This one actually is a disappointment, although we don’t think that’s going to last much longer. It’s already been and being tackled by third-party developers (here’s an example) and we hear that Apple’s working on the official cut/copy/paste, too, for release in an upcoming iPhone software update. At the very least, Apple, can we have Keychain for iPhone?

6. No Multimedia Messaging Service.

MacDailyNews Take: Caulfield’s really getting warmed up now. With this one, we completely agree. Turn on MMS, Apple. We’re tired of crap phone owners sending us images that require us to memorize obscure usernames and passwords (no official cut and paste, yet), navigate to some website and type them in to see their crap phone photo(s). Just enable MMS already, Apple! In the meantime, crap phone owners, just email us the photos instead, okay? Thanks.

7. No Voice Dialing.

MacDailyNews Take: Coming soon! See: Stop tapping and start talking: Nuance unveils speech recognition prototype for Apple iPhone – June 10, 2008.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Eric” for the heads up.]


  1. Actually the video one is valid. The fact that the video came out last year should be a clue– it’s on a jailbroken phone. In fact there’s no way to do this on an iPhone without resorting to unsupported APIs. And doing that is a quick way to get barred from Apple’s iPhone app store. Third-party developers might enable video recording, but those apps will not make it into the official channels anytime soon.

  2. On the first cost item, you did a little tap dance (excellent form) and totally bypassed the issue. What do Macs and PCs have to do with anything? What about the fact that the service plan actually DOES make the iPhone more expensive over time? For people watching their budgets, this is far from a “minor ‘issue’ “.

  3. I don’t get the outrage that the iPhone data plan is more expensive. AT&T;spends billions of dollars to build their 3G network and they’re expected to charge the same amount that they did for Edge?

    On Sprint and Verizon, the 2G CDMA data service comparable to Edge was called 1xRTT. It was dirt cheap compared to their data plans today. Why did they increase in price? Because Sprint and Verizon spent billions of dollars building EV-DO 3G networks and started charging a lot more to use them, especially with smartphones and PDAs.

    Any person who thought the iPhone data plan would remain at $20 is a moron.

  4. @ Julio Ojeda-Zapata

    The plan cost more because 3G data networks cost more. For all those people that complained about the lack of 3G in the first iPhone, now they have it and they can, rightfully, pay more for it. Its only in America that consumers want phones at such low prices forcing carriers to make the money back over the life of the plan. In Europe its completely different. People pay $400+ for a phone up front and spend much less over the life of their plan.

  5. I shouldn’t speak of 1xRTT in the past tense. It’s not dead. Like Edge, 1xRTT still supplements the EV-DO network by acting as a backup where 3G isn’t available.

    Also, 1xRTT is 2.5G. Typing posts on the mobile version of MDN is weird in that the box won’t let me see what I’ve typed. It keeps bouncing down whenever I try to scroll up.

  6. @JEG

    ” … Off the subject but does anyone else get annoyed by Intuit’s ads on MDN for a POS product that isn’t available on the mac?… “

    Totally agree.

    But check out that Cricket Broadband offering in the right column. But, as the Cricket website states, “Cricket Broadband is compatible with the Windows 2000®, Windows XP® and Windows Vista™ operating systems.”

    No Mac support but the dream marketing team at Cricket gets together and someone says, “Lets place banners on Mac related blogs. Who knows, maybe some of them still have pc’s lying around. Hey, don’t laugh! I’m totally serious!”

  7. I actually agree with Caulfield on every point except replacable batteries, I want MMS, Flash, lower price, VoIP AND a better friggin camera..yeah I have a cam but I dont want to carry it with me everywhere I go, I want decent photos with my iPhone and I am not gettin ’em right now.

    Having said that..I wouldnt trade iPhone to any other *cough* mobile phone in a million years.

  8. The funny thing is that I keep finding things that I would change about my iPhone, if I could.

    It’s actually a bit of a paradox though, because this isn’t because the iPhone is “bad,” but because it’s “good,” actually.

    None of my previous phones can hold a candle to my iPhone.

    My iPhone is so awesome, that it causes me to seek for perfection, and let’s be honest here, as good as an item can ever be, there is always room for improvement. Otherwise, we’d still be on iPhone 1.0.

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