InformationWeek tries to say, but fails to prove, ‘iPhone 4’s features may be a letdown for users’

“Before people hand over their hard-earned cash for Apple’s new iPhone 4, they should first step back and take a sober look at the eye-popping features that stir the emotions, but may ultimately disappoint,” Antone Gonsalves reports for InformationWeek.

MacDailyNews Take: You’re not going to stop anyone Antone, but go ahead, give it your best shot.

Gonsalves continues, “Among the features that have put the wow in the smartphone introduced Monday is videoconferencing, which Apple has made as simple as making a phone call. Unfortunately, there will be very few occasions in which most people will find the capability useful. For starters, with AT&T struggling to handle network traffic from the current iPhone, Apple had no choice but to offer videoconferencing over Wi-Fi only. In addition, the feature only works with other iPhone 4s. Surprisingly, Apple did not make it possible for people to make video calls to friends and family with iChat videoconferencing on a Mac. Also, given that there are few standards for video calling between different devices, ubiquitous video calling on a smartphone is still a long ways off. ‘What really needs to happen is for standards bodies to kick in and start looking at this problem,’ Ken Dulaney, analyst for Gartner, told InformationWeek Tuesday. ‘A lot of work needs to be done.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is open-sourcing FaceTime. There, a lot of work has already been done. Then an iChat update, a Skype update, etc. and off we go! Gonsalves seems very U.S-centric, but iPhone 4 is a worldwide device; not all countries are as network-deprived as the U.S. Even the U.S. networks are improving because customers are demanding it. iPhone 4 will help speed up improvements.

Gonsalves continues, “In launching the device at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, chief executive Steve Jobs spoke proudly of the smartphone’s new 960- x 640-pixel, 3.5-inch display. With four times the number of pixels as the current generation iPhone, the latest device displays text, video and images noticeably sharper and clearer. While the new ‘Retina’ display will certainly have value in watching video, assuming the downloads don’t exceed a person’s data plan, the fact that the screen packs 326 pixels per square inch could present a problem in reading content. That’s because text will look smaller as a result of the increase in pixels.”

MacDailyNews Take: Text sizes are a non-issue as developers will quickly and easily take care of any issues if there are any. As for your data plan: Download your movies and TV shows to your Mac or *gack!* Windows PC and sync it to your iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) to watch on the plane like normal people. No impact whatsoever on your data plan. We checked our usage – we thought we needed “unlimited data,” but we are easily under AT&T’s new 2GB monthly cap. And we use a lot of mobile data compared to the average user – but, we use 3G only when necessary and use our Macs are our digital hubs. We then send large media downloads out from our Macs to our iOS devices. We don’t download many full-length movies over AT&T’s 3G, if at all.

Gonsalves continues, “Bottomline, if a person wants to get into Apple’s mobile ecosystem, which includes the iPhone along with its online stores and services, then iPhone 4 is a reasonable choice, particularly if that person wants the latest technology. However, if a person’s needs don’t require such a feature-rich smartphone, then something cheaper is a better choice. ‘Buy last year’s model (of iPhone),’ Dulaney said. ‘It’ll work just fine for you.'”

MacDailyNews Take: That advice works for Apple, we’re sure, but iPhone 4 offers some very serious advantages over iPhone 3GS (Retina display, gyroscope, front-facing camera, much better main camera, Apple’s A4 SoC, battery life, etc.)

Gonsalves continues, “Apple’s older iPhone 3GS, introduced last year, now sells for $99 with a two-year AT&T data plan. The iPhone 4 is scheduled to be available June 24 for $199 for 16 GB of storage and $299 for 32 GB, with a two-year plan.”

Full article here.

35 Comments

  1. It’s a measure of some weird spoiled shitheadedness that problems that are simply beyond Apple’s control matter wit as to whether you should buy the most advanced smartphone on the planet.

  2. You know you are a hater when you can use better screen resolution as a bad thing. The writer probably walks around with a battery pack on his side to power his EVO ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. After reading that article, I’m gonna only buy two IPhones 4’s instead of three….. NOT!…. I’m ordering 3 on June 15th! And the looks on the faces of my non-iPhone friends, after seeing the iPhone videos, tell me they will be buying them soon thereafter. All of a sudden my android friends and my one, -Pre friend have stopped talking…..

  4. “Gonsalves continues, “Apple’s older iPhone 3GS, introduced last year, now sells for $99 with a two-year AT&T;data plan. The iPhone 4 is scheduled to be available June 24 for $199 for 16 GB of storage and $299 for 32 GB, with a two-year plan.”

    I wonder how many people at MisInformation Week will follow his advice just to save a $100, or a month and a half’s Starbucks morning coffee.

  5. There’s a saying- “We only see what we only look for”. They can’t bitch about multitasking and megapixel cameras. So now- they take a videoconferencing feature that nobody else is doing and it’s being held against iPhone 4. This is a feature in it’s infant stage- nobody said it’s ready for mainstream use. It works only through WiFi and only to other iPhone 4 users. Something tells me that there will be plenty of iPhone 4 users- just a hunch. Yes- it’s a novelty feature right now- that’s not the main reason people will buy / upgrade. The increase in battery life, the thinness yet solid feel, the led flash, noise canceling mic(s), the Retina display which I’m dying to see, multitasking (done right), folders, increased speed, sharper camera, full motion video (with editing), etc. – THESE are the reasons to justify an upgrade / purchase.

    This is supposed to be a letdown? I still use the original iPhone- I’ve been waiting for this upgrade for quite some time- I’m going out on a limb here but I got a feeling there will be NO letdown.

    I know, I know- I’m preaching to the choir.

  6. Maybe we can write the article for him… You can save $100 by buying the older 3GS. If you did this every two years for 2000 years, that is $100K. OMG, THE IPHONE 4 COSTS 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE! (Unless you are buying from Sprint, where it could be anywhere from $300K to $33K.)

  7. What is Gonsalves talking about when he said t. “That’s because text will look smaller as a result of the increase in pixels.”

    Does he really expect text to be 4 times smaller on iPhone 4. Either he is misinformed or just plain nuts. I vote for both.

  8. The 3GS is certainly a bargain at $99. I’ve had mine for a year, and it’s a great phone. I went the full 2 years before upgrading my 1st gen iPhone to the 3GS, but I don’t think I can wait another year for the new 4th gen iPhone. It has a huge number of improvements over the 3GS. This guy at InformationWeek is pretty jaded if he feels compelled to see only the “problems” with the new iPhone. What a dick!

  9. Only a dumbass would recommend that you buy a 3Gs for $99 when you could buy the iPhone 4 for $199. With a 2 yr contract you’ll be spending at least $1680. Why save $100 and lose out on the best experience?

  10. Dear MDN,

    it appears that there is a vigorous disinformation campaign underway in the media lately to discredit Apple’s success. I don’t know, but Apple is one of the few American Tech companies doing phenomenally well nowadays, and we should be celebrating that. Maybe you should do your own opinion piece about this.
    Abrey

  11. When he said more pixels equals smaller text, he lost what little credibility he had. 4x more pixels means 4x per character for sharper, clearer text, not less.

  12. @NCIceman
    You’re right I’m sure. I don’t know how fonts are handled typically in iApps, but I don’t think they are built out of bitmaps that shrink with higher pixel density.

    Yet, while I don’t know how iApp fonts are coded, I DO know that there is NO WAY Steve Jobs says what he says during that keynote if there was any way fonts was an issue.

    Did Gonsalves even watch the keynote or bother looking the tech info over at apple.com?

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