As of late, we have three prominent names publicly ditching the iPhone. Om Malik, from GigaOm, Michael Arrington from TechCrunch, and one person who's inspired me for ages, macintosh developer Steven Frank from Panic, inc. here in Portland, Oregon. While I have no qualms with their decisions to ditch the iPhone, I'm having a tough time understanding what the hell they're talking about.
The iPhone is a big deal... Period. It radically changed the entire mobile industry. Since its launch in 2007, Apple has clobbered sales records and the iPhone revenue bomb continues to explode. This single piece of technology and the services around it, including the thriving developer community, close the gap even further between human nature and technology. The vision that good technology should be indistinguishable from magic has clearly shown through with the iPhone. In fact, it's so intuitive, so easy to use, and so powerful, that when people consider leaving the device due to whatever reason(s), they second guess themselves so much, that they ultimately settle on announcing a personal ban against Apple and AT&T. And you know as they hit that "Publish" button, they regretted it.
Why not just jailbreak the device? Does the need for one app make you ignore the years of work that have gone into this thing? Without the iPhone, you wouldn't even have a second, comparable device to switch over to! So perhaps you're bored with it? Perhaps the arrangement of icons on the homescreen is driving you nuts? The dropped calls, poor reception, constant ludicrous prices... Perhaps you hate AT&T with a passion! I do too! And still, NONE of these reasons are good enough to even consider ditching the iPhone.
Some of you may swear this off as just another Apple freak gushing about his toy... So if that's the way you take this, just stop reading. But for those that can actually sit down and relate with what Apple has done time and time again, and what they've publicly said (time and time again), you'll see that these public denouncements of the iPhone, and these "I'll pay $175 to leave AT&T" are just people with personal gripes, a large audience, and a little too much time on their hands.
When Apple released the iPhone they were all singing a different tune. They were willingly hopping on the Apple train, ditching Verizon, t-mobile and everything in between to snatch up iPhones. Even though everyone knew how incredibly shitty
Cingular's AT&T's service was before the iPhone was even released. Through a little bit of common sense, anyone would know that the network would only degrade as millions of content heavy devices were sold to everyone you know. And now with the App Store, Apple has said time and time again that it's their store and they'll do what they want with it.
The problem with these public outcries, is that maybe the tiniest sliver of people who Apple actually gives a shit about reads these articles. You think the millions of people around the world buying iPhones know who Michael Arrington is? Or Om Malik? I don't think so. Apple doesn't care who does and doesn't use an iPhone. All they care about is the masses seeing Alec Baldwin hold it up in 30Rock. You think Google Voice is such a big deal that you would leave the iPhone for it? I personally know people who use Google Voice, and it's not a walk in the park. In a nutshell, if you love Linux and searching for the proper drivers for hours, then you'll love Google Voice! And the explanation Michael Arrington has outlined for porting your phone number, is akin to calling up an outsourced ISP and setting up managed hosting... A fucking nightmare.
There have been no good reasons as of yet to ditch the iPhone... Perhaps if you were on a call with the president, talking about Iran's nuclear initiatives and the call dropped, that would make sense. But none of these people's calls are so important that they can't communicate via SMS. They're all on twitter, they're used to it! One app? A few dropped calls? Poor reception? To leave the single greatest technological advancement in our time since the macintosh? What it is... Is sad.
Whether you love or hate Apple or AT&T, the iPhone is absolutely hands down the best mobile device in the world. Yes, it sucks that we have to deal with bullshit surrounding our service, reception and now the app store, but as long as ANY mobile carriers are involved, it will never change.
For fucks sake, if you have such monumental issues with the thing.... jailbreak it... It's not that hard.