iPhone Haters Are Stick-Shifters In An Automatic World

from the P-R-N-D-iii--ii--iPhone dept

Every time we post a story at Techdirt about the iPhone, we see the comments rapidly bifurcating into a religious battle between the "fanboy idiots who make excuses for the useless little iPhone like a beaten wife just because it's trendy and shiny" and the guys who "whine because [the iPhone doesn't do] everything and cost nothing" (this is what the two sides are saying, not us). It's sad to see such an interesting, seminal device be reduced to "nyah, nyah" levels of discourse. Our position on the iPhone is hopefully more objective. No, it's not perfect, lists of gripes are frequently made, but overall it's the phone to beat.

Recently, we've decried Apple's autocratic governance of their App Store. But don't let that mislead you into thinking we're down on the whole product. The iPhone is a turning-point device, which changed the usability level of the mobile Internet. All of a sudden, the mass market - who until then had no interest in muddling with clumsy mobile data services - was able to connect to the web on their phone, browse sites, download apps, and truly realize the promise of "anytime, anyplace, any info". The phone also revolutionized the mobile phone UI. While the other handset vendors developed each application and hardware in its own silo, Apple designed it all as a single whole experience, also sketching-in the content and application ecosystem. And it's been no shock that good user experience matters a whole lot! Lastly, the iPhone shattered the iron grip carriers had on handset vendors, and the phones their customer's eventually owned. Apple yanked some of that control away, and their more open (than carriers) approach has blown open the barn doors of developer creativity. The iPhone sales figures and data usage stats are in. Its a success. So if you are one of the people that says the iPhone is nothing more than a shiny toy, you need to come back to reality.

So why do so many criticize the iPhone, if it's so great? I think it's because they make the classic marketing mistake of thinking "It's all about ME." It isn't. The iPhone haters see the limitations (hard keys, cut/paste, tethering...) of the phone, and they focus on how the phone doesn't have any tech breakthrough or meet THEIR specific needs. But the mass market is what really matters in business. Is the mass market even aware of the limitations of their iPhone? If you told one of them, would they care? They would tell you that, on the contrary, their iPhone has not limited them, it has empowered them to access the mobile services and networks that have been "available" since 2000, but were blocked by poor user experiences and walled gardens.

I liken the whole debate to the stick-shift versus automatic transmission debate decades ago (still in the EU). True motoring aficionados could not accept the dumbed-down, lazy automatic transmission. They insisted on doing the work themselves. It was harder, but it was "the only way to truly 'drive' the automobile". Tough luck if it put driving out of the reach of some. By now, the mass market has decided that "easier" trumps a religious argument about "real feel for the road". Good products take people to their destination as easily as possible. The market has spoken: Getting there is not half the fun.



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  1.  
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    davebarnes (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:36am

    But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    I have been a stick shift user since 1965 when I got my driver's license.

    I have always hated automatic transmissions because of:
    1. loss of control
    2. fewer number of gears
    3. fewer miles per gallon of fuel
    4. slushiness that came with torque converters

    But, a year ago, we bought an Audi A3 with a Triptronic 6-speed.

    What a world of difference. This provides:
    1. Control as you can always go to manual mode
    2. plenty of gears
    3. the tiniest fuel consumption loss
    4. crisp feeling thanks to double-clutch technology

    Certainly "good enough" for me. And, way more convenient for city driving.

    And, also [as SP would say], my wife loves her iPhone with its 30+ apps.

     

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    Free Capitalist, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:39am

    Tyranny of the Markets

    The market has spoken

    Thank god for niche markets. If my car had an automatic transmission, I'd take it out back, shoot it in the tank, and trade it in for the government rebate.

     

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    Petréa Mitchell, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:40am

    Mass market?

    Um, well, what the mass market really wants is a phone that can make phone calls, remember a few frequently-used contacts, and (sometimes) send texts. Anything beyond that is catering to a small (but profitable, sure) minority of phone users. Many people buy smartphones, yes, but lots fewer than you think actually use any of the extra features.

    As for revolutionizing the UI, I understand that similar touch-screen phones were being made for the Asian market by other manufacturers before Apple "invented" the concept in the US.

    (Full disclosure: My personal opinion on the iPhone is that if I'm going to pay $400 for a computer, I want it to come with a real keyboard that allows 10-finger typing. But I do recognize that it's just my opinion.)

     

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    Free Capitalist, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:40am

    Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    Is that the S-Tronic on your Audi? DSG system... hubba hubba.

     

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    BullJustin (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Re: Tyranny of the Markets

    Cash for Clunkers has no more money - good thing you didn't put your ride down yet.

     

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    Free Capitalist, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Tyranny of the Markets

    OMG I found a use for CNN...

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/30/autos/cash_for_clunkers_suspended/index.htm

    Looks like they want to 'float' the program for a while.... that should work out well.

     

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    Jake, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Show me a smartphone you can touch-type on and I'll consider them a decent alternative to the netbook, 3G modem and budget cellphone I bought separately for the same money.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Another reason for the argument

    "It's sad to see such an interesting, seminal device be reduced to "nyah, nyah" levels of discourse." & "So why do so many criticize the iPhone, if it's so great? I think it's because they make the classic marketing mistake of thinking "It's all about ME.""

    I think you have it wrong. As someone who is in the position of being both a tech geek and a sports fan, I think we argue because it's FUN. I would draw the comparison of sports talk radio, a lot of which I enjoy BECAUSE of the conversation and disagreement. Much like I enjoy TechDirt in large part because of what ends up for the most part being meaningful and fun arguments in the comments section, the people calling into sports radio with their opinions (at varying levels of intelligence) are far more interesting than the facts/happenings being discussed.

    We all get behind technology we like, regardless of our reason for liking it. I see the difference between Apple people and PC people being very much like the AL/NL designated hitter debate: who cares about what side you're on, the DEBATE is fun because neither side is blatantly "wrong".

    Same thing with specific phone providers. How is iPhone/Palm Pre different from Bears/Packers? I'm sure I'll get offended "nerds" who hate all things athletic telling me I'm crazy, but I think there are a lot more people like me, people into both, that can see the truth in the analogy....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:59am

    I don't think that the analogy to automatic vs manual transmissions is a good one. After all, most high performance cars rely n some form of manual shifting, be it with or without a clutch.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:03am

    Re: Mass market?

    "Um, well, what the mass market really wants is a phone that can make phone calls, remember a few frequently-used contacts, and (sometimes) send texts. Anything beyond that is catering to a small (but profitable, sure) minority of phone users."

    If that's actually so, it's because that's their experience with phones to date.

    What sold me on the iPhone was having a conversation with a friend who had one. She asked a question which I couldn't answer off the top of my head. I borrowed her iPhone to check Wikipedia and find the answer.

    That blew my mind. I got one within a month.

    It's the same as when I got my first cellphone (as a gift.) What good is this, compared to what I'm used to? Turned out: quite a bit.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:04am

    Iphone? revolutionary? only somewhat

    I agree that the iphone raised the bar on standard features bigtime. That however, is where it ends. Someone always has to become the market trendsetter and for this round of phones it was apple.

    I'm disappointed by the love of the Iphone without people realizing what they are buying into. That app store idiotic policy and a 3-500$ price tag is a total loss for me. I'll stick with a $130 G1. If you like your iphone, great, but realize what you're buying into. same with political viewpoints, buying decisions, philosophical debates, etc.

    The problem is, all of these arguments are at a consumer level. From a manufacturer and above level, these arguments are largely irrelevant. The parts makers for iphone parts make parts for every phone that exists (similar to broadcom chip concepts), and likewise plenty of vehicles/etc MUST be manual (such as trucks).

    Plenty of them knew what was coming in the iphone situation years before a consumer ever saw it.

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    Damn. Now the Audi/VW shills come out of the woodwork! Be honest, sir: Are you a lawyer for the Porsche family?

    ;-)

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Mass market?

    "What sold me on the iPhone was having a conversation with a friend who had one. She asked a question which I couldn't answer off the top of my head. I borrowed her iPhone to check Wikipedia and find the answer."


    Had the exact same experience and was going to by the iPhone to address the resulting perception of need. Then I looked at the HP notebook case that I almost universally carry on my back and the Cricket dongle plugged into it and I snapped myself back to reality.

    To each his own, sure, but I don't need my phone to be a laptop, because I have....you know....a laptop for that.

     

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    jilocasin, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:09am

    My $0.02 worth (for what it's worth).

    Let me start by saying that I don't have the kind of disposable income that would be required to own an iphone.

    Having said that, I think that the iphone was/is a great idea. From the ones I've seen, it looks like it's got a cool UI. You can load 'real programs' on it, surf the web, listen to music and make/receive phone calls. What the Palm should have been. All it needs now is a little more horse power, real keyboard (forearm board would work) and heads up display (think screen projected in your glasses). The only computer/phone you would ever need...... But my imagination is getting the better of me.

    Before the iphone, we had SymbianOS, WindowsMobile, serviceable. Now we have Android, WebOS, Moblin. Apple opened the eyes of developers and the public. For that we should thank them. For their choice of ATT's horrific network and classical mobile operator insistence on hobbling phone features to inflate their bottom line, they are properly castigated.

    Add to that Jobs and company's legendary instance on having 'total control'. I am left shaking my head. When I read about 'jailbreaking' = apocalypse, my jaw dropped. I realize they have a sweet thing right now (total lock down + complete control of all apps and a 30% toll booth), but to write that to try and dissuade a DMCA exception? What were they thinking?

    Hopefully the exception is granted. You should be allowed to do what you want with the things you've bought. They don't have to support you, but it shouldn't be illegal either.

    I also hope that Google, Nokia, heck even Microsoft go beyond the iphone; better, more open, cheaper. If Apple doesn't loosen it's grip on the golden goose it may just end up choking it to death.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:09am

    Re: Another reason for the argument

    As a nerd, an iPhone owner and a Red Sox fan, I'd like to say that you're confusing "fun" with pride/loyalty. (However misplaced)

    If you've ever read the conversations we're speaking about, you'd realize that no one is having "fun". It usually results in name calling, each side claiming the other is a "fanboi" or a "sheep" or whatever the term happens to be that year. Even though, probably, neither side had in real hand in the development of either platform/religion/sports team/band/fast food chain/car/matress/domesticated animal. It's just loyalty for a product and pride in their choice.

    Mostly misguided, more often than not.

    On a side note, I can tether and cut and paste on my iphone-- though I do wish I could link up a small/portable bluetooth keyboard to my iphone for faster note-taking. The touch keyboard is really nice for short periods of time, but not idea for anything lengthy.

     

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    Chris Maresca (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:16am

    Gotta say...

    ... for once TechDirt has an article which is condescending at best and shows an ignorance of market mechanics at worst.

    There are a myriad of reasons why the iPhone is not the right solution for some (most) people:

    1. Poor phone quality - yes, it is still a phone and quality/reliability matters to some segment of the population

    2. No enterprise control - this is why RIM is the king of the enterprise. Until Apple has a BES equivalent, the iPhone is no competition.

    3. Doesn't fit your particular use case - this is a duh. Market diversity exists because everyone has a different use case. Glass screen, tethering, lack of keyboard, size, battery life, cost, etc. are all part of your particular use case. Obviously Apple is meeting only a limited set of use cases as the global sales numbers are a fraction of what Nokia or Samsung each week.

    Finally, the author displays a lack of basic business understanding. There are generally three types of business models - volume and low-ish price, niche and high-price, volume and high price. With the average BOM of a cell phone being very high (relative to say, netbooks), Apple is largely fitting into a niche+high-price strategy, particularly if you look at it from a global point of view. And this is even more true when you consider that the intersection of people owning iPods and owning cellphones is quite high (at least in the US), so Apple was able to tap into consumer device consolidation, which allows for a higher average price point.

    I think it's important to remember that popular phones come and go. Does anyone remember the StarTAC? Or even the RAZR and the ubiquitous Nokia 6xxx series? And what about the original Palm? Fact is, tech moves on and the technology fad of today is not likely to be tomorrow's. The iPhone is just that, the fad du jour and in 5 years, something else will come along to be just as fadish (Danger, anyone)?

    Chris.

     

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Personally, automatics have their place. Long road trips are made significantly easier & safer driving an automatic with cruise-control. I get less fatigued having to manage gas & shifting pedals and can drive longer on road trips.

    But, I prefer standard shifting, because I can move the gears myself, and am able to squeeze a bit more performance in various ways. Particularly on mountain roads in Colorado. And it's just more FUN!

    I think it should all be about choice. I would like to see a rise in dual-mode transmission. Standard transmission with an option to engage automatic transmission. I don't like one-size-fits-all solutions.

    I had a 1st gen iPhone & currently iPhone 3G. I love the device, though it is the worst phone I've ever had. It is the greatest mobile Internet device I've ever used, and brought Apple's expertise in UI to a market that was severely lacking in that area. But the phone function itself is riddled with bugs, issues, and flaws ... but I hate talking on the phone, so I consider these features ("sorry I missed your call, but my iPhone didn't ring at all. See, no missed calls from you!")

    And what troubles me the most about the iPhone, after the App Store's approval process or lack of transparency or consistency, is Apple making choices on how my phone should act FOR me.

    Example: Originally, a text message was received, and the phone alerted once. Then a software update made it alert 3 times, and Apple gave no way to change this. Now, 6 months later, there's an option to have it beep once again. Why was the functionality changed to begin with? Why wasn't the OPTION to enable or disable it given? Why is it 1 or 3, why not give the option to set a number? Why can I change only ringtones but not alert tones?

    The real problem I have with Apple is it doesn't like to give OPTIONS. It likes to make decisions for me. I'm all about choice, and Apple is about total control.

    The iPhone has revolutionized the mobile Internet device market. It has shown how a great UI can work on a small device that is easy to use. But, their levels of control are limiting because it requires a user to adjust how they use their technology to how Apple believes it should be used. They give limited options and change them without giving the ability to maintain the old options. I believe technology should adjust to how the user wants to use it, and the iPhone is not that device.

    Google, RIM, and Palm have all learned lessons on UI, and now are able to compete with easier to use devices themselves, and they offer devices that can be customized to suit the user ... not require the user fit into what an iPhone user is supposed to be.

    Going beyond technical limitations (2 years for copy & paste, still no MMS or video on pre-3GS, etc), it's Apple's inability to think about how users MAY want to use their devices and instead focuses on how they SHOULD use their devices ... that's what's truly frustrating for me.

     

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    Carzy IT Professional, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Re: Another reason for the argument

    Dark Helmet I couldn't have summed up my opinion any better.

    Take a look at the soon to be Patched Vulnerability
    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/169372/everybody_panic_the_iphone_has_a _vulnerability.html?tk=rel_news

    Damn this can't be right Apple is the best thing since slice bread right?

    Peace out
    GO Palm Pre

     

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    moore850 (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    My brand new saturn gets 28/35 and it is one of the cheapest cars for its size to get that, all because it has a manual transmission. Everything has its tradeoffs, hardly anything is just objectively and universally better than all other options.

     

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    MichaelC, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    And I would say the point of the article is that for all of the reasons you listed for initially hating automatic transmissions, the mass market couldn't have cared less.

     

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    Dennis Andrews, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:23am

    recent adopter of iphone

    As a loyal and enthusiastic user of Palm from its beginnig, I resisted getting a smart phone because they wouldn't do everything that the combination of my cell phone and my Palm TX did. I have now gotten an iphone (like everyone else, I paid too much) and am an enthusiastic use thereof. With the available apps (some of which, while free on the Palm, are paid in the app store) I can do everything I did with my TX.
    My only complaint is the lack of multitasking on the iphone, but that is a minor quibble. I'm glad I made the change.

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:23am

    Re: Mass market?

    "Many people buy smartphones, yes, but lots fewer than you think actually use any of the extra features."

    No, lots MORE than YOU think actually use the extra features:

    "SPOTLIGHT ON... Nearly 100% of iPhone users embrace data features" http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/story/98-percent-iphone-owners-use-mobile-data/2009-06-12

    That 's the point I made. This phone is different, it has brought tech neophytes across the adoption chasm.

    While you are correct that smartphones are a minority part of the market, even that is yesterday's thinking when you look at the surging metrics. Smartphones are quickly crossing 30% of all mobile phone sold worldwide compared to 26% just six months earlier.
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/03/android-smartph.html

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    Vive la difference!

     

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    Ilfar, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:27am

    iPhones with Automatic transmissions suck!

    I like my cellphones to be Nokia, and my cars to be manual :P

    Until I bought my N85, all I did on my cellphone was answer calls from work, and text mates, while at work. :P

    Now, I regularly use the FM Transmitter and music player, play with the GPS, play a few games, and am generally considerably more mobile than I was. I still think the camera is a useless addon that pumped the price up a few hundred dollars though :P

    If Nokia hadn't gotten my attention with the One Touch View DB waaaaay back, I'd probably have ended up with an iPhone. Different phone, same general story.

     

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Mass market?

    I have a netbook. It still doesn't fit in my pocket. I personally think it's sillier to have to find a WiFi hotspot or at least place to sit if one has a cell dongle, boot/wake up a laptop, do searching. By the time you're getting your backpack off your back and are unzipping it, the iPhone user should already be on the next phase of their journey.

    To each his own, you're right, but I don't consider a laptop, even with a cell dongle, to be at all a reasonable replacement for the speed and convenience of the iPhone or similar device.

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    I'm pretty sure that for Dark Helmet it is fun! I can see that he usually has a good time of things.

    But he does make the mistake of projecting his enjoyment of a lively debate on others (which was a central tenet of the article). You're right, I think in the apple/not-apple debate that people really get quite stressed in their posts. I don't think anyone is extending their life expectancy in any zen way...well, other than the Dark Helmet.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    "I'm pretty sure that for Dark Helmet it is fun! I can see that he usually has a good time of things."

    Perhaps I should have disclosed a rather important fact: IT IS YOUR COLLECTIVE DISTRESS AND PAIN THAT SUSTSAINS ME....ahem...sorry....ignore that...

     

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    Petréa Mitchell, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Mass market?

    "No, lots MORE than YOU think actually use the extra features:

    "SPOTLIGHT ON... Nearly 100% of iPhone users embrace data features" http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/story/98-percent-iphone-owners-use-mobile-data/2009-06-12"

    C lick through that to the Nielsen blog entry for details on how iPhone owners are totally not representative users even of smartphones.

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    Well, that just make my analogy better. Because the iPhone is NOT analogous with the high-performance car. A top of the line N96, or a Samsung Omnia perhaps might be the high-performance model with a 6spd short-throw on the floor. These phones can do more, have faster processors, better resolution screens - but they have their quirks, like gull wing doors that don't work, you bang your knees when you get in, and good luck getting a local shop that can fix your problems.

    The iPhone is a fully-loaded Honda Accord (w/automatic). It sells well to the mass market, is absolutely accessible, works pretty reliably, and has a decent number of bells and whistles.

    Maybe that's why so many people complain about the iPhone. Maybe when you think of it as a Lamborghini, you will be frustrated and critical of it. Think of it as an Accord, and you will understand why it's a best-seller.

     

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    ChronoFish (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Stick shifts and safety belts have all got to go.....

    I drive a stick shift AND I don't own an iPhone.

    Hmmmmmm


    -CF

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Re: Iphone? revolutionary? only somewhat

    Strip an iPhone down to parts, and it's nothing revolutionary. It's just some good parts. OK. That's been a known attack point on the phone since day 1, it's been true, and it's pretty much been irrelevant for just as long.

    Put those parts back together, add the content ecosystem of iTunes and App Store, and it IS revolutionary.

    John, Paul, George and Ringo were all pretty good parts. Put it together, and you get something quite special...Apple Records. (anyone too young to get this, look up 'British Invasion').

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:45am

    Re: My $0.02 worth (for what it's worth).

    Agreed.

    Interesting data points, while almost all iPhone users are data users, very few have cared enough about the things you described enough to jailbreak their iPhone.

    I've heard rumors that just between 100k and 200k phones have been jailbroken. Just rumors of course, so take the number as such. But it rings true. As you can read here, the uber geeks like me, and the people who insist on 'open' just don't buy the iPhone.

     

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    Scramble McFritter, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Re: Mass market?

    "My personal opinion on the iPhone is that if I'm going to pay $400 for a computer, I want it to come with a real keyboard that allows 10-finger typing."

    Right, but if you're going to pay $99 for a mobile computing device that fits in your pocket, the full-size keyboard might make you look like a douchebag.

    PS - Take the bluetooth earpiece out of your ear unless you are actually driving. Wearing it in here also makes you look like a douchebag.

     

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    Whoa there helmet dude, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Re: Another reason for the argument

    Designated hitter is cheating. Go Cubs. Drive a stick shift and always will (control freak). Find me a real sports car that has an auto tranny. Please

    Don't care about the Iphone - could never see paying that much for a phone I will drop over and over again. I need a good quality, well put together phone and Apple products don't stand up to my destruction.

     

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    mac84, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:49am

    Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    Last decade's technology. Porsche has abandoned the Tiptronic (not triptonic)in favor of PDK (true automated clutch, no torque converter) Maybe someday Audi will catch up.

     

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    pjhenry1216 (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:50am

    Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    For the most part, the way people drive negate the actual fuel savings over automatics. Its like people saying getting the diet coke with their super-sized mcdonalds meal saves them calories. Yea, technically it does, but you're defeating its purpose by not eating properly in general.

     

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  37.  
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    Tristin, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Re: Gotta Say

    "... for once TechDirt has an article which is condescending at best and shows an ignorance of market mechanics at worst."

    You know, the thing I always liked about TechDirt is that they don't tell you how it SHOULD be, they tell you how it is. The iPhone--regardless of its price or niche--is the most popular, best-selling phone in the US. It surpassed the Motorola RAZR late last year and hasn't looked back since. Call it a niche if you will, but that's a damned big niche. They are currently selling around 5 million per quarter. And that doesn't even count the iPod Touch, which is revolutionizing the mobile media market in the same way the iPhone is revolutionizing the phone market (and merging the two markets together).

    To say that the iPhone is just another step in the ladder or an overhyped niche toy is the real show of ignorance in this case. It's like preferring vinyl records to mp3s. You may have your reasons, but that doesn't change the mp3's game-changing nature. You definitely cannot say mp3's are irrelevant because they aren't as high quality as vinyl, or they don't have features that everyone likes, or they don't have a physical surface you can touch.

    The iPhone has a massive monopoly on mind share, which is proof enough it is a game changer. Name a single phone or media player that has even a fifth the articles written on it. Google iPhone and you get 360 million hits. Google Palm Pre and you get around 30 million. Android has 40 million if you don't add "phone." The word "phone" by itself only has 927 million hits. This is huge, regardless of the flaws in the iPhone.

    TechDirt isn't out of touch on this one. You are.

     

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  38.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:53am

    Re: Gotta say...

    Yeah. In your comment, I read some rather decent (although rather obvious) observations about the industry, (not to say my article wasn't also obvious).

    But I didn't see any argument at all to support:

    "condescending at best and shows an ignorance of market mechanics at worst... the author displays a lack of basic business understanding."

    I don't see how writing things that agree with my article, and adding a couple more unrelated and correct points illustrates my lack of business acumen.

    What the heck does Apple's approach to market pricing have to do with my discussion of why some people need to be haters on the iPhone?

     

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  39.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    "Designated hitter is cheating"

    It's not cheating, it's worse than that: It's playing a different game, with different rules and top to bottom different strategies.

    "Go Cubs"

    ...Go, Go Cubs Go, Hey Chicago waddya say..."

    "Drive a stick shift and always will (control freak)"

    Plus you know how to...you know....drive. For those that no what they're doing, particularly if they live in the city, a stick shift tranny is more fuel efficient anyways. Plus it's fun. Plus you get to say things like, "Hey baby, want to switch my gears?"

     

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  40.  
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    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Re: Another reason for the argument

    "who cares about what side you're on, the DEBATE is fun because neither side is blatantly "wrong"."

    You are blatantly wrong about that.

    nyah, nyah.

    CBMHB

     

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  41.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    "You are blatantly wrong about that.

    nyah, nyah"

    You're contradiction is FUN to me.

    If you only you were actually FUNNY we'd be all set...

     

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  42.  
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    Free Capitalist, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re:

    Think of it as an Accord, and you will understand why it's a best-seller.


    Its Analogy-Friday!

    I remember wondering why all those people bought Pet Rock back in the 70s.... it was my first lesson in economics.

    Automatics are easy and mediocre as pretty much everything else mass-market.

    And back in '98, for the same price as a fully loaded Accord (27k), I got a german sports sedan (OK I'm not paid but I'll plug Audi) with manual transmission, sunroof, premium sound and a 23mpg-city turbo 4cyl that's just getting limber at 115k. And yes, my 4cyl eats honda 6's like skittles.

    Do I think everyone else should think and shop like me? Hell no, then the good stuff would cost a whole lot more.

    The iPhone is OK. But the point of contention is no where near as relevant today as the automatic vs. manual transmission debate. (Tongue in cheek... the only point is that just because 'everyone' buys in to something, it doesn't automatically make that thing better than other, less chosen options).

    Marketing is king of the mass market.

     

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  43.  
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    Wesha, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:01am

    "If you make a sytem that even an idiot can use, only an idiot will use it!"

    Well 'nuff said.

    That, and the infamous Apple app marketplace with its rejection policies and kill switches.

     

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  44.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:03am

    Now I feel I should clarify my opinions.

    ...fanboy idiots who make excuses for the useless little iPhone...
    I tend to use the word "idiot" quite often, so I feel this little snippet is directed at me (in part).

    I never disliked Apple products. I disliked the company. Those who buy these products are idiots, because they continue to fuel the stupidity of corporate decisions.

    There. I feel better.

    Apple products, even back in the day, were excellent products. But Apple's decisions have always put them into a separate and "non-compatible" environment to allow others to work with them. Even to this day, the Mac suffers from a lack of software users want but can not get (or must settle for lackluster clones).

    Take a look at what Apple just did to those owners of the Palm Pre.

    So, for every single idiot out there who continues to support the stupid, stupid decisions of this company, so be it.

    But don't think me "anti-Apple" based off its products.

    Apple would be in a far, far better position if it stopped wasting time overcharging for products and services, using DRM as a corporate business model, and making decisions on the fly under the guise of "customer satisfaction".

    Yes, the iPhone opened up some great features. Features made available only when Apple says so or locks them when they're "abused" due to this "openness".

    And if the staff at Techdirt can't understand my position on this, then it is they who need to come back to reality.

     

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  45.  
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    Jeff, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:07am

    The iPhone is very secure...

    Nah, just kidding. You can just send a text message to an iPhone and easily take it over and make it dial numbers or even use the camera/mic or the apps.



    It's just another reason that, I am a PC. :)

     

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    Whoa there helmet dude, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    "It's not cheating, it's worse than that: It's playing a different game, with different rules and top to bottom different strategies."

    To true sir.

    "Plus you get to say things like, "Hey baby, want to switch my gears?""

    Baby, I would switch your gears any day. :)~ Stick shifts are much better in bad weather (no break slamming necessary). Nothing like letting your car roll back a little. It's a nice wake up call to the douche sitting too close to my cute behind.

     

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  47.  
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    Squirt, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re: My $0.02 worth (for what it's worth).

    "Let me start by saying that I don't have the kind of disposable income that would be required to own an iphone."

    Ok, so you don't have $99 and $59/mo for service. I'm sorry you work at WallMart.

    But given that, you are now going to educate us on the value proposition of a phone you don't own?

    Sorry, the actual "worth" of your $.02 just got "rolled back" to near zero.

    You probably won't get this, but...FAIL

    Have a Nice Day.

     

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  48.  
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    interval, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Mass market?

    @Dark Mutt: "I borrowed her iPhone to check Wikipedia..."

    You don't have to have an iPhone for that. I can do that with my Palm Centro. And I'll bet you dollars to donuts my Centro cost less than your iPhone.

     

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  49.  
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    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    Your grammatical errors are funny to me.

     

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  50.  
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    DS, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:11am

    "Tough luck if it put driving out of the reach of some."

    Because before Automatics became the mainstream (for dull minded cars) there were large groups of people who didn't drive because it was too complex?

    Worst analogy ever.

     

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  51.  
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    ECA (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:13am

    Stick shifter over automatic.

    Consider.

    Do you want tour device to DO EVERYTHING on its own,
    OR when you ask it to?

    I can see it NOW, with the BT ability of iphone ALWAYS ON, some "HACK" sends data to it, you DIDNT want..you open the device and UP POPS..??? Adverts, hacks, spam, ...

    YES, let me decide whats happening on MY DEVICE.

     

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  52.  
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    interval, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:13am

    Re: Stick shifts and safety belts have all got to go.....

    @ChronoFish: "I drive a stick shift AND I don't own an iPhone."

    Then you are damned to live in the darkness of your own ignorance, for ever and ever.

    Actually, I'm right there with you. Being employed in an IT capacity myself I really don't miss the iPhone or auto xmission, yet I know how to use both and a host of other technology besides. Go figure.

     

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  53.  
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    TXCHLInstructor (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Despite what amounts to an open invitation...

    ...to a debate between fanbois and anti's, the discussion devolves into politics... go figure.

    I got an iPhone when the price dropped. It was ok, but there were things it just would not do that I wanted.

    So I switched to the gPhone when it came out. There are things I like better about the gPhone, and other things I liked better about the iPhone. All in all, I like the gPhone better, but not by a large margin. Some of the initial shortcomings have been fixed by 3rd-party apps, which is nice. Another plus is that I don't have to have Steve Job's permission to load an app.

    Maybe someday, somebody will produce a combination of cellphone hardware and cell service that I want. But I'm not holding my breath.

     

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  54.  
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    Me, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:17am

    Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    There are plenty of vehicles that have superior fuel ratings in automatic packages as opposed to manuals. See the Kia Rio for instance.

     

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  55.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: My $0.02 worth (for what it's worth).

    Depending on where you live, $59 can be up to $80 after fees, taxes, etc. I'm paying almost $100 bucks for a pretty conservative cell plan, and almost $30 are fees/taxes.

     

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    Ryan, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:25am

    Bad analogy

    I didn't see the point of this article at all. The transmission argument does not apply; clearly, an iPhone with cut/paste, for instance, is better than an iPhone without cut/paste but otherwise exactly the same. Many users may not use it, but it costs them absolutely NOTHING for it to be there while improving the experience for many others.

    But what does it cost Apple to provide cut/paste or whatever other add-on the user may desire? Absolutely NOTHING -- the development community will happily do it themselves. But Apple chooses to artificially limit the utility of their own device; it's like textbook publishers that intentionally leave out a bunch of information so that they can continue to release new additions with small increments in order to compel students to continually buy the new ones. Except, in this case Apple doesn't sell any more phones by intentionally limiting the apps(the hard-wired features are another thing).

    Nobody disputes that the iPhone was an incredible breakthrough and remains a leader of the competition today. Steve Jobs is without question a visionary, but he is also unfortunately a control freak. What many people complain about is that Apple intentionally limits itself(at no gain to users, contrary to what the article seems to allege) so that it can maintain control over the general usage of its products. Certainly, others are welcome to continue to use Apple products if it doesn't bother them, but when I want an app that is arbitrarily rejected, or buy a movie or song that is DRMed to iTunes, I get pissed. I decide to use other products, and when people ask me why I don't like Apple, I explain why. This isn't "hating", this is expecting the providers to pander to the consumers, not the other way around. The transmission analogy just does not apply at all.

     

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  57.  
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    JoeK, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:28am

    iPhones

    iPhones are like magic. People who don't believe that have never had occasion to use them. Magic people Magic!

    PS - I've always thought leaving horse and buggy was a bad idea. If your horse "transmission" breaks, you shoot it, eat it and get a new one. That's clunker recycling

     

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  58.  
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    Rob R. (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Another thing that frequently gets overlooked by all of the fanboys on both sides: I freakin like it!

    Maybe your phone does something a little more effeciently than mine. Maybe yours has a few ergs more speed. Maybe mine has more apps. And I like it.

    Maybe I pay my money for what trips MY trigger. I like it enough that out of all the devices out there, I LIKE IT BEST. That's the final decision right there. Your Porche might be faster than my HHR, but what if I just really love the HHR? Or, what if the F-150 is what gets me wet? I can't outrun your car, but I could carry it up the hill. And I like it.

    In most of the countries of the world people are allowed to purchase the device that they prefer. Even in Communist China the people can purchase whatever device their hearts desire so long as it is in their market. Because they like it.

    Sorry for the rant, I just get so tired of all the people that bash me for liking something as if my not agreeing with their tastes makes me dumb or something.

    Because I like it!

     

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  59.  
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    tracker1 (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Re: touch type on a phone.

    Well, most phones support bluetooth, so a bluetooth keyboard may well be able to be used with a phone. I've considered getting one for my laptop, so I don't have to worry about the cable, but battery life is a big consideration there, so I've avoided it. My bluetooth mouse uses about 2x the batteries of my regular RF wireless mice.

    I'm using a G1 myself and love it. I have it rooted and use the wireless tethering via bluetooth probably more than anything else on the phone. (Decent 3G coverage is really needed for it though.)

     

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  60.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    Me too, actually...

     

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  61.  
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    Rob R. (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: Now I feel I should clarify my opinions.

    Then YOU don't buy them. Calling me an idiot because I don't agree makes you the idiot. I bought mine and will buy more because I like it.

    No more is required. I like the damn thing! I paid MY money and bought MY device that I LIKE. Fuck you for calling me names because I have another preference.

    If you don't like it, then buy something else - and I won't call you a name for liking something other than what I like.

    Narrow minded prick.

     

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  62.  
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    Rob R. (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re: The iPhone is very secure...

    Oh. My. God.

    You bash something for having a security flaw and then say you are aligned with the one piece of software with the most security flaws in it?

    Ya, I wanna listen to your opinion.

     

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  63.  
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    Petréa Mitchell, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    "Maybe I pay my money for what trips MY trigger. I like it enough that out of all the devices out there, I LIKE IT BEST. That's the final decision right there."

    But are you claiming that it's objectively better than anything else for practically everyone on the planet? If not, then I'm sorry, I'm not here to argue with you. :-)

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Now I feel I should clarify my opinions.

    "Then YOU don't buy them. Calling me an idiot because I don't agree makes you the idiot. I bought mine and will buy more because I like it."

    Calling me an idiot for calling you an idiot for not agreeing with me makes....you....an.....wait a minute....where am I?

     

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  65.  
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    Rob R. (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re:

    Not at all. I said I liked it. Me. Myself. Not Irene, just me.

    Fortunately for Apple, there are enough people that also like it as I do that they now have the hottest smartphone on the market.

     

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  66.  
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    Ryan, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Now I feel I should clarify my opinions.


    Then YOU don't buy them. Calling me an idiot because I don't agree makes you the idiot. I bought mine and will buy more because I like it.


    In my message board experience, it is usually the other way around. Critics may begin it by bashing something Apple has done, but then a throng of fanboys come rushing to its defense blindly, spouting generic catch phrases, and dismissing critics as "haters" as if they were all in some kind of sick competition to see who could convince Steve Jobs to allow them to give him a blowjob first. I have never understood the fanatically loyal Apple fanboys, and I imagine I never will, but generally--in my experience--it is not the Apple critics that start the personal attacks.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Now I feel I should clarify my opinions.

    I suppose you're going to try and tell me that Rob is having fun, aren't you?

    :P

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:56am

    I just need a phone. If I want to do something more intensive than that, I'll go home to the computer. The iphone simply offers far more than what I need. I don't consider that to be the difference between a stick-shift and an automatic - more like the difference between a Camry and a Ferrari.

     

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  69.  
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    stat_insig (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:56am

    I am sure I am not the exception. But..

    I love "manual" cars and I just bought a iPhone and I am loving it too. iPhone could have been better if apple/ATT were not so control freaks (arbitrarily rejecting the apps).

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: The iPhone is very secure...

    Not only that, but they performed the *same exact* hack on Android and WinMo.

    WinMo.

    One more time, for Mr. PC: WinMo.

    The only reason they focused on the iPhone is because *gasp* it's so damn popular, so would draw the most eyes/ears.

    I'm a Linux. It sounds sexier. :P

     

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    Bockscar93 (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    Naysayers look at the iPhones' limitations?

    "The iPhone haters see the limitations (hard keys, cut/paste, tethering...) of the phone, and they focus on how the phone doesn't have any tech breakthrough or meet THEIR specific needs"

    That is simply not true. Well, not for me anyway. I absolutly detest and despise anything that Apple produces for 1 reason and that is: every corner of the mass media seems to think that anything Apple touches is golden.

    Since we're talking about the iPhone here, let me give you an example. Cnet's review of the iPhone gave it 4 stars and called it "Excellent" and "Amazing". Yet, in the same review, they noted that it "lack some basic features that are available on even the simplest cell phone." And "the battery depletes quickly under heavy use". With those negative comments, how on earth could this i"Phone" archive 4 stars when the Palm Pre or the revamped Black Berry Storm only 3 and a half starts when they can do pretty much everything the iPhone can do AND more? The simple answer is, because the iPhone has that stupid little Apple logo on it.

    It's not so much that naysayers look at the iPhones' limitations, it's the media, fanboi's and reviewers that seem to completely ignore the iPhones' limitation but yet criticize all other smartphones for the same limitations that the iPhone has.

     

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  72.  
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    DV, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mass market?

    Not everyone carries a laptop around with them. Everyone carries a phone.

     

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  73.  
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    Matt Henley (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    iPhone and Linux

    I don't hate the iPhone (or automatics). However, the last time I checked, Apple did not make a version of itunes for linux. They don't want me as a customer and I don't want to argue. If they decide to officially support my operating system, i would consider getting one. Right now I have a RAZR that costs me $10/month as an addon to my husband's account. It does what I need a cell phone for and is cheap. It can also use my VIVO sim chip so I have a local number when I am in Brazil. And yes.. my car is a 6-speed standard (Honda S2000) that is much more fun any any automatic I have owned.

     

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  74.  
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    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Naysayers look at the iPhones' limitations?

    Let's do a little experiment. Let's assume for the sake of this experiment that you are almost universally liked, and spoken well of by most.
    Using your logic, this is what I should say about you:

    "I absolutely detest and despise you for one reason: Everyone likes you."

    Actually, I personally have had people detest me for that very reason. It's a little odd. But funny. Really funny.

    CBMHB

     

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  75.  
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    Paul, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    LOCKED IN!

    The phone could be good if it was not made by Apple. They are control freaks to the extreme.

    For that reason alone I would not touch it with a barge pole.

     

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  76.  
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    Philip (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mass market?

    Everything has limitation. Competition comes in when the other out-does the limitation. Palm Centro hardly, doesn't even come close, to out-doing the limitation of the iPhone.
    (Pre is moving there -- but it, in itself, has a lot of limitations which could cripple the followers)

    Wikipedia is merely part of iPhone's strengths. As you can see, it took a month for him to convert. Clearly, Wikipedia access wasn't the sole factor -- but clearly the branching factor.

     

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  77.  
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    Philip (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:04pm

    Re:

    I agree. iPhone doesn't make things "easier" *than they once were.* Nobody could really access this information on their phones. iPhone opened the gates. Automatic transmissions would be better equated to, say, Voice commands -- "Gah, why use pre-programmed voice commands? Just use the keyboard and type exactly what you want!"

     

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  78.  
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    Philip (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    Re: The iPhone is very secure...

    Since when is security a major concern for the majority? I mean .. Windows is clearly very secure......

     

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  79.  
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    Ryan, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Naysayers look at the iPhones' limitations?

    Uhh, this is human nature that nearly everybody engages in to some extent or another. When many people like something and gush about it, yet others cannot understand why, it breeds resentment. Have you never in your life called something "overrated" with a negative connotation?

     

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  80.  
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    E.C., Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    "For the most part, the way people drive negate the actual fuel savings over automatics. Its like people saying getting the diet coke with their super-sized mcdonalds meal saves them calories. Yea, technically it does, but you're defeating its purpose by not eating properly in general."

    That's some of the worst logic I've ever heard. The way people drive determines the specific mileage they get, but doesn't determine the potential. If a person is a lead-foot, it doesn't matter that a more cautious driver will get better mileage in an automatic. That's apples and oranges. If you're a lead-foot, you'll still get better mileage in a manual than an automatic, it just won't be as much as someone who drives a bit more judiciously.

     

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  81.  
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    Steve, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Derek,

    Techy people read blogs such as TechDirt because we understand technology and what it does for us. We understand that Google Voice is pretty awesome. We understand that Apple makes irrational decisions. We definitely understand that the iPhone has enjoyed major mainstream success. Nobody is here to debate any of those facts. What we are here to do is air out the obvious short comings of major corporations. I'm sorry to break it to you but many of us are fed up with Apple giving us the shaft. Just because they have such a popular device doesn't change our anger. Sure, they've really helped the mobile standard by raising the bar. The basic reality is that we expect more. Apple stifles technology as much as they help it along. I could care less if everyone and their cousin owns an iPhone. It doesn't suit my needs anymore. I'm aware it's not all about ME. And obviously Apple doesn't care about every little gripe a few tech savy people may have. They continue to make silly decisions since the mass market doesn't take them to task for it. We aren't all here to discuss business ideas and how to leverage the iPhone as a money making opportunity. We're here to chat it up and sometimes complain. Or even make fun of silly old Apple for being so rediculous. To me an Android phone is quickly becoming the automatic car and the iPhone is the stick shift. Talk about making things hard. No Google Voice?!? That's pretty manual transmission to me. Millions of Google users would agree. In three days of being in the Jailbrake community GV has been download over 60,000 times already. Obviously iPhone users aren't taking the app rejection very well and are trying to shift into 5th gear. Who would of thought we'd need cydia just to shift the gears of innovation?

     

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    Epic LOL, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    The market has spoken? iPhone = 10% market share

    To say that the market has spoken and everyone loves iPhone is like saying Macs are more popular than PCs. It's just not true.

    Sure their market share is up to 10%, but that means that 9 out of 10 smartphones sold are NOT iPhones. (source for 10%: http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/gartner-iphone-smartphone-market-share-doubles-in-q1- 2009/ )

    Try doing some research before you make yourself sound silly, fanboy.

    Enjoy your "anytime, anyplace, any info" on your iPhone unless that info is flash, silverlight, java (or any other interpreted language since interpreters are blocked on the app store) or a MMS message, of course

     

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  83.  
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    Angus, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    Hmmmph!

    Remember, IF ITS NOT SCOTTISH, IT'S CRAP!

     

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  84.  
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    Philip (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mass market?

    This is true. The point of the article, however, was to illustrate the evolution of smart phones (and how the "anti" are the true fanboys). I had a smart phone (Treo) but never used the data features because it was pointless and so as %$#%#'ing slow.

    Now, I'm an iPhone user and constantly using the data features. Every morning, I check Woot!, from my phone. I check FML. I check my Email. I check Facebook. I read Google Reader. These are all things I *could not do* on the previous smart phones. This is what the article is about. It's the evolution. It's what iPhone has empowered people to do.

    Maybe the only way to truly understand this article is to be an owner of previous smart phones (I went from a few versions of the Palm, to the Treo, then to the iPhone). iPhone has clearly revolutionized the smart-phone, whether you wish to recognize it or not.

     

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  85.  
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    Free Capitalist, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    Oh, oh oh oh. I thought he was trying to say automatics are better because they come with a side of fries... which was somewhat compelling at the time...

    Agree with E.C. *How a person drives is not relevant to the "manuals are better than automatics" thread we have going.

    Please try to stay on-topic pjhenry!

     

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  86.  
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    yozoo, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    iPhone as fashion

    Jordache changed the jeans market too . . .

     

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  87.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Gotta say...

    """There are a myriad of reasons why the iPhone is not the right solution for some (most) people"""

    Wow man. I'm at a loss to see where he said that the iPhone -is- the right solution for everyone, and if he didn't, then your statement is senseless. As long as "some" is less than "all", then obviously the iPhone is the right solution for "some", and is not the right solution for "some others".

     

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  88.  
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    hax, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    manual cars

    I think you're missing one of the main reasons for driving a car with a manual transmission. It's so I can actually frickin drive a car with a manual transmission. I will never experience the ineptitude one must feel when they need to borrow a friends car but don't know how to drive a stick.

    Also I can pop the clutch if I leave my lights on ;)

     

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  89.  
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    Xyro TR1 (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    Actually, it's a dual-clutch manual, not a convential Autotragic transmission (think torque converters)

    DSG is one of the best transmissions on the market.

     

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  90.  
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    Xyro TR1 (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    Uh... hello? They had DSG before it was adapted for the Porsche lineup? Facts. Check 'em.

     

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  91.  
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    Xyro TR1 (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Tyranny of the Markets

    Too bad the V8 niche market is getting more expensive by the day :(

     

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  92.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Re: iPhone and Linux

    Matt, you have a husband? I had no idea Tech Dirt was so diverse!

     

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  93.  
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    Xyro TR1 (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Keys

    I'm just going to say this:

    If the iPhone had a slide out QWERTY keyboard (a la HTC smartphones), I would own one. But not until that time.

     

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  94.  
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    Nate, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 2:13pm

    iphone

    I love my iPhone. I love my manual transmission, though I do like to drive an automatic from time to time. I love Windows 7 RC. I hate Vista, but I still use it. I loved my Linux server when I had one. I love my Windows Home Server.

    As for everyone else... I am glad you have something you personally love too. If you don't, then get something else.

    I don't get the point in talking down one item or putting someone down because of what they like. The reason someone thinks one this is better than what I have may be the same reason I think their product sucks. The power of opinion is that everyone is entitled to one. Even if they are an idiot.

    Did that even have anything to do with the article? I don't know. It may have had more to do with the mass of comments and things just rattling around in my head. Oh well.

     

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    Brad Hubbard (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Re:

    I can easily touchtype on my HTC TouchPro. Whether or not you can is up to you.

    Hell, I have a friend who quite comfortably touch-types on her T9 regular old phone. Sure, you can't touchtype on a touchscreen phone, but then again, smartphone != iPhone.

     

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  96.  
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    Brad Hubbard (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    This is a fairly common feeling in arguments (phones, computers, cars, sports teams, religions). Some people feel they need to defend their purchases. As nerds or enthusiasts or whatever, we make purchases that we feel are based on a lot of thoroughly researched and well thought-out choices, and invariably a bunch of trade-offs. When someone comes along and tells us we're wrong, we see it as a "personal attack". Aside from the emotional bonds and identity people tend to make with their purchases, we are in love with the decision we made. The fact is that some stranger, typically no more or less informed than us (but still a peer, if you will) tells that our decision was wrong. They're being critical of our intelligence, logic, and all the other factors that go into making a major purchase like this.

    Nevermind that they made a different set of tradeoffs and are a different person with different needs. All that goes out the window and it BECOMES a personal attack. On the other side, we feel BETTER when we criticize someone for making a decision differently, it bolsters our belief that we made the right one. Especially if we can get others to agree.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Naysayers look at the iPhones' limitations?

    "Actually, I personally have had people detest me for that very reason. It's a little odd. But funny. Really funny"

    I think you're right....and I hate you for it.

     

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  98.  
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    Nate, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    I like your style.

     

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  99.  
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    Azrael (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    Only in USA. Judging by the average IQ of the average redneck ,it's no surprise.

     

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  100.  
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    Azrael (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    Check the european sheets for the Rio if you want a real fuel consumption estimate - the automatic version is a bad joke.

     

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  101.  
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    Azrael (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Mass market?

    So i guess you never used the Nokia N80 which appeared 2 years before. Probably you are a very easy to be blown away person.

     

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    interval, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:01pm

    Re:

    @AC: "I just need a phone. If I want to do something more intensive than that, I'll go home..."

    Honest enough argument but the "Old man says 'If I wanted to go to the moon I'd have Hulk Hogan kick my ass there'" argument is always the weakest. It makes you sound like a Luddite and in today's commercial environment purchasing a product that does a million other things you never thought you would need the product to do is par for the course, you should be used to the creeping featurism that is rife in today's market place. In other words, your words have no place in this discussion.

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re: Naysayers look at the iPhones' limitations?

    @ChimpBush McHitlerBurton: "Let's do a little experiment."

    Lets not. 1) I never cared for the "Water's fine, jump on in" type of argument; I don't care if the water makes you as virile as my dog (and he's humped all the legs he can wrap himself around).
    2) As a human being, I reserve the right to act and feel in anyway I see fit, regardless of your opinion that its irrational or not. If I don't like something, I don't like it. Actually, its more a case of "I have this device, and I really like it. I like enough to not care how 'insanely great' you AppleMacOSXiPhoneCandyThing. Don't care. Like my Centro. Really, really, really like it. A lot.

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    +1

     

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  105.  
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    Erminio Santiago, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:17pm

    your story

    F you and the iphone they both suck

     

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  106.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Now I feel I should clarify my opinions.

    We're hardly fans of their closed approach, and think it has been, and will continue to be, a factor that limits their long-term competitiveness. Still...great phone.

     

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  107.  
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    Philip (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Now I feel I should clarify my opinions.

    "Even to this day, the Mac suffers from a lack of software users want but can not get."

    And how is this Apple's fault? You're clearly laying the blame on the wrong party here. Apple has plenty of tools, Xcode FAR outdoing any IDE on the market, and yet code isn't being written.

    This isn't Apple's fault. This is the developers choosing now to code for the Mac. If you wish to Mac had this software, how about blaming the ones in control of that -- the developers -- for a change?

     

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  108.  
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    Zachotronic, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    Agreed 100%

     

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  109.  
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    Matt Henley (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re: iPhone and Linux

    Legally no.. we live in Texas.. but it sounds sorta stupid to call someone your boyfriend after 16 years.

     

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  110.  
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    Floyd, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Mass market?

    Well, let's see.... My iPhone was $99, not $400. The plan isn't much more than my non-smartphone. For that price, I DO have cut/copy/paste and tethering. Jailbreaking not even required! And, unlike a computer, I can use this while waiting for a haircut, which is what I'm doing right now. Oh, and I have a portable camera and video camera which allows my wife and I to keep in touch and let's me see my kids much more frequently than otherwise possible, since we are living apart right now due to my being in the military. Oh, and the tethering is plenty good enough to play quake live while sitting around waiting for a flight.

     

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  111.  
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    Zachotronic, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 4:58pm

    Re:

    Well put

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Bad analogy

    "Nobody disputes that the iPhone was an incredible breakthrough and remains a leader of the competition today"

    But they DO!

     

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  113.  
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    Dan, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 7:17pm

    There are two reasons that the iphone is a nonstarter.
    1 Apple
    2 at&t

     

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  114.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re: Now I feel I should clarify my opinions.

    Then YOU don't buy them. Calling me an idiot because I don't agree makes you the idiot. I bought mine and will buy more because I like it.
    I'll take my narrow minded approach to remarking just how stupid technology makes people.

    Did you read my reply, or just the first two words and spew tired rhetoric.

    I couldn't care less you like the phone, idiot. I said it's the company decision you support with purchase that makes you the idiot.

    And congratulations for doing nothing more than supporting my argument.

    Next idiot, please.

     

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  115.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: iPhone and Linux

    "Legally no.. we live in Texas.. but it sounds sorta stupid to call someone your boyfriend after 16 years"

    Agreed. And here's a suggestion from someone who lives in a much more open minded community: move.

    Come to Chicago, where as long as you pay ridiculously high taxes, we don't really care who you fuck...

     

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  116.  
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    Nathan W. (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:44pm

    I have to disagree

    As both an early iPhone adopter and an avid manual transmission user, I disagree and I think there is a consistent reason why I am a fan of both of them. I want to use technology that gets out of my way and connects me directly to the task at hand. After years of phones that gave me bottled up and distilled versions of internet services, finally a phone that got out of the way and just gave you the web or email, close to the way it was on your home computer. Same thing with a stick-shift. Once you understand the basic skill, it just gets out of your way and you are connected to the experience of driving. It doesn't guess what you might want to do It doesn't assume you wanted to do something else. It just does what you tell it to. Simple. Easy to understand. Consistent interface. I find both of them extremely satisfying to use because I barely notice the tool I'm using, I just enjoy the act of using it.

     

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  117.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:45pm

    Re:

    Gawd knows, we here bitch about the limitations and control freakishness of Cupertino, too.

    Closed devices, exclusive deals, feature disabling (Pre iTunes) and walled gardening are real pecadillos. The pain is disproportionately felt by developers, geeks, and we in the jibber jabber tech community. But if there's a movement to push Apple to be more open, most of the iPhone customers aren't on board. And it's going to take more than blocked access to other geek favorites (like GV) to make the masses dis-satisfied.

    But still, we should soldier on, continue to call out Apple and the iPhone on its faults - even as we admit it may be the best device out there, overall.

     

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  118.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:58pm

    Re: The market has spoken? iPhone = 10% market share

    Are you talking to me? Meh, more fun to assume so, thus I'll reply as such.

    "Enjoy your "anytime, anyplace, any info" on your iPhone"

    You need to take a reading coprehension class. I said I don't have an iPhone, and it would never work for me. Unlike you, however, I am able to separately consider what is good for me, and what is good for most.

    Ten percent doesn't impress you? Are you totally daft? A dark horse phone vendor, out of the blue, no prior phone making experience, shoots up to 10% of the smartphone sector in 2 years, and you brush it off as small potatoes? I could run you a short list of other big companies that tried and failed to even sell 200k of their initial phone efforts. Look how long HTC has taken to grow their brand. Look at Sierra Wireless Voq. Look at the Garmin Nuvifone, Danger's overall numbers. Look at established players like Siemens, Sony and Ericsson. Look at Audiovox. Motorola is in decline. Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail. Only one has succeeded in grabbing over a few % market share, and all analysts in this industry agree that 10% is an incredible leap.

    That's the top of my head, bro. Try doing some research, indeed...

     

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  119.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mass market?

    Que? Are you trying to make my arguments for me? The whole thing I'm saying is that the iPhone users USE the phone and associated data services, while other phone users do so much less. Therefore, the iPhone (even with Apple control) is more empowering than limiting.

    I love it when someone challenges me, I find data to say that I'm "almost 100%" right. And you cite the very data I brought in to say I'm wrong?? I love it because I feel like I'm on vacation in bizarro world.

     

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  120.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    I heard that every time a baby cries, DH only gets stronger.

     

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  121.  
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    ryan, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:27pm

    The general point of the article is well-put and makes sense. The stick-shift analogy falls flat though. Driving stick really is fun, and until ferrari quality paddle shifters/transmissions make it into the mass-market, floor shifter is the only option.

    People who mock the iPhone and stick with their equivalent of of rotary dialing, often do so for lack of funds, or a desire not to look like everyone else. not because clunking away on an out-of-date device is fun.

    Plus, having had to rent a dime-a-dozen car for work last week, and having a real driving car at home, i can tell you that the one i own (a stick) and a driver's car is far more enjoyable in every respect.

    Besides this blip, keep up the good work.

    ..

     

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  122.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    "I heard that every time a baby cries, DH only gets stronger."

    Oh, c'mon. Not stronger.


    ...just happier...

     

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  123.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason for the argument

    Are you actually from Chi-town? Or are you one of the many Cubs fans abroad that's a broad...:)

     

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  124.  
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    Michael Long, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 2:44am

    Re: Now I feel I should clarify my opinions.

    "Apple would be in a far, far better position if it stopped wasting time overcharging for products and services, blah... blah... blah."

    Ah... not that I agree with those points, but you've seen Apple's last quarter, right? And the one before that? And the one before that?

    Apple is already in a far, far better "position" than just about every other tech company in existence.

     

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  125.  
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    Sean, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 6:54am

    Re: Iphone? revolutionary? only somewhat

    3-$500 price tag? The largest capacity model of their fastest new phone is $300. Keep in mind, the Blackberry bold, after subsidies is also $300.

    I understand you have your opinion of the phone and won't let a few simple facts stand in your way, but when you try to make a case using wrong information, it makes not only you, but your 'cause' look stupid. You should probably try to know something of which you speak before speaking.

     

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  126.  
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    Sean, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 7:00am

    Say whatever you want about Apple, but when you make a post on a blog about the iPhone, it generates more comments than almost any other topic. Go back a page and read how many other comments are written about much more 'important' topics on this blog, and then see that this post has almost DOUBLE the amount of posts in it just because it's a god damned Apple product.

    Love them or hate them, Apple gets/keeps people talking about them, and the people who think they are so cool as to think 'totally different' and see through Apple's bullshit can't seem to think 'different' enough to see that they are helping fuel the publicity machine that is Apple.

    But don't let me stand in your way of ruining all your little different-thinking fantasies.

    Personally, the iPhone is an incredible platform and is revolutionary - anyone who cannot see that isn't as bright as they'd like to think.

     

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  127.  
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    Jocca, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: But, there are two kinds of automatic transmissions

    My Prius 2005 has an automatic direct transmission drive and gives me 43-47 miles per gallons.

     

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  128.  
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    Overthought, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 12:58pm

    I might be traveling into weird territory here, but, judging by my experience in high school, a lot of hate towards Apple occurred only because it was so expensive, only kids with wealthy parents could afford to get their kid an Apple product. There was a vast gulf between the poorest students at my high school, who would buy one set of clothes at a time from the local secondhand clothing store and wear it, without washing, until it fell apart, and the richest, who would go on vacation to whatever island country was hot that year every summer. The poor would hate the rich for being snobby jerks (also, they were kinda jealous, I'm not gonna lie), and the rich would hate the poor for being stupid (the poor generally did not apply themselves much towards academic pursuits) and dirty. They also hated each other for hating each other. It was a vicious cycle. To this day I am still appalled at some of the things they did to one another. I was glad to go off to college, where the rich weren't jerks and the poor didn't through their futures away talking about how stupid school and rich kids are. I always felt that this hatred spread to Apple products because it was something the rich could afford, and liked to flaunt.

     

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  129.  
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    Petréa Mitchell, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mass market?

    My argument: iPhone users != mass market

    Yours, according to my best understanding after your latest comment: iPhone users use their phones a lot!

    I won't dispute that. I do dispute the apparent assertion that everyone would use their phones just like you if only they had iPhones. My expertise suggests differently to me.

    There's probably some consumer data out there somewhere that could resolve this by saying whether or not the people buying iPhones were already more tech-inclined than the general population. (Unless you believe that the iPhone has a broad effect on tech-savviness, in which case data prior to owning an iPhone is of course meaningless.)

    Alternatively, we can agree to disagree and retreat to our respective bubbles of smug moral superiority-- you can have yours for convincing yourself that I'm insane, and I can have mine for making it through another argument without making any such attacks.

     

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  130.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone and Linux

    The preceeding comment was facilitated by Techdirt Matchmaker (Beta).

    Yet another service provided to the "Insider" Community.

     

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  131.  
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    Neverhood, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 9:01am

    Is automatic shift the norm?

    If you think that automatic shifts is the norm, then you american guys need to take a look at the rest of the world. In Europe and Asia it is far from the norm. In Europe it can be quite hard to even find a car with automatic shift, except on the most high-end models.

    I understand the point of the article, but automatic/manual shift in cars is a really bad example.

     

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  132.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mass market?

    I'm hardly going to retreat on this, but I will admit that often, disagreements held in written format fail to let either party actually understand what the other is writing.

    Not sure if this is one of those cases.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  133.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Is automatic shift the norm?

    Hard to take your criticism seriously when you didn't read the article. You said:

    "If you think that automatic shifts is the norm, then you american guys need to take a look at the rest of the world. In Europe and Asia it is far from the norm"

    but the article itself says:

    "...the stick-shift versus automatic transmission debate decades ago (still in the EU)"

    Value-added = 0

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  134.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 2:09am

    Innovative? Do some research

    Techdirt is letting trolls submit articles now?

    Google TouchStream.

    Go ahead flap about Apple's "innovation" despite evidence of the contrary.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  135.  
    identicon
    Constable Odo, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 5:32am

    iPhone hate is nothing...

    Wait until you see Apple iTablet hate. The tablet has only been seen by a few people and already there are whispers that any tablet that Apple puts out will be an automatic failure. Why? Because Windows PC tablets have never caught on with the general population, so it only follows that Apple can't possibly do as well as Microsoft to sell tablets. Only iSuckers would pay $800 for a tablet that would cost $300 if it was made by any Windows PC company.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  136.  
    icon
    Jmotley (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Screw Apple

    I will say that I dont hste the I-phone but I do HATE HATE HATE Apple. As I have stated before Apple is way over priced and for what it looks pretty. I have a G1 (finally) and after doing a sid by side comperison with an i-phone I must say that the two are even. Loaded pages with roughly the same speed, tons of apps for both (both usefull and useless) In fact the only place that I saw that the i-phone out did every one else was looks. Its the same with the i-pods and with macs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  137.  
    identicon
    The Cenobyte, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Iphone didn't do anything new

    They just have the Apple name on it so people loved it automaticly. The idea that the iphone is somehow new and had things packaged together that no other phone had or has really misses the dozens of other handsets on the market at the time that easily did everything the iphone did or does, many for less money with more memory. What happened was Apple made a phone, so people loved it cause it was an Apple. Apple has a very very small space in the market compared to companies like blackberry, however the media loves them so they get talked about all the time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  138.  
    icon
    Mikey (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 7:56am

    Without highly technical people who find popular technology limiting, where would innovation be? It's good to have people find technology limiting and desire something more. It helps people become aware of other possibilities, generates curiosity to explore these possibilities, and consequently drives people to make these possibilities easier to become reality.

    So, you're ranting and raving about people bitching about how the iPhone lacks functionality. This bitching can lead to more innovation. What's the point of this article?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  139.  
    identicon
    Bart Hanson, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 9:31pm

    No ones got it yet?

    I'm a stick shifter but luckily it computers we're driving here and I will order mine with auto mode as an optional extra. i.e. I can turn it off when I want to feel the road.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  140.  
    icon
    genxoldfart (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    After trying various iphones i dont think i could get used to not having a raised QWERTY keyboard. I would probably have an "Office Space" moment with it. Ater driving automatics for the first 10 years of my driving life I got an '01 Mustang with a manual tranny and hope to never go back to automatics. I have never been a person to follow the latest trends and prided myself on being a sort of maverick and getting an iphone would make me fell just like eveyone else. How boring!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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