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  #1  
Old 07-02-2007, 05:00 PM
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Default The iPhone

Anybody interested in reading a journal on my experience with the iPhone, AT&T and Apple customer support? I happened to be driving past a local store at about quarter 'till 6 on Friday and there were only 2 people in line. On a snap decision I became number 3 in line since I have had a need to be able to send/receive email on the road (not in a hotel room w/ my laptop or parking my car in a hotel's lot and grabbing their free WiFi) and being able to access a few select websites while I'm on the road. I tried a BlackBerry 8800 but never could get used to it. Anyway, if anyone is interested, I can give you all the real life information on the iPhone; not the spin you see in the media.
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Dargo,

I'm interested. Especially since you are not a Mac groupie like Bob.

It will be interesting to see what you think,

PB
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Seeing as I have no coverage for AT&T here, this would only be expensive junk to me.

Maybe if the units were not tied to ma bell only, it may have some value.
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

I may be a Mac groupie, but I'm not sold on the concept of a $600 phone. Maybe I just don't understand all it can do, and honestly I'm still happy with my geek toy phone (Palm Treo 650). Still, I am very curious about the iPhone. I was watching "Attack of the Show" last night on the G4 channel and they did a semi-review of the iPhone, but it was from the perspective of the 20 year old reviewer. Didn't help me much.
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

I'm interested too ...lay it on us. We're ready.
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Well, I'm concerned I'll come across as a "Mac hater", which I'm not. I think several people know I'm, er, was, open to buying a Mac. I'll just give the Reader's Digest version for now. I can answer specific questions later.

6/29/07 5:45pm - was driving past AT&T store by chance and just looked out of curiosity to see how long the line was going to be because of all the media hype I'd heard and how people had camped out for days.

5:51pm - I became the 3rd person in line for an iPhone at this store.

6:00pm - Within 4 seconds of the official U.S. Atomic Clock time the doors open.

6:12pm - I walked out with an 8gb iPhone along with a car charger adapter as well as a 512mb USB drive I was told I had to buy from them if I wanted to transfer my phone book from my current phone. Odd, but as I told them, my time is worth more than $15 to spend 2 or 3 hours entering the data. I was told that I would be given instructions on how to use the transfer drive when I "activated" the phone at home with iTunes. You cannot have your iPhone activated in the store. You are not allowed to even open the box in the store; it's given to you in a sealed bag. Two IN state troopers were on site.

6:45pm - I downloaded iTunes and upgraded to iTunes ver. 7.3, connected the docking station to my computer via USB cable and began the "activation" process.

6:49pm - I completed the initial activation process and received an email saying "AT&T is now processing your activation. You will receive an email confirmation once your activation is complete." Dang, this looks very promising!

6:52pm - my "old" cell phone now reads "Unregistered SIMS" on the screen. Hmm, I guess it's happening now!

7:30pm - No response from AT&T yet. The phone is not activated yet. I thought I'd go ahead and check out the rest of the phone while waiting. Wrong, nothing on the phone will work until it's activated.

7:45pm - Tired of waiting so I take the family out for dinner while my phone is being activated.

10:15pm - The phone is not activated and nothing seems to be happening. I read a quote on USA Today saying most phones are activated within minutes, according to Apple and AT&T spokespeople. So, I decide to call to see if there is a problem.

11:30pm - Still on hold waiting to speak with a tech.

6/30/07 1:15am - Finally get a tech person on the phone. They tell me that it may "take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days for activation". WTF??!! Nobody told me "a few days"! I ask the tech to please turn my old phone back on until I receive activation email. No can do. They claim they cannot re-activate old SIMS chip. I will have no cell service until iPhone is activated.

1:30am - Go to bed and figure I'll just follow the instructions in the email I'll receive overnight.

6:00am - No email yet; no activation yet! Call tech support number. Told to call back during business hours; on Saturday that will be after 9am.

9:30am - Call tech support to find status of activation.

11:00am - Finally get tech on line. He says I should be activated by now and he needs to transfer me to "tier II" support specialists with Apple.

12:10pm - Phone call is disconnected!! Go on about my business for the day.

7:00pm - Still no activation and no cell service. Getting rather upset with this cluster fck of how iPhone roll out is setup. Call tech support back, put on hold.

11:10pm - A tech finally comes on line. I ask what is wrong. I need cell service. I explain that nobody told me that I'd be without service for days! Tech tells me that they have no idea how long it may take. I explain that it has been 28 hours now. Tech explains (basically) they don't give a shit.

11:55 pm - OMG!! I get an email saying my activation is complete and to click the link to finalize activation process. I click link and the iPhone almost immediately unlocks and is activated! About time!! I decide to transfer my saved phone numbers first.

7/1/07 1:30am - I have now read everything and there is NOTHING about how to transfer numbers with the USB drive I was told I had to buy. I decide to call tech support again. Tech support is now closed. WTF!! Go to bed pissed.

5:30am - Begin the process of trying to setup my email accounts on iPhone. I follow instructions exactly and the phone will receive emails, but will not send any email. Damn! Pass time by going ahead and transferring a few hundred songs to the iPod portion of the phone. Hey, this part actually works as reported.

6:45am - Finish transferring songs and plug my Bose QC2 headphones in to enjoy some music. Hmm, only the phone's internal speakers play; nothing in my headphones. Try my Shure E5 earbuds; same result! I decide to try the cheap earbuds that come with the iPhone; they work. After close examination, I see they made the earphone jack deep inset into the phone where only their cheap ass ear phones will fit! Shit, shit, shit!

7:00am - Decide to actually try to make a phone call on the iPhone. I call my dad and have a hard time understanding him because the damn phone keeps vibrating during the entire call and the speaker in my ear is extremely distorted if I turn the volume up any past the lowest setting. I make several other calls and find that all sounds from the ear speaker in the iPhone are distorted if I turn the phone volume up enough to hear. The "hands free" speaker phone sounds okay, but volume is rather weak. Dammit!!

8:00am - Call tech support. I'm told that I am now activated and AT&T no longer offers any tech support on the iPhone. I have to call Apple now.

8:15am - Call Apple tech support. Promptly put on hold...all agents are busy, bla, bla, bla.

10:40am - Tech rep from Apple finally comes on line! I explain my problems. First, he tells me that he has no idea how to transfer old phone numbers with USB drive; they were not trained on that. On the other issues, he says he has to transfer me to a supervisor:

11:30am - A tech rep picks up the line. Not a supervisor. Says that my call was never routed. Puts me on hold again.

12:15pm - The line clicks and.....I get a dial tone! I immediately call back and start holding all over.

1:30pm - Hmm, NASCAR race comes on TV. Keep phone call on speaker phone and start watching race.

2:15pm - tech support lady answers and go through all info with her again. No idea how to transfer numbers, need to be transferred for other problems.

4:30pm - race is ending and I'm still on hold. Damn, getting hungry!

6:15pm - Tier II support agent comes on line. After a few minutes he says my phone is defective and I need to take it back to AT&T store with box, all items, and exchange phone. Damn this sucks!

7/2/07 9:00am - At local AT&T store when they open. I'm about 10th in line.

10:15am - AT&T people tell me that they cannot exchange my phone and I must speak with Apple about phone exchange. Shit!!!!

11:am - back on hold with Apple customer support....FKG $700 paper weight...

12:30pm - Apple agent answers phone. Says it sounds like a phone problem and needs to transfer me so I can get another phone. I'm disconnected! FCK!!!!!!!

12:35pm - call back and am put on hold again.

1:20pm - I get "Elizabeth" on the phone. I explain to her that I have had unacceptable service and please DO NOT disconnect me!! She says she has to transfer me. Shit!

1:40 - I get some guy with a bit of an attitude. Wants to know what my problem is. I let him know alright! He adjusts his attitude. Says he will have to have someone call me back about getting a replacement phone. Oh, wonderful...

2:30pm - I finally get a call saying if I give them my CC number, they'll get a new phone out to me within 2-3 business days. Whatever. He takes my info and supposedly a new phone will be here this week. In the interim I must use a BlueTooth headset if I want to hear what's going on. No need to try to transfer anything else to this phone.


So, there you have it. I have never in my life had as bad of customer service as I've experienced with Apple, yet according to what they tell the media, all has gone well with very few issues. What lying cock suckers Apple is!! I had no less than 4 of their tech support agents tell me that they have had "thousands" of complaint calls about the iPhones. From where I stand, Apple spokespeople could teach the Clintons a thing or two on spinning BS to the media!! Any plans I had to go ahead and try a Mac product no longer exist.

The iPhone seems to have great potential, but it was obviously introduced before it was ready. Also, Apple and AT&T completely dropped the ball on planning the roll out of the iPhone. You'd think they did no planning at all. They had the wireless industry in their hands and they splattered it on the ground and then shit on it. There was zero preparation on the part of Apple and AT&T from what I can see. Also, based on the comments about how many phones are defective, the damn plant in China (yes, they are made in China!) has no quality control. It's sort of like a really good idea, but Apple and AT&T screwed up the launch, and product quality so bad it's unreal.

OH, I forgot another key item; Apple says that their email system is NOT compatible with Insight servers for sending email. Insight has tens of thousands of customers. I call Insight and they tell me in no uncertain terms that they will NOT make changes to their system to appease Apple.
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Shit - "IF" you ever get it working it will be interesting to know if all the pain was worth it.

Changing cell phones is right there with buying a car in my list of least favorite things to do. It never seems to go smoothly.

If you keep it - let us know how it is.

It's fun up there on the bleeding edge - isn't it?
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBinWA View Post
Changing cell phones is right there with . . .
  • Having a kidney stone
  • Visiting the proctologist
  • Your girlfriend telling you she is pregnant
  • Discussing "right vs wrong" with your brother-in-law
  • Your in-laws moving into your house
  • Relatives borrowing your tools
  • Having a political discussion with an uncle who is in the union
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

I'm actually quite proud of myself....I have not smashed this thing to pieces and turned it under homeowners as a terrible accident...

My wife and I were just thinking, over 20 years of homeowners insurance and I've never had a claim. However, my premiums really went up because of Katrina. I don't even think I even got any rain from Katrina...
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Did you pay for it with your Capitol One card??
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: The iPhone

You wanna know something scary? Only this week did Crap One finally show my account with them closed months after dozens of requests to close my account. Their "policy" is that they will close the account after a zero balance for "one billing cycle". Obviously that's BS. It's more like 6 billing cycles!

However, I do have some surprising news from AT&T. I've used Cingular/AT&T/Whatever they used to be called, since 1996. Apparently someone there noticed that. I got a phone call (on my home phone of course - since I can't hear on my lovely iPhone) from one of their "senior account specialists" that shocked me. They are giving me one month's worth of credit for all the trouble I've had. That really shocked me since I have 7 lines on that account!

Maybe things are finally looking up. I did finally figure out how to get other email accounts working with the iPhone and I copied a few pictures to the phone just to see how they look and to see how the "slide show" worked on the phone. As ticked as I am with it, I do have to admit that the email part is rather slick when it works, the resolution is exceptional for a cell phone, and the Safari web browser works fine any place I have cell phone reception. The ability to "pinch" open items on the screen is a nice way to enlarge/zoom pictures and web pages on the phone. The sensor that detects if the phone is in portrait or landscape position does work far better than I thought it would. So far I don't see any place that sells adapters to allow you to use other headphones with the iPhone. I'm sure someone should come up with one. I can't imagine everyone being content to only use the cheapo ear buds that come with the phone. Apple brags that the iPhone has their "best iPod yet" built in, so I'd imagine that I'm not the only person who would like to hear with better quality headphones.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Dargo, I was reading your last post and think I came up with a semi-answer/issue regarding the earphones. My iPod works with my headphones (cheap and expensive models) as well as my earbuds (stock and expensive) but with an iPod, the headset jack is ONLY for listening.

I suspect that for the iPhone, there is only 1 jack? That jack must work with BOTH headphones AND with a microphone. Consequently it must be the longer variety with an extra contact. IF Radio Shack does not already sell them, I suspect that Apple, or one of the accessory makers will make an adapter plug so you can use standard headsets with an iPhone. And more likely we will eventually see a new breed of headset that ALSO works with the phone portion of the iPhone.

Just a thought.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Haven't you learned by now never to buy something that is version 1.0?
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Old 07-03-2007, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Thanks Bob. The problem is that Apple intentionally made the earphones jack set just a little deeper into the phone so most earphone plugs catch on the round hole in the phone above the actual jack and can't go in. If you press really hard on a headphone plug, you can hear sound fine. However, unless a person wants to grind the plastic coating around their headphone plug down to a smaller diameter, they won't work. The Apple representative told me that this was designed as such intentionally by Apple. It's sort of like other things by Apple such as their closed code system, their proprietary songs sold on iTunes, not allowing any ringtones to work on the iPhone except those that come on it and those purchased from Apple/iTunes etc.

As I'd mentioned before, I no longer have any desire to buy a Mac because of a number of reasons. Not far from the top of the list of reasons is the high price for anything Mac and the proprietary nature of everything from Apple/Mac that tries to force additional sales for them. I have absolutely no desire to own something that forces me to buy only components from them to use.

I think the iPhone may eventually work fine, but I think Apple will end up with even more of a backlash against them with their closed system and proprietary crap. Personally I don't give a squat about ring tones; I just have mine sound like a regular ringing phone. However, there are many posts and a lot of people are infuriated that they cannot use their personal ring tones. Quite a few people have different ring tones/songs for different people who call so they can recognize who is calling just by the audible notification of a call. Unless a person wants to fork over unreasonable bucks to iTunes, they no longer have that option. Even songs/ringtones purchased from iTunes or AT&T previously will not work on the iPhone. The terms "greed" and "over-priced" are beginning to be seen all too much when reading what people are writing about the iPhone and Apple.

Gatorboy, yes, you are correct. I fell for the spin that Apple/Mac products are superior and that they extensively test and prepare their products before putting them out in the market. After reading and hearing Apple representatives lie their asses off to all the media outlets about there being almost no problems with the iPhone, I realize that I was truly duped by their spin machine. Yup, they got me. :o
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Dargo - you aren't alone:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19614050

Quote:

Affair with iPhone cools when handset breaks

After four days with phone, trouble in paradise


By Joe Hutsko
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 1 hour, 20 minutes ago

Falling in lust with an expensive device like the iPhone sets owners up for a hard fall if it stops working. I know, because mine died after only four days into our relationship.
At first I thought it was just a hiccup when the iPhone was working fine one minute, then wouldn’t turn on the next. I tried the proscribed reset (hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons at the same time for several seconds until the device restarts) with no luck. Black screen, period. But when I plugged it in the Apple logo appeared as if restarting. Then it vanished, the screen went black again, and a few seconds later the logo reappeared, as if restarting. Again. Then again. And again. Trouble in paradise.
On a whim I held the buttons for a reset again but this time kept holding, until eventually a bright yellow triangle appeared, instructing me to Connect the iPhone to iTunes. This forced “restore mode” allowed the otherwise endless-looped iPhone to appear in iTunes, which prompted me to restore the phone. Since iTunes backs up the phone’s data after every sync I said sure, gladly, please do.

The restore process began — but then the loopy restarts started again. And again, ad nauseam. At that point I felt a little nauseous, too — four days and the iPhone I spent eight hours in line to buy was a goner.
I contacted the AT&T store and was told I could return the phone for a refund (with a 10 percent restocking fee) but could not exchange it for a replacement; all iPhone support is handled by Apple. I contacted a public relations person and she said she’d have customer service call me. While waiting on that call I decided to drive to the nearby Apple Store with the far-flung hope that they’d simply swap the phone for me (crazily assuming they’d even have another 8 GB model in stock).
An extremely polite Apple customer service rep named Nate called just as I was walking into the Apple Store. He introduced me to the store manager, Sean, who was also on the line. We hung up with Nate and conducted the service business in person. Sean said they’d simply swap my phone for another, and after some help from two guys named Chris at the Genius Bar, they took back the broken one and I left with the new iPhone. Driving home, I had a number of questions. Would they completely erase my phone when it reached the service department, so that my private data remains mine alone? What if they hadn’t had another iPhone in stock?
I got answers from Apple’s PR department. Yes, all iPods and iPhones that are exchanged for replacements get wiped clean. As for the in-stock issue, iPhone owners can swap a “DOA” phone for a replacement if within 30 days of purchase. If the store is out of stock or if the customer is past thirty days (or if a customer doesn’t live near an Apple Store), the repair-by-mail process kicks in.
The owner removes the SIM card (which will in the previously used phone that the iPhone presumably replaced), mails the iPhone to Apple, and they repair it and send it back. Apple offers the option of a rental iPhone during the repair process for a $29 fee — something that is bound to rub customers the wrong way.
There was no such fee from AT&T when one of my previous phones — the Palm Treo 680 — went in for repairs. While under warranty AT&T automatically ships a loaner phone, which you wind up keeping if they deem your original dead.
They do charge a small fee if you want the replacement sent overnight, but otherwise the repair process is free. (AT&T waived the rush fee the two additional times I had to send the Treo in for replacement due to the thin plastic bezel around the screen repeatedly cracking despite my handling the device with kid gloves.)
Why did my iPhone fail so soon? Apple’s Geniuses couldn’t say on the spot. But I think it had something to do with heat — my iPhone would get incredibly hot to the touch when plugged in and charging while I was on a long phone call. So hot I lived those first three days in constant fear that it would heat to the point of burning up.
So hot that I was tempted to put some raw egg in a foil cup and set it atop the iPhone to see if it would cook — or if not actually cook, turn opaque from the iPhone’s super-heated back surface. Describing this on my blog JOEyGADGET promoted one other iPhone owner to comment
“Yep, mine seems hot but I don’t know if it’s too hot. Hotness is relative you know.” Agreed when discussing physical attraction, but when talking about physical touch, take my word for it, my original iPhone all but burned the skin of my hand.
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Old 07-05-2007, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

I read that there are three companies, including Belkin, who are making an adapter so you can use non-Apple headphones with the iPhone. I'm beginning to think the Apple people are nothing but greedy dickheads!

On a positive note, I have gotten my iPhone finally setup to work with all of my email providers, with work arounds because of Apple only crap, and everything works on it; except the actual phone part!

I wonder how long it will take, if ever, for some of the software geeks to come up with a work around that allows you to use other ringtones on the iPhone besides what you purchase from Apple? I've seen many complaints about that as well. All this proprietary crap is reeeeeally getting old!

My replacement phone is "out for delivery" according to FedEx. Maybe the phone part will work on this one.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:19 PM
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Red face Re: The iPhone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dargo View Post
I'm beginning to think the Apple people are nothing but greedy dickheads!...
Dargo,
I just had a funny insight into your avatar...

Hmmmm, lets see...

I sort of see AT&T/Cingular, Apple all around the almost dead, submissive Dargo spanking, whipping and abusing the customer. But when I look at it another way, I see Dargo had to clone himself twice to deal with this BS from the big Company.

Sorry to hear about your ordeal

Thanks for keeping me from making the same mistake
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

I'm not sure what all the fuss is from Dargo. I'm sure he paid for the phone using his Capital One credit card, so he should just be able to use their consumer protection program to get a full refund on a non-functioning product.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: The iPhone

Okay, to be somewhat fair, I'll report about my replacement iPhone.

Yesterday my replacement iPhone arrived via FedEx for the iTurd I had. Much to my surprise, and delight, this phone actually works! All functions operate as advertised and I can place and receive phone calls with the phone (as dumb as it sounds to say that). I am able to send and receive email from all of my email accounts. The Bluetooth pairs and, more importantly, stays paired with Bluetooth accessories. The wireless internet functions as well as on any laptop I have used. In areas where I have WiFi service, it is pretty well as fast as a wired internet connection. In areas where I don't have WiFi, it operates about like the internet did when using a 56k dial up modem. It is not fast, but it is what I expected. I like the "Weather" button that gives me the current temp and forecast. You can setup any number of locations and just touch the name of whatever you named that location for a current report and 7 day forecast for that area. The "Stock Quote" button functions much the same way and works well. There is a "YouTube" button and it plays the video clips fine, but I doubt that is something I will use much. Although it does not have GPS function, as long you know where you are, you can get detailed driving instructions much like what I've seen using MapQuest online.

One of the premier functions of the iPhone is it's "Photos" button. The iPhone does a really good job of sorting, arranging and displaying pictures you can either take with the phone or transfer to it from your computer. The slideshow of the pictures functions well as well as it's sensors that detect whether it is in a vertical or horizontal position. My kids have enjoyed trying to trick it and discovered, to no surprise, that it does not work if the iPhone is laying flat and you change it's position. The 2mp camera built in functions well, but I have not found any zoom feature and it does not have the ability to record any video.

I am still annoyed that Apple saw fit to screw with the ability to use your own headphones. Since that is the case, I cannot report on how the iPod portion works because I have not bothered with their cheap earbuds. I see that I can get an adapter from Shure (for $40!) that not only allows you to use any other headphones, as you'd expect to be able to use, but also makes any headphones you have function as a phone as well. The Shure adapter has a built in mic and a couple of small control buttons. These buttons are reported to control basic phone functions as well as control basic iPod features. Although I think $40 is extremely expensive for what I think should not be necessary, I'm considering going that route rather than spending $11 or so for a simple adapter that just allows me to use my headphones. I'm still not sure on that and was curious as to what you guys think on that matter.

I've read where Apple can/may correct some of the shortcomings with software upgrades. Hopefully they won't be too far off and Apple will learn that they really piss people off with some of their marketing crap that tries to force people to use only their products. So, after an absolute complete clustermuck of a start, including their piss poor method of "authorizing" the phone, I've reconsidered my previous thought of certainly returning the iPlop. I have found that I really like the "visual" voicemail that allows me to select exactly which voicemail I listen to and in what order I listen to the voicemail. I also like the ability to send/receive all my email and access the internet sites I need for daily work while on the road. I realize these last two items can be done on many phones, but the visual voicemail is really nice.
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  #20  
Old 07-06-2007, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: The iPhone

I just heard on the radio today about the batteries in these things.

The battery (like an iPod) is internal and non-serviceable. When it dies (being NiCad, it will) you cannot replace it. The entire phone must be exchanged for a new one for $75, 5-10 'business' days, plus shipping. You can get a 'loaner' for $30 per day, though.


I can only make a battery last in my cellphone(s) for about a year. How about you?

Apple marketing is nothing different from back in '84 with the first macs. All hype and no substance.

You couldn't pay me to take one fo these pieces of rotten-Apple-junk.
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