How Not To Submit To iPhone Envy

We could be standing on line outside an Apple Store waiting to get our grubby little hands on an iPhone. We are not, and we’re ok with that. You too can resist the little charmer’s curves and siren song ringtone by remembering the iPhone’s imperfections:

iPhone are expensive: Over the span of a two-year contract, an iPhone will cost at least $2,241. Most carriers offer plans that cost half as much.
The first rule of Apple products is you don’t buy first-generation Apple products: The iPhone may be innovative, but it will probably be flawed like most Apple rev a products. Later generation iPhones will fix bugs revealed by the massive consumer test about to kick off this evening.
iPhones hit bumper-to-bumper traffic on the information superhighway: The Consumerist may take over one minute to load thanks to AT&T’s crud-laden EDGE network.
Do you really need an iPhone? Steve Jobs called iPhone “the best iPod we ever made.” Maybe you just need a new iPod.
Fear commitment : Thanks to a 10% restocking fee, the iPhone costs $50 from the moment you pick it up.
Really, fear commitment: Though iPhones are not subsidized, AT&T will still apply the standard $175 early termination fee.
We have something better than an iPhone: It’s called a laptop. Most of our day is spent at the computer. We cherish brief respites from the internet.
If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with: Now is the best time to renegotiate your contract with your existing carrier. Tell them you will leave for an iPhone if they don’t bend to your demands.

So thanks to these few reminders, you too can be happy with the phone you have. Right?
Yeah, we didn’t think so.
iPhones are so hot right now.

(Photo: Dan H)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Trai_Dep says:


  2. firestarsolo says:

    No iPhone for me. Waste of money for the promise of so little. My phone is for phone calls!!

  3. exkon says:

    I’m sure it will pass.

    Much like the wii craze. I was one of those people that had to have one right away. I still don’t have, but now I don’t care.

    Give the iphone about a year before its out of date.

  4. discounteggroll says:

    but its REALL REALLY ridiculously good looking…

    freak gasoline fight accidents ftw!

  5. misfit says:

    Amen. My Pocket PC (aka the Verizon XV6700) does what I need, and I am getting a bit tired of hearing about the iPhone hype.

  6. nweaver says:

    One other thing: the iPhone is a porsche which can only turn left in my opinion…


    The lockdown policy is pretty draconian, and it greatly limits what could be done on the platform

  7. tedyc03 says:

    See, I would get an iPhone, except for one really important detail:

    I already have AT&T and they already suck.

    I’m switching to someone else; anyone else. To hell with the iPhone; I want something from someone who will actually connect my phone calls and send my text messages.

    Down with AT&T!

  8. sushi1869 says:

    Amen! People are such suckers for the iPhone. Many will get it just to say they have it – a fashion accessory or bragging rights – and that’s it. If they really intend to use the iPhone for all it’s glory they are probably a part of the demographic that has a computer within reach at all times so the mobile internet isn’t much of an advantage. If they don’t have an iPod by now then they shouldn’t even be thinking about the iPhone, so don’t buy it for the iPod. It has a crappy camera and if I haven’t covered most of it, it’s ridiculously expensive! I wish I had a lot of money to waste on being cool :(

  9. lo_fro says:

    I’m going to buy a sweet couch this weekend instead.

  10. Youthier says:

    I actually do want an iPhone but I’m abstaining due to bullet point 2 – it’s a first generation product. I’ll pick one up next year, thanks.

  11. mopar_man says:

    This is one of those things that got so overhyped that I lost interest very quickly. Thank you Gizmodo!

  12. adrock75 says:

    Hey, Consumerist! When you gonna drop “Magnum” on us. And by Magnum, I mean “Undercover Investigation about GeekSquad”?

  13. Televiper says:

    I doubt I’d ever buy an iPod let alone an iPhone. It just seems like a massive waste of money to me.

  14. CreativeLinks says:

    I’m just hoping that the iPhone will spur other phone makers to start making most user-friendly phones.

  15. There are, of course, those of us who specifically WANT separate devices for our MP3’s and our phones. See if you can figure out why.

  16. quagmire0 says:

    What is this???…..**CRASH**……A PHONE FOR DOUCHEBAGS?!?!

  17. Pupator says:

    Interestingly, many AT&T users are reporting that as of this morning the EDGE network became quite fast. Download speeds of over 200kbps – speeds that while theoretically possible before, were rarely (never) seen. Quite interesting that AT&T would make this happen just in time for the iPhone release.

  18. hellinmyeyes says:

    Apple had to put out so much hype about this silly phone and then put it on probably the lousiest domestic network. Absolutely ridiculous. It’s like movies: when I see a movie that has tons and tons and tons of marketing and commercials and previews, I already know they’re trying to sell it hard because it sucks. Let the beta testers stand in line today for their toys.

    My requirements for a phone are making/receiving telephone calls and sending/receiving text messages. Whether it can download Fergie videos or show me NFL games I couldn’t give a hoot. My unemployed ex called yesterday to tell me he was going to get one today and I had to laugh so hard. This isn’t something I’d give my hard-earned money for. Everyone wants it because it’s Apple, really. They’re the same yuppies you’ll see in Starbucks with their iBooks reading sites other than Consumerist except now they’ll have iPhones instead.

  19. maevro says:

    Exactly Misfit

    I love my both of my PPC’s and I love WM5 & WM6.

    I already have AT&T and I don’t think they suck here in NYC. Their UMTS & HSDPA service make me very happy, another reason why I would never buy the iPhone.

    Visual Voicemail will be out next week for Windows Mobile phones. I have tons of 3rd party apps on my phone. The best part of the iPhone is how thin it is.

  20. SaraAB87 says:

    Seems like a waste of money to me, of course this is coming from someone who can live with things pretty much until they break or until they become REALLY outdated (usually about 5 years or more). This hype is just as bad as the Wii, btw which I still do not own, the system only has 1-2 games worth playing on it and its not worth dropping 250$ for when the redesigned model will be out next year, not to mention its still not available in stores. The only hyped up thing I dropped money on recently is a DS Lite system, which is good and worth the money since the Nintendo DS has a huge games library with more on the way. I also noticed from looking at game release lists that many of the same games are getting released on the Wii and the DS, with the DS titles being about 15-20$ cheaper than Wii titles, and I don’t care to fall into the Nintendo mentality of paying for the same game twice thank you.

  21. eli_b says:

    iBoring. iHope they all fall apart.

  22. wesrubix says:

    You forgot the best thing to remember about this REVOLUTIONARY DEVICE…

    You cannot highlight text to copy or paste it.

  23. yg17 says:

    @Pupator: And once all these iJokes are on the network, the speeds will turn to shit again.

  24. royal72 says:

    you need an iphone… get your iphone now… you cannot live without an iphone…not having an iphone will cause you actual physical pain… iphone… you will go to jail if you don’t have an iphone by monday… go… now… get… iphone…

    because i need my apple stock to keep going through the roof! thanks in advance.

  25. lizzybee says:

    When I saw the iPhone demoed at MacWorld, I was ablaze with the hot white flames of iLust. Oh, how I wanted one! Luckily, not seeing one live for about six months has killed the desire, as has the thought of renewing my contract with Cingular/AT&T. I’m month to month with them now, after a hair over two years’ service with them, and my old bricklike, probably first-generation, Nokia smartphone works just fine for me.

  26. gamble says:

    I like the iPhone. I do not like AT&T. I have Verizon now and, while they’re not amazing, I think they’re better than AT&T. I can’t see myself stepping down to a poorer network (in my opinion) just for a phone. Also, the iPhone is expensive as balls.

    Plus, I think I would feel really self concious if I got an iPhone and was using it in public. Is that just me?

  27. Karl says:

    Are you sure the iPhone isn’t subsidized? As far as I can tell, they never commented on that.

    I’m waiting until people hack the activation. From what I can tell, you buy it without signing your life away to AT&T (which is done through iTunes), but the iPhone won’t do anything (including the iPod functionality) unless it’s activated. Once that’s cracked, it’ll cost a lot less. Of course, it won’t be a phone then… until someone cracks the network lock.

    Finally, the service plans they’re offering aren’t THAT unreasonable. I think every carrier tries promote its $39.99/mo voice plan as a baseline. Add a standard $20/mo data plan, and you get what AT&T is charging. I just wish you could get it with JUST a data plan and pay by the minute, like I do with T-Mobile.

  28. NaughtyBitsGLiF says:

    @ SARAAB87 The DS has been out many more years than the Wii has my good sir. Give it time, to build that library up too. I didn’t know the new release model of the DS will be able to play on my Plasma TV! ;P

  29. TPIRman says:

    Actually, the Ben Stiller shot alone killed my iPhone buzz. Thanks, Consumerist!

    That’ll come in handy. Before you make an impulse purchase, place a picture of Ben Stiller on it and see if you still want it.

  30. SaraAB87 says:

    I would feel really self concious as well, however thats mainly because when I am using an expensive device in public I always feel like someone is going to rip it out of my hands either to keep for themselves or to resell for extra money. All of these hyped devices have resale values in the hundreds which is enough for people to get their fix. So its like, ok the device is nice but using it out in public like you are supposed to puts you at risk for having it stolen. Maybe I am just paranoid.

  31. FLConsumer says:

    @Pupator: Oh wow, 200kbps! Too bad I’ve been running 3.5Mbps on CDMA for well over a year now. I can’t wait for AT&T’s pathetic EDGE network to choke on the load of the iphones sapping every last ounce of bandwidth available.

    And yes, AT&T sucks.

    @gamble: Same type of feeling here — I hate having “trendy” products. I have an Alltel Razr V3c for two reasons: 1) Mini-USB port, 2) excellent reception with it’s mic-based antenna. HATED the fact that it was trendy, so I have it hiding in a generic leather case w/belt clip. Totally unrecognisable as a Razr and I couldn’t be happier.

  32. FLConsumer says:

    @Karl: $20/mo isn’t unreasonable?!?! I’m only paying $5/mo to have broadband on my Alltel phone, including tethering it for broadband on my laptop.

  33. Civil76 says:

    The post is misleading in several ways.
    1. If you look at any other provider’s plan that includes unlimited internet data, $20/mo is quite a bargain, especially compared with cingular’s own PDA unlimited plans when run $35/mo and up. Same for other providers. The voice plans were already on par with most other providers. For someone looking for a voice plan with data, it’s not a bad monthly rate, and shouldn’t be compared against other voice plans that include metered or no data plan at all.
    2. First generation apple products do not have a poor track record. First gen ipods (full, mini, nano, shuffles), G3’s, G4’s, G5’s, first intel macs, apple TV, etc were all successful on launch. I’m not sure exactly which 1.0 product was a failure.
    3. EDGE has been improved, posted by a commenter already. Even if it took the iphone to push ATT into taking a look at network performance, the fact is that it’s better than before.
    4. There is value in convergence. A lot of people were happy with their ipod + phone before, because previous phones weren’t as good as the ipod at playing back music. The iphone attempts to remedy the divide with a device that can do multiple tasks well.
    5. The iphone is not meant to be a laptop. But it does appear to be a usable internet device, whether you have a cell signal or a wifi network available. And it’s pocketable and always with you, unlike a laptop.

    It seems to be fashionable to hate on the iphone recently, but when articles are written with the intent to mislead the readership and not look at the product from a non-objective view, I feel compelled to speak up.

  34. nequam says:

    Enough of the bullshit about slow transfer speeds and the capabilities of other phones. People who are buying the iPhone don’t care about those things. They want it because it looks cool (not just the phone, but also the interface). On that score no other phone I’ve seen can compare. And many people want it primarily as a Wi-Fi device and a media device that also has the convenience of a phone. Shit I want one for that reason. But I agree that with Apple products you should wait a generation (or two).

  35. hubris says:

    Kind of funny that even when people bitch about the iPhone, they do it in droves. Apple gets you coming and going.

    Personally, I don’t care either way. I’d probably get one if I weren’t leaving the country for a year in two months. Though I am friggin tired of the hype. Apple doesn’t even have to advertise anymore. The media does it for them.

  36. Asherah says:

    Ugh…remember when all of thus hullaballoo was going down over the Motorola StarTAC about ten years ago?

  37. etinterrapax says:

    It’s too expensive, it’s 1st gen, and I can wait. Bring on the OSX update instead!

  38. Mojosan says:

    Yikes. This forum has a bad case of the “everything I won’t buy is teh suxor!”

    The iPhone is very cool, very modern, and has a ton of great features.

    I’m a-gettin’ one.

    If you don’t want one, that’s cool.

  39. lestat730 says:

    $500? hell no, I’ll pass on this one.

  40. TVarmy says:

    No one is making the device I want, as far as I can tell. I want a handheld device that is preferably a clamshell form factor, with full QWERTY thumb pad on the bottom and a nice large glossy LCD screen on the top screen. It can have the IBM Thinkpad mouse thing, or it can have a touch screen. The device will have a web client and a basic email program. The web client will support Flash and Java out of the box, and the OS will be based on Linux, so Flash and Java can be upgraded as their software is revised. It will have no wide-area data plan; instead it will just have a wireless card with a slot for plugging in whatever network card you like (EVDO, G3, ethernet, etc).

    No one seems to have built this device. It’s the one thing I’d actually USE on the iPhone that I don’t have already.

  41. hoo_foot says:

    I can’t help but think this article is hypocritical. For an anti-consumerism blog, you spent an inordinate amount of time feeding the iPhone hype machine. So after weeking of scrolling past the latest iPhone news, Consumerist posts an article with reasons not to buy one. What a slap in the face! This article should have been posted from the beginning and that should have been the end of it.

  42. jrdnjstn78 says:

    I have other things to buy with 500$.

    There was a huge article in the paper here about the iphone and it’s features. It has alot of features that every other phone doesn’t have and it also doesn’t carry some of the basic features that most cell phones have. You also have to go through 6 steps just to make a phone call. This has alot of hype just like the Motorola razor (however you spell it).

    If you want to get it more power to you.

  43. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    My present cheapo LG phone, crappy though it may be, makes fine phone calls.

    I’ll pass on the iPhone. I’m just not hip enough to own one.

  44. olegna says:

    >>I’m just not hip enough to own one.

    Correction: You mean you aren’t stupid enough to own one. The first edition of anything Apple introduces is meant for the “early adopters” to play the role of “product testers”. TIme and again Apple has proven to be unreliable on its first editions. Perhaps the second or third iPhone will be really cool once the kinks get sorted out by legions of MacZombies(tm).

    Meanwhile, the media that has been fellating Steve Jobs for weeks now with all it’s skewed coverage (ie “EDGE is slow… but it’s getting better!!” “Sure, you’re trapped into using only AT&T but here’s how to break out of your Cingular contract!” “WHo needs MMS anyway?” Shiny, pretty and IT HAS ROUNDED CORNERS!!”)

    Anyone else notice that completely pointless NYT article today on the morons camped out in front of Mac stores (the bastard cousins of people who camped out in from of Michael Jackson’s estate during his last debacle)?

    The article said the lines even included some early adopters. Whaaaaaa? Excuse me, but everyone in those lines are early adopters. I love when the New York Times tries to be hip — they just end up sounding stupid.

  45. uricmu says:

    I wanted to mention a few points after having bought one for my fiancee (I’m the tech geek but I really don’t need one)

    1) AT&T is using this as an opportunity to knock off your existing discounts, such as the educational discount that some students have.
    We were promised that it is simply “20$” over your existing plan. We bought. We opened the iPhone, did the activation via iTunes, and then halfway through the process it tells us that it will cancel our existing discount. Of course, by now the toy is out of the box, having lost 50$ value. We had to give up on a 7$/m discount.

    2) The iPhone is extremely intuitive even to people who did not use macs before and are not tech geeks like me. I usually buy Nokias for their intuitive design. In fact, I tote around with an ancient 6820 since Cingular stopped supporting most of their models. I have three degrees in computer science and am often baffled by the the user interface on most Motorolas and Samsungs. And I have to say Apple did an amazing job as always.
    To me it’s like buying a mac rather than a much cheaper PC, simply so I don’t have to fight Vista.

    3) Not being able to write my own programs for the toy (no built in Java) is a no-go for me, but I’m not the representative example. In fact, even on most Java supporting phones, few people bring in stuff because the cellphone companies reserve Java for stupid games that you have to buy from them.

    4) Phone customer support for device issues is provided by Apple rather than AT&T. Rather now they’re busy, but in general it’s better than getting service from Borat.

  46. nequam says:

    @olegna: More pointless whining from the phone-on-the-belt crowd. Why are you so worked up about people buying something you don’t want? And why call people stupid?

    Are you sick of the hype? Then stop reading it. You’ve posted a comment in nearly every iPhone-related discussion on this site. You’re reading all the news articles and noting all the Jobs quotes. Who’s the zombie?

  47. MariSama44 says:

    It’s a waste of money in my eyes. I could buy a Wii or something else that I really want for that much. I have a friend at work thats talking about getting one, and apparently he’s unphased about the price because his family is rich and his daddy is getting him one. I could pay rent for the price of one of those things, so to me its not practical at all.

  48. larry_y says:

    I’m locked into my current cell phone contract, and the iPhone doesn’t offer much more than my cheap Java enabled phone.

    I’m waiting for the next generation phone, which would have to fulfill the following criteria:
    1) lower price
    2) GPS
    3) 3G (UMTS high speed data)
    4) Flash (and maybe Java) support
    5) more memory/storage

  49. snowferret says:

    Im so tired of hearing all this hype about the iphone. People buy so many gadgets and doo-dads that they don’t need it’s sickening.

  50. dantsea says:

    I’d like an answer from someone regarding @nequam‘s question as well: Why are you so worked up about people buying something you don’t want?

    There are valid criticisms to be made about the iPhone’s features and their personal relevance to individual user experience, but so much of what I’ve read comes across as sulking, pouting and petulant. What’s up with that?

  51. synergy says:

    Yet another luxury item you don’t really need.

    On a side note, it was annoying me that all the morning programs were going on and on about the iPhone. Damn, Apple must’ve been shelling out some serious money for all that advertisement! Either that or they got some serious free advertising. Not that morning programs are really news-y, but maybe something a little more important and less of a commercial would be nice?

  52. Blehha! I’m getting a very bad taste in my mouth over the iPod Touch I have on pre-order. All this bad news about Apple pulling an Anakin Skywalker is really making my DRM hating, open-source loving soul feel dirty for wanting one. But should I be? Its just a silly media player. So I’m spending $100 more than the competition and am being forced to use iTunes… whoop de doo. Right? …Right? Anybody?