Second Thoughts About the iPhone

I’m thinking very seriously about giving up my iPhone and going back to my Blackberry. I know, I know. I was initially so enthusiastic. (But I also discussed the pros and cons here.)

frustrationwithphone.jpg

My first Apple product was an iPod that I purchased about five years ago. Based on that, I bought an Apple PowerBook for one of my daughters. Then I bought one for myself. Later I upgraded to a MacBook Pro. Now every one in my family is a Mac user. I even own a little Apple stock.

So, last summer, I couldn’t resist. I saw an iPhone, and it was love at first site. I ditched my trusty Blackberry and bought an iPhone. I thought to myself, As the CEO of a publishing company, I need to stay current with the latest technology.

Initially, it was a good experience. I loved the user-interface and Apple’s elegant and simple solutions. However, I am now beginning to wonder if I made the right decision. Today, after a full day of travel, I am frustrated and ready to give up. Here are my top five reasons why:

  1. The battery life is insufficient. If I am in the office (i.e., not on the road), the battery will last for the whole day. By the time I put it in its cradle for the night. I usually have a little juice left, but not much.

    If I am on the road, forget it. Between trying to keep up with email and a few phone calls, it is dead by mid-afternoon. I am not kidding. Yesterday, by 4:00 p.m., after two phone calls (about 20 minutes total), I was dead in the water.

    I think most of the issue is email. Unlike the Blackberry which has email and calendar changes “pushed” to it. The iPhone has to “pull” the mail from the server. And, sometimes, it seems to work hard to get a connection and start downloading mail. I watch the “checking for mail” icon spin for minutes. I can almost watch my battery discharge as it does so.

    Regardless, this isn’t sustainable. I travel too much to be caught on the road without email and a phone. When my device shuts down, I am out of commission. As a point of reference, my Blackberry would easily hold a charge for a full day, often two. I don’t recall ever draining it.


  2. The keyboard is more trouble than it’s worth. As you probably know, the iPhone has a virtual keyboard rather than a physical one. It only appears when you need it. When you don’t need it, it disappears. This is impressive and great in theory. Until you start using it on a regular basis.

    Yes, I know, the iPhone employs a version of “predictive text.” It attempts to anticipate what you are trying to type. It is often right on the money. But, in my experience, the keys are simply too small. As a result, I often find myself using the backspace key to correct my errors. In fact, it’s safe to say, it is my most-used key.

    Supposedly, some people can type on the iPhone with two thumbs—just like a Blackberry. (Of course, some people can type on a computer keyboard with their toes, but this isn’t really an option for most of us.) I worked at the thumb-thing for some time but could never get the hang of it.

    Evidently, I’m not alone. User Centric, a market research company, warned that business users will take a tremendous performance hit with the iPhone. That’s certainly been my experience.

    Even with a singular index finger, I find that I have to concentrate on the keyboard rather than on what I’m trying to type. This is not good. The technology needs to be transparent, so that I can focus on what I want to say, rather than how to get it on the device.

    Again, I have to compare the iPhone to the Blackberry. If you are a serious email user, I don’t think you can beat the Blackberry. It may not be as beautiful or elicit “exclamations of childlike wonder,” but it gets the job done. Efficiently.


  3. AT&T coverage is often spotty. I never had dropped calls with my Verizon Blackberry. I mean literally never. (Your mileage may vary.) But I frequently have dropped calls with AT&T. There are two problem spots between my office and my home. (And this is on the Interstate, close to downtown Nashville.) I can almost guarantee that if I am on the phone when I hit one of these spots, I will lose my connection.

    I need something where I can get near-universal coverage. I don’t know how the iPhone is internationally, but I have heard horror stories of people roaming abroad and being slapped with huge bills from AT&T. When I was in Ireland this past summer, my Blackberry world edition phone connected effortlessly. I could download email and make phone calls effortlessly. I didn’t notice any significant uptick in my bill.

  4. The calendar doesn’t automatically sync. You have to do it manually. This is a pain, and I often find myself out-of-sync with my office. With the Blackberry, new appointments or changes to existing appointments are synced automatically—in real time. This is essential if, like me, you have an assistant who manages your calendar.

    I have also found that the calendar has the annoying habit of duplicating calendar entries on the iPhone, especially all-day appointments. Perhaps this is because I have to sync Entourage with iCal in order to sync with iPhone. For Apple, a company that prides itself on ease-of-use, this is just too much work. I don’t have time to keep cleaning up my calendar.

    And, alas, there is no built in to-do list manager? Yes, I know about Nozbe and Vitalist, but I don’t want a browser-based application that requires me to be online to access my to-do list. (To be fair, the Blackberry won’t sync to the Entourage task list automatically either.) It is astonishing to me that Apple didn’t anticipate this. How can you manage any workflow without some sort of to-do list?


  5. I don’t use the other applications that much. The iPhone has numerous features and applications that will impress your friends. But in actual day-to-day usage, I just don’t find that I use them all that much.

    Yes, I like being able to push a single button and see the temperature and the weather. I like to check on the stock market with a single tap of my finger. But I rarely use the other “eye candy” features.

    For example, I never watch YouTube videos—or any other videos—on my iPod. It just takes too much battery power to be practical. I have a difficult time keeping the thing charged as it is. The Safari browser is really, really nice—and familiar. But the text is too small for serious surfing. I find myself constantly having to enlarge the text manually. Again, this is just too much work.

    Initially, I was really excited about the camera. I am a heavy iPhoto user, and I thought this would be a great way to grab quick pictures and integrate them into my library. Not so much.

    For starters there is no zoom feature. So to frame the picture correctly, you have to adjust your distance by actually moving closer or further away from the subject. And unless you hold your breath and stand perfectly still, you can’t snap a picture that isn’t blurred. Honestly, I’ve given up on the camera entirely. Until they can incorporate image stabilization technology, this feature is worthless to me.

So where does this leave me? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m probably going to hang in here until after the first of the year. Maybe Apple will provide a significant upgrade to the iPhone software.

The truth is, I love Apple, and I want to love the iPhone. But, for right now, the technology is just not capable of supporting the serious road warrior or productivity devotee. If you are in that category, I think the Blackberry is still your—and probably, my—best option.

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  • http://www.timothyfish.net Timothy Fish

    I have heard several comments about how the iPhone is not as good as it should be. To me, this seems to be typical Apple. While there are a few areas where they have cornered the market, the thing they have learned to do best is play second fiddle.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I don’t think they play second fiddle in consumer electronics. I just don’t think they are that interested in winning with business users.

  • http://robinlee.typepad.com Robin Lee Hatcher

    Michael, you cannot imagine how much better you have made me feel. In October, after a number of months of iPhone envy but knowing that AT&T has lousy service in my part of the country, I made the decision to go to the Verizon Blackberry. (I am a long time Verizon customer and they have great coverage.) I love the BB except for the tiny print on the keys. Without my glasses, forget it!

    I will say that I have had problems with syncing with my Mac. I’ve tried both PocketMac and Missing Sync for Blackberry. Each has issues of a different kind. I guess nothing is perfect.

    Next year at ICRS, I’m going to try to sit next to you at the TN dinner so we can talk all things Mac.

    Robin

  • http://www.colleencoble.com colleen Coble

    Oh I’m so disappointed, Mike! Or maybe I should say relieved. I can’t get service here so I haven’t bought one. Your post can make my covetousness disappear. LOL

    Now I can get an iPod too. I had held off because I wanted an iPhone when service became available so I’d have everything in one unit. Right now I have a cell phone and a Palm Pilot. so I can add an iPod to my Christmas wish list. LOL

  • http://www.techsoap.net Brendan Cosgrove

    Couple of thoughts coming from someone who arrived at getting an iphone in much the same way you did:
    1. ATT IS the worst part
    2. The requirement to cradle for calendar and contacts is pathetic given how pervasive these features are in any other standards based phone for business or consumers.
    3. Battery life: your performance doesn’t sound right. I am a very heavy email/phone user and while the battery perforance isn’t up to par with a BB or the Moto Q, its not as bad as you describe. Swing by an Apple store and see if they’ll help you out.

    I think you mentioned that your corporate email is on an exchange server. In that case, get your IT guys to setup a BB Enterprise server EXPRESS for you (if they haven’t already). If no one else has a BB the software is free for one user and will help with any synching issues. You may also want to check out some of the Windows Mobile devices that run Goodlink (www.good.com). My experience is that if you aren’t addicted to the Blackberry hardware Goodlink is a much better option. Your IT guys will love it and so will you as the user. Its more stable and very feature rich. The last option would be to leverage the built-in Active Sync features of the Exchange server to sync with Windows Mobile devices. Its fairly decent for included functionality.

    Email me or call me if you like.

    Brendan Cosgrove
    brendan@techsoap.net
    714.928.6074 mobile

  • Fran Toolan

    it must be trash iPhone day… check out this one, too…

    http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/11/why_global_warm.html

  • http://www.nozbe.com Michael (Nozbe)

    I’m a long-time reader of your blog and I’ve enjoyed this article a lot!

    I gave away my iPhone to my wife and keep on using my Nokia Communicator as it’s just a better phone and has much more important features (like GPS navigation, Mobipocket eBook Reader, etc.) and holds a battery charge for days – and my wife loves the iPhone for the looks and for its iPod features – so she’s happy and I’m happy and I wouldn’t change.

    Maybe the iPhone is a better fashion accessory but I’ll stick to my Nokia Communicator as I simply love it.

    (and my wife is having issues with the iPhone during the cold winter weather)

    Thanks and keep up the great work with your blog and let us know if you ditched your iPhone in the end.

    - Michael

    P.S. Thanks for mentioning Nozbe in the article (I’m using Nozbe.mobi on my communicator for GTD) but you’ve misspelled the name – it’s Nozbe not Nobze :-) The link is correct though.

  • Andy Lin

    I reluctantly switched to an iPhone after getting fed up with Windows Mobile devices. It just works, even if it’s functionally more limited. No longer do I miss calls because the phone was busy thinking about something else.

    As for the keyboard, I type almost as fast as touch-typing on a computer. It’s easy for me to thumb type now, and the trick is just to let go and not worry so much about typing mistakes. I rarely need to use the backspace key, and the odd typo I have I just correct it. Otherwise, the predictive text has been surprisingly good at figuring out what I’m actually typing. In fact, it’s in a way less accurate for me to type with one finger, because I start looking at the words I write and fixing typos like I would with a regular keyboard.

    It really does pay to just trust the keyboard.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Michael,

    My apologies for misspelling your name. I will fix it right now!

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • Bill

    No brainer- drop the iphone and get the tool you need to manage your business. Pretty slick device, just not setup for hard core business users imho. Now drop that Mac and get back into a TabletPC and you won’t look back!! ;-)

  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary E. DeMuth

    Thanks so much for this post. I’ve really loved my blackberry and have had only tinges of regret about the iphone. This makes my smugness complete.

  • Doug

    Are you leaving bluetooth turned on all the time? That will drain your battery much more quickly.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Doug,

    Unfortunately, Blue Tooth is off.

    Mike

  • Guy

    I switched from a regular old cell phone to an iPhone and I am enthralled.

    I never used a Blackberry and do not want to be that “in touch” with work. But I don’t run my own business nor am I in sales – I know why some folks need to be constantly available.

    I don’t think you’ll ever see Crackberry addicts switching to the iPhone – just like you’ll never see big corporations (other than graphics/advertising and such) switching to Apple computers. Could you imagine walking around lower Manhattan and all you see is stock jockeys and bond geeks transacting & messaging on a iPhone? The virtual keyboard is a long way from thumb typing on a clicking Blackberry keyboard.

    Apple needs to keep some of the hip factor to the device. I bet a small part of them hope to never see an iPhone on the bat belt of a corporate warrior.

  • Tarun Saigal

    Michael
    thanks for this update….I was being tempted to buy an iphone so that i could get my ipod and phone in one but was having some doubts- like you i am a heavy BB user and I think your rather candid comments did it for me. By the way I do like your column and read it quite regularly, and am also a fan of Nozbe – Mike if you are reading this,I think Nozbe is great though I would love to see some speed inthe functionality

  • Gar

    I seemed to have missed the marketing from Apple saying the iPhone was a blackberry replacement. It truly isn’t. It is very good at doing what it does: short messages, google maps on the go, personal emails, a simple camera anywhere, music and video always with you (and podcasts…). A ‘work’ email device it is not. I carry the iPhone as a personal device, especially on the road. It is much easier for entertainment on a plane and keeps me on spot when being mobile. But for my massive corp email traffic and sync’d company calendar I have a 8300. Sure, it is two devices, but they are very different devices and they keep me from having to open my notebook as much. I would be much happier if the iPhone notes and ToDos sync’d to my notebook though… we are scratching our heads on that miss. Thanks – love your work here.

  • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

    I recently went with an iPaq 6945 (unlocked). I have AT&T, which isn’t bad here in south Jersey. I looked at the iPhone, but I wanted a Windows Mobile device, as I use Outlook heavily. For the most part, I am happy with this phone/Pocket PC.

  • http://www.pearpod.com jason pearson

    I also travel and gave up my AT&T blackberry for an iPhone. I love it and here’s 6 things that make this the killer business device – even with a few challenges. (I now carry 1 device instead of 3)

    1. Battery life is no problem. I plug my iphone into my battery powered macbook during the day for a 1 hour quick recharge. I carry 2 extra macbook batteries.

    2. I manage 7 email accounts – I pull my priority email account often – even if I’m not reading it right then. (this helps solve the long pull waits)

    3. Our office has switched to iCal – now anyone can email me an appointment that will sync with my iphone

    4. The web is the most used thing on my iphone – the blackberry browser just deisn’t cut it. Other than java and flash – safari is perfect. I also use 3rd party tools being developed for the iphone through the safari browser (found at apple.com)- this is the secret killer app of this phone – just wait a couple more months.

    5. I create presentations in iphoto – and use the photo albums as terrific way to present 1 on 1 – I also use YouTube & ipod video to upload a host of business videos.I simply hand my iphone to the client to watch a 3 minute presentation. YouTube is like a 30 gig hard drive of content at my finger tips. (perfect for the guy on the plane who say “so what do you do?)

    6. Live Traffic – living in L.A. this is a lifesaver. Also I don’t use hertz-never-lost anymore – this does it!

    The blackberry keyboard was easier to use – but I’ve learned to adapt.

  • http://waynehastings.blogs.com Wayne Hastings

    Mike, I was heading out the door this morning to the Apple store to buy my iPhone. I checked my Blackberry before going and read your post. Your comments rang like a bell as I had similar concerns after reading several reviews. I made it to the Apple Store, but didn’t buy an iPhone. Thanks for the honest post.

  • Thomas Lane

    Having owned it for a few days, I realize its a technological wonder, but it wasn’t fulfilling my needs, either, so I brought it back 3 days after buying it. I’ve been using high speed EVDO for data for over a year now on a palm treo 700p and the difference between the iphone on edge and treo on evdo was like night and day. It’s like going from broadband to dial up. I tried to like the iphone, but couldn’t justify the cost of breaking my Sprint contract for it. It has a ways to go to satisfy my needs. Maybe 2.0; for now, back to Treo and EVDO. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Cost me a 10 percent fee to learn this lesson.

    I had more dropped calls in those 3 days than I’ve had in a year using Sprint. Thanks for your input, Mike.

    BTW, I use a powermac G5 and a powerbook G4 laptop. I love Apple.

    Tom

  • Kaitlin Pierce

    Try verizons new LG phone.

  • Michael DiMarco

    Nothing beats the Blackberry for email productivity, push email, and battery life. And if I worked in a corporate environment where MS Exchange was the norm and multiple ppl needed access to my calendar for viewing or changing, I’d probably feel the need to begrudgingly switch back as well. But fortunately, I can still use a phone with apps designed around lifestyle instead of corporate utility. No phone is better for showing off pictures of my 2 year old daughter than the iPhone. :)

    FYI- For iphone ppl who need extended battery life, this product ships before Christmas:

    http://mophie.com/products/juice-pack/?pod=iPhone

  • http://www.GodsMac.com Gabe

    Care to come on the God’s Mac Podcast and share your thoughts with our listeners?

  • http://www.heatheronthenet.com Heather

    Okay, I try to be a good girl. I try. Really I do. I try. I try. I try. I keep my mouth closed. For the most part. I really do.

    Like the times I went to the Christian Publishers DisneyWorld Extravaganza to promote my books. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t blog anything. I didn’t write anything. I didn’t puke. I went. I smiled. Life went on.
    But tonight — I don’t know . . . chalk it up to perhaps enrolling 3 new kids into the Adopt a Legacy program, here in Africa where I live as an American, TODAY whom just one of them (a 3 year old) DIDN’T EVEN HAVE A NAME . . .nope, the dad was poisoned when he was born and he was abandoned to live with God-knows-whom and they didn’t even call him by a name there because there were so many AIDS orphans already so what is one more soul . . .but, thank GOD, he was placed today in the Legacy program in a loving home with his older 4-year-old brother, Brian, who takes care of him already like a father . . . and we named him today as we got his HIV test done and went and registered him for school. As we were walking this sweet, precious life into the office for the school, we all looked at each other and said . . . this boy needs a name NOW.

    We had talked of Bible names and possibilities earlier in the day but if we were going to register him, he needed a name. So we named him: Barnabas. He’s sweet. Lovely. Endearing. And I think he’ll make for a good encourager some day when he grows up and tells people how God literally rescued him from a life-less existence and placed him in a home with love and a future.

    But anyhow, maybe it’s just the contrast of shopping for 3 orphans (Barnabas, Brian and an 11-year-old angel named Scovia whose father died 2 years ago and her mother died when she was four and her step-mom tried to kill her by locking her up when she was six . . . ) and buying them clothes, and getting them enrolled in school and seeing the love in their lives and hope being breathed into them . . . I don’t know . . . maybe it’s just that contrast with my husband researching why his computer is not working so well on surfing the net (it’s a MAC) and him coming across this blog from the President of Thomas Nelson publishing that is titled:

    “From Where I Sit . . . Musings on My Life . . . “ blah, blah, yada. yada.

    That makes me just not quite able to keep my mouth shut at this moment. Forgive me, please. Forgive me if I offend anyone. But puke. Puke. Gag.

    I seriously nearly lost my lunch a few years ago when I walked out of the Christian Publishers Annual Conference in Denver after promoting my current book. It was so full . . . of . . . made-to-sell ready-mints with Bible Verses on them and books that tell you how to pray so that you become successful or rich or beautiful, etc, etc and how to build MEGALANDchurches so you can appear on Larry King Live like the Osteens and . . . I walked outside and down to central Denver and into a Taco Bell and I saw the real world. I saw a lady who had all of her belongings in a plastic bag. I saw a man who hadn’t shaved or bathed in a week. I saw the poor. The lost. And I wondered . . . WOULD THAT KIND OF CHRISTIANITY IN THAT BIG BUILDING OF OVER-PRICED AND UNDER-WRITTEN BOOKS EVER REACH THE LOST? DOUBTFUL. That kind of Christianity is all about ME, ME, ME AND ME.

    I can’t help anyone else because I’m still trying to help me.
    I can’t love anyone else because I’m too busy loving me.
    I can’t feed anyone else because I’m too busy feeding me.

    The glitz. The well-dressed Christian spokespeople giving their shallow-rehearsed-pep-talks on radios. Pllleeease. I can honestly say that my heart broke as I looked at the real world of Denver and compared it to the glitz of the Christian publishing conference and wondered if Jesus Himself was about to show up and turn over their $14.95/book tables and $9.95/CD sermon tables.

    But I got over it. Or, rather, I let it go. To each his own.

    It’s just tonight — I guess tonight it got me again —- seeing the President of one of the largest American Christian publishing companies and maybe one of the largest in the world . . . and his blog . . . on all about ME.

    FROM WHERE I SIT . . . MUSINGS ON MY LIFE . . .

    Sit? Sit?

    GO, GO, GO, GO THEREFORE INTO THE WHOLE WORLD AND MAKE DISCIPLES . . . .

    whatever world. your neighborhood world. it doesn’t matter where. But don’t SIT. And don’t muse about yourself and iphones. Unless you really think Jesus is going to be jazzed about that someday when He comes back to see if we followed His command to:

    publish fluff for $14.95/copy . . .or, rather, LOVE>at a cost to ourselves. No profit in that, sure. At least not on earth.

    $14.95 can buy a month’s worth of food for some forgotten soul like Barnabas.

    America has a poor reputation around the world, we have come to learn since moving to Africa in 2000. Especially American Christians. Mostly for being self-absorbed, indulgent and . . . well. I should stop.

    There are more important things to do at this moment than to muse on someone else’s musings. There are people like Barnabas who need more than a name . . . they need love.

  • Chris

    Heather,
    I think your post is way out of line. People have different gifts and callings the Lord has given them for building his kingdom and your post totally misses the importance of this variety. It’s great your in Africa, but I’m not and neither are many other Christians. Technology helps improve relations, is used to advance the kingdom, and since you don’t seem to lack a computer–allows you to be disrepectful to those who don’t serve or live where you do. From Where I Sit: for a woman willing to cross the world to spread the love, we could use a little charity given to the some of us, who like iphones, T. Nelson books, and a certain CEO who uses both to make an positive impact in the world.

    Blessings,
    Chris

  • David

    Ditto! Thanks for illuminating the whole truth Chris.

  • Anon

    I’ve never liked the idea of the overpriced Iphone toy. But from this blog, Mike Hyatt appears to have become disenfranchised with it too. He’s also more apt to blog his response to that than he is to show the public his personal giving records. That would look ridiculous and pretentious.

    Heather, I also suppose some people feel that it is better to make sure we speak respectfully to leadership than it is to defend a hungry kid. I sure don’t!

    But I hope readers listen to the essence of what you’re saying–it is better to give money where it’s desperately needed instead of blowing it on gadgets that aren’t even worth it. Americans struggle with being out of touch with the needs of the rest of the world–we’re aware of them (many charities around), but few of us have lived what Barnabas has.

    Many employees at Nelson use their salaries for missions trips or to give ministry support, and I’ve seen Nelson itself give many products away. I hope and pray all this grows in the years to come–the needs out there are so big.

    I went to Africa this year, my team’s suitcases stuffed with Nelson Bibles and resources. I would have gladly traded my $300 cell phone for about 50 bottles of clean drinking water. Being desperately thirsty with no relief in sight? I didn’t care bestselling books or blogs or phone technology either. I cared about water.

    Ironically, my African friends in the same situation cared about the Bibles and resources! Go figure.

  • http://www.thorpdesigngroup.com Cameron Thorp

    Mike,

    My iPhone battery seems to be lasting longer now than it had been. Maybe one of the firmware updates made a difference. One thing is I keep wi/fi off. If the phone is always looking for networks it will drain the battery. Of course it is a 1.0 product. Rumor has it that a 3G phone is on the way.

    Cameron

  • Christopher Coulter

    It’s a fun phone, but that’s also the problem, you can’t get much work done with it, but the LG Voyager (with the killer extended battery) is an iPhone killer for me, full-keyboard, great battery life, not AT&T, sync apps/Vcast, and touch screen on front. Best of all worlds. Not always a Verizon fan, but been oddly happy with my current plan. Even the plain old V works better than the iPhone, imho.

    My Blackberry was all work phone, during my consulting travel hops, felt more of a burden, constant to-do’s, work from the phone itself, felt tethered to it, it sucked the life outta me. So glad to put it away. Not against them, just everything has its place.

  • Robert Lin

    Thanks for the post Mr. Hyatt. i’ve been having a second thought on getting an iphone too; like what you said: iphone’s strength is in multimedia while blackberry’s in day-to-day task management. Greeting from Seattle, WA.

  • http://www.twobigmeanies.com/ Russell

    Wow, completely different experience pretty much point by point than I’m having.

    1: My battery lasts at least a full day, usually two, under reasonably heavy usage.

    2: The keyboard works great for me.

    3: I’ve got good AT&T coverage, but that’s regional (Seattle).

    4: My calendar syncs automatically just fine every time I plug it in, but I’m not fighting with Entourage. Agree about the lack of to-do functionality, though.

    5: The Google Maps interface is handy and I use it quite a bit. Agree the camera is useless, but I haven’t seen a phone camera that isn’t. *shrug*

  • http://www.douglaskarr.com Douglas Karr

    Geez… sounds like what you were really wanting was a phone!

    ;)

  • http://americasyoungtheologian.blogspot.com Dan Morehead

    “As the CEO of a publishing company, I need to stay current with the latest technology.”

    Seems like a faulty (or at least overstated) assumption; you could have waited a couple months and been saved from buying a product you find flawed: a waste of monetary resources and creation of more waste. “As the CEO of a Christian publishing company…” might change the second half of the sentence.

  • mark

    Michael, this obviously won’t solve all of the problems, but a new company is coming out with a new case for the iphone that is an external battery as well. mophie.com claims that the external battery adds up to 8 hours of talk time. I haven’t used it, nor do I have any affiliation with the company, but it looks like it could help you out in the battery life department.

  • John

    Different strokes for different folks I guess.

    I charge my iPhone every other day. I don’t get many calls (less than 450 minutes a month) but I use Safari and Google Maps and email a lot.

    The keyboard works fine for me. It took a month or two to get up to speed. Still, it is a small device and doesn’t replace a full size keyboard.

    I really like the visual voice mail.

    The camera has worked OK for me. It is a very simple camera but it can take some nice pictures in sunlight. I’ve posted a gallery of iPhone examples. I’ll leave it up for a few days.

    http://gallery.mac.com/johnfk/100043

    I also have a blackberry that my company forced on me and I have never gotten friendly with that. It takes two hands to do anything. The buttons are too small so I sometimes make mistakes when typing. I can’t understand some of the arcane symbols on some of the keys and I don’t want to spend hours and hours reading the manual to figure it out. I do give it credit for having a good battery life. Mostly I just leave it in my computer bag and once or twice a day I check voice mail messages.

  • Thomas Lane

    Mike,

    I’m curious. Did you switch back to the Blackberry and Verizon or did you stick with the iPhone?

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    So far, I’ve stuck with the iPhone. AT&T fixed my main coverage problem, so that was great. The last firmware update on the iPhone (1.1.3) also seemed to help. For right now, I’m staying with it. Thanks.

  • Thomas Lane

    Well, I succumbed, myself. I got tired of the sync problems I was having with my treo ever since I upgraded to Leopard. I tried Missing Sync and that was a disaster requiring many hours of working with their technical support. Finally, I got a refund from markspace because there was no success with it.

    I went to the Apple Store and repurchased an iphone last week, ported the number over and am not looking back. I’m satisfied now. The service has been excellent so far with AT&T so far which was my main concern.

    With the SDK coming out this month, I’m expecting lots of third party software and looking forward to it.

    Thanks for the reply, Mike.

    Tom

  • Bryan

    I must say, I hear you on all points, but think you have a reception problem where you are, and hence it takes more power to communicate with the towers. Sounds like it’s getting better, though. Your calendar problem is almost certainly not Apple’s fault, and is much more likely to be a setting problem you have, or due to MS’s refusal to work with standard vCal formats. Move to iCal, and you will likely find no issues. It’s a nice program, and I find Apple’s Mail, iCal and Address Book far better solutions than Entourage in terms of usability and ease of use. I would have expected other issues like the headphone jack to stand out more for you.

    I don’t think as the CEO of any company you need to have the latest tech. Quite the contrary. You need the best tech that meets your needs. Sounds like the iPhone never fit that bill, and this was really about personal desire. I have a BB Curve and love it, but also have an iPod touch and Moto RIZR Z6, and love them, too. Different devices for different purposes.

    Lastly, as the CEO of a publisher, I would expect better knowledge of the English language. The word is “unless” not “in less”.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Bryan,

    Tell you what, I’ll overlook your comma splices, run-on sentences, and sentence fragments, if you will overlook my typo. ;-)

    Mike

  • Reader Kevin

    I have an ATT BB. I also travel quite a bit overseas for business for extended periods. On a recent trip to Saudi Arabia, one of my colleagues came with the iPhone. Between my BB and his iPhone, the BB won. Summary observation:

    The iPhone cannot use any service other than ATT. They might have unshackled the iPhone slightly, but by and large one has to simply accept the extortion prices ATT makes you pay for calls (both in-coming and out-going are about $2/minute in Saudi Arabia and the UAE). This locked status means that one cannot use a local SIM card overseas. The savings using a local SIM comes from avoiding roaming charges, as well as in coming calls being free. The US is the only major country with this ridiculous locked-phone policy by the major carriers.

    Additionally, email was cumbersome for him on the iPhone. As Michael pointed out, it is “pulled” rather than “pushed” to the phone.

    The BB worked well in terms of email, while in the ATT roaming mode. Additionally, I switched out and used a local SIM card. I fought with ATT and got my phone unlocked a day or two after I bought it. The phone worked with it very well, no matter what SIM it had in it.

    The iPhone certaininly has its place and role. However in this side-by-side example that I could witness firsthand, the iPhone was not really set up to do international business travel.

  • Thomas Lane

    Hi Mike,

    Are you still sticking it out with the iphone? If so, are you looking forward for what is up ahead for the device as far as software and 3G capabilities? Has your voice service and data service been good, bad or excellent?

    BTW, I enjoy your blog and your twitter posts.

    Thanks,
    Tom Lane

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Tom,

    Yes, I have made peace with the iPhone. It is great with Twitter! I am really looking forward to the next generation iPhone.

    By the way, AT&T was great. Believe it or not, their CEO emailed me after I posted this. He got his customer service people involved and they solved my problems in about 48 hours. Amazing.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • Thomas Lane

    Mike,

    That’s good news. That kind of customer service is amazing. The power of the blogger is amazing, and of course, communications between one CEO of a major company to another doesn’t hurt.

    I agree, the iPhone is great with Twitter. My experience with Apple is that their products only get better. I am definitely looking forward to the second generation iPhone.

    Thanks for your prompt response.

    Tom

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