On the Reasons I Will Never Get an iPhone
Ahhh … the Apple iPhone! I got a chance to play with this little wonder a few weeks ago at our local Apple Store, and it is an absolutely amazing device. Even though I recently renewed my cell phone contract through Verizon, I decided after the recent price drop that a new iPhone might be in the cards for me when my cell contract finally runs out.
However, Apple’s recent behavior around the v1.1.1 software upgrade is causing me to change my tune. For those of you who don’t know, it is common in the cell phone market to “unlock” a handset in order to use it on a different network. While the iPhone could never be compatible with Verizon, T-Mobile and other GSM networks (especially in foreign markets) would theoretically work fine.
I say theoretically, but the reality is that it’s not theoretical. Thousands of people have used iPhone unlock software to free their phone from AT&T’s network. Here in CO, I don’t believe anyone is that satisfied with the phone service (I know I’m not, and I have many friends using T-Mobile, AT&T and even “fringe” networks like Helio that experience problems with signal, dropped calls, and service on a regular basis). However, competition is always the best way to improve service and increase the value for the consumer.
Apple, apparently, doesn’t see it this way. With the release of the v1.1.1 software update, Apple has effectively disabled the capability to unlock the phone and move to another network. From my perspective, this is asinine and, even though I don’t own the phone, infuriating. It really amounts to the same argument I have against DRM: if I legally purchase and item, I should have the ability to do whatever I want with that item inside the boundaries of criminal law. If I want to listen to a song I bought on iTunes on a (god-forbid) Zune, I should be able to. And, if I want to use an iPhone on another compatible network (something that most all GSM phones are capable of), I should be able to.
Until this situation changes, I am not buying Apple’s device. I love Apple, but the company has only shown that they are more interested in making a few bucks off of an exclusive agreement with a sub-par cell phone company than delivering the best experience to the consumer.