Skippy posted about how his boss may get his department iPhones, and he wrote about how he thinks he may decline the offer for several good reasons.
I too, am impressed at first glance by the interface of the iPhone, but I think it's like the iPod - Apple's sheen veneer on a device that could stand a touch more practicality.
Some of the basic features are interesting. I would really like to have a MP3 and DivX player built into my phone with space to hold a decent amount of stuff (using a hard drive, not just flash). But there are way too many downsides to the iPhone:
- Apple's DRM policies. When I buy a license to listen to music, I want to be able to listen to it wherever I please from whatever medium I choose. This is not the case with most iTunes Music Store purchases, the primary supposed source for iPod/iPhone music.
- The proprietary hardware connector. Maybe it seems silly, but perhaps you do not have the array of hardware I have. Finding the special connector for a device when it becomes misplaced is a real pain. If everything used USB, my world would be much, much simpler.
- iTunes. There are many practical dislike I have for iTunes, but I'll choose to say that it's the chrome on the window (the Mac-like skin) that really pisses me off. Let's not waste all my CPU cycles to display a completely unnecessary window border, please.
- Lack of format support (OGG, DivX). I've got a lot of DivX movies. Can I play them?
- Lack of developer support for hardware. I enjoy a thriving developer environment with my Treo. In fact, I have even written my own software for the Palm using OrbWorks. All I can do for the iPhone is write web pages? Maybe a developer API will come out eventually, but Apple hardware isn't well known for its development tools.
- Locked into one of the lousiest cell networks for two years. I used to have Cellular One, which through a series of many mergers eventually became Cingular/AT&T. They sucked. And although it's the oldest cell network in this area, it's the oldest cell network in this area. So long reliability!
And no DUN profile for bluetooth? That's a complete deal-breaker for me and likely for anyone serious about mobile connectivity. On my list of things that my next phone must be able to do, this one is in the top three. It's the primary reason I don't already have a Helio Ocean. Seriously, $600 for a phone with missing and crippled features? I don't think so.
The touchscreen-only operation of the iPhone seems pretty neat, but from the point of view of someone who owned one of the early Pronto remotes that was entirely touchscreen, I can tell you that it's not all that. I really like the tactile response. I'm not sure why people never seem to get over the cool factor of the inductive scroll wheel on the iPod. I can only think it's a matter of time before people catch on that the emporer has no clothes, yet I'm shocked that people haven't caught on to the iPod ruse by now. It's got to be a byproduct of Apple worship.