Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

Summary: Between antenna problems and app store hacks, the iPhone 4 is starting to feel like an outcast in the iPhone portfolio - kind of like Windows Vista was for Microsoft.

SHARE:

The latest word out of Apple HQ is that the iPhone 4 software update that's on the way won't do anything to solve that little antenna problem that's been getting headlines in recent days.

Well, duh.

As Adrian Kingsley-Hughes pointed out in a post of his own this morning, the antenna problem on the iPhone 4 isn't a software issue. It's a design defect. And his advice is simple: either live with it or return it.

As the iPhone 4 bashing continues, I can't help but wonder if the folks in Cupertino are getting a little taste of what Redmond must have been feeling when everyone was bashing Windows Vista - stuck between a rock and a hard place because there's really no quick answer to give iPhone owners. Well, nothing beyond 1) scale down to a previous version, 2) buy from a competitor or 3) wait for the next update.

I understand the loyalty badge that Apple fans wear proudly. I've been wearing my "I'm a Mac" label for many years and would recommend Apple's computer systems to anyone. I own an Apple TV unit and can't wait to see what the company will do next with it. And I happily use Apple's Airport wireless networking products to transmit the Internet wirelessly throughout my house.

But I won't buy an iPhone - because I'm also a fan of spending my money wisely. Yes, it used to be an AT&T issue with me - why would I pay a monthly bill for phone service that's hit or miss, at best? But now, my distaste for Apple's iPhone has grown beyond that.

It's unfortunate, really. The iPhone was the pioneer, a company that redefined smartphones and single-handedly changed the entire ecosystem of apps as a business - just like Microsoft did when it originally introduced the Windows operating system to personal computing.

Like Microsoft, Apple may have fallen into the trap of thinking that, as the market leader, it was untouchable. But just as Apple recognized Microsoft's vulnerability as it tried to dig itself out of the Windows Vista fiasco, Google and others may be the ones who are watching as the iPhone 4 takes a public relations beating. I wouldn't be surprised if they were busy behind the scenes putting together a switch campaign of their own.

With all of that said, I can't help but wonder if we'll see iPhone 5 sooner than expected.

Also see:

Topics: Smartphones, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

172 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

    This hit piece is a Fandroid wet dream and if the iPhone 4 is Vista, than the EVO 4G and Anroid are Windows Me.
    markbyrn
    • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

      @markbyrn <i>"This hit piece is a Fandroid wet dream and if the iPhone 4 is Vista, than the EVO 4G and Anroid are Windows Me."</i>

      Spoken like an Apple fanboi unable to live with the possibility that Apple may have released, with iPhone 4, a gorgeous piece of tech poopie.
      GuyAlanDye
      • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

        @GuyAlanDye: Wow, you started off a round of intelligent postings, didn't you! Thanks!
        levinson
      • Um... A case and earbuds...

        With a case, there is no antenna issue... With earbuds, there is no proximity sensor issue...

        I have always used both on all of my iPhones... The iPhone 4 is awesome!!!...

        A piece of tech poopie??? No.. That would be a Roid phone... Everyone I know loves their iPhone 4.
        i8thecat
      • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

        @GuyAlanDye

        Not that it is perfect, but I ALWAYS have a case of some sort on my phone, and that fixes the issue. It isn't perfect, but Apple was trying something new (external antenna band) and it seems to be flawed. The rest of the operation on the phone is phenominal, and until ANYBODY else has the SW & HW control that Apple does over their devices, they won't be able to compete. They can always chase, which is fine.

        I saw a post where someone was saying that it was a good thing that vendors for the android have more devices. I don't see that as a good thing. One device gives Apple the ability to concentrate on that one...Oh wait, android doesn't have a device, so they have to rely on others like Moto and HTC relationships...
        G8rsFan
    • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

      @markbyrn
      I love the automatic assumption that anyone who criticizes the iPhone must be an Android fan....it is not an either/or world you know
      Doctor Demento
      • To them it is

        Apple fanbois are "us or them" approach everytime. Never mind Nokia, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, etc.
        DonRupertBitByte
      • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

        @Doctor Demento I've owned nokias, palm pilots, windows mobile phones, and my last two phones have been android, the g1 and mytouch slide.

        I'm an android convert,fully.
        shadowgb
      • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

        @Doctor Demento Just like all the haters automatically assume that anybody that defends Applies is a fanboy that prays as the alter of Steve Jobs. See the double standard?

        Apple screwed up and this may be their "Vista" in the sense that it's their biggest screwup to date. That doesn't mean it's either a bigger or smaller screwup than Vista was for MS.
        non-biased
    • Translation: your feelings were hurt

      Unable to deal with the reality that Apple does and will continue to put out a lemon from time to time, you cry.
      John Zern
    • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

      @markbyrn

      Really digging watching the Apple implosion, fueled by their utter arrogance.
      hippiedippie
      • Apple's Taken on The Chin, But So Are iTunes Users! :O

        @hippiedippie I've got 3 friends with hacked iTunes accounts. It' s pretty messed up and this all started at WWDC10. It's first time Steve Jobs got skunked on a presentation and we should have known then that Apple was launching a Lemon!

        When we watched as the 3GS loaded that page and iP4 didn't, the problem was in how he was holding it and some of us knew something was wrong. lol... How could Jobs support people not have been prepared for that? Were they so smug that they didn't have a dress rehearsal of the single most important event in the Apple Kingdom? Apparently they hadn't instructed him in how to hold the new phone! ;)
        i2fun
    • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

      @markbyrn Guess you missed the point that the authors home pretty much lives and breathes Apple.
      boomchuck1
    • Lame, on so many levels

      @markbyrn has an apt comparison, but we all know the real goal for Diaz is to generate responses to impress ZD advertisers.

      Having said that, consider: "The whole control-freakery over the App store was getting to be too much for me" suggests a very low tolerance for others' (developers) problems, since Diaz suggests no meaningful issues for himself. Lame.

      "but now there?s the issue of iTunes accounts and the app store being hacked. So much for that control process." Who, especially in this audience, would ever think that a control process, intended to provide a superior and consistent user experience, would in any way keep hackers out? Nonsensical comment, beyond lame.

      "The death of AT&T?s unlimited data plan was also a turnoff. Frankly, I considered it a way of discouraging users from experimenting with any data-heavy applications, something that stifles innovation." Why would Diaz, or anyone, expect all users to pay for the extreme heavy use of the top 2% of volume users? Why should the heaviest users not chip in $10-$20 when they choose to test their "innovation?" This comment reflects the usually juvenile view that "they should pay for everything I want".

      Sticking to any real user issues with the iPhone 4 would make this a much more credible blog--but we know it would generate fewer hits for advertisers, right? Right!
      frabjous
      • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

        @frabjous Diaz needs to do some homework before he makes partially false statements. If you have the unlimited data plan it will be grandfathered into the new IPhone or anything else you get from AT&T. If you choose one of the two tiers you will never be able to get the unlimited data plan restored. Simple as that, Mr. Diaz.
        motoman1
      • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

        @frabjous

        Actually, I expect that a major reason for trying to control the software space would be an attempt to protect users against hackers (think I remember Apple using that as part of their justification).

        Still, not sure what that has to do with the iTunes or Apps store, even if it does raise questions about the company's commitment to security. As it would with any other company.
        mdsock
    • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

      @markbyrn And with that, he flicked his hair, turned on his heels and stormed off!
      Just remember your Iphone wish list, is the reality that is Android.
      reapur
    • Sorry to Gang Up on You Buddy, But You Asked for It! :D

      @markbyrn HTC Evo 4G has what iPhone users want most! .... out of AT&T, no dropped calls, a bigger screen w/o yellow poke a dots, Real Wireless Video Chat over 3 and 4G, and last but not least, a phone you can look at and actually touch it where you want to w/o dropping an important call! In other words, not just a iPod in iPhone 4 Clothing! ;)
      i2fun
      • RE: Is the iPhone 4 becoming the Windows Vista of Apple?

        @i2fun@... Point by point

        [b]HTC Evo 4G has what iPhone users want most! .... out of AT&T [/b]

        Lemmie stop you right there, and I'm gonna let ya finish but most iPhone users in my neck of the woods do NOT want to get away from AT&T... most of my friends who have the iPhone got away from VZW, I left Sprint... [b]

        , no dropped calls[/b]

        I dropped 2-3 calls with my iPhone in two years... compare that with the 2 or more calls dropped per week with my VZW Blackberry (work phone) and 2-3 calls dropped DAILY with Sprint and a WM device... yeah I'm good with my iPhone thanks. [b]

        , a bigger screen w/o yellow poke a dots [/b]

        The yellow polka dots that go away withing hours that is nothing more than the adhesive that had not quite set? You mean THOSE dots that are really a non issue? And sure the EVO screen may be bigger but not by much and it has less pixels than the iPhone 4 retina display so it's not as crisp...[b]

        , Real Wireless Video Chat over 3 and 4G[/b]

        So the EVO has 4G chat? And where is this 4G network? It's NOT throughout Sprint's entire network yet - in fact it's in what 1 or 2 cities... talk to me about 4G when they roll it out coast to coast. The chat over 3G I'll give ya. [b]

        , and last but not least, a phone you can look at and actually touch it where you want to w/o dropping an important call! In other words, not just a iPod in iPhone 4 Clothing![/b]

        Ah yes the proximity sensor issue - that they gotta get straight... I have to admit I do like the looks of the EVO and the specs are killer - but I really do not want to deal with Sprint again... They tried to screw me over by adding a business internet plan I did not need as I was on the SERO plan which already included unlimited internet - it took me 5 months and a pile of emails and calls to get off of my account. The kicker was they would not allow me to get the Samsung Instinct without changing my plan to the $99 simply everything plan... even though my sweet SERO plan met the requirements already. Even dealing with retentions didn't help. Thus far I have had very few issues with either AT&T or the iPhone - granted I don't own the iPhone 4 yet but my 3G has not let me down yet. But the EVO does make it tempting to give Sprint another chance...
        athynz
      • Re: Nationwide 4G by end of Next Year! Evo is Good, But Epic is Better!

        @athynz Well I'm not going to jump you for owning a 3GS as that phone was at least designed with a single antenna in it's original Uni-body design and works. Apparently it has a similar switching mechanism as other phones. All phones can have problems because of the FCC reg requiring the radio transmitter be located at the bottom of the phone with it transversely located with radio waves pointing left and behind you when calling. But you do know that the metal one piece bezel is still the antenna right? That's why the problem affects all iPhones more than other brands.<br><br>So the difference is that for whatever reason, Apple either had to change to a tri-pole antenna (due to transmitter or in this case transmitters) or they decided switch to the Tri piece body structure. So they couldn't use a one piece band or bezel. It is the gap bridging that's causing the problems with this design, though! <br><br>*Sprint 4G? Well because it's WiMax. They have been busy the last 3yrs building fiber optic backhaul networks (that AT&T is just starting on) and because the towers can service a 25mile radius, they have far fewer to install. They had 25 cities already and are expecting (because the groundwork is done) to be in well over a 100 cities by years end. By end of next year they'll have WiMax covering the entire nation. While Verizon will have next most and AT&T will still be giving out fake 4G speeds on 3G networks, like T-mobile!<br><br>Sprint will no doubt be the first nation wide network w/ 4G video chat using GIPS's (owned by Google) New App, that is capable of 720p HD (w/dedicated Broadcom chip not in iP4) Video Conferencing over 4G networks!<br><br>*Samsung originally contracted w/ Intrinsity to design A8 SoC (which is exact same processor Apple calls A4). The difference is in the instruction sets for iOS4 and that's it. Actually iPhone4 by necessity has to be configured with same basic parts Samsung's Galaxy Series has. In A8 Soc (A4) it also has Arm Neon Multi-media cores and instruction sets custom designed for Android and Bada OS's. Apple was responsible for porting features for their own A4 and many are still missing. Like Face and Smile detection for 5mp camera. Samsung is using their own 5mp and VGA cameras, while Apple is using cheaper cameras not capable of supporting many other features Samsung's do.<br><br>The 6axis gyro and accelerometer in Galaxy phones is also Samsung parts and the same ones going into their top of the line Camcorders, that are used for games on Galaxy Series and speaking of which in that same A8 SoC (A4) package is the fastest SGX540 GPU 90million Triangles/p/sec great for both phones. Both Samsung and Apple are using Broadcom Combo GPS/WiFi/BlueTooth/3G radios and baseband. Only Samsung has the newest model with full GPS spec's and advanced WiFi Direct (phone to phone), full hardware DLNA Media Server to a variety of devices. Sony PS3, HDTV's, PC's via Router, cable boxes, etc and it can also be transmitted via it's better BlueTooth 3.0 signal at incredible speeds 10x that of it's WiFi-N@6ft and upto 54Mbps upto 30ft along w/ FM Transmit/Receive to car. The proxity sensor has no problems in Galaxy Series phones and the Samsung has even incorporated their ambient light sensor in the face for cam chat. I could go on, but the comparison just gets worse for iPhone4. So I'll leave you with this video comparison, but remember Android is now faster and supports all of these chips natively with Broadcom, Arm and SGX writing support directly into the Open Source OS!!!<br><br>Samsung Wave (same internal hardware as iP4 & Galaxy), iPhone 4 and Galaxy Series comparisons:<br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PryBSArheRc" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PryBSArheRc</a><br><br>btw... Galaxy also has TV-Video Out via headphone jack!
        i2fun