Smartphone satisfaction, network concerns, and iOS limits mean no iPhone 4 preorder

Smartphone satisfaction, network concerns, and iOS limits mean no iPhone 4 preorder

Summary: Buyers are bringing down the AT&T and Apple online stores trying to preorder the iPhone 4, but this smartphone enthusiast is planning to skip this version for a number of reasons. Anyone else satisfied with their existing device or looking forward to something else?


I admit I have a problem and I am a smartphone addict who buys phones to satisfy my desire for the latest and greatest in mobile computing. Actually, a major reason I do it is so that I can write articles here based on personal experiences. The iPhone 4 preorders started today and we see the Apple and AT&T online stores being brought to their knees. I owned the last three Apple iPhones, but so far have yet to place a preorder or make plans to visit a store next Thursday when the phones are available. I am sure the hardware and UI will be fantastic and I will definitely have "new smartphone envy", but I am honestly completely satisfied at the moment with my large screen HTC EVO 4G on Sprint and the Nokia E73 Mode & N900 on T-Mobile. The AT&T network, lack of a glanceable home screen, lack of a good notification system, and the fact that I have an iPad are all more reasons I am skipping the iPhone 4 at this time.

I skip around carriers and smartphones and am used to paying ETFs, but having just paid Verizon a hefty fee to cancel my Palm Pre Plus contract I think I will be avoiding both Verizon ($350) and AT&T ($325) in the future since they both jacked up their ETFs to amounts quite a bit more than what Sprint ($200) and T-Mobile ($200) charge. I was fairly satisfied with AT&T's data network when I had my iPhone 3G and 3GS, but their voice service was horrible as I had dropped calls every single day even when the signal indicator showed a strong cellular signal. AT&T also is the only carrier putting limits on their wireless data (2GB) and with a device focused on data this is not good for the customer.

I also like to have glaceable screens on my smartphones so I can quickly see what appointments I have coming up, what calls or texts came in, and quick efficient access to parts of the operating system that I want to access. Symbian, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile give you the best glanceable options while webOS and iOS are much more application shortcut focused. I love the notifications in webOS and Android and this is one area where Apple's iOS is still quite weak. I also have and enjoy using my iPad. iOS applications that I use have a better experience on the large screen of the iPad and I doubt I could go back to using the small 3.5 inch iPhone display, even if it has pixels I cannot visibly see.

Topics: iPhone, Hardware, iPad, Mobility, Networking, Smartphones, AT&T

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  • iPhone vs. iPad

    I agree with this... I've been waiting patiently for an iPhone for a couple of years now (just recently having become independent from my folks), and have held off on purchasing a 3GS these past few months so that I could buy the iPhone 4... However my mom just got an iPad for her birthday last week, and all of a sudden the iPhone seems much less desirable as a fancy toy.

    That said, I might still buy it.
  • VO 4G is 63% bigger than iPhone4, DroidX will be like 80% bigger than iPh4

    <b>Is there too much to be satisfied about EVO?</b>

    1) hyped videocalls are not really working; and even when those will, it will still be messy setup and like night and day comparing so seamless experience that FaceTime offers;

    2) hyped 4G networks (which are not actually 4G -- it is false advertisement; you might want to look at 4G proposed specifications) exist only in couple of patchy-covered regions of USA and it will take forever to actually cover any reasonably significat area of the country;

    3) Android still offers rather crude experience comparing to supersolid iOS+iPhone;

    4) EVO is bulky and with the interface which Google projected for devices with 2.8" diagonal or slightly more seem almost ridiculous; and with that bricky thickness you are not going to want this device bubbling in your pockets;

    5) EVO has slower Wi-Fi (no "n") mode;

    6) EVO has **way** less of working time -- every reviewer mentioned battery is problectic;

    7) you can not EVEN start to compare the screen quality; not only EVO's has way less DPI, but it also is not IPS;

    8) despite better formal resolution of rear camera, EVO's sensor is a) supertiny b) no backslide technology. This with super cheapo optics will render bigger megapixels comparing to iPhone 4 useless.

    9) some other things.

    Not that iPhone 4 is perfect, but in key areas it is way better.
    • One of the reasons why iPh4 isn't perfect is that you can not really buy it

      the subject.
    • but they don't care

      ... if the features work or not. they only want empty bullet points on a feature list. microsoft certificated IT doofuses and apple hating android geeks don't care about ease of use or implementation or overall quality. you are at the wrong website, buddy.
      banned from zdnet
    • Are you a fanboy?

      @denisrs Your obviously bias against anything that doesnt come from "iJobs". Wireless n on a phone? Seriously? Where is there internet which is fast enough to take advantage of 54mbps G? Oh wait, nowhere. Where are you going to need more than 54mbps of bandwith to a cellphone? Nowhere.
      Your comparing video calls? iPhone 4 cant even do video calls unless its on Wifi, and you are talking about a seemless experience on a device that isn't even out yet?
      Compare screen quality? The iPhone has pixels you cant even see with your eyes, and its network makes streaming of content which could take advantage of that screen impossible. So all you are left with is a device, that has limited connectivity, a locked OS, no local storage, NO REAL MULTI TASKING (that BS that Apple is pushing is not multitasking at all), no interchangeable battery, a horrible network, and no 4G (which yes Sprint does have 4G, but its 4th Generation CDMA technology, which is based on WiMAX, and its coverage is growing constantly. Which is more than you can say about ANY OTHER CARRIER).
    • You have to be kidding.


      I think you're mistaken. A lot.

      1)iPhone has "hyped video calls" too. Except theirs are only on WiFi. That's stupid.

      2) It's the LTE standard. That would be 4G. Just because it's not the theoretical max doesn't make it not 4G. Just like USB 2 never reaches it's max speed.

      3) Guess you hadn't heard of Sense UI? You know, the overlay that's on the EVO/Incredible? That is still lighter than the iOS even with multitasking? Yeah, that one.

      4) Bulky??? it's a tenth of an inch difference. The original iPhone was significantly fatter than the Androids, and it wasn't bulky. It felt great.

      5) N isn't faster. Whoever gave you that line was an idiot. n is actually _SLOWER_ than g per band, but allows multiple bands. So if your data can be parallelized (most can't, hence our transition back to SATA drives from PATA), then it COULD be faster. G is more reliable, longer range, and faster per band. N is an evolution of G than _COULD_ be faster, but usually isn't. The idea there is that 5GHz has less interference than 2.4GHz.

      6) Except that the battery upgrade has it with longer life than the iPhone. Also, with the upgrade, I have two batteries. Also, the reviews you see are usually less than a week. The batteries in the Droid series need time to get used to being charged. Over time, their battery life INCREASES for a while. The iPhone's immediately starts decreasing.

      7) way less DPI? the screens are comparable sizes with slightly lower pixels on the Androids. Plus apple lied. Retina displays aren't 300ppi, they are about 476. It's checkable. Do your reading.

      8)You have no idea what you're talking about. The optics aren't cheap. In fact, the reason you are seeing minor artifacting right now has to do with the software of Android. The way the JPEG compression works is being worked on, and is supposed to be fixed with Froyo, the update coming out the same time the iPhone is.

      9) How's Flash working? Or multitasking? Open source? Changing your settings? Yeah, thanks Steve-o for not giving us any ability to customize OUR phones.

      Not that the iPhone is even close to perfect. How's that AT&T call clarity working out for you? Or right, it's terrible. How about the slowest network of the big 4? Oh right, terrible. Guess I'll be waiting until it's an iPod Touch again.
  • If it wasn't for ATT

    Actually the battery is not really an issue on the EVO. There are settings and apps you can tweak to get even better performance. With that said, I would get the iPhone in a minute if it was not for ATT being the only carrier. I left ATT because of horrible experiences not only with their network but with customer service. If Apple really wants to make money and put the nail in the coffin on android they will open the iPhone up to the other networks as well.
    • RE: Smartphone satisfaction, network concerns, and iOS limits mean no iPhone 4 preorder

      @tommcd64 It would have to come out in a CDMA version, because no GSM carrier is even worth looking at.
  • The list pro and con on both sides are endless...

    Beacause the fans of each platform can argue all day long in their own favor. The reality is that their are enough sophisticated smartphone platforms to let everyone find the one of their own dreams, on the network which works best for them.

    Some will compromise network quality for features, others will go the other way. That is all good.

    If there was only one right answer, I might say welcome to the world of the Borg, but even the Borg had specialization and deviation amongst themselves.

    There will never be a single winner, so why don't you celebrate your own choice, promote the positive features of the platform you want to support, and leave the other platforms to fend for themselves the same way.

    That all said, I did get in to buy 2 iPhone 4 units in the first 90 minutes they were available, had the hiccups of the process which ticked me off at 3 am in the morning, but it put me in the first group of 600K buyers. That Apple and AT&T underestimated the demand is just life - wouldn't any of you or your favorite smartphone provider love to have that problem of selling out over a half million devices in less than a day? Wouldn't you loive to have the problem of launching a product that is likely to sell upwards of 50 million in its first year. Please tell me which other smartphone platform has that kind of success, none that I know of (and I have played with all except the Palm Pre).

    Enjoy your platform of choice, I know I do.
    • RE: Smartphone satisfaction, network concerns, and iOS limits mean no iPhone 4 preorder

      @rftrel 50 Million in a year? There aren't even 50 million subscribers on ATT. So GG sir.
      • Not just ATT

        Apple doesn't only sell the iPhone in the US. There are other carriers providing the iPhone in other parts of the world. I don't have the numbers and 50M does sound high but not impossible globally.

    The comments about the HTC EVO are without merit. I just changed my son's AT&T Blackberry Bold to an HTC EVO with Sprint. I had over one week to use the HTC EVO and work through a number of the initial setup features. The setup process was very simple and intuitive on the HTC EVO. In the end, going from a Blackberry to an Android phone did little for me during my one week stint with the phone (I personally will be staying with Blackberry) but my son is very happy with his new HTC EVO. He also finds the Android phone simple and very user friendly. In addition, the glanceable home screen on the EVO will not cause him to miss this feature on his Blackberry Bold. Moreover, the wifi hotspot feature on the EVO is excellent. The setup for the wifi hotspot was so simple that we quickly had two phones and three PC's sharing the EVO's Internet connection. There are many options for smartphones and the iPhone is but one option. Consumers would be wise to seek the option that works best for them. The wifi hotspot feature on the EVO just eliminated the need for separate Internet service (expense) at my son's college apartment.
    • RE: Smartphone satisfaction, network concerns, and iOS limits mean no iPhone 4 preorder

      @vpico3 yea and at $30 a month for a real internet connection, it may eliminate many peoples need for a stand alone internet connection. But for business use, blackberries are basically unbeatable because of their email service, coupled with their insane battery life and stability.
  • Agree on Blackberry comments

    Jimster480: Like I said, I will personally be staying with Blackberry. The HTC EVO was a nice experience but not enough there to have me leave my Blackberry behind. The superior e-mail handling and battery life of a Blackberry is key to my daily productivity requirements.