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Monday, July 19, 2010

Antennagate, as a new iPhone 4 user

Look, I've clearly haven't been a proper Apple fanboy for a while, and even briefly considered the same defections some of my geek comrades are making towards the recent crop of Android phones - but the argument that the iPhone 4 is such a massive refinement to the product line as to nearly perfect was something I had to try for myself.

And the office was giving out a discount, so...

I just got my hands on the phone last Friday when I returned to the office after a business trip to California. I had hoped to get it before the trip, but considering I procrastinated ordering until late last week - I was lucky to get it when I did. Before ordering I interrogated the early adopters I knew - the ones who grabbed it day one, and compared their notes to what was coming out from respected portions of the industry - like Consumer Reports.

So I'm right-handed - though I would probably describe my phone usage as 'polydextrous', I kind of fiddle and fumble with the phone unless I'm just talking one on one: which is probably my rarest activity, I email and text far more frequently. Still, I actually had more phone conversations than the norm this weekend, and except for a local pizzeria hanging up on me (which at best I could blame on AT&T) ... I haven't had any problems at all. In fact the reception, especially the WiFi reception - is better than ever. And the WiFi is certainly noticeable better.

I think Apple's recently press events and especially the offer of free bumpers will defuse the situation somewhat. The general consensus from iPhone4 users is that you'll probably want a case with this one, though I'm holding off for a while as I'd prefer to get the slimmest one possible - I really like the feel and form factor of this model.

Once again, I don't think Steve Jobs should be allowed to answer emails anymore - he just can't respond directly to problems customers are having without sounding a bit like an ass. If anything, this fiasco is a case scenario of what happens when a beloved brand comes under fire with a bit of evidence behind it. Did the press exaggerate the magnitude of the situation? I think, but if you don't want to be shark bait ... don't flail around in the water. Apple could have saved themselves a lot of headaches by getting to this point sooner in the game. Or even finding a bumper-like case they aren't wildly overcharging in the first place.

So bottom line? If you're a southpaw and a have phone user - go borrow a friend's iPhone4 for a couple calls. Worst case scenario? Get a case. It's not armageddon, nor is it a killer flaw in an otherwise well designed product.

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