Print 84 comment(s) - last by ymak.. on Nov 18 at 12:04 PM

  (Source: Reuters)
Ask and ye shall not receive, in the iPhone world

It’s hard to argue the brilliant potential of Apple's iPhone.  The device stands head and shoulders over most smartphones in terms of looks, form factor, graphics, internet capabilities, and touch interface.  So when the new 3G iPhone debuted, customers flocked to it, hoping that the oversights of the first generation model might have been addressed by Apple.

The wish list wasn't very long, and some items on it seem like they would be almost trivial to implement.  Among the desired features as chronicled by Wired -- photo texting, copy and paste, working Flash, browser crash fixes, Wi-Fi iTunes syncs, landscape view for emails, clicking anywhere to take a photo, and the ability to hide unwanted icons.

While one would thing one or two of these fixes -- requested by users and trumpeted all about by the media -- might be added, the iPhone 3G came with exactly none of them.  What it did come with were a plethora of features that were met with varying reactions from modest enthusiasm to total indifference, including Google Street View, direct podcast downloads, application ratings on deletion, line in support (for mics), Emoji icons, location sharing, and Safari tweaks (not crash proofing).  These fixes can easily be gleaned by glancing through leaks from the iPhone Firmware 2.2 Beta 2.

However, it’s the features that everyone wants that aren't there that are grabbing the most attention.  Of the top 20 most requested features, you have to reach 18 before you reach one Apple has implemented -- turn by turn directions.

Many analysts are puzzled that a company could be so out of touch with its user base.  A publicist for FullSix, the " relationship marketing” company that created Please Fix the iPhone drive points out that most big companies have launched initiatives which they use to gather and implement user suggestions.  They point to My Starbucks and Dell's Idea Storm as examples.

Apple does quite the opposite.  It gives people random features they never requested (with the exception of 3G, which was more of an upgrade to modern standards than a feature).  Many blame Apple's polarizing CEO Steve Jobs.  Mr. Jobs has publicly stated before that he doesn't think customers know what they want, but he does.

He likes to express this philosophy by using a Wayne Gretzky quote to refer to his thoughts on feature development; "I skate to where the puck is going to be.  Not to where it’s been."

However, most analysts believe that Mr. Jobs will eventually be forced to relent and offer a feature here and there that consumers have been demanding for months -- or at least one would hope. 

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RE: Just four things...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/3/2008 10:24:07 AM , Rating: 5
this is a no-brainer and I have no idea what's taking them so long to implement this.

And I have no idea why you Mac yuppies continue to invest in a product that has SO much less functionality than existing ones which are more solid.

I understand that you put style and social acceptance over function. But why complain about it ?

RE: Just four things...
By michael2k on 11/3/2008 3:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
Um, because the functionality that does exist is easier to use?

At least, that's the word of mouth I get from the other people at work who have iPhones (over Treos, BlackBerries, etc.)

Me? I use Macs and iPhones because the features I do use are easily more usable on the Mac and iPhone. Otherwise, duh, I would use something else.

RE: Just four things...
By ymak on 11/18/2008 12:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the vast, vast majority of Apple users (Macs or iPhones, whichever) really have so little knowledge about the piece of crap they've got in their hand to care. The rest of us, who know better, can't be satisfied with something that looks pretty but doesn't do what we want. They can. They honestly don't need or want to know what a truly good phone should have, because in general they have no idea what they're doing.

Actually, I bet most of my friends with iPhones (plenty) don't realize what a poor product it is simply because they don't use copy and paste or GPS or MMS. They use it as a glorified iPod, and the iPhone can do that. When I buy a smartphone, I'd like it to be smart, please. If I wanted an iPod, I'd just use my iPod.

It's sad how the consumer base of one of the best-selling phones in the United States can possibly be so poorly informed.

If I've said anything stupid, please call me out. First, I'm exhausted and I'm not thinking straight. Also, if you're a Macfreak, please, I like arguing with you. Mostly because I can run circles around you even without any sleep.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
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