29 July 2010

To return or not to return - that is the question.

For the first time in my life, I own an Apple product I'm not totally sold on.  Scarier yet: I'm sitting here on day 29 contemplating whether or not to return it to the ATT store.

Maybe this is the beginning of my disenfranchisement with Apple, but there are several things I've realized over the past few weeks as a result of my experience with this phone:
  1. Apple could have done a much better job with the PR on the situation.

    I do approach this with a bit of a bias, as I studied PR as an undergrad.  I try to support companies that not only have good products, but communicate well with their constituencies.  In some cases, I'm even willing to pay more for their product as a result.

    Listen, I'm not one of those conspiracy theorists.  I don't think Apple was intentionally hiding anything.  Part of it is that it's a new product, and c'mon, let's face it - the press totally blew this one out of proportion.  The issue is that Apple didn't release a statement that said, "we are aware of the issue and are trying to collect more data to answer your concerns."  They told us that they'd actually been misrepresenting signal strength as a result of an "incorrect formula."

    The language they used in that release was nearly comical.  I could swear they called in Johnny Chimpo to do their dirty work.

  2. ATT's service does actually suck.

    I don't know how I missed this for the last two years, but ATT's service on the iPhone is terrible.  Maybe my iPhone 3G was a freak of nature, but I swear the service wasn't as bad.

    I'm having people call me and the phone doesn't ring.  Calls don't drop, but people on the other end of the line can't hear me for 20-second spans.  Voicemails aren't delivered.  I'm standing in areas that used to be clear as a summer morn and now calls are garbled.

    The scary thing is this reminds me of my experience in Athens 6 years ago with (dare I say it) Garbelizon.

    Call me crazy, but my service wasn't this bad with the iPhone 3G.  At least then it would just drop the call.  It seemed more...honest.

  3. I can't understand the people I'm calling.

    Yes.  It's like that.  The people I'm talking with sound like they have a sock over the mic.  I don't know if it's the noise-canceling mic at the top, but I fully expected the sound to be even better than it was on the iPhone 3G.  Each time I get done with a call, my hand's sore because I've been pressing it so hard into my ear (and yes, before you think it, I DO have the volume up all the way).

  4. I'm already locked into the Apple ecosystem.

    Hate to say this, but I started to think about how difficult porting my information / apps / music will be.  As intrigued as I am by the Android system, I've heard connecting them to your Mac is maddening (and slow).

  5. Other techy people I know that really like Apple products have taken their back.

    ...and I might be joining them.

  6. I can't afford to wait for Apple to update the software or fix whatever bug is causing this.

    I don't have the time.  Normally, I don't mind being an early adopter and this wouldn't be a huge deal, but ATT's increased cancellation fee and not necessarily wanting to be locked into their service anymore are weighing heavily on me.

    I'm not sweating bullets yet, but I do only have 16 hours to figure this out...
What's a boy to do?

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