The McBournie Minute: iPhones kind of suck

I’m going to come right out and say it: I don’t own an iPhone. I know, I know, it’s shocking. I get that reaction a lot. But it’s true. In fact, I really don’t care to buy an iPhone right now, because they are way more than I, or pretty much anyone else, ever needs in a communication device (though they will never tell you that) and in a recession, they are rapidly turning into a symbol of poor planning.

I look at the iPhone much the may I looked at fraternities when I was in college. They cost a lot, they don’t deliver what they promise and really, you just want to be seen with one. In college, I decided it was much easier if I drank when I wanted to where I wanted to, without having to memorize some group’s history or do anything remotely good for the community.

Plus, AT&T hazes you with big fees. Bryan McBournie elephant walks for no cell phone carrier.

You may be surprised that I could be so daring as to insult the JesusPhone. (It can hear you! Do not mock the iPhone!) But really, let’s stop looking at it in the golden light Apple puts it in. What on the iPhone is a must-have and what is really just a nice-to-have? Pretty much everything on it is just a frill you’re going to use once.

Take MP3s for example. Awesome, your phone plays MP3s. Even better, if you listen to your songs most of the day, your cell phone ends up low on battery power when you get home from work. Wooooo! Yes, you can also watch movies on your phone, but that’s only if you can mind where you are walking and deal with the feeling of everyone looking over your shoulder to see what you are watching. Fun! My phone has these capabilities, I don’t use them. I have an iPod Video that’s been working just fine for me for nearly four years, and all I use it for is MP3s.

But wait! It has the Internet! Guess what? Safari sucks. It has since the day it was introduced. Somehow Apple came up with a worse browser than Microsoft. That takes some effort. Oooh, look! It’s the Web, mobile, but not the mobile web! It’s got speed on this 3G network AT&T says they are upgrading but actually haven’t yet. The download times bring me back to my 56K modem. I miss 1998.

My phone has Internet, too. It’s the mobile version, so it’s lighter. If offers less, but it opens really fast. I use it on occasion to check my email, Facebook, and the latest news. And even then, I only use it when I’m away from the computers I sit at all day at work or close to at home.

It’s got games! Great. Most phones have something. I don’t play any games though. I prefer to read–not on a Kindle, one of those old-timey books, actually.

It’s got apps! There are thousands of apps (yes, I know games are apps) available for download–for a price. And I am sure a small handful of them do something that can be useful from time to time. Unfortunately, they are lost in a sea of pointless apps you will probably stop using in less than a month.

Yes, I am sure you really need to see on a map where all of your friends are, in case they want to meet up and do something. Only thing is they have to have an iPhone and they have to have the same geo-tracking app as you do. FAIL. Try calling them, it’s easier.

I know you need to over share every moment of your life on Twitter, but you don’t need the app. Why don’t you just send your updates by text message. You’re paying for those anyway, remember?

Yes, I am sure there are all kinds of practical applications for that level app you have, and I know you can’t just turn on your iPhone in a dark room and use the regular screen to light your way–the flashlight app is a must as well. Hell, you also really need app that edits pictures on your iPhone, because it’s just too darn long of a wait to get it to the computer!

It’s the in thing, it’s trendy. It’s remotely useful at best. You want it because other people have it and the commercials have cool songs. You don’t even need it to play your MP3s because you still use your old iPod for that. It’s a steaming waste of money you’re addicted to and little else. Just admit it.

Don’t try telling yourself it’s to use for work. Offices make people get a Blackberry.

11 thoughts on “The McBournie Minute: iPhones kind of suck”

  1. I thought I was all alone Bryan. Finally I have met someone in common. Someone who hasn’t been taken in by Apple’s brainwashing.

    I run a website which exposes the iphone for what it really is. A shiny toy.

    In fact much what you have said covers my latest unpublished post which is entitled – “I don’t want an app for everything, just a phone that does everything”. Talking about how many useless apps there truly are for the iphone. With the remainder going to make up for features Apple left off.

    Most of all. The iphone just isn’t that good at anything. It’s a poor portable console, it’s a poor organiser, it’s a poor messenger and it’s a poor phone. Ok I concede .. it’s a good multimedia device but that’s all I’m going to give it.

  2. I got to this post five times faster, and commented on it while the guy using another carrier’s Internet was still waiting for the SG page to load. Bow down to the iPhone.

  3. Wasted money? I got mine for free. You on the other hand are busy wating for this page to load while you dream of having an effective internet on your mobile.

  4. Most carriers offer 3G these days, Schools, and the iPhone isn’t the only thing that uses it–even for AT&T.

    Did you read this column? I don’t need mobile web, I’m at a computer, just like you are near a computer at home. Come up with a better justification for paying more for something you don’t need.

  5. I like having an all-in-one. It does exactly what I need-has a fairly decent phone camera, gets me internet radio, has a nice battery life (I’ve gotten 9-10 hours easily out of mine on a single charge), allows me to visit all the sites at work that are normally blocked from access (like my Gmail account-seriously), now does audio recording, has a load of free apps that I regularly use, has a competent mp3 player and gets me free coffee from any Barnes and Noble via a free app. That works for me.

    I’ve never been dinged by extra charges or anything like that. Frankly, I’ve never understood when people say AT&T does that. My only wish is that they’d make my neck of the woods a 3G location-I can only really access that feature when I’m visiting my family.

  6. I am a 14 year old girl and I don’t own an iPhone, but I have an iPad 2. I use it for basically everything. Homework (there is an app for typing word documents because SOME people don’t own a computer and/or are to busy going places all the time and a computer isn’t that portable), playI actually enjoy playing some of the games from the App Store and even though they are totally useless and don’t do anything of worth, they are fun… My happiness is more important than most other things, like saving space.)

Comments are closed.