Friday, June 25, 2010

iPhone 4? It's Next To The Tickle Me Elmos

Caption: The iPhone 4 running iBooks software. At least you'll have something to read while you're waiting for the phone to work.

Image credit: Apple Computer

Thinking about buying the new iPhone4? My advice would be to wait awhile. First of all, you have to battle the crowds, as the Miami Herald reports:

The long-awaited launch of the latest iPhone Thursday was welcomed with cops controlling crowds, short tempers, and complaints over disrupted signals and yellow spots on the screen.

"Apple did a terrible job," said Jalen James of North Bay Village. "They have an app for everything except how to organize a line."

James was at Aventura [Florida] Mall in the early hours, facing about 1,000 people outside the Apple Store before its doors opened at 7 a.m.

Some complaints, some quarrels as crowds grab up iPhone 4s

Things were like that lots of places, if PC Magazine is right:

Radio Shack had previously announced that some stores might not receive supplies of the new iPhone 4 on launch day, including units in black as well as white; Apple delayed the white iPhone because of an unexplained manufacturing issue. Radio Shack also said that it would extend its accessory bundle deals throughout July and work to obtain more iPhones as well.

Best Buy also announced that the company had begin filling "some" preorders, but @Coral_BestBuy, one of the members of its "twelp force," told one customer that "[I]deally we'd have had more than enough to fulfill all preorders and then some, unfortunately that was not the case."

Best Buy, Radio Shack, Wal-Mart Ship iPhone4

And what do you end up with if you do manage to find one? A phone with a troublesome new antenna:

Apple has finally acknowledged that the way you hold the iPhone 4 can hinder the device's cellular reception.

Complaints about weakening or disappearing signals when the iPhone 4 is gripped in a particular way--usually by touching two seams of the antenna band on the exterior of the phone simultaneously--began popping up late Wednesday night, and continued to appear Thursday.

Apple acknowledges antenna issue in iPhone 4

It also has newer, more complicated software:

Rule No. 1 when upgrading devices with new software is, "Your mileage may vary," and that seems to hold true for early adopters of iOS 4, the updated Apple operating system that became available for download on June 21. After experimenting with the new features for a couple of days, I'm ready to label my experience with iOS 4 as "relatively painless."
Apple is playing up the multitasking features of iOS 4, which only work on the iPhone 3GS and the latest iteration of the iPod Touch (and on the new iPhone 4, of course), but it's going to be the applications themselves that determine whether multitasking is useful.

iOS 4 Is an Upgrade Worth Having

So, first the application writers make their software compatible with the new features, then we find out if the new operating system's new features work properly. In my own experience, this seldom goes well.

Personally, I'd wait for the iPhone 4.1, or whatever the phone with a better antenna and a debugged OS will be called. If you can't wait that long, at least wait until they get more of them in the stores.

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