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The 5 Biggest Cons for Getting the iPhone 4! And Why You Should Wait.
Now that all the details of the iPhone 4 have been revealed and we are no longer asking questions about what it will include, the next question is should you buy an iPhone 4 at launch or wait a few months? It’s not necessarily a simple question. You’ll have to weigh factors such as cost, phone company, and features. This article will point out the 5 biggest and most important cons of the iPhone 4.
The 5 Biggest Cons
1. It’s the First Batch – The First Commandment of Apple Products: Thou shalt not buy the rookie products. I personally like to wait for of all the over-eager consumers and beta testers to find all of the kinks and annoying glitches with the first model. I waited 5 months after the iPhone 3G was released to join the iPhone party.
Take the iPad for example, with its Wi-Fi problems discovered within the first week!
• Apple Confirms iPad Wi-Fi Problems
• Apple Acknowledges iPad Wi-Fi Issues
Developers have already found some technical issues with the iPhone 4.
• Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs Struggling to get Reception (VIDEO)
• iPhone OS 4 Secrets: Some Early Glitches Reported by Developers
Sometimes, Apple launches are completely half-baked. If you simply must have one, go ahead. But I would wait a little while. You’ll be pretty annoyed when you see how much it improves in such a short period of time after getting one at launch.
2. Limited Storage – The second biggest con is the storage (or lack thereof) The iPhone 4 only offers 16GB for the base model ($199) and 32 GB of storage on the higher end model ($299). This is the same storage setup as last year’s iPhone 3GS. For a phone that is boasting the ability to shoot a lot of high-quality pictures and HD video, this storage is skimpy. Remember the original iPhone’s debut? Just months after it hit the market, the 4GB version was done away with and the 8GB version’s price dropped. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple upgrades the iPhone 4 to a 64GB by Christmas time. Look at the iPhone 3GS. Now $99, when 2 weeks ago it started at $199.
3. Antenna Issues – Owners have stated that when they held their hand over a particular spot on the side of the iPhone4, they would experience dropped calls. For awhile, Apple ignored the issue, saying that users should simply hold the device a different way. But it soon became clear that Apple couldn’t ignore the problem for long, and Steve Jobs held a press conference to address it. Jobs’ solution was a plastic bumper case, which he said, mitigated the issue. It worked for most users. Many have had good experiences, and others, bad ones. If you’re like me, and you do not want to put a rubbery case over your shiny, sleek phone, this is not only a great inconvenience–it now becomes a cramp on your style.
4. FaceTime Limitations – While the FaceTime video calling feature is very cool, it’s got some serious limitations. For now, it only works on WiFi. Meaning you cannot use FaceTime on AT&T’s 3G network while you are out and about. Look at the FaceTime Video again. Every example of someone using FaceTime is either inside a home or a building of some sort. Also, this may not be obvious to everyone, but FaceTime can only work if both parties have an iPhone 4. So you cannot video chat with someone who simply has another video-chat-enabled cell phone. And even when they do allow FaceTime with 3G, this will directly affect your data plan. Which leads me to the next biggest con.
5. AT&T – The iPhone 4 only works on AT&T in the U.S. IT IS NOT 4G! The correct name is iPhone 4. No G. If you’re not a fan of AT&T (and there’s good reason, including dropped calls and slowness of implementing new features), nothing’s changed. I know this is a subjective issue, as the service quality varies from one location to another. However, for me and many of my AT&T-using friends in the Boston area and New York, call quality has been sub-par. Service is sometimes hit or miss. Calls have been dropped at really awkward moments. I have even missed picking my sister up at the airport because the text message she sent took 4 hours to get to me. Over the years, I have had faith that someday AT&T’s service would improve, but now the benefit of the doubt has run out. Those rumors about the iPhone going to Verizon are totally false. This mythical Verizon iPhone rumor has been around for at least 2 years now. AT&T Has Exclusive iPhone Rights until at least 2012! A good rule of thumb with Apple rumors is not to believe ANYTHING until it shows up on apple.com. Or in the case of the iPhone 4, Gizmodo.com
6. No Unlimited Data – Thanks to a recent change made by AT&T to its data plans, there’s no longer an unlimited data plan for *new* iPhone customers (see article here) . While the 2GB monthly allotment will be enough for most users, tethering or uploading hefty HD videos may strain the limits of your plan and cause you to incur extra charges (though another 1GB is only $10). Now, most people can easily do fine with just 200MB or 2GB a month, but hardcore iPhone users could easily exceed that, even a few times over, especially if they tether.
Again, this only applies to new subscribers. Existing iPhone users, like me, are grandfathered in and can enjoy unlimited data. However there’s a catch: we won’t be able to use tethering, which requires a limited data plan, plus another $20/month!
AT&T says that tethering will be made available together with the iOS 4 (iPhone OS 4.0). It’s ironic, however, that it will not be allowed on iPhones with existing unlimited data plans.
Not a good deal.
Bonus – Subjective Con
One thing that many people do not know about Apple’s in-house technical support team (Genius Bar) is that you are covered for the first year under Apple’s protection plan called AppleCare. So if your new iPhone 4 craps out on you after 6 months, you’re covered. You simply bring the phone to any Apple Store (not AT&T store) and if the device does not have water damage or physical damage, they will give you a service replacement. This is a brand new iPhone, not refurbished. It will be the same device model and color that you had (minus the fancy box and accessories).
BUT the biggest thing to keep in mind is that the service replacement they give you is only covered for 90 days. So think about it, if you buy the iPhone 4 when it is launched and you happen to get a “bad apple” sure, the Genius Bar will replace your iPhone at no additional cost. However, now you are only covered for the next 3 months instead of another 1 year. You do not get another full year of coverage for the “new” replacement phone. And being out of coverage on any Apple device is not a happy place to be. The cost to replace an iPhone 4 when you are not eligible for an upgrade is $599 (16GB), or $699 (32GB).
To avoid this gamble, Apple suggests that you purchase the extended AppleCare Protection Plan when you buy any Apple product–especially the iPhones and Macs. The additional AppleCare is not a warranty, but a “protection plan” that only covers malfunctions and software issues, but not physical damages for 1 additional year.
This is a subjective con because AppleCare is currently just $69 for iPhones. So its worth it when you consider the full price of the phone.
So Who Should Consider Buying the iPhone 4?
Gadget lovers who need the latest and the greatest – The iPhone 4 is certainly going to be the apple (haha) of the technology world’s eye when it debuts on June 24. If you need to have the latest, cutting-edge gadgets, you need it.
Non iPhone Users – If you’ve been waiting for the right time to upgrade to iPhone, this is it. Despite some limitations, this is a terrific smartphone, media player, and gaming device. There’s no better time to become an iPhone user. Unless you want to wait until June 2011 for the next model. History has shown that every June (since 2007), a new iPhone is born.
• June 29, 2007 – iPhone (original)
• June 11, 2008 – iPhone 3G
• June 19, 2009 – iPhone 3GS
• June 24, 2010 – iPhone 4
Mobile Video Makers – Between its brilliantly sharp and attractive screen, the ability to shoot 720p HD video, and onboard video-editing software, the iPhone 4 is a mobile video powerhouse. You’ll be able to shoot, edit, apply effects, and publish to the web all from your iPhone. Pretty amazing.
First-Generation iPhone Owners – Only the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS support all the features of iOS 4 (the newest operating system). The iPhone 3G supports some, but the original iPhone doesn’t run iOS 4 at all. So, if you’re looking to take advantage of the hundreds of new features in iOS 4 (and especially if you have an iPhone older than the 3GS), you’ll want to consider an upgrade.
To wrap this all up: Apple sets the bar high with their unique design and flashy marketing, and because of that, I think their customers (including me) simply jump on board for the launch each and every time the company whips out a shiny new toy. In the end Apple Inc is a company, like any other, that is susceptible to hardware defects, firmware botches and software glitches. Waiting and understanding that first generation of most hardware can sometimes be a gamble – no matter who it’s from – just might save a few headaches, and a few dollars.