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Apple Excitement? Not So Much.

Posted by tomwiles at 8:41 PM on September 16, 2012

I have a number of Apple products and I’ve been a bit of a fan in the past. Apple products of the past represented genuine value. Not only would the operating system continue to work well on aging hardware, but Apple products used to be repairable.

I’ve had a Sprint HTC Evo 4G for about two and a half years. The original Evo is still a great phone, but it obviously cannot work with Sprint’s new LTE network, so it was time to upgrade.

About a month ago I was seriously considering an iPhone 5. However, the details about the new iPhone 5 screen size began to emerge and I didn’t like what I was hearing – it was only a 4” inch screen. My Evo had a 4.2” inch touch screen, and I didn’t want to go to a smaller screen size – if anything I wanted an even bigger screen.

The original Evo was admittedly a battery hog – I knew that would be the case with it going in. Fortunately, the original Evo has a user-changeable battery. I changed batteries twice in two years. The way I use my phones, I destroy batteries – I MUST be able to easily replace them myself. So besides the smaller 4” inch iPhone 5 screen, it has a sealed battery. (Incidentally, the latest HTC Evo LTE also has a sealed battery, also making it a non-starter for me.)

So, I ended up getting a 16 gigabyte Samsung Galaxy S3 from Sprint. The S3 has a gorgeous AMOLED 4.8” touchscreen along with a user-replaceable battery, which tipped the balance for me in the end. I have the unlimited data “Simply Everything” plan, so I am able to use my phone as my podcast aggregator as well as the playback device. I transferred the 32 gigabyte Micro SD chip from the Evo to the S3 and can even go to a 64 gigabyte chip if the need should arise.

Apple revolved around Steve Jobs and his innovative brilliance. Steve Jobs had some serious personality flaws, but he was able to succeed in spite of those flaws. Now that Steve is gone, I fear that Apple as a company has embraced Jobs’ personality quirks as if they were the source of innovation.

Having high-priced products that cannot easily be repaired for me is a deal-breaker.

By the way, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is an awesome device and I could not be happier with my choice.

5 Comments

  1. From Paul Lawler at 10:51 am on September 17, 2012

    While you personally may find the iPhone 5 a “non-starter,” your pessimism is apparently not shared by consumers. Apple received over 2 million preorders for the iPhone 5 in the first 24 hours (twice as many as the iPhone 4s). I would call that quite a bit of “Apple Excitement.” Most Apple customers are used to the “sealed battery” already, as this has been Apple’s MO for years.

  2. From Wildblue at 9:30 pm on September 17, 2012

    I like apple products but you are forced to upgrade to new devices all the time.

  3. From Ken at 4:33 pm on September 20, 2012

    Apple flops with new maps update, and the maps look awful

    By Zach Epstein

    Published September 20, 2012

    Apple’s new built-in maps function isn’t quite ready for primetime, Google maps are much more accurate and look a thousand times better, it will take Apple years to catch up.

    People who have been using beta versions of iOS 6 for the past few months have known how awful Apple’s (AAPL) new Maps app is, but for the most part they held out hope that the company would make some serious refinements by the time its new iOS 6 software was released to the public. But iOS 6 officially took flight on Wednesday and sadly, Apple’s new Maps app is still awful.

    An unsightly blemish on what is otherwise a beautiful OS, Apple’s new Maps application is enraging users.

    Google Maps wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination but Google (GOOG) has spent many years and boatloads of money creating its mapping experience. The result is a fantastic product that iOS users had taken for granted. Until now.
    Apple is often criticized for valuing form over function by enthusiasts who avidly support rival companies. Those who use Apple products argue that they function quite well, but this is an instance where the naysayers are correct. Apple’s new Maps application is absolutely gorgeous but in terms of performance, it takes multiple giant leaps backwards compared to Google Maps.

    In my own testing over the past few months, I have found the new Maps app to be remarkably frustrating and after a while I avoided it at all costs. I would check back in from time to time to see if any notable improvements had been made, but each time I checked I was met with disappointment.

    Put plainly, Apple’s Maps app just isn’t smart. A search performed just a few days ago for a restaurant I was standing no more than 100 feet away from yielded a result in Kansas.

    I was in New Jersey at the time. While I’m sure Kansas has terrific Chinese food, Google Maps would have known that serving a result 1,100 miles away probably isn’t as smart as serving a result 100 feet away.

    I have had a great deal of trouble when searching for most business names in Apple’s Maps app. This is especially problematic when I’m rushing to a meeting that I am already late for. Sadly, this happens often. Searching the name of a hotel or event center in Google Maps always took me right where I needed to go. The same cannot be said of Apple’s Maps app. Even if I’m within a mile of the place I’m looking for, Maps in iOS 6 often serves results that are across town or even in a different city.

    To make matters worse, searching exact addresses isn’t always better. A recent search for an address on Broadway in Manhattan would only return a result on West Broadway — an entirely different street. Sometimes, even after I tap the locate button and the app has pinpointed my location, searches for business names or addresses yield results in different towns or even different states when there are closer, far more logical results to be found. It’s just not smart.

    And so we have our first big gripe with iOS 6, and by extension, the new iPhone 5: Apple’s new mapping solution is awful.
    Apple knows how bad its Maps application is, and I’m sure the company is working hard to improve it. Many assume Apple launched the new service in this state because it was in such a rush to oust Google from its devices, and this may or may not be the explanation. Regardless, users are being punished. Thermonuclear war or not, there’s no excuse for punishing users.

  4. From JD at 5:54 am on September 27, 2012

    Android is for nerds. The S3 is way too huge, and Samesung’s phones are plastic crap. Apple may not be perfect, but their ecosystem has others beat by a mile. The iPhone 5 is an incredible piece of engineering that is a delight to use.

    P.S. whomever said you have to upgrade every year… where did you get that info? WIth Apple at least you get the latest OS when it comes out… with Android its a crap shoot at best if you will get it or not. YOu can also sell your iPhone and pay for the upgrade, where Android phones don’t hold their value. If you want to future proof yourself and make a good investment in a great product, the iPHone is the clear choice.

    As for Apple’s maps.. they had to switch away. Give it a few months and they will get it right… guaranteed. This is just the “antenna gate” of 2012. Its also a hugely overblown issue for most…

  5. From Andrew at 4:02 pm on September 27, 2012

    Yawn…..