I Got an iPhone, but…

I got an iPhone today, and I hate it.

I've been longing for an iPhone since they were announced. They finally became available in Japan this summer, just prior to my trip to The States. Now that I'm back, I've finally procured one.

I'll admit that the geek in me is interested in all the fun things one can do with an iPhone, but the overriding reason for wanting one is that I want a phone whose features I can actually use. Lots of cell phones have lots of features, but they're always hidden behind a user interface designed for aliens. The thought of actually being able to use the phone features, intuitively, made me giddy.

So, I went to a SoftBank store yesterday to get one (SoftBank is the iPhone carrier in Japan). The first thing the sales guy says is that the iPhone antenna is sort of weak, and that I can't return the phone even if there's no signal where I intend to use it. So that I can test things, he loans me a different SoftBank phone that I can take home and check. The phone signal strength indicator goes up to three bars, and if I can get at least two bars things will be fine. If only one bar, it could be iffy. If zero bars, the iPhone will certainly not get a signal.

Bringing it home, I get a solid two bars in the livingroom and in my office. Good enough. I return today and buy a black 16-gig 3G iPhone.

With the iPhone at home, I get “no service”. I don't even get service when I step outside the house (onto a busy street in Kyoto city proper).

I just want a phone that I can use, and all of Apple's masterful user interface means nothing if I can't get a $#@& signal!

Not happy. At all.

(Update: two days and one firmware upgrade later, I'm very happy.)

All 8 comments so far, oldest first...

I think Apple kind of laid an egg with the 2.0 software. Our two original iPhones both got a lot worse for signal quality with the 2.0 software update, and the 3G phone I bought wasn’t any better. The 2.0.x updates helped maybe a little, but not much. We’re all hoping that Friday’s 2.1 update brings us back to 1.x levels.

— comment by Eric on September 11th, 2008 at 8:25pm JST (15 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Sounds like you didn’t activate the phone by means of your PC and iTunes 😉

I wish it were that simple, but it was activated for me at the store. When I walked out, I had a great signal. —Jeffrey

— comment by Prodoc on September 11th, 2008 at 8:32pm JST (15 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery,

This is a bit off topic for this iPhone post, but I am trying to post my photos online and have the EXIF data diplayed like yours. What are you using to disply this at the bottom of your images ?

I currently don’t worry about it on my personal blog, but I about to shoot my first wedding in 3 weeks, and then another 2 weeks later. I’m putting together my website, which is almost all I have left to do. I have 95% of my workflow sorted, but want to display my images (both weddings and potraiture) with the EXIF data showing.

Any advice would be great.



— comment by Doug on September 11th, 2008 at 9:11pm JST (15 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Tried a friends iPhone for a day. Great interface — completely useless features for me.

Took it back and got a Blackberry. Not as stylish, but it simply works. No crashes, exceptional signal level and really good voice quality. It doesn’t sync with my MacBook, but at least it works.

It’s all about personal use. The iPhone was a great media / phone device. It was not a PDA. Good luck! Not sure what you’ll do if you can’t return it…

— comment by Mark on September 11th, 2008 at 9:45pm JST (15 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

So now you are stuck with it? Geez…

— comment by John on September 12th, 2008 at 5:38am JST (15 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I find AT&T’s service here in the states is not that great, but the iphone hardware itself is amazing and the features do work really well. I don’t get the signal strength I am used to, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been so glad to have a real web browser, a google maps, and a real email client that types fast.

— comment by Jon Van Dalen on September 12th, 2008 at 9:38am JST (15 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Root cause is probably due to the test mobile (alternate phone) they provided. Is it possible to return the iPhone after proving it to softbank.

I am using a softbank phone, bought it because its free to call other softbank users (and most of my friends had one). My experience is that the signal reception is mostly *bad*.

— comment by britto on September 12th, 2008 at 11:14am JST (15 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

“a user interface designed for aliens”

At last, a user interface I can use! And I have the alien registration card to prove it! Does it take a command language based on regular expressions?

— comment by 良い亭 on September 29th, 2008 at 12:24pm JST (15 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
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