My family switched from AT&T to Verizon last week. We all had the iPhone 3G while on AT&T’s network, but we had some problems. First, my brother didn’t get any reliable service at his school in rural Iowa. Second, Apple’s iOS updates had all but bricked all of our phones over time; it took absurd amounts of time to do very simple tasks like opening a text message. Apple’s position on this issue seems reasonable on the face of it (namely, that iOS 4 was optimized to run on iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G hardware doesn’t run as quickly), but when I realized that the slowdown happened in apps without any functionality changes, I came to believe it was all a ploy on Apple’s part to get us to upgrade to the iPhone 4 after having the iPhone 3G for two years.
Then there’s the App Store. I abhor the App Store. Apple should have no right to tell me what I can and cannot do with the hardware I purchased from them. If I want to run an app that has some functionality they disapprove of (for example, consider Google Voice, which Apple took about a year to approve and still remains technologically handicapped in comparison to the same app on Android), I should be able to run that app. Once I own the device, it’s my call, not theirs.
If they want to charge a 30% recurrence fee to any app with subscription-based payments processed through their system, fine. But if they decide to require that any app running on hardware they built charge all recurring payments through their system and outright forbid anyone from having cheaper plans available outside of the iOS ecosystem, I say, go bleep yourself, Apple.
I’m not saying iOS isn’t great for users; it is. If you’re looking for an intuitive and aesthetically appealing user interface, iOS is the way to go. If you want more control over your own phone, go with Android. If you want to tell Apple that what they’re doing is anticompetitive, monopolistic, and wrong, go with Android. I did, and I am already so much happier as a result.
That’s why I didn’t get a new iPhone.