I don’t get the iPhone love


I work for Microsoft. So that probably discredits everything I’m about to say despite the fact that our family has 2 iPods and has bought hundreds of dollars worth of music from iTunes.  Here are some of the things I would have expected from the iPhone that would have been more tempting to me as an i-<Insert here> consumer.



  • If it’s a wireless world why not sexy wireless bluetooth headsets?  Looks like they are packaging with standard headphones + a mic.  I was hoping that those Apple folks would have come up with the first ever good looking pair of wireless stereo headphones that would have resparked that “white ear-bud envy”.

  • I didn’t want a Moto-Q or blackjack from cingular because of the size and this thing is slightly bigger than both.  For that size I would have expected a 20-40GB model in return… good storage for all those videos they want me to pay for.

  • They put in the wi-fi, but why not 3g for music downloads anywhere?

  • Just like Zune, they don’t let you sync with your iTunes wirelessly.  We (Microsoft) get hated on for the lack of features like this, but Apple gets a break for it.  It’s feels missing on the Zune and it will feel missing from the iPhone. 

  • 500-600 dollars!  With a 2-year contract?  My 3125 from cingular was free with a 2-year contract and a data plan. $50 dollars later I added 2 gb of memory and have a nice portable music player with my phone. Grand total… $50.  That screen had better be worth 10x as much.

  • Web browsing. I’m sorry, but web browsing is a bad expereince with anything less than 640×480 and a keyboard. I just don’t get very excited by web browsing on a small device with the limited exception of local searches that give me phone numbers. I really just don’t get why everyone wants a web browser in thier toasters. Browsing is bad on my smartphone without a real keyboard and bigger screen. It’s bad on the Wii with opera because of the poor resoluton and lack of a keyboard. And it’s not going to be much better just because you get a touchscreen.  The best thing my phone (or any device of that size) does for web browsing is let me tether it as a modem through bluetooth so I can use my laptop.

The devices I was hoping for was a real video ipod with video ipod storage (80gb) and a seperate phone with the design of the iPod nano + bluetooth and the phone stuff.  The current iPhone just looks like the Newton I lusted over in High School. 

Comments (9)

  1. steven says:

    I quite agree with you, especially about the web browsing part and the synchronisation. There’s even quite a few things I think are missing in the ipod. The iphone seems to be just the new generation of ipod that also happens to make phone calls.

    There’s some real sexy kit coming that has me a lot more excited than iphone or Zune, though: the oqo model 2 (http://www.oqo.com/) The only thing it doesn’t do is make phone calls… Then again, you could probably install a VOIP client on it.

  2. n4cer says:

    Totally agree. I think many people will want tactile input.

    I also think they missed out on an obvious feature… They’ve got what is basically the same form factor as a Pocket PC Phone. Why not add the Newton technology to allow people to use handwriting as an input method? I know they probably wanted to avoid being classified as a PDA, but it seems like such an obvious and useful feature to include.

  3. Anonymous says:

    When I saw the price and the features, I said to myself that Microsoft must have just breathed a sigh of relief. This will not compete with the Zune. Personally I wanted an 80GB iPod with that form factor and Wifi.

    Hopefully Microsoft uses this opportunity to capitalize on Zune v2 and say **** the phone. I hate this notion that you absolutely must have a phone – not true. PSP was just not a great device – hopefully Zune v2 stays away from the phone & carriers and builds on the PSP foundation.

  4. Luke says:

    While it misses a few features that bug me, I’m more than happy to give them a break as they’ve delivered a phone which doesn’t force me to break out a stylus (or a clumsy immitation fingernail) or interact with a bad desktop metaphor.

    If it starts convincing Microsoft that, just like media players and consoles, phones aren’t the place for a "Start" buttons and 90’s style drop down menus, all the more power to them I say.

  5. Anon says:

    So. A year from now, when Apple succeeds and its stock is at $150: will you resign from your PM position? PM supposedly should know which features people want. So if Apple is right and you are wrong – what are going to do?

    Microsoft problem is that it has PMs.

  6. MSDNArchive says:

    Anon: No. I won’t. And "PM" is not my title. Nor do I work for the zune team.  I’m simply armchair quarterbacking from my position as a consumer here with no real user data or insight.  And if you think that’s Microsoft’s problem then i invite you to come by and see what our team does on a daily basis.  There may be some bad PM’s at Microsoft, but there also a fair share of bad devs and testers… just like any other large company… including apple.  

    Luke: I agree wrt the start menu and trying new things iwth UI innovation.  The "squishy broswer zoom" also seems innovative. however there is something to say for user memory. Gretchen just got a RAZR. That phone has terrible software so it’s probably a bad comparison, but it’s much less usable than her last windows mobile device… she didn’t know where to go to start programs.

    Anonymous: The PSP is cool. 🙂

    Nacer: Maybe they can pull it off with ticking and better error correction, but I’ve tried other devices (fancy remotes) that didn’t have real buttons and had to take them back.  It’s also true that Apple has probably trained people with the iPods not to expect real buttons.

    Steven: Agreed

  7. MSDNArchive says:

    I think that the cost alone is going to make this a niche product.  Yes–the original iPod was *nearly* this expensive, but it was a niche product at the time as well.  Couple the $500 phone with an expensive data plan from Cingular ($40 for their GSM data plan per month) and we’re talking about alot of money for the average consumer to browse the web, make phone calls, and listen to music on the same device.

    For Microsoft, the scary thing is that Apple can eventually get the price to come down, and the iPhone is a strong v1 device–the web browsing, although still on a phone, is *much* better than Pocket IE, and Apple is great at learning and turning around and improving their products.  Hopefully we won’t sit back for another five years before releasing a consumer-focused Windows Mobile device…

  8. Anon says:

    >Web browsing. I’m sorry, but web browsing is a bad expereince with anything less than 640×480 and a keyboard. I just don’t get very excited by web browsing on a small device with the limited exception of local searches that give me phone numbers.

    A lot of people do not like to carry a brick to browse on the commute. I was blown away by the simplicity of the touch-motion sensitivie-software combination of the browser demoed on it. Tap and double tap was very nice. They seem to have enabled less than 640×480 and keyboard with their neat software enabled interface using modern devices. I can’t wait to buy a third or fourth generation of this sweet device.

    And even if I were the CEO of Microsoft, I would never use the ugly brown Zune.

  9. I work for Microsoft. So that probably discredits everything I’m about to say despite the fact that our family has 2 iPods and has bought hundreds of dollars worth of music from iTunes. Here are some of the things I would have expected from the iPhon

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