Is iPhone the world's worst phone?

The handheld computing part is awesome, critic says. It's just the phone part that flounders.

By Kim Peterson Nov 5, 2009 12:15PM
Apple iPhone; Credit: © Manu Fernandez/APThe iPhone is the worst phone in the world, writes the folks at Cnet UK.

Pretty harsh words, but I can see the point. Cnet doesn't take issue with the phone's Web surfing or media-playing abilities. And the apps are pretty great. In fact, the iPhone is the best handheld computer out there, according to the site.

It's the phone part that blows, writes Flora Graham. Call quality is pathetic, she adds, mostly because the tiny speaker has to be perfectly aligned with your ear canal to work.

OK, I'm willing to hear her out at this point. Here's the rest of her case:

Headphones. The earbud headphones that come with the iPhone are "tinny and weak as a kitten," she writes.

Microphone. The microphone picks up all kinds of background noise. At least the 3.0 version of the iPhone supports Bluetooth, so you can use headsets, Graham writes.

Dropped calls. I've heard from plenty of Top Stocks readers on this subject. The iPhone drops calls, can't connect or doesn't even ring at all sometimes, Graham writes.

And the opposite of dropped calls isn't much better: Some people say their phone calls random people by itself.

Ignoring calls. Graham says that the worst iPhone problem is its tendency to ignore incoming calls and send callers directly into voice mail.

Battery life. "A couple of hours of Google Maps over 3G and you'll be lost in the woods without even the possibility of phoning for help," Graham writes.

Graham makes a good case, but I disagree. The iPhone isn't the worst phone in the world. The phone may be getting blamed for some problems that lie with the carriers (AT&T in the U.S.).

The iPhone is also a victim of its own hype: Its price tag is so high and expectations are so great that any flaws are going to be magnified.

Jan 13, 2011 12:52PM

I had an iPhone, once. I thought it was a good phone. Steve and Apple said it was.


When AT&T would drop a lot of my calls, I didn't think it was the phones fault, until Steve and Apple finally came clean with the antenna issue. They tried to blame it on me - said that "I" was holding it wrong..?


Then my battery would only last less than half a day. Steve and Apple said that it was my fault. I was using the internet too much and playing too many of those sweet apps from iTunes.


Then everyone kept asking, "Why do you keep calling me..?"

"I didn't call you... Did I?"

My phone went on a calling spree every few days a month and would just call people - even people I didn't know!


I figured, maybe it's the software? So I downloaded OS4. Now my battery life sucks even more!


The worst part of this story is that I've missed out on a job that I put several months of my time, interviewing and testing for... The iPhone did not ring (as it has done this before) and sent several of my callers straight to voicemail. One of the calls was for the new position - but I missed out - they thought I wasn't interested in the job anymore or found something else in the meantime. By the time I found out and called back, they called the next in line.


Now that I'm broke and jobless - getting ready to lose my house and everything else, I wish I had a different phone. This 3G has been the death of me! I would sell it on eBay but can't even afford to do that...


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