...but the Japanese are right.
Apple's iPhone is a hit everywhere in the world — except for Japan.
It turns out that Apple's video-playing, music-downloading, motion-sensing handset is just too, well, backward for the Japanese market.
In fact, the iPhone is such a flop in the Land of the Rising Sun that it's being given away free with a 2-year contract, Wired News reports.
I've had my iPhone for a year now. I'm one of millions, I know, but many more millions have held off either because of the expense of the instrument or because they're satisfied with their BlackBerrys or other smart phones and don't want to risk what they've heard may be a big headache. Though some folks still look at mine longingly, I am quick to temper their envy with reality: think twice.
At first, anxious to rationalize my extravagant purchase, I blamed all the iPhone's problems on the fact that I am not a Mac user and the interface between Apple's iPhone and MS Windows is cumbersome and unreliable. That rationalization lasted about a month. Though it IS true, it's only a part of the problem. In the past year, my list has grown to include some glitch in nearly every area of performance, and I can now say that if I had it to do over, I wouldn't have bought it.
I know a lot of people are genuinely happy with their iPhones. I chalk this up to one of three things:
- They aren't as happy as they say they are but are embarrassed to admit it's overrated
- They don't know that there are now phones that will do pretty much everything the iPhone will do with way less trouble
- Their phones really are great and I (and tens of thousands of others I read on the internet every day) somehow got lemons
- The phone is uncomfortable to handle.
- Unless you use a skin, it's downright impossible to hold onto.
- The touchscreen is the worse idea ever devised. (Okay, so I'm into hyperbole today.) Apple is finally coming to its senses on this one and will introduce a screen that can at least be navigated with a pencil eraser or something closer to the size of the "buttons" than my thumb. And if you have nails, forget it.
- Who would purposely buy a phone in 2009 that won't send or receive photos to/from someone else's phone?
- There are scores of unexplained malfunctions, totally unpredictable, that no one seems to be able to fix.
- Don't even get me started on the Edge network.
- Apple and AT&T have managed to avoid fixing anything by blaming each other for the malfunctions. It's worse than sibling rivalry.
- THE VOLUME. Part of the reason I bought this thing was because it would hold and play my music and audiobook library. But two feet away from the thing I can't hear it. I have to plug it into speakers or headphones. When alone, I've been known to tuck it under my bra strap just to get it close enough to hear. And don't even think about having a real conversation with someone on speakerphone. If you put it on speaker, you still have to hold it up to you like a walkie-talkie and you certainly can't walk around the room and talk. This, by the way, is the second most prevalent complaint about the iPhone...it's not just mine.
I AM addicted to the ease with which I can check my email compared to my friends who have other smart phones. But other than that, I'd give it up in a heartbeat for whatever is making the grade in the Land of the Rising Sun.
So, all that to say...the reliably technologically-savvy Japanese have it right. If you can get an iPhone for free it might be worth it. But only then.
And that's if you're not figuring in the cost of institutionalization for constant frustration :-)
Apple's iPhone Flops in Japan, Now Sold for Free