Apple’s removal of Google Voice apps last week prompted 2 high-profile individuals to publicly renounce iPhone ownership. First, Mac software developer Steven Frank was so furious with the removal that he decided to switch to a Palm Pre. Second, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington was equally pissed, so he penned a post titled “I Quit The iPhone” and announced that he’d be switching to an Android phone.
Are these guys for real?
Now the iTunes App Store admittedly has had its fair share of speed-bumps, but if you get rid of the iPhone because Apple removed Google Voice, it makes me wonder why you even had an iPhone to begin with? Is 1 application so crucial to your existence that without it you’re inclined to switch phones? Or are you taking a stand against Apple’s somewhat convoluted and ambiguous app store approval process?
Either way, who gives a shit? It’s somewhat mind boggling how people can be so self-righteous as to think that they’re sticking it to the man by moving on from the iPhone over the removal of a single app in a sea of 65,000. It’d be one thing if people absolutely and unequivocally needed Google Voice, but come on, iPhone users have been happily going about their business without it for 2 years now. And yes, AT&T blows, but if you’re stuck in an area with shitty coverage, wouldn’t you have switched by now?
Frank writes in his article,
Was Apple behind the rejection? AT&T? Who cares?
Well, as of now, it appears that AT&T was behind the removal and despite what Frank writes, it does make a difference. The iPhone doesn’t live in a vacuum. It’s a product that relies on AT&T providing acceptable cell-phone coverage, a responsibility that they haven’t quite lived up to. But for whatever reason, people are so quick to disparage Apple that they admittedly concede that it doesn’t even matter to them if Apple was behind the removal of Google Voice apps.
TechDirt hits the nail on the head when it writes that many of these holier-than-thou individuals who dump the iPhone in an ill-conceived attempt at protest are failing to see what the iPhone actually is.
So why do so many criticize the iPhone, if it’s so great? I think it’s because they make the classic marketing mistake of thinking “It’s all about ME.” It isn’t. The iPhone haters see the limitations (hard keys, cut/paste, tethering…) of the phone, and they focus on how the phone doesn’t have any tech breakthrough or meet THEIR specific needs. But the mass market is what really matters in business. Is the mass market even aware of the limitations of their iPhone? If you told one of them, would they care? They would tell you that, on the contrary, their iPhone has not limited them, it has empowered them to access the mobile services and networks that have been “available” since 2000, but were blocked by poor user experiences and walled gardens.
First they came for the iPhone, then they came for the BlackBerry..
Frank correctly points out that Google Voice is available on a number of BlackBerry devices. But is there any doubt that if BlackBerry users started using the app en masses that AT&T would force RIM to remove the app as well?
But forget developers. You, the consumer, are getting screwed too. You are missing out on some great software that’s available on other phones on the same network, without issue, for no apparent logical reason.
I disagree. What great software are users missing out on.. SlingPlayer? NetShare? I think I’ll be able to survive without them no matter how cool they might be. And the reason they’re not there is because of AT&T. I mean, tethering is already supported in a number of overseas markets, so how can you blame Apple’s approval process for hindering tethering apps here in the US?
I’m not trying to argue that the app store is perfect as it of course has a number of kinks, but overall it’s a great place for consumers to purchase great apps. Many, if not most, of the app store removals have either been because of tasteless content or at the behest of AT&T.
Frank also writes,
But at least my conscience is clear. I hope change is coming. I’m really going to miss my iPhone terribly.
Oh come on, that’s just being a tad over-dramatic, don’t ya think? And if he’s really going to miss it, then why bother switching at all? And quite comically, he notes that he’s going to switch over to a Palm Pre, a platform that doesn’t even have a Google Voice app available. And he then writes that “Sprint’s coverage sucks in my neighborhood.” Seriously?! Well at least his conscience is clear, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
2 years ago, iPhone owners were clamoring for third party apps. Now there are well over 65,000 of them, but people are still bitching because not everything is up to their liking. Well to them I say, “Get over yourselves.”