In June 2007, my friend Robert Scoble called me from the Apple store in Palo Alto. He was in line with his son Patrick to be among the first to get a new iPhone. He said if I got there with the cash, he would get me one.
I had planned on holding out as long as I could. I was pissed that the iPhone didn't run Mac software. I had hoped to put my scripting system on the phone and develop all kinds of mobile apps that ran on the device.
I was a Blackberry user. I thought I'd still be a Blackberry user after getting the iPhone. I really liked my Blackberry. But once I got my iPhone I never used the Blackberry again. Literally. Never used it again.
This weekend there was much ado about a Marco Arment post about how if Apple doesn't get its AI act together soon, they might be the new Blackberry.
Today I still use the iPhone. I hate it. It's the most unreliable piece of crap ever. I must use iTunes to get stuff onto the phone, and that's even worse.
What I'd like to add to the discussion is this -- Apple could be replaced, for me, by a phone that was somewhat elegant, hardware-wise, and had software that was as easy and reliable as it should be, nine years after the iPhone was first introduced. You expect a certain amount of bugginess at the outset, but over time the glitches should be out and the product should become part of the background, the focus being on what you use the product for. The iPhone resists that. Every time they come out with a new version of iTunes or iOS, it all breaks, and I have to find a new set of workarounds.
So the iPhone is far more vulnerable than Marco says. Give me a device that's reasonably nice and Just Works, and I'm outta here.
PS: I still am an Apple shareholder. Haven't sold a share. Wondering if that was the correct thing to do!
PPS: Android really isn't any better than iPhone. True, there's no iTunes. To copy stuff on the phone you just drag and drop, in the Finder. Rational. But otherwise it's a hot mess of changing UI. There are some other nice touches though that indicate it might someday be great, like the way you get news on the devices. But can you find it? It's a challenge.