There can be no argument that the Apple iPhone (opens in new tab) is possibly the most innovative mobile device that any of us have ever seen. The interface, the multi-touch screen, the aesthetics. They all add up to what is widely regarded as the coolest Apple product of all time.
But it's certainly not perfect. Of course, the immensely high retail price is the main sticking point that most people cling to. But that's not the whole story. Here are the five things we'd really change about the Apple iPhone:
1. Connectivity. The iPhone is not a 3G device which means that network and internet connections will be painfully slow. Want to watch streaming TV on the iPhone when you get one? Forget it. Despite the awesome design and slick web browser, the internet will run like a dog on this device. It'll be as slow as a ten year old 56k dial-up modem. That has to change.
2. The camera. The iPhone ships with a 2-megapixel camera which, let's face it, is fairly mediocre by today's standards. The N95 has a 5-megapixel camera. Sony Ericsson doesn't get out of bed for less than 3 megapixels. Eighteen months down the line, when Nokia is churning out 8-megapixel lenses with its candybar phones, how are you going to feel when your iPhone is limping along with its 2-megapixel misfirer?
3. The battery. Apple does not have the best reputation when it comes to batteries. iPods have been plagued by power problems from the very beginning. And now the iPhone is shipping once again with a non-removable (and thus, not easily replaceable) battery.
Originally it was said that the iPhone would come with two internal batteries, one for phone functionality, and one for iPod functionality. But this turned out not to be the case. So what happens when you leave the house with a fully charged iPhone. You make a couple of calls, watch a few video clips, and suddenly the battery is dead and you're unable to make any calls.
If there is only going to be one battery, Apple could have at least have made it removable so that people can own more than one.
4. Storage. Eight gigabytes of memory is not a lot at all, and is unlikely to impress anyone who already has an MP3 player with superior capacity. By the time the iPhone launches in the UK , 8GB will be even more unimpressive, and will become very out of date, very quickly. More capacity please, Apple.
5. The closed platform. The iPhone comes as a very inflexible closed platform device. This means you won't be able to download any third party software for it. Only Apple will be able to say which programs can be used on the iPhone. No newsfeeds, no games, no third party browsers.
This is unlike most other smartphones, which generally have open platforms. This enables them to perform a multitude of functions that the designers hadn't even thought of.
6. Exclusive distribution. Ok that's six, but it has to be mentioned, doesn't it? Apple will be seriously shooting itself in the foot if it signs exclusive distribution deals in Europe like it did in the USA. AT&T (formerly Cingular) is the only phone company that will be carrying the iPhone over there. And no-one seems to know what's going to happen in Europe.
Let's just hope that Apple leaves it open to more than one company. Otherwise, what if you live in a part of the country which gets poor reception from the chosen operator? Or what if you're already contracted to one company which can't get you an iPhone due to its exclusivity?