iPhone Owners: "We Like It, But..."
The honeymoon isn't over. A little more than a month after the Apple iPhone went on sale, nearly 90 percent of iPhone owners who answered a PC World survey said that they love their almost-new toy. But they also had a few complaints--most notably regarding the iPhone's voice and data networks--and lots of suggestions.
About 13 percent of our respondents said that they'd run into at least one significant problem with their device in the past month. The most common culprit: the battery.
"It is a fantastic device," raves one iPhone owner. "Way beyond my old Treo 700W, which almost seems like an antique rotary phone by comparison. The iPhone is the first and only truly integrated communicator." An overwhelming majority (88 percent) of the survey's nearly 500 respondents rated themselves as very or extremely satisfied with their new phone.
What the iPhone Does Right
The iPhone received its highest marks for music and video playback: About 90 percent of respondents were very or extremely satisfied with the iPhone's ability to entertain. "As an iPod, it's really good. The simplified navigation is awesome," one reader said.
Survey participants were slightly less pleased with the iPhone's performance as a phone, but even so 84 percent of respondents gave the device high marks on that aspect of its duties. The iPhone also earned widespread praise for its Web browsing abilities, which 83 percent of respondents found very or extremely satisfying.
In connection with its hardware and native software, the iPhone's lowest marks for satisfaction involved the camera (46 percent were highly satisfied) and the built-in widgets (62 percent were happy as clams).
What's Not to Like
The iPhone suffered its biggest negatives for the voice and data network it's married to--the AT&T system. A whopping 40 percent of our survey respondents expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the speed of AT&T's EDGE data network, which tops out at 200 kilobits per second and often performs at half that speed, according to Broadband Reports.
The voice quality of the iPhone on AT&T's network seems to be cutting into satisfaction with the iPhone experience, too: Among our poll respondents, only 61 percent rated themselves as very satisfied or extremely satisfied with the voice quality of the AT&T network, and even fewer characterized themselves as satisfied with the voice network coverage.
In our pool of respondents, 59 people (13 percent) said that they had experienced a "significant problem" with their iPhone--not an inconsiderable number, but not surprising for a first-generation device. One-third of those who had encountered problems complained about the battery, a quarter griped about the touch screen, 24 percent reported issues involving the Safari browser, and 24 percent had difficulties with other device software. (The total exceeds 100 percent because respondents were free to report more than one problem.)
"The browser crashes from time to time," one respondent said. "And less frequently, video playback crashes, too."