Computing Columnist: Plug me in, please?
I have never been a "first adopter" of new technology.
My theory is that I don't have either the time or the interest to find and work with the bugs and failures that are sure to come with the early versions of any product.
Now granted, the iPhone isn't exactly new. But what we do know from experience is that only the first iPhone was really a hands-down winner - and maybe that was only because it was such a new take on the smart phone technology that people were awed by how Apple had taken a fresh look at how we held, interacted with, looked at, even related to, our phones that if there were defects or irritations, they were buried in the rest of the beauty.
Well, now we're spoiled. We expect all the glamor, and everybody can do the swipe thing. That nifty weight and hand-feel doesn't belong to the iPhone alone, there are better cameras, and then there was that antenna debacle a couple of releases ago.
So here comes the iPhone 5. As I said, I don't usually grab a new product when it's first released. I'll wait till the predictable problems are ironed out and the second release has smoothed over anything truly unacceptable, but the timing of the 5 was such that I really needed a new phone, my contract was up, and I could order a 5 with no change in the terms of my new contract. Ok, I was sold.
And I basically like the phone.
Except for one. Huge. Problem.
The phone comes with a wall jack for charging. With a short cord. A really, really, really short cord. And a totally new interface with the phone. So all my old chargers - for the car, the extra one in my purse, the other extra one in my suitcase for travel - are obsolete. And worse yet, I can't get another charger.
Yes, I have a car charger with a USB input that I believe will accept the USB end of the new charger and thus I can use the new charger cord for travel, but still, I am basically down to one charger and disaster. If I lose that one, or God forbid it gets shut in a door or something, my phone will just be out of power. Even the Apple store didn't have any additional chargers. The best I could get was a promise that there would be some in "maybe December." And certainly there won't be any cheap knock offs any time soon.
What?? Did Apple not learn anything from its years scraping Windows leavings in the PC marketplace because it greedily refused to open its kernel to developers, thus reducing the number and variety of applications available to users? How on earth do you offer a phone - a PHONE - to users, and then make it difficult for them to get a charge wherever they are, using the chargers they've already invested in for your product family?
Call me crazy, but much as I like the phone in general, I'm probably not going to be talking up the iPhone much any more.