Almost since day one there have been consumer complaints about the iPhone, the App Store, AT&T. The iPhone is a revolutionary device and revolutions come with a certain amount of passionate "discussion." But, for some users the time to talk is over.
Steven Frank, Michael Arrington, OM Malik are longtime iPhone users with a large sphere of influence. And they're walking away from their iPhones. They're not the only ones, just the latest to get fed up with Apple's wall of silence and AT&T's double-standards. All three site the recent rejection of Google Voice and subsequent pulling of GV-style apps from the App Store as the insult that went too far.
There is still speculation about whether the rejection is motivate by Apple or AT&T. In the end, it doesn't matter. Users are tired of watching AT&T customers get services that are routinely denied to iPhone owners — MMS, Slingplay and now Google Voice.
Developer Justin Williams succinctly captures one view on his blog:
With the latest app rejection being Google Voice, I am one step closer to selling off my iPhone products and focusing entirely on the Mac once more. I can’t help but feel that I’ve wasted the past 9 months of my life building on a platform that is so hostile and anti-developer.
Developers are one of the main reasons for the success of the iPhone. Apple and AT&T would do well to remember this. Yes, Apple created an awesome device. But, for most users it's all about the apps — especially for those faced with less than stellar cell service from AT&T. If developers leave the iPhone, eventually users will surely follow.
Sure, iPhone users have more than 50,000 apps to choose from. But, we still want the ones that we can't have. It's even harder when those same banned apps are allowed on similar devices. And nearly unbearable when users and developers aren't given adequate explanations of why the apps are banned.
For the record, the editors at AppCraver.com aren't giving up our iPhones anytime soon. In fact, at least one of us has already upgraded to the iPhone 3GS. That doesn't mean we're not disappointed with Apple's decisions to ban certain apps. Or that we're thrilled with waiting for features we should had months ago (MMS). However, the iPhone is still an exciting device. And developers continue to do amazing things with its operating system. We see more improvements and great things on the horizon. Perhaps, we're optimistic, but we're not giving up yet.
We think that most users will agree with us. For many users joining the iPhone community now, this is their first smart phone. They're happy with the apps — if not with AT&T — and will find plenty of programs to keep them productive and entertained. They're not going to give up their brand new iPhone because of one app.
But, once again, it comes down to the apps. If Apple and AT&T continue to keep hot new apps off the platform, it's only a matter of time before users switch to a phone that will give them what they crave... berrycraver anyone?