Why I’m not buying an iPhone

I’ve been a loyal BlackBerry user for over three years now but I’m feeling the urge to switch phones.  The urge comes with seeing newer technology on the market, smartphones with faster processors, more features and better browsing experiences.  It’s a want over a need – got to acknowledge that…

Actually, it’s hard to believe it was only a few years ago a BlackBerry was the phone to have.  This fall/winter, I’m in the market for a new Android phone, not an iPhone.  Here are a few reasons why…

I don’t get the iPhone hype

I simply don’t get all the hype.  What is so remarkably special about the iPhone over any other smartphone?  I want a phone that is reliable and easy to use.  BlackBerry, Android and Apple smartphones can all meet these requirements.  The new iPhone screen size is 4 inches (which is great) but other newer Android phones provide this screen size and larger.  iPhones look sexy (maybe this is where all the hype is coming from) but I’m not trying to make a statement based on how my phone looks.  Siri is a nice feature but with newer Android phones comes Google Talk.  I liked my BlackBerry (and bought it) because of the tactile keyboard but I’m convinced I can survive without it.  BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was nice nice feature and still is but I can do without that as well but based on the phones my friends and family have I use SMS/text just as much.

Proprietary Apple stuff, forget it

If you’re like me, you have enough USB cables and other connectors around the house.  In fact, I have plenty of micro USB cables.  The iPhone 5 however uses a proprietary connector instead of “standard” micro USBs.  Why?  Also, what’s with that black box called iTunes anyhow?  I’ve never used it and I listen to a bunch of music.  The proprietary attitude of Apple borders on arrogant.


The Android smartphone I am looking at has video recording with 1920×1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps) and 1280×720 (720p HD) resolution.  That’s plenty good for me.  It also has an 8 MP rear facing camera with LED flash featuring auto-focus and face detection.  Great because I don’t need my phone to be a camera.  The 1.5 Ghz dual core processor from the Android phone will be great for browsing; it should be as fast if not faster than the iPhone.  The battery life is also expected to be better than the iPhone although anything close to 1 full day of use with data ”on” is good with me.

Price and plan options

Seriously…Rogers, Telus, Bell and others…you want me to pay what for an iPhone?  $699 no term for an iPhone 5?   Good try but no thanks.  I’m leaning towards staying with Koodo for a great plan on a tab.  So far, this plan is looking good:

  • $20 for up to 50 anytime minutes + Canada-wide calling + voicemail and call display and more + 50 text messages per month.
  • $5 for unlimited messaging (TBD).
  • $5 for 25 MB data per month.

I currently use about 20 MB of data per month and use my BlackBerry for BBM and moderate texting and surfing.  I don’t make many calls on my phone and typically use less than 30 minutes per month.   Even if I decide to add on the unlimited messaging for an extra $5 per month I’ve got everything I need for taxes-in for under $40 per month – about what I am paying now.

There are more specifics I could have gotten into, for example on the software side comparing apps and on the hardware side comparing RAM, but for the largely the reasons above I’ve decided to resist the hype.   Sorry Apple faithful.

Let the comments fly everyone….what phone do you own?   BlackBerry?  Android?  Apple? 


Filed in: Spending

39 Responses to "Why I’m not buying an iPhone"

  1. Vanessa says:

    I’ve had an iphone since 2009 and I couldn’t be happier. Technology-wise I like things to be familiar and Androids confuse me. I have a 4S now only because mine was stolen and then difference between 4 and 4S was $50… I have no plans to upgrade to a 5 and will use this phone until it dies.

    My bill is a bit shy of $80 a month (all in) but I used A LOT more data than you and I have 200 minutes because it’s my primary phone. Oh and unlimited texts obviously :)

    • Hey Vanessa,

      Thanks for the comment. Sorry to hear your iPhone was stolen…that sucks. I expect my data use will go up (over BB) so it might cost me another $5 per month; cost is $10 for <100 MB with Koodo.

      Do you have no home phone? I know many people who have kicked the landline in recent years. My wife and I would like to do the same but we have a home security system and want to keep that running. We only have very basic home phone service.

      I’ve also read the iPhone 5 isn’t that different than 4S? Bigger screen I guess…


  2. MJ MacPherson says:

    I went from bb to iPhone with a few days trial of android in between. Bb is far better for email and texting and I miss the bb notify very much.
    Final decision on iPhone because of several apps I used often on my aging ipod touch not on android. It came down to get a new bb and a new iPod touch and continue to carry 2 devices or get an iPhone. If you won’t miss the notify and not dependant on specific apps, good decision. But plan to use more data than with bb. Something different with data over lines apparently. I haven’t notice huge difference in 3 weeks.

    • Hey Mary,

      Thanks for the comment and stopping by. I agree, the tactile keyboard might be something I will miss…time will tell. I’m not relying on specific apps now so this is a factor why I don’t need the iPhone. I guess I don’t know what I am truly missing :)

      I recall BB compresses their data so I suspect my data use will be higher.

      My parents actually went from iPod Touch to iPhone. They love it.

  3. MJ MacPherson says:

    @MJ MacPherson
    PS I don’t miss removing battery to restart bb at the most inconvenient times!

  4. Kevin says:

    I got the latest iPhone and love it. I agree it’s expensive and not for everyone. I also have 3 androids in the house, and as a software dev they are very important and android is good, too. Overall I find iOS ui makes more sense and is much more polished, apple simply seems to care more about this, and the hardware cannot be matched in terms of quality and feel, but the nexus line of androids is decent, too. You might want to avoid other androids until you read the reviews.

    The biggest feature android has that I’m missing is the data limiter. Only 250mb on a prepaid with a cut sim. :)

    Ps try gasp it’s better than captcha

  5. P.S. As a strong Android user, there’s plenty of hype to go around on both sides. ;) Also, try not to get caught up in the specs war. Specs really don’t matter all that much, and here’s why and how:

    CPU speed: Doesn’t matter if your software is less efficient. I see plenty of lag on my Galaxy Nexus and sometimes on the Nexus 7. GPU (video processor) speed is also a factor and that’s harder to measure by clock speed alone.

    Mexapixels: Doesn’t really matter if you have a crappy lens.

    Personally I bought a Nexus 7 because I thought a $250 tablet with those specs would be amazing, but I had to return the first one because the screen wasn’t even glued in properly, and the second one is pissing me off because it flickers whenever it accesses Wifi. My Galaxy Nexus is pretty good, except that the screen is grainy as hell, and while my original Nexus S doesn’t have that problem, its radio sucks and I always had dropped calls.

    My girlfriend’s iPad on the other hand has a beautiful screen and fit and finish, and I’m sure the iPad minis will continue that tradition. The iPhone5 is the first smartphone I have that has no perceivable major defects. Well, they both do have one defect: they’re both expensive. The Galaxy Nexus cost me $500 while the iPhone was more like $700. So, the price is the biggest difference.

    All that said, I still love developing for Android in spite of the headaches, but there are too many Android fanboys out there propagating disinformation simply because they hate Apple, so you really have to read the reviews and do your research before you commit to buying anything. :)

    • Hey Kevin, good details, re: CPU speed and MP.

      We own a Nexus 7 and luckily (knock on wood, or my head) we haven’t had any issues. It’s a nice toy actually and great for the price point.

      It will be interesting to see what the iPad Mini does on the market.

      As for your Android apps, are you planning to launch another one? :)

  6. What a perfectly timed post. I am struggling with this same delema right now. What is the big deal with apple?
    I still can’t decide. :(

  7. Mark,

    My wife and I don’t own APPL anymore and never had an iPhone (best decision ever). I actually don’t even have a cell-phone (I hate being tied to technology).

    We do own an iPad 2 though.

    • You may have timed the top of the APPL market Steve! Smart guy! As for the cell phone, hey, don’t buy one if you don’t need one…but you already know that :)

  8. Sorry for spamming you, Mark, but as a last comment… good god, don’t ever buy a phone full price from Robellus! Just get it straight from the source at apple.ca. This isn’t an option with the Nexus phones (maybe Google will make it one with the latest), but for those you can always buy from a third-party site and get a new phone, usually the European model.

    Right now I’m using President’s Choice $45 for unlimited text, 150 anytime minutes, unlimited incoming, voice mail, caller ID and 250 MB of data. Not the cheapest but a much better deal than Rogers was willing to offer, and with no contract. Even dividing the price of the iPhone based on the subsidy difference was not enough to make a contract worth it.

    • You’re not spam Kevin, trust me, I get lots of it and I know you’re not it! :)

      PC with that type of plan is very good…for $45? Nice. I’m tempted to stay with Koodo for my plan. Have you checked them out?

  9. Jon Evan says:

    I have always been with BB. There is a need in me for some strange reason that is probably unfounded to support a Canadian company. Now, I don’t own any shares in it and maybe then I shouldn’t support it. Maybe, it just a patriotic gene in me. But I hear you on the Android innovations: beautiful new smartphones! Still, me I’m going to wait until the new year when apparently BB will introduce their new smartphones which apparently will rival the Android OS and the Apple. I must say that I like the BB push email and faster server browsing response which may carry over to their new phones. Let’s face it with the battles regarding which tablet screen size is best 7″, 7.9″ etc. browsing on a phone with it’s 4 to 5″ screen is not enjoyable for me and even gives me a headache! For me, a phone is for email, texting and talking! My laptop is for browsing.

    • I hear ya for supporting a great Canadian company. I feel somewhat disloyal if I don’t buy another BB but to I need to buy what works for me, whether it is BB, Android or iPhone. Based on my requirements, and price, seems the Android phone will do the trick.

      We own a Nexus 7 tablet and it’s great. I’d like to use it more, but my wife is always on it so I’m stuck with the laptop in front of the TV :)

  10. Renee says:

    I had a BB previously and just recently upgraded to a samsung galaxy s3. I got the BB so I could use BBM but slowly most of my contacts moved to the iphone. Because my contract was only 2 years in I didn’t want to pay the heafty fees to upgrade if it wasn’t necessary.

    I waited until the iphone 5 came out but wasn’t impressed with the minor upgrades. Then Rogers called and offered me the s3 32g for only $149 even though I still had a year left on my contract.

    I love the s3. I’m a bit of a rebel so I wasn’t keen on been the laggard again and getting an iphone. I’ve been really impressed with the integration of all of google’s applications. Because I was already using Chrome on my PC my s3 automatically knew my frequent searches and favourites. It’s a breeze using all of google’s applications and because I don’t have a mac anymore *too expensive after mine crashed* I wouldn’t have been able to sync as well.

  11. Avrex says:

    I completely agree with this article. I think there is a lot of Apple hype out there.

    My phone doesn’t ‘have to be’ an iPhone. I just want to have a phone, with the features that I want, at a good price.

    My friends keep bugging me to buy an iPhone, because they say it’s better. Well in my opinion, it is no better than any other smart phone. And as you mentioned, the proprietary nature of Apple products, from both a hardware and software standpoint, is a negative for me.

    Besides the cost of the phone itself, you mentioned the cost per month of the services. I guess that could be another article itself. My Own Advisor, your selection of a-la-carte services, is definitely the way to go. When I see my friends paying $60-$80 a month, I just don’t understand. But, I guess we all have different wants/needs.

  12. When I started with the iPhone it was the bomb. I still love it, but my boyfriend recently converted to a Samsung Galaxy S3. With the exception of losing many of my apps and having to pay for them again (depending on the app), I’m in love with the S3.

    Apple is all about hype, especially the computers. When quite frankly, functionally they really are in the minority as far as usuability amongst the popular personal and business culture.

  13. Great post Mark!! You beat me to it.. :)

    Like yourself I have been with BlackBerry for years. Let’s face it BalckBerry is easy to use, does email so well, and its been one of my most valuable business tools.

    I had the opportunity to renew my contarct with Fido again, and since I’ve been with them for nearly 10 years now, I demanded a good plan to stay. The retention department gave me a killer deal at $40 per month. However I could not have an iPhone on that plan. Bummer!

    If I wanted an iPhone then I would go for the 4s as its very reasonable on contracts, but the monthly plans for iPhones are not cheap! Hello Android. :) I’m loving my Galaxy Nexus so far, and email is just fine (not push email on POP)…

    A word of warning though, BlackBerry compresses data, so 25MB is a lot of data for a BlackBerry. 25MB of data on an Android won’t even last you a week. Even just running OS on Android eats data. Use wifi and watch your usage. You might need to up the MB on this plan, just sayin… :)

    The Dividend Ninja

  14. Jon Evan says:

    @My Own Advisor
    I almost bought the Nexus 7. Nice! But being a man and liking to go to Starbucks that Nexus just won’t fit in my pocket! A friend showed me his Samsung Note and how he carries it in his pocket and the screen is big so browsing is easier! It’s priced right just now because the Note 2 is arriving in a few days. I think the Note is a man’s phone but many women like it as well! I’m thinking of getting it :). Also, don’t know if you are in a Wind Mobile zone but here it has the cheapest plans and has the Note!! Heard anything about Wind Mobile?

  15. @My Own Advisor

    I think last time I checked out what Koodo was offering, it was not worth the switch. Now that I look again at their promotional plans, their $45 plan seems similar to, but not better than what President’s Choice is offering. So, no reason to switch yet. ;)

  16. @My Own Advisor

    Hi Mark, I might be biased because I’ve had to deal with a lot of Android ugliness, and maybe I haven’t had the best of luck with the hardware (though you should check out “Nexus 7 problems” on Google one day — lots of peeved off people ;)). You’re quite lucky to have one without any issues depending on when you bought. For what it does I think it’s decent, and for a good price too since Google is aiming to profit off of your data and by subscribing to their services, rather than profiting off of the hardware.

    My next focus is to release a major update that will bring me to iOS and update Android, as well as possibly Windows 8. If RIM can stay in the game I won’t write them off either. I’m also thinking about the desktop.

    After that, will I release a new app on Android? I don’t know. I’ll definitely be looking for something new at that point, and I think I’ll aim to hit all the major markets and not just one player, so whatever I do it will probably involve Android for the foreseeable future. I hope Apple and others turn up the heat on Google so that the market remains competitive; I don’t want to see Android hit 70% market share and stagnate.

  17. Sorry, one last spam: My iPhone5 came with a lighting to USB cable, so either they listened to their consumers or Canada made them do it. I don’t know, but because of that it’s not really an issue.

    Let me know when you do decide to get a device. The Nexus 4 doesn’t look half bad. Maybe I’ll enlist you on as a beta-tester, haha. ;)

  18. Calgary_Girl says:

    Hi Mark.

    Sorry, but I love my iPhone 4S. I’m “technologically-challenged” so I wanted a smartphone that was easy to figure out and I could literally use right out of the box. Although I did contemplate the Nexus, the phone was way too big for my liking (I like the size of the 4S) and everything I read about Android made it sound very confusing to initially set up. With my 4S, I literally turned it on and was using it within 5 minutes.

    • Hey Calgary Girl,

      Thanks for your comment. I have a few friends at work who love their 4S and wouldn’t trade it for the world, just an iPhone 5 :)

      The simplicity of the iPhone is something that is probably not written about enough – it’s very intuitive and maybe that’s the hype I’m looking past.

  19. Recent reports on Samsung’s Apple-beating smartphone sales show how fast this industry can change.

    Rest in peace, Research in Motion.

    Stick to your Coca Cola stocks, my friends. Coke could mess up for a decade and still maintain market leadership.

    Not so with rapidly changing industries like tech.

    • Yeah, I feel for RIM Andrew. I really want them to come back, but I’m not buying Canadian just to support this company. Does that make me unpatriotic?

      I will continue to hold my KO stock for years to come, unless I see the dividends stop or cut, which hopefully doesn’t happen in my lifetime. It’s one of my largest holdings.

  20. Janine says:

    I love my iphone, but I hate my contract. I don’t know what will happen when my contract is up (2 years from now) I doubt my Iphone 4S will even last that long. I wouldn’t mind paying out of pocket for a new iphone, if I knew that it would last 3 years. Apple likes this thing called planned obsolesce and I’m not really a fan. I love my phone, but I can see why you’re not buying one!

  21. Rayford says:

    This is a topic which is near to my heart… Thank
    you! Where are your contact details though?

  22. This is the right site for anybody who hopes to find out about this topic.

    You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).

    You certainly put a new spin on a subject that’s been discussed for decades. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  23. Daniel says:

    I use an outdated Blackberry curve from 2009. I kept it well enough throughout the year that it still functions (near) perfectly – the “receive call” button only failed to actually connect to an incoming call twice :P Last week I got a slightly used Blackberry (still a outdated version!) from my good friend who couldn’t stand the sight of me using that doorstopper from 2009, and I loved it. I am constantly surrounded by my friend’s iPhone 4′s and 5′s, and Samsung, but that doesn’t affect me in any way.

    My phone plan is also maximized to my needs, which is literally just incoming call and texting. I refuse to pay $25-$30/month to know that I can check my facebook comments while I’m taking a dump in the washroom outside the wifi area. Two months after I got the phone in early 2010 I called Rogers to cancel my data plan. The rep was like, “You are going to use a BlackBerry that has no data plan?” Sure. Why not? It’s useless for me.

    It’s great to know there are people out there who don’t fall into the tech trap. I even think it’s COOL to be using outdated gadgets that still function just as well as the newer ones.

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