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6. Stephen Fry Likes It

Here at the Reg we venerate Stephen Fry - as a comedian. His performances in Blackadder, Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster etc have brought many rays of sunshine into our lives. For these and many other thespian and comedic efforts, Mr Fry has earned his status as an official national treasure.

As a commentator on the sci/tech/biz scene, unfortunately, he doesn't do so well. In particular his love for Apple and all its works usually appears to go well beyond mere enthusiasm or even passionate romantic love into a place which is, frankly, embarrassing.

Even if the iPhone really was a lovely shiny thing from a lovely shiny company rather than - as it actually is - a sinister and cynically exploitative thing from a rapacious and manipulative company, Mr Fry's overly emotional adulation for it would surely put most right-thinking people off.

7. Very, Very Expensive For What It Is

If you compare an iPhone to another machine which contains similar hardware, it is hugely more expensive. As discussed, above and below, the differences between the iPhone and the competitor are all such as to make it worse, not better, and such as to mean you will pay more on top to network operators and to replace it down the road.

That's a damned bad bargain - paying a hefty premium for the same stuff, but selectively crippled.

8. Antenna is Badly Designed

Actual proper boffins have confirmed that the antenna of the iPhone 4 is just badly designed: the 'Death Grip' effect is real and cannot be avoided by use of cases. This is bad engineering - another case of form beating function (and not very nice form, unless you like hard corners for some reason).

A company which would do that is unlikely to have raised its game much today, and it can't have done much about it in the case of the 4S.

9. You Don't Get Much Screen Considering How Big It Is

On a proper modern touchscreen smartphone, almost all the front of the case is screen, giving you the most possible viewing and control area for the size of the gadget.

On the iPhone, two quite large areas above and below the screen are empty and useless, without even buttons on them thanks to Apple's poncey one-button fetish.

Other designers don't need this luxury - they give you the whole face of their devices. Once again we see that the idea of the iPhone being a good piece of engineering, somehow actually superior in design to other smartphones, is a mistaken one. In this respect as in others, it delivers less for the same resources. If your ideas of beauty in technology have anything to do with form following function you would never buy any of the iPhones so far: and we're unlikely to see any improvement later today.

10. If You Must Buy One, For Pity's Sake Not Now

Wait: Wait. Wait some more, until the hypegasm dies down. If you buy an iPhone 5 in the near future you will pay an even more outrageously inflated price than normal for an iPhone and you'll probably be locked into some horrifying multi-year devil's bargain under which the operator has locked out half the thing's capabilities to spare its network and gets to keep your children to boot. ®

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