Apple's iPhone Has Motorola's Razr Problem.

Nearly everyone I know who has an iPhone is beginning to hate it. They love the applications, the music, the movies, the gps—but the basic cell phone function is terrible. I’ve been on Fifth Avenue in NYC watching a friend fume as her calls were dropped. I’ve been in Santa Fe and Portland recently and watched friends get cut off, call again, and get cut off. They tell me about their friends’ mounting frustration with the iPhones’ inability to connect them to friends, family—and business contacts.

One person changed her phone twice (I hear that many people are getting their iPhones changed) to no avail. She doesn’t know when her calls will go through or not. And when you exchange one iPhone for another, you often lose 5% to 10% of your data (music, photos, etc.).

One Apple Store person said “let me try and get one from a good batch,” implying that there are quality control problems.

Then there’s the email thing. Anyone used to a keyboard really hates the way iPhone digital keyboard works. You’re always making mistakes that the software doesn’t correct. It’s obvious that shifting the keyboard to a horizontal position would help enormously, but you can’t. The thing is—lots of people are getting mad at Apple about the failure to provide basic funcationality with their iPhones. This is

what happened with the Razr. It was cool-looking, slim, light, so people bought millions of them. But it had old, clunky software so when you actually used it to make cell calls, the Razr worked poorly. People began to hate their Razrs because it didn't deliver basic functionality.

Apple blames AT&T for poor service. Maybe. But people look to Apple for quality. It has to make sure the iPhone works in the most fundamental way--phoning. It needs to be transparent, acknowledge the problem, and show the way to resolving it.

If it doesn't, the iPhone may well go the way of the Razr, with Google's Android winning the hearts and wallets of consumers.