Sometimes it’s tough being a celebrity journalist. Not only do you have to constantly travel to Prague and party with Ben Affleck but you also have to do radio interviews.

Cartoon by Peter Nicholson.

Earlier this week I was chatting to a Queensland radio station at about 7.30am when all of a sudden my mobile phone just cut out. Just immediately ceased to function, as if Philip Nitschke had caught it in a bad mood.

I must admit I found this lack of reception strange, given that I was standing in a street in the middle of Sydney—as opposed to, say, Hitler’s bunker.

But perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. A quick straw poll of my friends (ie. my mother and the neighbour’s cat) reveals that virtually everyone seems to be struggling to get any decent reception.

It appears that mobile phone companies have realised they can reduce their overheads enormously if they stop wasting money on providing a mobile phone service.

In the case of Monday’s incident the phone company had obviously decided that certain remote areas of Australia, such as the Sydney CBD, didn’t require coverage.

Indeed there was one period of my life where I was unable to get reception at my house, my best friend’s house or my girlfriend’s house. The only consolation was that I was able to get reception in pretty much every area of my workplace, except of course at my desk.

Don’t get me wrong, this is often a good thing. But there are also times when it’s not your mother calling and you want to be able to talk to someone.

It was, if I am perfectly honest with myself, rather annoying.

I should say that this is not an exercise in blame and I am not going to name and shame my service provider, Optus, just as I would not blame my pathetic wireless internet coverage on my provider 3, whose brand name also represents the number of hours it takes to open an email.

And to be fair some of the blame can probably be attributed to the fact that I have recently switched to an iPhone, a device created in California for the sole purpose of cutting me off from civilisation.

I have one of the older iPhones, which means that yes, I’m going through a mid-life crisis but there is a 50 per cent chance I’ll pull through it without having to buy a dog.

It also means that phone calls constantly drop out when I do something dramatic such as stand up, move my head, turn a corner or sing the grand finale to Oklahoma!

Fortunately the new iPhone 4 has managed to solve this problem by not being able to make phone calls in the first place.

This only confirms my theory that phone companies have abandoned the basics in favour of something that looks cool but provides no actual service, rather like a Melbourne waiter.

Well today I say this: For the love of God, we are a decade into the 21st century. Can we please just be able to make phone calls? Can we please just be able to talk to each other and share the richness of the human condition? Can we please just be able to send drunken text messages to ex-girlfriends at 2am and know they will arrive in time to be used in court?

If not, then cities will fall, civilisation will crumble, and Mother will start visiting in person again…

PS If anybody tries to take my iPhone from me I’ll kill them.

Most commented


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    • BullClip says:

      05:07am | 28/10/10

      Actually talking on an iPhone?  Are you nuts.  iPhones are for Apps and texting and emailing and walking around the city whilst looking at your screen to check the weather instead of looking up.

      Phone Calls.  You really are middle aged!

    • Jim says:

      07:02am | 28/10/10

      A few years ago I worked on a remote site between Cloncurry and MacKinlay. All our comms services - phone, data, fax, came through the CDMA tower that was visible just 2km from site. Apart from a single copper line for the emergency phone, that’s all we had and it worked fine. Then the network switched to NextG…on an overcast day we could get a faint signal. 2 months of driving into mobile range towards Curry and spending hours on the phone to Telstra and I’d finally convinced someone there that we did indeed have a tower, and yes we could see it. Another week goes by and a tech comes out and flicks the reset switch…only for it to fail again a day later. Another round of trying to convince Telstra we had a tower nearby and they really should fix it - so 3 weeks later it’s fixed. We ask the tech for his direct number, ‘oh no, can’t do that…policy’. So next time it failed one of our sparkies reset it himself…then Telstra had the gall to try and fine us!

    • ABC says:

      08:01am | 28/10/10

      Did you have the right phone?  You will need one of those that is specifically useful for coverage in rural and regional Australia (Telstra’s blue tick one).  I swapped, and had no coverage issues at all.

    • Jim says:

      12:55pm | 28/10/10

      Yes ABC…200 or so employees flew into site that swing with brand new NextG handsets as we had plenty of warning…the trouble was actually convincing Telstra that a) they had a tower there, and b) it was broken.

    • John Hay says:

      07:09am | 28/10/10

      Funny article, Joe. In my opinion iPhones are 70% fashion, 30% function. I say that because you only need a run of the mill ordinary cell phone to do most of what you need, and they seem to function without glitches - or my three year old LG handset does anyway. For getting around I have a map, and a brain. Then there is good old fashioned ‘asking directions’, but I generally have a look on Google Maps before setting out, and that makes everything crystal clear. For photos I could use my phone but I prefer to use a camera. For videos I use the same camera. As for all the other fancy stuff an iPhone can do, like allowing you to move pictures around with your finger - big deal. Put a photo on a desk. Put your finger on it. Move your finger and watch the photo move under it. Whoopee do! People rushed out to buy iPhones because they could move pictures with their finger. Fashion. Bah. I’ll keep my money, thanks.

    • Charles Kelly says:

      12:16pm | 28/10/10

      You’re not alone in your opinion, John Hay. Luddites all over the world share your ill-informed views.

    • Gonzo says:

      12:22pm | 28/10/10

      Funny you say that John: Yesterday I saw a friend with an iPhone 4 - just upgraded from the iPhone 3 (which hadn’t broke down yet of course). Conversation:

      Me: “Is that the new iPhone?” (genuine question, don’t know how to differentiate them)
      X: “yes. (pause). Much better than the previous one.”
      - “seriously? how come? “
      -“much better resolution and better processor”

      End of the conversation. I realized that iPhone 3 is definetely obsolete and I was an insolent for having even thought of asking what was a difference.

      For some rebellious reason I still use a desktop for things where I need a fast processor. And I still use a TV for things where I need better resolution. And as John, a camera for photos and so on.

      At the end of the day, how much faster can you get? I have a device on which I press a button, goes into space and a few seconds later has another person talking to me - brought through space, from miles away - or an email, or the news. However, my friend seems to need a device that gets it there in 2 seconds rather than in 4.7 because 2.7 seconds is just umbearable. (Seriously… into space and back… in around 5 seconds… c’mon!)

      I bet you if my friends iP4 breaks down and he has to face the horrible reality of undusting the iP3, when that dinosaur machine takes 4.7 seconds he’ll go: “Oh c’mon, you’ve gotta be joking!” because suddenly, the world owes him 2.7 more seconds.

    • Charles Kelly says:

      04:40pm | 28/10/10

      Guess what Gonzo! Most of us “still use a desktop” for things where I we a fast processor, “still use a TV” for things where we’d prefer better resolution, and “a camera for photos and so on” -  however most of us intelligent people don’t carry our desktop computers, televisions and larger cameras with us everywhere we go! Fancy that!

    • marley says:

      08:18pm | 28/10/10

      Oh well, Charles.  Quite a few intelligent people who don’t carry desktops, TVs and big cameras with us also don’t carry Iphones or their like around with us either. We kind of think the computer between our ears is a match for the one in the fancy packaging.

    • Charles Kelly says:

      09:33am | 29/10/10

      Well, marley, you can “kind of think” that, but you’d be wrong. So we can successfully navigate a previously unvisited destination, simply with “the computer between our ears” and nothing else? So we can compose and send an urgent email while stuck in a traffic jam, simply with “the computer between our ears” and nothing else? So we can watch a movie on the train, simply with “the computer between our ears” and nothing else? So we can take a photo then instantly print it via WiFi, simply with “the computer between our ears” and nothing else? Clearly, it’s evident one thing “the computer between our ears” is more than capable of, is petty jealousy and deluded intellectual snobbery. Just like I said to John Hay, “Luddites all over the world share your ill-informed views.”

    • In De Vidual says:

      10:32am | 31/10/10

      Charles, the rest of us ‘kinda think’ that we actually have LIVES, and don’t NEED to watch a movie on a train, instantly send a photo to a gazillion faceless (virtual) “friends”, send a (supposed) “urgent” email whilst stuck in traffic (illegal when driving in ALL states of Australia, I might add, unless you are legally parked with the handbrake applied!), or, for that matter, navigate to the back streets of Upper Cumbukta West! No, some of us actually use that “computer between our ears” to have a life filled with a new-to-you phenomenon called “individuality”. It means, in terms you might not be able to comprehend, NOT being enslaven to the fashion gods, nor to the marketing masters that so obviously rule YOUR life!

    • Charles Kelly says:

      01:47pm | 31/10/10

      And there you have it - this ironically named “In De Vidual” could be a spokesperson for Luddite “have nots” everywhere. I use an iPhone because it’s REALLY useful - my usage has NOTHING to do with “fashion” or “marketing”. For what they do, Apple iPhones provide the best available product currently on the market - simple as that. It’s petty, ignorant jealousy on behalf of the “have nots” - no more, no less. Not so long ago, the simplest mobile phones were viewed by jealous, ill-informed “have nots” as an unnecessary fashion item used simply to be “cool” - but these whingeing hypocrites seem perfectly willing to use them now.

    • Ashley says:

      07:12am | 28/10/10

      You do realise that we live in a digital age? Everything is via satellites and invisible connections, everything is wireless. You can’t expect signal all the time, and it seems people are wanting to blame Apple for all of their problems when in fact if you’ve ever had a “normal” product that didn’t break down and lose signal at some point, you’re feeding it some sort of technological steroids.

    • marley says:

      07:58am | 28/10/10

      Well, dammit, if I buy a phone I don’t see why I can’t expect a signal pretty much all the time.  That’s what the phone is there for.  No, I don’t necessarily expect a signal in the middle of the Indian Ocean, but not getting one in the CBD is a bit ridiculous.

    • Simon says:

      07:58am | 28/10/10

      Why cant I expect signal all the time ashley, Im certainly paying for signal all the time. Do you work for a telco or something?

    • iPhone = worst purchase ever says:

      08:08am | 28/10/10

      Bollocks Ashley.  If I added up all the reception problems i’ve had with all my pre-Apple mobiles combined, they’d still be a smaller number of total minutes than my iPhone.  I in fact CAN expect signal all the time, because that’s what advances in technology are designed to do - increase service.  It’s why we pay increases in pricing and there are great leaps and bounds in infrastructure.  We don’t do all that to get an inferior product.

    • Smidgeling says:

      11:03am | 28/10/10

      Yeah, vodafone have become increasing crap over the past year. They went from having me as ‘a customer until I die’ to ‘I’d prefer to die than be their customer’.

      When I buy a mobile phone and pay for a service I expect it to work 99% of the time. It’s not the iphone itself. Last year it was working fine. Now I struggle to get 3G coverage aand messages arrive hours after they were sent.

    • Leah says:

      01:29pm | 28/10/10

      “You can’t expect signal all the time, and it seems people are wanting to blame Apple for all of their problems”

      Well then explain this.

      When me, on my cheap Telstra re-branded ZTE phone on Optus, gets more coverage than my husband in the same location on an iPhone, also on Optus.

    • Sleepless says:

      08:40pm | 28/10/10

      My iPhone 3G has been constantly loosing reception over the last few months. Last month and this one very conveniently the calls aren’t coming through or dropping out on the 3rd or 4th ring, but not before.

      Had the phone checked and there is nothing at all wrong with it, but my plan has expired.

      Sorry Ashley BUT in Sydney CBD I should get reception no problem 24/7.

      New 4G phones allow people to have video conference, great for business people on the go.

      PS I often read Joe’s blogs while in transit. grin

    • Justin says:

      07:23am | 28/10/10

      The complaints I’d heard about Optus’ network from iPhone users had me a little concerned while waiting for my Samsung Galaxy S Android phone to arrive from Optus. I needn’t have worried as it has been perfect.

      It gives me great joy to have a browse off with an iPhone/Optus user & watch the smugness drain from their faces as I’m reading out a webpage while they’re watching the “progress” bar crawl. Plus it works very well as a phone - how revolutionary!

      Is it possible to be smugger than smug?

    • TheRealDave says:

      09:11am | 28/10/10

      Let me ask Peter Costello and get back to you on that one….

    • Andrew says:

      12:46pm | 28/10/10

      Totally agree Justin, I have the same fun with my HTC Desire and Tel$tra iPhone customers. It amazes me that I get better reception than they do when we’re standing side by side, and we’re both on the same network! Bah, stick the iPhone in the shuttle and turn it into space junk!

    • AFR says:

      07:47am | 28/10/10

      Joke: How do you know someone owns an iPhone? A: They will tell you.

    • Gonzo says:

      12:26pm | 28/10/10

      brilliant AFR.

      How do you know a journalist owns an iPhone? A: He’ll write an 18-paragraph article about it.

    • Cat says:

      07:51am | 28/10/10

      John Hay, according to your post you carry your phone, a map (although you do switch on a PC and spend time on that before you head out, and rely on asking directions from a local passing psychopath) and a camera. No doubt another device also if you want to listen to music. With my iPhone I do all that and I enjoy being able to look at all my pics at any time, not just 3 whilst trapped at my desk.. Whilst I’m certainly not sold on the call quality in comparison to my 5 year old Nokia, how is it that I’ve just sold my soul to fashion when I have a device that does all of the above? Just makes practical sense to me.

    • Faz says:

      10:03am | 28/10/10

      ... and rely on asking directions from a local passing psychopath ...

      Made me laugh in a Seinfeld sort of way, ie, chuckle, chuckle ... mmm ... that’s a little disturbing.

      As much as I love technology, is it becoming more and more of a shield to protect us from ... er ... you know ... other people?

    • Ben C says:

      10:22am | 29/10/10

      Wait until you have to get your iPhone fixed Cat, then you’ll realise how much of your soul you’ve sold.

    • thatmosis says:

      08:02am | 28/10/10

      What really makes me laugh is watching people line up for hours to get the “latest” gizzmo that is a “must have”. What a bunch of morons. Their old phone probably did much of the same as the “new” one but hey, the “in” crowd wouldnt be seen dead using last years models would they. Every time a new model of something comes out the media shows these clowns lining up to be the first to have it whether it works or not. What a way to live if you can call it that. I have a phone that makes calls and does texts, receives call and texts and takes the occassional photo and guess what it works, its simple, effective and cost almost nothing a month and I have the sense to realise that it wont work all the time but so far no problems.

    • Richard says:

      10:29am | 28/10/10

      Your comment might make sense if you didn’t have a “gizzmo” at all but you’re just an old person with an old outlook and an old handset. If you UPgraded you would see that the new generation of ‘smart’- phones are a quantum leap ahead of older models and offer a fundamentally different experience to those who know how to drive one.

      Did you read ths article and write your comment using a “desktop computer”? People who still use those for basic internet business make me laugh. What a bunch of morons.

      You are right about people who line up for things though (the things aren’t rationed). I bought my new iPhone using my old one.

    • Benny Ben Ben says:

      08:05am | 28/10/10

      Good article.
      I work on a Telco site and with 3 bars of reception I miss calls…

      I was recomended to reboot my phone (I guess it is a computer now days) and it has actually helped a little!

      If you want good 3g reception, generally Telstra is the way to go, but would be 100% more expensive than what I’m paying now and I’d be locked into a 2 year contract.

      Recepion sucks, but whats with 2 year phone plans! we are getting screwed…

    • Bob H says:

      08:11am | 28/10/10

      I was surprised this piece was written by someone able to grow a beard.

    • TheRealDave says:

      09:13am | 28/10/10

      To be fair…its not much of one….its one of those attempted faux ones

    • Sleepless says:

      08:50pm | 28/10/10

      I’ll bite! What does having a beard has to do with this article and iPhones? Wasn’t going to ask but it’s getting late, had hell of a day and curiosity is getting the best of me.

      Could it be jealousy?

    • Mr Pastry says:

      06:29am | 29/10/10

      I think Bob was suggesting the article appeared to have been written by someone still at school.

    • Acid Midget says:

      08:28am | 28/10/10

      I have an iPhone connected to Vodafone. Calls and SMS work fine. But 3G is a joke. It drops out constantly and crawls/doesn’t work during peak usage periods.
      I doubt Apple has anything to do with it, because on a Wifi connection it’s great. There’s just been such a huge uptake of 3G users the network is probably in desperate need of upgrading/destroying.

    • Lola says:

      09:16am | 28/10/10

      I actually suspect Apple is betting on people using the wifi function more. The skype app for iphone is so good that it’s basically a voip phone when connected to wireless!

    • Smidgeling says:

      11:09am | 28/10/10

      Too true Lola. The whole time I was in europe I watched the rest of the tour group pay for phone calls at public phones and on their mobiles. They complained about how much it was costing them. I used the hostels’ wireless and paid nothing the whole time I was there.

    • Jordan Rastrick says:

      08:36am | 28/10/10

      For what its worth, Joe, I used to get similarly terrible dropout problems with the same unnamed phone service provider using the same Californian/Taiwanese device. And your unnamed wireless internet service providers notoriously have the worst mobile internet network going these days.

      Although it still pains me a little to say it, I switched to mean ol’ Telstra a couple of months ago to get the latest Apple gizmo, and haven’t dropped a call since. Plus the internet is also fast and reliable - I can plug my phone into my laptop pretty much anywhere in the city and get bandwidth as good as my previous-generation home ADSL broadband from three years back.

      Sol built his tower network using the ill-gotten monopoly gains bequeathed to him by the previous Federal government… but it is, well, a lot better as a result.

    • Rappo says:

      08:49am | 28/10/10

      All these problems with wireless connections, and the Libs want to use this same technology to provide us with “super fast broadband”. Makes one very worried about the future

    • Corfarnia says:

      09:58am | 28/10/10

      Yes, their idea certainly made me laugh.

      I’ve never had reception problems with my iphone but I know it is pointless trying to view emails that aren’t just simple text emails. All them fancy pictures attached to emails won’t be downloaded any time this year.

      Similar to downloading apps on your phone. I always laugh at the itunes app on the phone. There is no point as it will take half a century to download an app so I do it on my computer.

      The scary thing is I live and work in the Sydney CBD and should be able to expect superfast wireless connectivity.

      The Lib plan was a joke.

    • Richard says:

      10:12am | 28/10/10

      Oversimplification Alert! Cheap political point scoring attempt!

      Seeing Conroy flounder on insiders the other night as opposed to Turnbull’s unflappable demeanour of no-nonsense common-sense on lateline last week, I know which one out of the two I’d rather entrust with delivering technological outcomes efficiently without wasting money.

    • A Bob says:

      11:23am | 28/10/10

      Relevance alert! Attention diversion attempt! Conroy is a twit but that has nothing to do with the technology itself. Wireless is intrinsically flaky being at the mercy of the elements. It’s benefit is convenience, not reliability.

    • Leah says:

      01:37pm | 28/10/10

      “All these problems with wireless connections, and the Libs want to use this same technology to provide us with “super fast broadband”. “

      Um, since when? Last I checked they were planning on leaving the copper right where it is, unlike Labor, who wants to rip it up forcing everyone to choose between either what will likely be expensive fibre, or expensive & unreliable wireless. Wow, what a great alternative.

    • Sleepless says:

      08:59pm | 28/10/10

      Corfarnia, I download a lot of apps over Apple WiFi.  Would never dream doing it over 3G, it will take a decade….

      I don’t even get all the bars on the phone anymore, i blame telco who are calling me almost daily trying to re sign me up on a mega expensive plan. Each time I talk to them, tell them to get back to me when the phones will be in stock. Their trick is to get me on a new plan and keep me waiting for the new phone till it’s back in stock and they get around to sending it to me.

    • Ryan says:

      08:51am | 28/10/10

      “Well theres your problem”. Its not the mobile phone networks dropping your calls, its the IPHONE.. If you are going to buy a substandard piece of equipment from a company that is better at marketing than it is at creating a decent product then you should expect what you got.

    • Ryan says:

      12:08pm | 28/10/10

      On the other hand its a great product for IT people in the interview process.. the simple rule is if the supposed IT specialist of any sort shows up with an iPhone or even worse an iPad, you know who not to employ.

    • Carmen G says:

      08:54am | 28/10/10

      Ah ha ha ha ha ha
      You’ve made my day

    • Red says:

      09:03am | 28/10/10

      Since you have the older iPhone which works best on 850mhz 3g networks like Telstra, but not 2100mhz 3g networks like Optus’, it’s no surprise really. Your phone is going to constantly be roaming onto older poorer 900/1800mhz GSM networks, with worse data and voice coverage.
      Optus is known for having issues with iPhones. luckily the iPhone4 now handles Optus’ 3g frequency and things might get better.

    • Morris Minor says:

      09:10am | 28/10/10

      AGREE 100%. iPhone 4, Vodafone, Sydney CBD - terrible service.

      In my office we all have iPhones connected through Vodafone. Interestingly, about a third of us have horrible coverage problems. The rest have no problems at all ...

      If I could go back in time and upgrade my blackberry instead of getting an iPhone I’d do it in a heartbeat.

      My view of Vodafone wasn’t helped when they accidentally cut me off and gave my phone number to a schoolgirl in Melbourne. They reconnected me by now I’m being bombarded with requests to meet at Maccas after school.

    • Dave Sag says:

      04:26pm | 28/10/10

      Vodafone’s 3G in Sydney in particular, but also pretty much anywhere in AU is dreadful.  We switched back to Telstra and I now hardly ever get dropouts with my iPhone 3GS. And I get full coverage all the way from Canberra to Sydney on the bus on both my iPhone and iPad.

      On Vodafone I could not even get reception in my house.

      For all the iPhone knockers who think it’s just some sort of fashion choice, I wonder if you’ve ever actually used one, seriously. My personal experience is the the iPhone has changed the way I work, the way I socialise and the way I live, even more than getting my first mobile phone (a Nokia brick) in 1994 did.

      And also, I find I am much much less likely to use my iPhone as a phone than as a mobile computer / messenger / camera.

    • marley says:

      06:02pm | 28/10/10

      Dave - “the IPhone has changed way I work, the way I socialise and the way I live.”

      Undoubtedly.  Has it changed it for the better, though? Or just changed it.

    • Allan says:

      09:17am | 28/10/10

      My iphone 3gs is crap, worst tech thing I ever brought, its reception is awful. I’m buying a cheap phone for the rest of my plan. The iphone I’ll use as a expensive gps and tv remote. Apple is crap

    • Charles Kelly says:

      12:22pm | 28/10/10

      Well Allen, if it’s that “crap”, you’d jump at the chance to get rid of it, right? I’ll give you a hundred bucks for it.

    • TheRealDave says:

      09:21am | 28/10/10

      Just remember to hold it right wink

    • A Bob says:

      10:33am | 28/10/10

      Good advice for users of Apple products, but what about the phone?

    • Lola says:

      09:23am | 28/10/10

      The funny things is that iPhones aren’t really designed to be phones. I hadn’t realised this until my (brand new) iPhone 4’s microphone just stopped working 2 weeks after I acquired it. I could make and receive calls fine, but no one could hear me, even though i could hear them.

      No worries, said the provider, bring it in, we’ll send it away and you’ll get a new one within 3 working days - we’ll even give you a loan phone.

      Excellent, I thought, problem solved.

      What I hadn’t realised, was how much I would miss all my fancy new apps and functions for those 3 days (and to their credit it was only 3 days, as promised).

      Sure, the little samsung simpleton from 2004 worked great as a phone and sms device, but suddenly i had no facebook, gmail, angry birds, or flightcontrol.

      And then it struck me - I had crossed over and become a horrendous, self-obsessed yuppie.  For those three days I “came down” from my new addiction and discovered I really didn’t need all those things, and I wouldn’t need them when I got the phone back but would just use it simply as a phone.

      And then I got my brand new iPhone 4 (for the second time within a month).

      I’m sorry to say I’ve fallen off the wagon again… and loving it. Phone calls? Who makes those nowadays when you can text/email/skype/facebook?

      Now excuse me while I try to kill some dastardly pigs on Angry Birds…

    • Seth Brundle says:

      09:27am | 28/10/10

      I have no idea what you are all so desperate to communicate about.  I probably grunt out three words an hour on average, and I could probably forgo two of those.  And these phones end up costing thousands of dollars over the life of the contract.  You must have a lot of very urgent information to share…

    • Rebecca says:

      11:48pm | 28/10/10

      Hahaha - yeah.  I got a new phone about a year ago (not an iPhone - I liked Nokia’s N97, and iPhone came out a couple of months later - and never go straight into a new thing - you’ve got to wait until they iron out all the bugs first!)
      Main reason I got a new phone is that mother and husband thought I might be more inclined to carry it around if I had a new one (my old one was an O2 Atom - I loved it, but it wasn’t supported anymore, and it wouldn’t charge properly either…)
      What they don’t all realise is that although I love smartphones for email / text / being able to draft/take notes as I think of them - I really don’t like it as a phone - in fact, I hate mobile phones, really.  What is with being contactable 24/7?  Sure, if you’re going out, and leaving your kids with a babysitter, or you are expecting that job offer, or date with (celebrity of your choice - Richard Dawkins would be mine..) - but seriously, if I’m out shopping, enjoying a picnic with my kids, or anything else with my hubby…. Why do I want to be contactable for ‘oh, what are you doing this weekend’, or ‘are you going to be home at x?’ - or my most hated - ‘oh, I just saw this great act on (reality TV show of your choice) - you’ll love it, go look it up’...
      Seriously - for some things, having a phone on you can be handy, and even vital for certain times - but when your workmates are texting or calling each other from the next room, or when work (or anyone) just decides to call you at anytime to get your advice on something they should be able to do themselves (or could wait until next day) - then its just plain ridiculous.

    • drmobs says:

      09:43am | 28/10/10

      I ve never had a call drop out on my iPhone 4 using Optus 3G. I do wonder, however, why so many people ring me while underwater. And complain because I’m underwater. And what’s that weird echoistic deal where you ring someone and you answer the call yourself? And be really annoying by repeating everything you’ve just said?

    • Peter says:

      10:02am | 28/10/10

      I have a different brand of smartphone. Although it’s the best piece of technology i have ever seen, there are still too many gliches in them, particularly at the basic one we all need it for, making phone calls.

      These things are just in their infancy and will get better..

    • Lis Petersen says:

      10:26am | 28/10/10

      At least you can get Optus mobile.. stuck with Telstra & Telstra ONLY in this part of regional NSW. And no, I don’t want to know if that you have ADSL2 either Joe.

    • Peter says:

      10:50am | 28/10/10

      You gotta love Telstra. It’s amazing how people hate them in areas where other providers wouldn’t even bother investing a cent there. Not enough money in it for them. Be thankful to Telstra for things like that, don’t hate them for it.

      Give Optus and Vodafone a call and ask them to provide a service to you in the bush. See what sort of response you’d get…

    • Az says:

      01:20pm | 28/10/10

      Yeah Peter buts thats only because the Government has forced them to through legislation and not because Telstra actually care about people in rural areas.

    • Rose says:

      11:06am | 28/10/10

      Great article Joe. I have been having so many problems with my iPhone recently… it makes me wonder why I haven’t purchased a different phone. I guess I am a slave to commercialism.

    • Az says:

      11:28am | 28/10/10

      Haha how ironic that I tried to read this article from my iPhone on a train near the MCG in Melbourne this morning but the train lurched forward a few meters and i lost all coverage !

    • Peter says:

      12:46pm | 28/10/10

      That’s getting fixed too….

    • Brett says:

      12:19pm | 28/10/10

      Android, Android, Android - the iPhone killer because it works, especially on the HTC Desire.

      iPhones are marketed extermely well - just like Micro$oft products, they are not the best at what they do, they are the best at marketing…..

    • Richard a.k.a. dickmojo says:

      02:07pm | 28/10/10

      Yeah I’ve got an Android phone (Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10) and I’m super happy with it, it outperforms my gf’s iPhone in every way as far as I’m concerned. Even if it is a little less user friendly, I think its way more powerful and customisable to my particular preferences and Modus Operandi. And the camera rox!

    • Heather says:

      08:31am | 29/10/10

      Me too, HTC Desire with Android and Telstra. Though I confess I don’t use it much for, er, phoning people…mostly for internet, camera and email; I’m a geek, I hate talking on phones. But it totally kills I Phone for ease of downloading apps and battery life; I Tunes, spewwww!  Also, hubbie’s phone is I Phone with Vodafone, which is possibly the most useless telco in Australia…he can’t even get reception in cities!

    • SM says:

      12:36pm | 28/10/10

      Joe, I feel your pain in regards 3 and it’s laughably bad wireless broadband service.

      Vodafone leaves them for dead

    • Wayne says:

      12:39pm | 28/10/10

      If you have an Iphone and are not on Telstra, then you have not done your research simple as that. You pay a little more, but you get better coverage and 3G speeds. I was on Vodafone for almost 12 months and it drove me mental. Got out of my contract using the TIO and moved to Telstra. Not one call dropout in months.

    • serena says:

      12:53pm | 28/10/10

      hated my iphone so much i got rid of it.. have asamsung now smile

    • ET says:

      04:01pm | 28/10/10

      Same here went HTC - absolute joy and Android is much sexier

    • Andrew says:

      12:56pm | 28/10/10

      See Mario Joyners clip on mobile phones - and other stuff. Very true and very funny.
      “You’re not getting a weak signal, they’re giving you a weak signal”

    • boy on a bike says:

      12:57pm | 28/10/10

      Why don’t you ask Senator Conroy to connect one of his marvelous NBN fibres to it. That should solve your connectivity issues.

    • Chinaski says:

      02:19pm | 28/10/10

      I live in the North West of WA and my iPhone recieves calls pretty well. Internet access on the phone is painfully slow however. Strangely enough i’ll be able to recieve calls almost anywhere in my hosue except for one corner of the sofa in front of the the TV.

      Lots of people gripe and moan about the iPhone’s performance but aside from a few small glitches I’m solidly impressed - I’ve had no major troubles and would definitely consider upgrading to the iPhone 4 at some point. Maybe I’m just one of the apathetic few who aren’t caught up in the whole “us v them” debate against Apple.

    • Kent says:

      02:32pm | 28/10/10

      You gott to ask who has to profit. Is it a goverment plan. Think about it

    • anna says:

      08:45pm | 28/10/10

      Why are you complaining that you bought a fad? You just had to buy one because everyone else has one without reading about the alternatives and reviews of this purely waste of space device called the iphone. That says it all stop complaining and start talking to yourself like there is somebody on the other end. What do you expect.

    • Joel says:

      09:30pm | 28/10/10

      Talk to your provider champ - networks have more impact than the phone.

      As people have mentioned, with 850MHz spectrum Telstra’s network has a superior distance and strength compared to the higher frequencies run by Optus and Voda-Hutch.

      While it’s easy to rag on the end device because that’s where you have the most perceived knowledge and experience, understanding how it all fits together - and the strengths and weaknesses in each of them - is needed to give an accurate picture of why you’ve got problems, where and how to fix it.

    • Clarke says:

      09:44pm | 28/10/10

      So true. When I expressed my concerns to the Gen Y guy at the Genius Bar he said ‘yeah, but it’s not really about the calls. I don’t even use my iphone for calling people’. I wanted to ask what he did use for calling people but I felt about 100 years old. Calling people. Plainly that’s so over.

    • isis says:

      07:01am | 29/10/10

      If any phone could give you brain cancer, I reckon the iphone could . But the people who buy them won’t have a problem with the surgery as they had no function to begin with.

    • Annie says:

      02:54pm | 29/10/10

      Who says it is just a phone.  It is so many things, mini computer, ipod, book reader, dictionary, game player, stock finder, shopping list, all round diary , too many uses to list -  I might get RSI playing Doodle Jump or texting but the chance of my getting brain cancer is the same as a non iphone user. Ignorance is just ignorance, owning an iphone BLISS.
      BTW wonderful reception on iphone and 3gs in Port Macquarie.

    • Ray says:

      07:04am | 29/10/10

      I still have my OLD sagem phone… Still works as expected.
      I make calls to talk, still make SMS.
      It has other bits that i rarely if ever use.
      Cost my bugger all for it then (on pre-paid).
      Apple Iphone… WHY would I get it if all i do is stated above????
      People who buy it are IMO just doing it for “Fashion” or to be “Cool” or what ever is the current “FAD”.

    • Marko says:

      09:04am | 29/10/10

      Calling? What’s that? I haven’t download that App.

    • Charles Kelly says:

      09:54am | 29/10/10

      I see the green-eyed monster is alive and well. It’s petty, ignorant jealousy on behalf of the “have nots” - no more, no less. Not so long ago, the simplest mobile phones were viewed by jealous, ill-informed “have nots” as an unnecessary fashion item used simply to be “cool” - but these whingeing hypocrites seem perfectly willing to use them now.

    • stephen says:

      07:03pm | 30/10/10

      Drunken messages ter ex-girlfriends ? Now yer talkin’, but i’d like to get a phone that’ll give me 240 volts if i try it again.
      No doubt, so will me ex.

    • Doubtful says:

      10:23am | 31/10/10

      Interesting. I live in regional Queensland and have no problems with my iPhone, or coverage for that matter.

    • Social Bookmarking Service says:

      08:11pm | 16/06/12

      UoU4C8 This is one awesome blog.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.


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