In Living With The iPhone 3G, Part 1, I discussed things that I think were done well in the iPhone 3G.
in Living With The iPhone 3G, Part 2, I discussed things that I think weren't done so well, were done incompletely, and some that were just plain wrong.
In this (unplanned) installment, I'll discuss what happened with my particular iPhone and discuss the Apple Store phenomena.
In Part 1 and Part 2, I excoriated Apple for my the fact that on my iPhone, the Safari browser was crashing a lot. By "a lot" I mean, literally, every few minutes. On one site, Mapquest, it would crash every time before I could finish inputting an address... which turned out to be a good thing. Because of the constant browser crashes, my iPhone had become unusable, at least for the purposes that I bought it for - a constantly-connected Internet computer that I could keep in my pocket.
On Sunday, my wife and I were chauffeurs to support our daughter's very busy social schedule. One one afternoon appointment, we had a couple of hours to kill in the Seattle area, and my wife, having gotten really tired of hearing me whine about how often my iPhone browser was crashing, decided to take me to the Seattle Apple Store (University Village). Once there, I explained my problem to one of the concierges and he put my in the standby queue to talk to the Genius that was specializing in iPods and iPhones that day. I waited perhaps 45 minutes, just milling around (more about that in a moment) and in between scheduled appointments I was able to talk to the Genius.
Because I could demonstrate the browser crashing problem so vividly on Mapquest - as I was explaining to him, it crashed, and said he had seen that particular problem a few times before, and what had probably was that an app or some odd piece of data had become corrupted. His suggested fix was to take my iPhone home and dock it to the "host" computer (in my case, a Mac). Here were the steps he suggested:
- Sync / Backup
- Restore original settings (a button that's prominent on the iTunes application)
- Let it restore the backup
I did as he suggested, and it worked!
My iPhone no longer crashes constantly when using the Safari browser. It works wonderfully, exactly as I had hoped when I bought it. It now works better than it did when I bought it (which was prior to the 2.1 software update).
It's working wonderfully - I'll explain how I use my iPhone in a future installment, but suffice it to say, I'm blissful that I can finally start catching up on my backlog of unread RSS feeds including a lot of blogs, news, etc. This is the kind of experience I am used to from Apple products.
The Apple Store Phenomena
If you have any doubts about the growing market power of Apple... drop in at an Apple Store some weekend. You'll find that its crowded... to the point of being mobbed. The Apple Store I went to was elbow-to-elbow as its being remodeled to make it much bigger, and still people were willing to put up with it. There were people browsing, there were people buying, there were people dropping stuff off to be repaired, there were people talking with the Genuises. In short, the Apple Store has been a great experience - buying things there, getting support, etc. All of the people there are great, and customers really appreciate being able to get help face to face with their issues. That incredibly positive experience makes them much, much more willing to part with their money when it comes to their next purchase. It might seem like the Apple Store is "what good customer service ought to be", until you consider just how different that experience is versus the experience of the average PC customer. Where do they get that kind of help?
By Steve Stroh
This article is Copyright © 2008 by Steve Stroh except for specifically-marked excerpts. Excerpts and links are expressly permitted (and encouraged).
This article was written and posted via Broadband Wireless Internet Access (BWIA) ; Sprint Mobile Broadband service using a Sierra Wireless 595U USB modem - 1xEV-DO Rev. A on my MacBook Pro laptop... while sitting in Starbucks with "free" (with onerous terms and conditions, including allowing AT&T to spam you) Wi-Fi available.