Gold'en Rant : Apple's iPhone; inbuilt (in)security

The Apple iPhone is in a bit of mess at the moment and, after getting called in this week to solve a problem with a couple of pals' units, I'm beginning to see why.

Don't get me wrong, I think the iPhone is a superb concept. My better half has bought me an iTouch for Christmas (I think) - that's an iPhone without the cellular functions.

However, the iPhone's technical performance on the GSM reception front leaves a lot to be desired. Users are reporting the unit's reception indoors on the O2 GSM 900 network is quite poor.

Added to this is the fact that only 25 per cent of the 100,000 iPhones allegedly sold have actually been activated. O2 and Apple claims this is because the phones have been bought at Christmas presents - yeah, riiiight. With a GBP35.00 a month 18 month airtime contract attached?

The final nail in the coffin of the current UK iPhone was made made on Wednesday night in the US when Randall Stephenson, AT&T's CEO, confirmed to reporters that an enhanced 3G version of the iPhone would be released in the first quarter of 2008. How to kill sales of the current iPhone stone dead.

So let's get this straight - you can now buy an iPhone that only supports dial-up mobile Internet speeds (using GSM/GPRS technology), doesn't work that well indoors, and has an over-priced 18 month airtime contract attached.

Or you can wait for a 3G version next spring. When prices have fallen.

O2 says that users of the iPhone can surf the Web at speeds of several hundreds of kilobits per second when within range of a WiFi access point such as The Cloud, or in the home or office.

And oh yes, you can use O2's GSM EDGE service - which covers 30 per cent of the UK's population - and get around 120 kilobits per second.

And all these faults are before we start talking about the lack of VPN plus security technology on the iPhone. Why? Because Apple hasn't released the dev kits to third-party developers.

Apple iPhone. Words like arrogance, mis-marketing and ignoring what consumers really want spring to mind. And security? Don't make me laugh.