The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Is the iPhone romance fizzling out?

November 4, 2009 |  2:04 pm

Steve-jobs-iphone You can almost hear David Guetta's "Love is Gone" playing on iPods around the world. Have iPhone marriages hit a rough patch?

Apple announced today that the iPhone's App Store broke the 100,000-software mark, and app fever rages on. Heck, there's now an app for driving a car.

But maybe apps aren't enough anymore.

We were taken aback when readers flooded a post about AT&T improving cellphone service in Southern California with comments spitting venom at the telecom and threatening to jump ship to Verizon -- iPhone or not. Funnier still, complaints about AT&T kept rolling in even as T-Mobile was experiencing a full-on outage that affected an estimated 5% of customers.

Could it just be lust for Verizon's Droid, the telecom's first smartphone based on Google's Android operating system?

Either way, it's comforting to know that we here in the States are not alone. CNet UK called the iPhone "the worst phone in the world" on Tuesday, adding that it was a great mobile device but terrible for making calls. CNet lays much of the blame on O2, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone 3G S; other carriers offer the older models.

On top of that, a survey released Tuesday makes iPhone owners look like shallow jerks.

Among the damning statistics, Apple phone users are more attracted to other gadget owners rather than those with a college education, according to the Retrevo survey of 247 iPhone owners nationwide. Oh, and they also end relationships via text messages and e-mails, according to the survey, which is caused by their significant others spending too much time on their phones a quarter of the time.

Of course, there haven't actually been any signs showing that iPhone users are tossing away their beloved devices -- not even of slowed growth. AT&T reportedly added 4.3 million 3G-enabled devices in the third quarter and 3.2 million of those were iPhones.

But the iPhone's public perception is no longer pristine. And Verizon, with its iDon't marketing campaign, wants to keep it that way.

-- Mark Milian

Twitter: @markmilian

Photo: Apple's Steve Jobs with an iPhone. Credit: Peer Grimm / European Pressphoto Agency