I admire Apple’s engineering and quality control. I have read that Apple subcontracts a lot o their laptop manufacturing through Asus–a company with a strong reputation for quality control and reliability in their motherboards and laptops. I don’t know if Apple’s iPhone is being manufactured by Asus, but their choice of Asus for other products indicates what Apple thinks is important.
Nonetheless, I will never buy an Apple product for 2 reasons. First of all as an environmentalist, I am outraged by the way that Apple designs products for planned obsolescence, forcing their products to be thrown away and new products to be bought. Apple designed the ipod so that the battery could not be replaced, thus forcing the consumer to throw away the device after 18 or so months when the battery wore out. Since roughly 80% of the total energy of electronics are consumed in the manufacturing and only 20% in the operation of electronics, this means that Apple’s planned obsolescence has caused a great deal of damage to the environment.
The second reason to avoid Apple products and especially iPhones is that Apple restricts how its products can be used and modified. Basically the consumer is placed in a jail–albeit a pretty jail. Apple controls its products with a fascist hand. For instance, Apple has decreed that developers of iPhone software can only sell the software through Apple’s website and Apple must get a cut of every sale. Apple arbitrarily decides whether the software can be released or not after developers have spend months working on it. Even though the iPhone has a fully-functional OS, the consumer is only allowed to use that OS in ways that Apple decrees. In contrast, the users of Palm’s Symbian, Google’s Android Linux and the LiMo Foundation’s Linux are not placed in cages and are freer to do what they want with their phones. Their operating systems are open source or are in the process of becoming open source and their users have the choice of hundreds of different programs from outside sources.
Frankly, I don’t see why anyone would want to buy an iPhone (except to show off how superficial they are because they value image more than price and performance). The new crop of Linux-based phones are much better than the iPhones. Apple’s hardware is outrageously expensive and its software is too expensive as well. You can take the time to learn how to jailbreak an iPhone, so that you can customize it and load free software onto your iPhone, but you are better off buying a phone which was designed to let you customize it and doesn’t tie your hand behind your back. You are much better off with a Linux phone which is open source and guarantees the freedom of the user. I recommend buying an OpenMoko Neo Freerunner or one of the new Android phones which allows you to tinker and customize it.