iPhone Oddities: 10 Quirky Ways That Apple Builds, Sells Its Iconic Handset

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-05-31

iPhone Oddities: 10 Quirky Ways That Apple Builds, Sells Its Iconic Handset

Apple's iPhone is officially the world's most popular smartphone. Tens of millions of units of the device are sold to customers around the world each quarter, and there is currently no product on store shelves today that can come even close to matching that figure. The iPhone is the benchmark by which all other smartphones are judged, and it's widely viewed among reviewers and consumers alike as a device that deserves that crown.

But that doesn't mean that the iPhone is perfect. It has its flaws, including a less-than-desirable camera and lack of 4G, that don't make it ideal for everyone. In addition, the device is surrounded by some rather surprising market and feature quirks that raise questions about how Apple made some of its decisions. From its choice to ignore T-Mobile to its old debate over not offering Flash support, Apple has made some odd decisions over the last several years.

Read on to find out what sort of oddities are surrounding Apple's iPhone, and why, at least in some cases, they'll never end:

1. No friend to T-Mobile

Apple has always offered the iPhone on AT&T's network and last year brought the device to Verizon and Sprint. This year, it has made a serious push into the regional carriers. Along the way, however, Apple has turned its back on T-Mobile. It's an odd decision, considering T-Mobile is a major carrier and has more customers than any of the smaller regional carriers. Why is Apple ignoring T-Mobile? And more importantly, when will it stop?

2. Apple's no-4G stance

Although Apple has brought 4G LTE to the iPad, the company has yet to give the same treatment to its iPhone. It's an odd decision, considering so many competitors have already introduced 4G smartphones. Hopefully Apple will support the ultra-high-speed network when the iPhone 5 launches later this year.

3. High subsidies: Take it or leave it

In the vast majority of cases in the mobile space, smartphone makers aren't so willing to charge carriers an exorbitant amount of cash to carry their products. In fact, they usually come to some sort of agreement to make it easier for carriers to want to sell their devices. But with Apple, everything is different. For years now, the company has been selling the iPhone for $600 or more to carriers, and Apple has given no indication it'll budge from those prices.

4. Touch ... to a point

Apple might have been the first company to truly popularize touch screens in the mobile space. But to call its iPhone a fully touch-enabled device would be incorrect. Since it was released, the iPhone has come with a home button, and in order to quickly change volume settings, set the phone to vibrate or turn off the screen, physical buttons are required. When will Apple finally go all-touch?

More Quirky Oddities of iPhone


5. Rigidity in launch cycles

There's an old saying among marketing professionals that demand will drive company decisions. But Apple has a much different mentality on that. Despite the fact that Apple customers were clamoring for a new iPhone last summer, Apple waited a few months until it was ready to launch the device. There's speculation it might do the same again this year. Apple sticks to its launch cycles€”whether customers like it or not.

6. Where are other versions?

For years, consumers and even some Apple fans have been calling on the company to deliver some smaller and larger versions of the iPhone. And yet, that seems to have fallen on deaf ears in Cupertino. Considering Apple's many competitors deliver smaller versions of their popular devices and larger flagship options, wouldn't it make sense for Apple to start doing the same?

7. Shortage of ports remains an issue

Apple likes to make customers believe that its products are designed for the average consumers. However, the company's iPhone only comes with a single Dock connector port and doesn't offer a USB, mini-HDMI or any other kind of port. It's an odd decision on Apple's part, considering so many people would like to have those interfaces in Apple products they prefer to buy.

8. The old Flash debate

Remember back a couple of years ago when Steve Jobs wrote an open letter saying why his products don't support Flash? And remember when Adobe responded by trying to take aim at his comments? While all other product makers were offering Flash, Apple decided against it. At the time, it was viewed as extremely risky and yes, odd. Nowadays, though, nobody cares: Apple showed it had the power to kill off Flash in the mobile space.

9. A real beta in Siri

Apple has historically liked to only release products that are in their final stages. The move is designed to ensure that customers are getting their very best experience with the product. However, Siri is in beta, and Apple itself has said that it's a work in progress. In the world of Apple, launching such a half-baked product is a major oddity.

10. Social networking€”sans Facebook

When Apple launched iOS 5 last year, the company said that it wanted to bring more social networking to the platform. And it did so with deep Twitter integration. However, it did not announce any deep Facebook integration, even though the social network is the world's largest with 901 million users. Social networking integration in an iPhone without Facebook makes little sense. Odd, huh?

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