Apple has set forth upon us a bad iPhone 3G — and if you dare to complain about it — or find ways to hope to deal with the matter on the official Apple forums… you will be silenced with the deletion of your discussion thread.


Apple owns and operates their own user forum and they can censor and delete whatever messages they wish — but that doesn’t mean the discussion ends with their deletion.

Here is the forum message I posted today and I am republishing it here to preserve the record of complaint:

I have tons of Apps I’ve downloaded from iTunes. Most of them are paid and many of them cost me a lot of money.

With all the backup/connection issues added to my now total loss of 3G voice and data with the 2.0.2 update — I find myself living on EDGE and on my home WiFi and also living app-less.

It takes far too long to actively manage my iPhone 3G.

It seems like the only way to get any performance out of the phone after upgrading Apps or getting rescued from the White Apple of Death — is to wipe your phone and start all over. Restoring from a saved backup helps nothing and only increases future trouble.

I have entirely given up on backups and finally disabled them via the Terminal command. I’ve resigned myself to starting over from scratch whenever I need to “fix” or “update” my iPhone 3G.

I only have a few vital Apps installed because I just don’t want to waste a day having them all re-installed again and again after a wipe — and it’s strange how many Apps are getting repeatedly updated without providing any substantial new features — that means, to me anyway, that the Apps devs are fighting the firmware as much as we are.

So here I sit — App-less on the East Coast — biding my time on a slow phone with a lousy firmware update that made the phone worse than it was, and hoping that one day, the phone will work as advertised and I can begin to squeeze some value out of all the money I’ve spent on Apps that keep getting updated, but that I am loathe to install.

How are you managing your purchased Apps? Are they all installed all the time or are you just letting them sit until our hoped-for magic day arrives and all our problems are solved?

Do you dare do anything worthwhile with your Apps and created data if you know you have a full wipe ahead in your near future?

Several others replied to my inquiry and here is my response to one woman echoing my disappointment.  I have removed any identifying information concerning those who responded to me to protect their privacy:

Yes, that’s how I’m living as well!  Since we don’t get any error messages concerning which App is blowing up our phones, the only solution if a hard reset doesn’t work is to just wipe everything and start all over again.

I’ve never had any luck with the iPhone 3G using a stored backup after a restore and on my first generation iPhone I never had to restore once from a backup.

I’m sort of regretting all the money I spent on Apps because we all know that no matter what happens, we’re likely going to have to wipe and reinstall everything with any sort of firmware updates to the phone — and that means doing any data storage on the phone itself is a no-go because you’ll lose everything in a wipe and reinstall.

I do have my method down for setting up my phone after a wipe:

1. Adjust brightness
2. Turn off 3G; set up WiFi
3. Turn off keyboard and lock sounds.
4. Set my local weather.  Delete Cupertino.
5. Setup email.
6. Add testmyiphone.com, Google Reader, my Homepage to home screen.

If I’m fast and lucky, I can get all the above done in about 3 minutes.

Another person replied to me — also upset with the lack of Apple progress — and here is my response:

That sounds like a safe plan — and it’s strange that some Apps, it seems, somehow retain their settings on the iPhone 3G even if you wipe it and set it up as an all new phone.

Pandora is one App I’ve noticed that retains my email address and password even after I wipe the phone.  I sort of appreciate that because I don’t have to set it up again, but it makes me wonder why that’s happening and what other information from other Apps is being permanently stored on the iPhone 3G. 

I also think mis-behaving Apps collide with each other — so it may be safe to run one App for awhile and everything seems great… until you install another App that blows up the first App. 

In my experience it’s totally unpredictable as to which App will die when, though iNetworkTest was, for a time, a reliable culprit as the starter of the dying Apps condition… and once that App failed, the rest of the phone was in store for another wipe…

Here’s my final reply concerning the viability of backups:

Oh, you’re lucky your backups work!  That saves your conditional data you create on the iPhone.

It’s so funny how far we’ve lowered our expectations across these ongoing problems — our phones don’t behave as advertised, yet we’ve convinced ourselves how lucky we are we can still make a call on EDGE and get email!  Heh!

I, too, hope there will be a definite fix soon.

Right now I have a few Apps installed.  I can’t live without Epocrates even though it takes forever to setup… and the Poker Dice game and AIM and AOL Radio and iTrans NYC and Scrabble… so far they all get along together pretty well and that covers my iPhone Apps needs for a bit.

I am not alone in having my threads deleted on the Apple forum so I shouldn’t feel special or indignant and here is the generic email Apple sent me explaining why my thread was deleted:

David Boles,

Apple removed your post on Apple Discussions titled “Are You Living App-Less? ” because it contained the following:

Off-topic or non-technical posts
Polls or Petitions
Non-constructive rants or complaints

We are including a copy of your post at the end of this email for your reference.

Our terms of use, which include helpful information about using Apple Discussions, is located here: http://discussions.apple.com/help.jspa We encourage you to continue using the Apple Discussions while abiding by our terms of use.

If you would like to send feedback to Apple about a product, please use the appropriate selection here: http://www.apple.com/feedback

As part of submitting feedback, please read the Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy linked to the feedback page.

Kind regards,

Apple Discussions staff

How did I violate the terms of the Apple forum?

Or did I merely speak a truth that Apple does not want propagated on their servers using their bandwidth?

UPDATE:  I just registered WhiteAppleOfDeath.com to point to this article — see what discussion deletion does for the good PR common cause, Apple?  The people shall rule; not big business!

26 Comments

  1. Oooof! Anne! Gimme a break! Who knew the Apple advertising on TV would not be the universal experience? Many of us got taken in by the blitz and the ritz and we’re paying for it now in our iPhone 3G misery. Lighten up!

  2. I know. I know, Anne! I feel for you. I spent a lot of money on Apps I cannot use because my iPhone 3G is not right. It’s frustrating. I feel for you — but SAVE YOUR RAGE FOR APPLE! Go complain to them. Start a hater thread on their forums and get deleted! It will make you feel better and outrage you at the same time. Give it a go!

  3. I”m getting email from people who read my Apple Forum thread and want to know what happened to the thread… I’m sending them the URL for this article so they can continue to follow the matter…

  4. I know David!
    I was expecting it to be priced somewhere between $300 – $350; not a whopping $800!!!
    It says the service providers didn’t subsidise it, moreover there is no airtime contract…
    People have already started buying it from the grey market a long ago.

  5. Katha!
    That’s so wild! I really do hope you get one soon, though, because I want an iPhone review from your side of the world and how the 3G technology works. I’m dying to know how everything hangs together as an experience for you.

  6. Yeah, Gordon! It’s a bit o’ a mess. I have a slew of people sorta mad at me for leading them into 3G and the iPhone. I just tell them I bought two iPhones and I’m in the same boat as everyone else! Gah!

  7. Believe me, David, even if I had gone ahead and got the iphone I wouldn’t put anything on you – I still have the ultimate choice in the matter. I know that you write only about what you believe in and that your reviews are the most unbiased I have ever read. That’s why I loved your blackberry review. It told me exactly why, for my needs, it was awesome. 🙂

  8. That sounds really rough, David!
    And that mail from the thought police really topped it off nicely.
    i’ve no clue why they’ve priced the iPhone like that in India either!
    And to think this is the company that made this –

  9. Hi Gordon!
    Yes, I agree, I guess should feel a bit bad if I earned anything in the exchange, but I don’t get anything for the reviews I write. Now Apple, on the other hand, should be standing up and supporting their loudest supporters with direct and clear answers instead of quieting them and shouting them down. That makes for bad blood and badder business.

  10. Katha —
    The iPhone 2.0 is still a greater phone than the 1.0 phone — it’s just too bad the 3G network is so lousy here. I wonder if the 3G performance will be better in India?

  11. Dananjay —
    Yes, it’s a sad thing because, like it or not, the 2.0.2 firmware update from Apple broke my phone. There’s no other finger to point at except right deadeye in the center of Cupertino for that blunder.
    I guess many threads are routinely deleted from the Apple support forums and that’s why so many secondary discussion forums have opened up to bluntly talk about the trouble people are having with iPhones and other products.
    I agree that Apple should be less like the villain in their famous commercial and do a better job of being transparent and open with their early adopters.

  12. UPDATE:
    Here’s interesting news on the wires this morning.
    1. Here’s an engineering test saying the iPhone is fine… it’s the worldwide 3G networks that suck:
    http://www.gp.se/gp/jsp/Crosslink.jsp?d=444&a=440573
    2. Here’s the report from Wired on 3G connections also suggesting the 3G networks are unable to match the brilliance of the iPhone:
    http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/08/global-iphone-3.html
    Those news reports are depressing because if it is the network and not the phone — though the 2.0.2 firmware update blunder, and White Apple Of Death, belong solely to Apple — that means that there won’t ever be a fix for the phone because the phone is fine!
    The solution, unfortunately, will likely take years as at&t and other cellular providers try to amp up their 3G coverage.
    So… why sell a 3G iPhone in the first place if the network coverage is so horrible? What’s the point of getting into that sleazy bed of lies if the sheets can never be washed and the whore is eternally infected?

  13. Katha —
    I’m surprised 3G is so expensive in India — we’re led to believe the rest of the world is operating on full-power 3G except for most of the USA.
    Half of that review you posted is inaccurate — I don’t think that reviewer has ever had, or used, an iPhone.