Kuntzman: Why I Won't Pay $1,000 for the New iPhone

Dear Apple,

Me again. Sorry I haven't been in better touch, but you know how quickly the kids grow up. (Of course you do. You're looking at all my photos on the cloud.)

Just writing to say I still love you, but this is a rocky time for us. Let's talk. I'll start: No, I won't be paying $1,000 for a damn iPhone today or any day.

It's been fun, but it's just not that good.

Oh, sorry. I realize this is a relationship, so I probably should give you another chance. OK, so here's what's bugging me about you. Maybe if you fix yourself a bit, we can get back to where we once were, in 2007, when the world was so new.

1. Every time I take a picture, it ends up in my camera roll. I have 4,773 pictures in there right now, from yesterday's shot of my bike in front of my office (I got the parking spot!) to a shot of my kids and my parents taken years ago in Irvington, New York. (Think, Kuntzman, think: What the hell were you doing in Irvington?)

Trying to find a specific photographic needle in that particular digital haystack is like trying to determine five days before a hurricane landfall if Anderson Cooper should pack his tight gray T-shirts and head to Miami or Tulum. Even when I plug my phone into my computer, all the pictures have random, unchangeable names, like IMG_3843. And don't remind me of the time your facial recognition software put a picture of a Thai orangutan in the same People folder as me.

2. I remember so many times wanting to take you to a concert or a show. I'd order tickets online, and when the ducats would come, I'd try to put them in the Wallet app, so I could find them later. Never works. I almost always have to take a screenshot of the ticket itself, then create a special Tickets photo album that I can open up as we're waiting at the gate. Can't the Wallet app just, um, work for anything beyond my Starbucks card?

3. I think it's funny that whenever someone sends me an email saying something like, "Let's meet at Momochai at 57-16 Woodside Ave. in Jackson Heights," your Apple Maps app opens up and suggests that the dinner date will be in Alabama, not Queens! Of course, Google Maps knows exactly where the place is—but you won't let me delete Apple Maps because you're an obsessive, controlling jerk!

4. I'm in love with a woman named Angela, but sometimes I also like to text Angela Merkel. And when I'm online with both of them at the same time, it would be nice if the texting app didn't list only their first names. Remember that one time when I thought I was texting a sexually suggestive love note to my girlfriend, but it actually went to the German chancellor? Maybe you could help me explain that one!

5. I used to love sharing music with you, but then you "upgraded" iTunes, and now every time I sync the phone, I get another version of my "hot driving tunes" playlist. And when Jill Sobule sent me her great album Dottie's Charms for review earlier this year, all the songs ended up in the Unknown Artists folder. I still can't get the songs to appear with all my other Sobule albums—even after manually changing all the song titles. Why can't you give me control over my musical relationships? Why can't I file all my Conor Oberst albums in one long list called Bright Eyes? Why can't you let me pigeonhole my favorite artists the way I want? Instead, you separate Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, Monsters of Folk, and Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band as individual entities. What about when I want to just do a long Bright Eyes shuffle? Or listen to Paul Simon songs with and without Garfunkel?

6. You obviously don't want me to see other people. That's the only explanation for why it is so hard to share a calendar event with someone else. Why can't you just let me click "share" and email the calendar entry to multiple people? You let me share a contact card that easily. Why not an upcoming appointment?

7. I didn't like what you did with the home button the last time. It's not a button. And it treats my finger with about as much respect as Angela Merkel does!

8. You know, the phone isn't really that good either. I can never hear what anyone is saying. Sure, I know that no one makes calls anymore, but five of the six letters of the word iPhone suggest that's the main purpose of this device. So make it better. For calls.

So, no, I won't be plunking down a week's pay to endure more frustrations in this relationship, Apple. But call me when you upgrade Apple TV. I can't wait to see how you fixed the menus.

Gersh Kuntzman is breaking news editor for Newsweek. This is his first column for Newsweek (since 2005).

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