iQuit – Love affair with iPhone cools when handset breaks

Love affair with iPhone cools when handset breaks
After four days with phone, trouble in paradise
By Joe Hutsko

Falling in lust with an expensive device like the iPhone sets owners up for a hard fall if it stops working. I know, because mine died after only four days into our relationship. Read the full story on


31 Responses to “ iQuit – Love affair with iPhone cools when handset breaks”

  • Oh no! Not a returned device! And you got a new one.. The horror. The fact that 5% of all electronic goods fail after the first month based on a minor defect… the fact that MSNBC has ties to Microsoft does not surprise me that they would run this article about well NOTHING.

  • For the record I’m not a fan of the title chose for this, but that’s beyond my control. I actually had a very positive experience getting the phone replaced, and hope other iPhone owners who may have worries about what happens if their iPhone fails will see that if something bad happens, it will be taken care of. Thanks for the comment, all thoughts and opinions always welcome here. Joe

  • Wait wait wait…. MSNBC, as in MICROSOFT NBC ran a story like this? Really? AMAZING!

  • Joe,
    Do you think MSNBC would have published your story had they been APLNBC instead?

    Just wondering…

  • What is with this campaign against the iPhone, especially the effort by MSNBC to trash te iPhone? One phone out of half a million sold malfunctions, and I’m supposed to believe the iPhone is a complete waste? Have there been reports of other failures? If so, what percentage of the 500,000 sold have failed? How does that percentage compare with the failure rate of any other product?

  • I’m sorry, I usually don’t comment on stories I read, but this one requires it. Well done on your title. It is intriguing which it should be to draw in the reader, but the story itself lacks reason for publishing. Lets recap, you had a problem with your cell phone. You were upset as many would be so then you tried to exchange it and the process went well. You have a new phone now and you are sure that at least one other person had the same issue out of what 500,000 units that where initially sold? I remember when my kid bought the coolest game console ever, the xbox, that died on him right away and I remember the recall that Microsoft put out on that same xbox that affected 40%-50% of customers who bought it. Wait a little, rewrite your story and publish it again when you are on your 4th iPhone in one month, if that even happens.

    As another post stated, I do find it interesting that MSNBC decided to pick up this story. They need it. Did you see the latest idea from Microsoft and windows mobile for cell phones? It was on the today show last friday during the iPhone release, where Microsoft talked about incorporating the ability for stores to beam ads to your cell phone as you walked by. I can just see my 6 year old daughter now walking by an adult store and having an ad beamed to her phone for sex toys. Great idea Microsoft. Now there is a story you should cover.

  • So you’re a journalist, and you’re covering what happens when the iPhone breaks. Seems to me the appropriate thing to do would be to interact with the world as if you’re a regular customer, so we will know what happens if a regular customer’s phone breaks. But what’s the first thing you do after you get some friction with the AT&T store? Call an unnamed, anonymous “public relations person at Apple” who hooks you up with “extremely polite” customer service.

    Your use of anonymous sources is incredibly suspect here, and going through public relations at Apple to get your phone repaired strongly diminishes the news value of your article. For some readers, it also may create the appearance of a self-serving motive to get your phone repaired ASAP rather than to provide the added value to your readers that honest reporting entails.

  • Joe, on behalf of all Apple customers who aren’t blind fanboys with strange personal relationships to their electronics, thanks for the post. I didn’t stand in line for an iPhone, nor will I until the 3rd generation at the earliest. These kinds of reports, even if they’re isolated, are helpful to those of us who don’t care about waiting until Apple kicks the lead out. My apologies (and embarrassment) for those whose worship of Apple blinds them to that fact.

  • I’m a Macintosh consultant here in Seattle. Had a client call me yesterday to tell me his iPhone overheated from just carrying it in his pocket.

    He pulled it out to make a call & in the middle of leaving a message the iPhone froze & wouldn’t let him end the call. He spent five minutes trying to figure out how to get the phone to hang up or perform a soft or hard reboot. During this time he was still in this person’s voicemail. I’m sure there were a LOT of expletives in that message!

    More fun with iPhone! 🙂

    Read more about it at my blog:

  • The perception is that Microsoft has anything to say about what MSNBC writes. The opposite is true. Case and point: When I wrote my Vista feature, my editor *demanded* that I pull no punches when being critical of Vista, which happened to be Microsoft’s most important product announcement in years. Made no difference to my editor or me, I took off the gloves and pulled no punches, same as with any story. (ADDED: The fact that I end the Vista story by stating I would be sticking with Mac was no doubt unhappy news for Microsoft, but that didn’t matter to me either way.) For the record, I’m crazy about the iPhone, I think it’s spectacular, and at the same time it isn’t without flaws, which is par for the course with most everything in the world, and will be writing more in the upcoming days and weeks. Thanks as always for comments – good, bad, ugly – everyone is welcome to express themselves here.

  • Folks, take note of what I mentioned in the story, about holding down the Home and Wake/Sleep buttons to restart the iPhone – but keep holding it down to force it into recovery mode, if ever necessary. That’s the only way to get your Mac or PC to recognize it if it gets caught in that endless loop cycle. Even the guy at the Genius Bar didn’t know that – so share it with others, that you must hold down the Home and Wake/Sleep buttons together for more than a few seconds, to eventually get it to switch to recovery mode and show the yellow alert that instructs to connect to iTunes.

  • I have a couple of questions for Joe Hutsko:

    1. Have you wondered why your cell phones always break down
    or have one problem or the other?
    (Recall: Your Treo broke down 3 times and you had to
    replace them despite your ‘handling the device with kid

    2. Do you think you sometime exagerate a shade too much?
    Why would anyone even contemplate frying or cooking a meal
    (eggs in this case) with the heat off a phone?
    Or were you just begging to sound funny?

    3. Do you look at a cup as half empty or half full?

    Positive thought begets happy living. Think positively, even when people are offering money, silver or gold for negative reviews on anything – especially a revolutionary gadget like the iPhone.

    By the way, I also used Treo and I’m a happy owner of an iPhone.
    I like both phones but one, in my opinion, is superior to the other.

    Somerset, NJ

  • See earlier entry:
    My Palm Treo 680: The bezel is a real crack-up

    The first iPhone really was so hot I believed I could warm an egg white to opacity.

    Thanks for the comments.

  • Anyone with a knowledge of cell phones or other electronic would understand that a device getting as hot as this author states is defective.

    This is the problem when hi technology gets placed into the hand of newbies and the like. An experienced user of electronics would have understood the issue and returned the device quickly.

    But there would be no story there. The heat decribed by this author was going to melt parts in the phone…surprise surprise.

    I love the line about What could have happened, what if they did this. Instead he simply got a new phone.

  • I just believe you need to tone down on how you exagerate things. Attitude is everything.

    By the way, if I run into any issue with iPhone I will rather take advice from Apple/AT&T. At this point, I have reasons to worry that if you have a key-combination to screw up an iPhone you’ll suggest it to people just so you could write more on why iPhone is not as cool as advertized.

  • I can’t believe you actually wrote an article to slam the phone & a company for NOTHING. They did what they are supposed to do.

    Unlike you.

    It would be like me writing a story about a reporter who is supposed to be a neutral observer, who instead in a desperate attempt to write ANYTHING negative about an outstanding product and a outstanding company writes about the same company executing a perfect return policy and making it look like the world is coming to an end.

    EVERYONE!!! LOOK!!! I had a successful return!! DON’T BUY THIS PHONE!!!


    May I suggest MOVIE REVIEWS for you instead? This kind of dribble is commonplace in that section.

  • I think the initial tone and headline of your article is misleading. All of those that hate Apple, Inc. simply because they are Apple, Inc. are only going to read the headline, and assume that the iPhone is now a useless piece of junk. The fact that you had it replaced and are (I’m assuming) still using it should have been mentioned a little sooner in your rant.

    Also, the fact that your iPhone was heating up to such a point as to worry you may have indicated a power supply or battery problem. The fact that you did nothing/asked no one about this “overheating” issue shows that you either don’t care enough to inquire or don’t know enough to think that you should.

    Wow… so you waited in line eight hours? For an iPhone that I can go an spend about ten minutes buying right now?


  • Hi Joe,

    I had one of the original IPods. It was plugged in and got so hot that the plastic started melting; and the screen turned a funny color. Needless to say, the IPod was “Toasted” and no longer worked. I knew it was out of warranty, but I thought that Apple would be interested in seeing such a serious malfunction. Well, I called them, waited on hold for half an hour as usual and then got a long list of questions from the help rep. Basically the questions were aimed at trying to see if Apple might have some liability as to damage caused by the IPod. Once they determined that there was no collateral damage, they told me thanks, but that they didn’t want to see it. It left me the distinct impression that this was a common enough occurrence for them. Scary.

    I didn’t ask them to replace the IPod or send me a new one, I just thought they would be interested in seeing the damaged one. Without asking they did mention that if I wanted to go into an Apple store with the IPod, I could get 10% off for a replacement. I declined. I’m certainly wary now about Apple products and haven’t jumped on the IPhone yet.



  • i don’t get your gripe. you bought a brand new electronic product and it conked. bummer, but it happens. apple did exactly what they should have done, treated you well and replaced your phone. what’s the issue?
    you should just stick with crappy, dull, hacky microsoft.

  • Mine gets hot as well. Not burn my fingers hot, but uncomfortable to touch the back hot. I posted on the discussion board at Apple, but haven’t gotten much feedback yet.

  • I had a different problem with my iPhone – the speaker on the bottom was faulty. It sounded like it was fried and the volume was super low. I couldn’t hear my phone ring. I went on the Apple discussion board to see if others were having the same problem – tons were. Then next day I went back to see if someone found a fix but I could find the search function to find that thread. (I found out later that they had removed the Search, it’s now up again) I searched manually and logged in to find a thread that I had posted to. It was gone. I started my own thread with my concerns. (See thread ) Apple got scared and locked the discussion. Maybe I stumbled onto something that hit a nerve.

    Frustrated, I made an appointment at a Genius Bar for Tuesday. The genius who helped me was nice but he wouldn’t tell me what the common problems others were having with their phones. He tested and reset my iPhone to find nothing improved. He didn’t seem that surprised. Then he went to the back and got me a new phone. Easy. I felt much better and was happy again.

    I knew that there would be problems with this first gen. It seems that Apple is trying very hard to keep them a secret.

    I will note that I have been a Mac fan and user for 15 years and I am really, really in like with the iPhone.


  • I’ve got to tell you, this story lacks every bit of journalistic integrity that is called for in a story like this.
    I’m a reporter with a newspaper in Denver and I also had a defunct iPhone. The wi-fi feature was broken and it turned out to be a hardware problem. I had the phone replaced at an Apple store within minutes and my new phone works like a charm.
    I thought about writing a story that my iPhone broke, but then I realized that’s not news.
    What’s news is if you took the time to interview several iPhone users to determine how many people needed to swap-out their phone with a new one.
    What’s news is if you contacted the media relations office at Apple and got numbers for how many iPhones were replaced in the first few days.
    Now your story is on Drudge Report, why I haven’t a clue, with a headline like iQuit, that lacks any news worthiness and is misleading to consumers.
    Not very fair and objective my friend.

    -Peter Marcus-

  • Wow, it took a while just to find a website where I could respond to that MSNBC review of yours. It sure does read like you got paid to bash Apple. You must understand that. Yowza, it read like it had an agenda. I think that makes people upset.

    You seem like a nice guy. I’m sorry, MSNBC with a dreadful review of the iPhone. It’s like CokeCBS and their review of the new iPepsi.

  • Joe,

    So, you really haven’t explained why you contacted public relations about a problem with your phone. Of course the problem was fixed when you called their media rep. They know you’re going to write this up. As a journalist, I know most media ethics policies prohibit using your position as a journalist to gain favor in a customer-service related issue (This is why you don’t write your landlord about a problem using your company’s letterhead.). In addition to the ethical problem, there’s a practical issue: how can you write helpful reviews of the product when you’re not experiencing it as a regular customer?

  • I allow all comments on this site and welcome all opinions. I cannot reply to all messages, and would encourage anyone posting comments wishing for personal replies to first read the entire story being discussed from start to finish, and to also scroll back to the start of comments and read all comments and replies before firing off additional comments without knowing the conversation as it stands at the moment. Thanks, and as always, all comments welcome. Joe

  • A friend on Twitter ( had a similar problem. Rebuffed by AT&T, embraced by Apple with an actual appointment to get it swapped.

  • Wow Joey,

    Your tale is so…, How do I put it?!

    Dumb. There is always one in the crowd and you know the old saying about opinions?

    Enough said. This the 700,000 folks out there care about your whining?

    Not really.

    you had your 15 now go right a childrens book or something that I can wipe with.

  • Same thing happened to me…I was watching a movie, it hung, I walked away and came back a few hours later to a dead battery. On charging, I get the same problem and error message above.

  • I allowed my iphone battery to fully discharge and upon recharging got the error message with a large exclamation mark “please connect to itunes”. When I connected to itunes I was told that the phone was in recovery mode and needed to be reloaded. Itunes went out and downloaded the new firmware and began the install process after I approved the input screen that said it would wipe out all my data. 1/3 of the way through the process I received a message box that told me the process had failed to restore the iphone for an unknown error (number 1603).

    After looking online and calling ATT as well as Apple the best solution I received was to send the iphone in for replacement (i am 5 hours from an apple store). After fiddling around I have managed to solve the problem on my own.

    After trying everything else with no results, I pulled the SIM card out of the iphone and plugged the iphone into my computer. Itunes then reloaded the software and firmware successfully. I then put the SIM card back in and synced it up with itunes and it asked me to confirm the resync. Afterwards it just worked fine.

    My iphone works again!

  • iPhone iDead!!

    A few days ago, my wife’s iphone was in her bag and it was really really hot. And then yesterday the battery life fell 25% after one hour of full charge and zero usage. The settings menu showed the phone was used for 6 hours after the last full charge(lies!!). And then last evening it just went dead!

    The battery life was already pretty shaky when the phone was new, it used to go down to 25% after 7-8 hours post full charge. The usage was minimum and the WiFi is always turned off. We took it the Apple Store 1 week ago where the “Genius” told us he had the same problem and all we needed to do was do a full restore from iTunes. We did that, it “seemed” like that worked, but then the phone went dead yesterday. Pressing all buttons, combination of button but it does not turn on!!

    Taking it to the Apple Store today to see what the “Genius” has to say! What a bloody waste of time for an expensive device.

    Should have brought jewelry for her birthday instead of the iPhone.

  • Regarding the comment : “I got answers from Apple’s PR department. Yes, all iPods and iPhones that are exchanged for replacements get wiped clean.” I just purchased a ‘supposedly’ brand new iphone from the local at&t store last week. It was flawlessly packaged, and showed no reason to indicate it was not sealed directly at the factory. I turned it on, and attemped to add my contacts to the phone, only to find there were almost 200 contact names and numbers already in the phone. Obviously someone had returned the phone, and it was NOT wiped clean. So long story short.. be wary of information recieved from the ‘PR department’ and always delete personal data yourself before returning any device from any manufacturer.

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