Create: iPhone 12, Buyer Beware (for now)

I cover this in my upcoming podcast but if you are considering upgrading to the iPhone 12 I would seriously consider waiting. I lease my phones and when I got the email I was eligible for the upgrade to iPhone 12 I did so, as I have with the prior generation. Big mistake.

From my experience, this phone has two major issues, and when I say major I mean things that make the phone nearly unusable. Battery and mobile signal reception. When I opened the box from Apple I noticed the new form factor and design and said “Oh no.” The phone looks and feels like a larger version of the iPhone 5, a phone I loved, but a phone that suffered from two major flaws. Battery and reception.

I bought my iPhone 5 in Sydney and took it back a few days later asking for a replacement due to a faulty battery. The salesperson at Apple said, “No, all the batteries are that bad.” The phone also had horrible reception. So when the iPhone 12 arrived and it looked like the five I was concerned.

My day today. Same cell carrier, same cell package, same locations. No signal. Or diminished signal that makes the phone unusable. Phone calls, Zoom calls, Internet. Barely doable. And at times impossible. My wife has an iPhone 7 with my exact same plan and she is fine. Standing next to me the difference in reception is night and day. This morning I was on a Zoom call with our entire company attempting to warn them about the phone and unbeknownst to me, they couldn’t hear me. This turned out to be the joke of the day. “Case in point,” someone said as everyone laughed. “I’m only hearing every third word.”

I spent an hour on the phone with Apple today but nothing we did had any effect on the situation. I told them I didn’t care about the battery issue. The real issue was the lack of signal. Apple of course said “We have never heard of this issue,” which is what they always say dating back to my iMac G5 (faulty power supply), Macbook (faulty hard drive), and my PowerMac G5 (inherent bug they admitted was there but were unable to fix.) Anyone out there with a butterfly keyboard? Ya, you get my drift.

This post is just a warning to wait. When I express concern about Apple, more than any other brand by far, I’m usually met with skepticism, rage, accusation, and denial and today was no exception. I got “My phone is fine.” “It must be you, Milnor.” “I’ve never heard of this.” On and on and on and on. By the attached image you can see it’s not just me. I don’t hate Apple. But I have to be real about their products especially when I’m spending money on devices so flawed they keep me from doing my job.

Again, Apple apologists, I’m just saying “wait.” That’s all. This is not, I repeat NOT an attack on the brand. Settle down. Call me picky but I’d really love a signal with my phone. I know, a lot to ask. Software patch? Replacement phone? Great, I’m all ears.

MORNING UPDATE: Okay, quick update. Again, NOT hating on Apple here. Just passing this along in case it helps. Good news, I was able to use my phone as a phone. My sister called as I sat at the breakfast table and my first thought was “I have to go outside and uphill to get this to work.” I was wrong. However, here is the odd part. 5G, gone. LTE, gone. 4G…….yep. Back to a 4G signal with three bars. This is a first. Have not seen this at my house in a year. This is the good news. The bad news, the phone no longer works as a hotspot with 4G and the phone is my ONLY internet. So I am now in the van in Santa Fe as I am no longer able to work from home with this phone. Take this for what it is, but it is very clear to me this phone does not work like the last gen and has taken a step back in regard to the signal. If you live in the city, probably not a big deal. If you work from home and use the phone for your job then this is a major problem. Also, yesterday Apple recalled the iPhone 11. Not all of them but a lot from what I find. But, the 11 was better. Keep it and wait out the wrinkles in the new phone.

17 Comments on “Create: iPhone 12, Buyer Beware (for now)”

  1. Avoid Apple altogether I say! The iPhone 3GS I got in 2010 is the only Apple product I’ve ever owned and it didn’t even last the 2 years of the contract. My Samsung Galaxy S7 I got in March 2017 is still working fine.

    1. Szilvia,
      I actually like Apple and I think their build quality and OS are great. But, their devices have issues, almost all of them. I cant’ NOT point these out.

  2. I also have the 7 and am okay. There is a tech reporter at Forbes who is my go to guy on ios updates. I never update without checking with his recommendations first, which means I usually wait, sometimes through two or three update iterations.

    1. Chuck,
      This is a hardware issue. The build of the phone. They have already offered a software update but this is a real problem with the phone itself. At least this is what I read.

  3. Hi Dan,
    The Apple fanboys make the camera ones look like Saints.
    Good luck, you’ll need it.
    Ha, here’s a thought, you could always phone Tim Apple.
    Oh, that’s right, your phone doesn’t work, neither does Trump.
    Steve.

    1. Steve,
      Yes, very delicate subject. People do NOT like anything negative in regard to Apple. Bad tech or offshore money.

  4. I gave up upgrading my iPhone at iPhone 8. I still have it and have no plans of upgrading. There is nothing any of the new iPhones do that the iPhone 8 doesn’t (that I need or care about) so I think why get myself into more debt for no reason.
    I have 1 more year left on my contract and I can cancel my cell phone account and be totally free from the cell phone company prison! I can’t wait!! Can you imagine… a world without a cell phone contract… sounds like heaven to me!

  5. I feel for you Dan. But look on it as a feature – imagine you’re up a mountain somewhere, no phone calls, no emails – bliss! and I bet it has a fab camera too.

    If it’s any consolation the only way I can get my Macbook Pro to connect to my monitor AND get a wifi signal at the same time is to wrap the monitor cable in aluminium foil – go figure!

  6. Thanks! I appreciate the warning. I am on the same leasing plan, and almost made the migration to the new phone… but your alert has kept me in my holding pattern. Thanks! Tech problems are always exasperating! Hang in there!

  7. Thanks for the warning. I’m still using my iPhone 5S that I got in 2014. Battery life has become more of an issue in the last year so I will most likely upgrade next year. Not sure which model I will choose though.

    1. Brian,
      Am now on second iPhone 12. This one is better. Manager at store had a bad one. Manager at OTHER store here had a bad one and TMobile said they were replacing them “right and left.” They also said the battery issue is now considered a “Known issue.” For them to admit that is HUGE.

    2. I had that 2014 5S. Reluctantly parted ways with it early this year. I’d dropped it one too many times I guess. Held together by duct tape. Probably not healthy to be near.

  8. One of these days you’re going to have to elaborate on your phone/hot spot internet set up. Keep in mind, I’m a luddite. I have no idea how you run all of your online activities and uploads over a phone hot spot! And I think you’ve mentioned that you stream movies. Or maybe I missed the BetaMax reference.

    1. Scott,
      It barely works. Risky. Fickle. But it’s what I have..for now. Internet in “rural” New Mexico is NOT good.

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