Apple Hates Social Media

[picappgallerysingle id=”9195352″]I wasn’t a good Facebooker until I got an iPhone. I would forget about my accounts and not look at them for weeks. I think that part of the reason that Friendster and Myspace died is because you had to be chained to your computer to update them. Once you could effectively manage your online profiles on the run as you were being social and not after the fact, social networks became relevant to me. You could make an argument that the iPhone helped take social media to the next level. It brought elegant Internet surfing, faster connections, and a camera to everyone who would stomach AT&T. All of this was a boon to social networks.

So for their role in creating a space that made sites like Facebook and Twitter possible, how can Apple suck so bad at social media?

  • Customer Service – Your iPhone 4 is having problems. The signal strength and proximity sensor issues are all over Twitter, Facebook, an the blogosphere. Yet you say nothing. Of course you really don’t have a Facebook page of any value or your Twitter account is worth even less. You do have forums that you don’t answer. It’s like it’s 1998 at 1 Infinite Loop. In 2010, customers expect interaction online – not waiting in line at your stores or on the phone.
  • Social media integration – Why can’t I submit photos or videos directly to Facebook from outside of their app? As I mentioned before, the connected camera was one of the things that made these sites relevant.

As smart as Apple is about some things, they’re incredibly dumb about this. It’s not as if their employees don’t talk to customers millions of times every day. I was at an Apple store recently and saw customers hug their Apple rep on two separate occasions. Your employees are good at what they do, customers like them, and they seem to be able to communicate well, something it’s apparent that you can’t do.

I hate to say this, but one of the best companies at this is Apple’s ugly stepsister, AT&T. On AT&T’s Facebook page, they answer questions, post helpful videos and work to allay concerns before they go viral. You can also look at Verizon’s or Comcast’s Twitter accounts for other tech companies that get it.

Do you have any examples of good customer service online or companies that use social networks well? Share them in the comments section.

The new iPhone 3GS keeps it’s worse feature: AT&T

The new iPhone 3GS (the “S” stands for speed) was introduced today along with the next  iterationphotos-hardware-01-20090608 of the iPhone OS 3.0 to be released June 17. On whole I like what I read about the new phone and definitely can’t wait to upgrade my 3G to OS 3.0.

It’s a shame that I can’t upgrade m network from AT&T to someone else. On of the things that became very apparent is that AT&T is holding the iPhone back.

  • Finally Apple announced that the new operating system will support multimedia messaging – with the new phone adding video to the service. But AT&T will not add MMS until late summer. Even worse, there are rumors that AT&T might charge more for the service.
  • Of the networks that were listed as supporting tethering, AT&T wasn’t one. If you’re not  familiar, tethering allows  you  to connect your laptop to the internet using your phone’s connection. The problem is that AT&T can’t figure out what to charge for the service. I don’t expect that this would be free, but there’s no reason for AT&T not to know by now how to provide this service to their customers.

As far as the new phone, I think it seems to be the natural evolution of the iPhone 3G, adding video recording, a 3MP autofocus camera, voice control, gads of speed, increased battery life, and a load of other improvements. While the difference between the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G was massive and important to the usability and usefulness of the device, the difference between the 3G and 3GS seems more about refinement – and that’s what was needed.

It’s also important to note that the iPhone 3G is still available at the drop dead low price of $99 with a two-year contract. Of course you’re still stuck with AT&T as your service provider, but the phone is worth it if you’re in the market for a smartphone.

I’m not going to run out and buy a 3GS – I’ve still got a year on my contract and I truly believe the iPhone is the best phone I’ve ever owned, and the upgrade is all I need.

Of course I can’t wait to see what Apple has in store for us next year when they release the next iteration of the iPhone.