As everyone who owns an iPhone has had cause to remark, it performs every task beautifully except the "phone" bit. The reception is poor (no matter how you hold it), the sound quality is scratchy, and it's all too easy to get cut off mid-conversation. It's only after reading this excellent, short piece that I realised quite why Steve Jobs and co. might be rather insouciant about such bugs; barely anybody uses the phone any more:
According to Nielsen, the average number of mobile phone calls we make is dropping every year, after hitting a peak in 2007. And our calls are getting shorter: In 2005 they averaged three minutes in length; now they’re almost half that. We’re moving, in other words, toward a fascinating cultural transition: the death of the telephone call. This shift is particularly stark among the young. Some college students I know go days without talking into their smartphones at all. I was recently hanging out with a twentysomething entrepreneur who fumbled around for 30 seconds trying to find the option that actually let him dial someone.
This generation doesn’t make phone calls, because everyone is in constant, lightweight contact in so many other ways: texting, chatting, and social-network messaging. And we don’t just have more options than we used to. We have better ones: These new forms of communication have exposed the fact that the voice call is badly designed. It deserves to die.
The author, Clive Thompson, goes to explain what he means by this: phone calls blunder into your life without letting you know they're on the way, and demand an unreasonable amount of emotional energy to negotiate.
I thought it was just me that felt like this. Or just men.