Jason Yormark

My Search For An iPhone Alternative

About 6 years ago when I was still at Microsoft, I made the jump from whatever Microsoft friendly phone I was using at the time to the iPhone. I was insanely jealous of my Apple fanboy co-worker and his. Let’s be honest, the iPhone was a game changer, and me being the gadget freak, I needed to have one. Especially after playing around with it.

For the past 6 years I’ve been an iPhone user and never thought twice about anything else. It fueled my migration from PC user to Apple across the board. Macbook, Apple TV, iPad, all of it. I’m somewhat deeply invested in the App Store ecosystem, and up until now, never even considered another phone. But times have changed, and despite holding on for quite some time, I’m feeling more and more compelled to look for an iPhone alternative.

And here’s a few reasons why:

  1. Apple has gotten lazy. At least it feels that way. It just feels like they have become complacent with what has gotten them where they are, and it’s opened up the door for everyone else to bridge the gap. I haven’t gotten excited about anything they’ve done with the iPhone since the 4 came out. I understand that you can’t expect every iteration of a phone to change the game, but they’ve barely done anything. It’s the same dated user experience and form factor for the past few years.
  2. Apple hides everything. They do nothing to build buzz and excitement about what they have in the works. For the most part, nobody knows what to expect until their official announcement whereas I feel other manufacturers are less tight lipped, and at least give us a sense of what’s to come. And the last 2 years have been a bore.
  3. Screen size. Probably one of the biggest issues I have with the iPhone is that I just want something a little bigger then what they offer, but they seem content on sticking with nothing larger then the incremental larger iPhone 5. I find myself often wanting to be able to use my phone for things I do on my iPad, but it’s just not big enough. The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 seem to hit that sweet spot of not too big, but not too small either.
  4. I’m getting Apple accessory pricing fatigue. I’ve tried buying non Apple branded accessories, and I always get burned, so I’ve been stuck with $19 for a cord, $29 for a charger, etc. The idea of having a phone with industry standard connections and more options is appealing.
  5. Other options have finally gotten to the point where they are more exciting. And to me, that’s the biggest reason.

I really have little faith that Apple’s fall announcements are going to bring anything that significant. We’re most likely looking at an iPhone 5s, with incremental changes.

While I’m definitely taking a hard look at a new device for my phone, I’m definitely not going to be changing my computing preferences. I recently got a new Windows 8 Ultrabook for my work travel machine and that only confirmed my Mac preferences (more to come on that in a future post). Whether a new device might pull me away from my iPad usage remains to be seen, but I’d really love to find a new phone with an excellent build quality, 4.7-5in. screen and all the bells and whistles that could potentially provide me with a device that pulls me away from table and computer usage as much as possible.

What say you? Would love to get feedback and suggestions from those that have been iPhone users and have converted to something else. My early draw is to consider the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4.

Jason Yormark
I'm a 20 year veteran of digital marketing & the owner and founder of Socialistics, a social media agency based in Seattle. My spare time is filled with writing, baseball, my boys and everything Seattle has to offer.


  1. Jason,

    I’m going with Samsung’s Note II. My first smartphone was the Samsung i700 with Windows. I loved it and carried until 2 years ago. The battery wouldn’t quit and when I wore it out, I had a replacement. A feature I truly miss. The darn ting still runs and sits in the original box with all of the manuals and accessories. I loves Activesync. MS blew it. I held out for the new phones and the lack easy synching killed it for me. What were they thinking?

    The iPhone is great for my wife and daughter. Easy to use and consumer/simple user oriented, but it does not have productivity that meshes with my desktop apps.

    When I’m mobile and need a portable computer, I need a laptop. Tablets are not enough. So I’m going with Samsung’s phablet and hoping it’s as phat as my buddies say it is.


  2. I agree with Gary. Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Yes, it’s a bigger screen than you wanted, but the extra real estate is used wisely by the phone. You can have two windows open at once, side by side. I also like the S Pen stylus and all the features of it, including a warning if the S Pen and the Note 2 become separated.

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