27 September 2010

iSkin and iPhones :/ - an open letter to Steve Jobs

My life is a haze (slippery slope?) of vaseline and dead skin. That's the reality of it. Icky to the non acquainted/OCD type. But that's my life.

My life is also jam packed with Apple products. Ok maybe not jam packed, but most of my technology needs are satisfied by Steve Jobs. I have an iPhone, iPod Touch and MacBook Pro. I am madly in love with the latter two. They are beautiful. And functional. More so beautiful. Actually my T key is a little sticky on my MacBook Pro, and I am unable to do eTax on it, so a little irritation has crept into my love.

My iPod Touch is the most wonderful music player I have ever had. I dreamed of playing four hours of Savage Garden when I was 15, and now I can do this. Last year I had an operation, and during the pre-op check up, I needed to give a wee sample. Who knew the iPhone Touch could assist me with this?! I downloaded the Shy Bladder app a few months earlier, in jest really. I thought it would be as much use as the cigarette lighter flame app I downloaded (zero use). When my wee didn't flow naturally, I returned to my doctor's room, grabbed my iPod and headphones and took them back to the toilet, assuring the doctor I'd explain when I returned. After a bit of waterfall sound effects through my Sennheisers (and pleased that I wasn't wasting water when our dams were at their lowest), my wee flowed. And when I returned to the doctor's room, I explained the need for my iPod in the toilet and he laughed and laughed. Ingenious.

But the iPhone is not the best thing to come into my life like others believe theirs to be.

I vowed not to be one of those who succumbed to an iPhone. I really only need a phone to make calls and take the occasional (crummy) photo. But last September, about a year ago actually, I lost my phone (a basic Nokia) in a taxi on the way to ChIPS camp. Optus had previously stuffed up my account whereby they didn't sign me up to the plan I believed I was on, and so I was credited about $700, so when it came to replacing my phone, I thought, what the hell, I'll get an iPhone because I won't have to pay a bill for a while. And I didn't - it's only been since about June this year that I have started paying my mobile bills again. When I bought it, it was pretty good - like no other phone I had. I didn't have my MacBook Pro then, so it was a handy portable device. But then things went awry.

I have had three iPhones in a year. Soon to be four.

My skin and vaseline don't mix with the iPhone. The first iPhone was replaced because the microphone failed. No one could hear me on the phone. I could hear them though. The speaker component also suffers - my ring tone and alarm are bearly audible.

I believe it is due to skin and vaseline blocking the microphone/speaker, despite my vigilant cleaning with a dry toothbrush (sometimes I do this while waiting at the train station and people freak out - RELAX - the toothbrush has NEVER been wet or in my mouth!).

The second iPhone smashed when it was dropped. I waited six weeks to get a replacement through home and contents insurance. My beautiful looking iPhone became like this ugly witchy Barbie doll I once got as a part of a Snow White and Wicked Stepmother set, aged four. I couldn't bear to look at the smashed screen, it reminded me of this Barbie doll. And black glass bits kept of flaking off, leaving a sticky residue. It was usable - I could make calls, check emails and Facebook, but there was also the problem of the microphone and my skin.

This current iPhone has lasted since May. People have complained they cannot hear me when I call them. So on Wednesday it is back to the Apple store where I hope to get another replacement.

Despite using a cover and little plugs in the power bit, my iPhone is not ichthyosis friendly.

Steve Jobs - you have enough money and compassion to design one where the microphone is protected from my skin and vaseline. If you are reading this and got all the way through it, I thank you, and hope you will understand the skin and vaseline issue is not due to me kinkily using my iPhone.

Steve Jobs, I challenge you to consider redesigning the iPhone to make it more accessible for me. I don't want to have to be constantly replacing my phone.

Thank you.


  1. Oh, that's no good - I have an iPhone too and am finding it a bit hit and miss sometimes (like crashing, freezing, and poor phone call quality).

    I tend to always use the headphones with built-in mic when making phone calls - my calls tend to drop out less this way, and I can hear clearer. Using your headphones during calls might help stop getting vaso in the phone's mic holes?

  2. Can you use a headset when talking instead?


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