The long awaitediPhone 3G was released on Friday, July 11th. But what should have been a happy and joyous day for iPhone fans, ended up being an exercise in frustration for many.
After waiting in line outside of Apple Stores for hours (or even days), some consumers then spent up to 7 hours inside because of "network problems" that slowed or even halted the activation of new iPhones.
The iPhone 3G line outside the Manhattan Apple Store on 14th Street at 12:52PM. Estimated wait time was ~4 hours.
Apparently Apple's authentication servers weren't prepared to handle the amount of global network traffic from new iPhone 3G activations. Network slowdowns were first reported after stores opened in Europe. The network then came to a halt after US East Coast stores opened. By the time American West Coast stores had started selling iPhones, Apple's servers just couldn't take it anymore and started crashing. It was AT&T's insistence that all phones get activated in the store that caused the problem. During last year's iPhone 1.0 launch Apple had everyone activate their own phone at home through iTunes.
Wish you knew where your friends and family were at all times? Have you heard of Loopt yet?
Loopt is a mobile phone application that enables users to spy on see the location of their friends on an interactive map (see image below). The application also allows you to message friends in your general area and setup automatic alerts to notify you when friends are nearby.
In the last few months, Loopt has published several BlackBerry versions of its software for all major American cellphone carriers including T-Mobile, AT&T, Alltel and Sprint. Loopt also demonstrated an Alpha version of their software for the 3G iPhone at the 2008 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). You can sign up to be notified when the full iPhone version of Loopt is released here.
If you have a Jailbroken iPhone, then the function and features of Loopt might sound similar to Twinkle. Twinkle is a native Twitter client for the iPhone that pairs your GPS location with your Twitter posts. Twinkle also gives you the ability to add images to your Twitter Tweets.
But whether or not you use Loopt, Twinkle or Twitter.. it's not any fun unless all your friends are also using the service.
A massive new online business is scheduled to launch on July 11: Apple's App Store - an online hub for third party iPhone and iPod Touch applications.
Beginning later this month, developers will begin to upload apps to the store accessible by iPhone users or to a new section of the iTunes Store, sharing revenue from app sales with Apple in a 70/30 split. These apps will be in addition to the 1,700-odd apps already developed for the iPhone's Safari web browser.
One of the games people are looking forward to playing is Super Monkey Ball. Sega's Ethan Einhorn showed off Super Monkey Ball on stage at the WWDC. According to Einhorn, after 8 weeks of development, the developers have created 110 stages.
The new 3G, GPS-enabled iPhone should open up a world of possibilities for clever developers in the realms of gaming, entertainment and enterprise applications.
In related news, the AOL Radio app for the iPhone won for Best Entertainment Application at the 2008 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), providing users free access to over 350 online radio stations (including 150 local CBS radio stations) and more than 200 AOL Radio channels.
Other WWDC iPhone App winners:
Best iPhone Game: Enigmo by Pangea Software
Best iPhone Social Networking App: Twitterrific by the Icon Factory
Best iPhone Productivity App: OmniFocus by the Omni Group
Best iPhone Healthcare & Fitness App: MIM from MIMVista
There's no doubt that an iPhone update is imminent. But while nearly everyone has agreed on that, nobody knows anything definite about the specifics... except that the new iPhone will be compatible with the Microsoft Exchange email services. There's a link on the main Apple.com iPhone page where you can apply to be a beta tester.
In regards to the iPhone, here's what we know today:
Apple.com lists the iPhone as “Currently Unavailable.” Stock is so low that you can't buy it. Usually a good sign that a new model is coming out soon.
Apple continues to make iPhone sales deals across the globe. Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Australia were all announced with the last few months.
The new iPhone will most likely be unveiled during Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at Apple’s WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) on June 9th.
AT&T is prohibiting retail-store employees from taking vacations between June 15 and July 12, claiming that they’re expecting a “heavy selling period”. They implemented a similar policy last year for the iPhone launch.
AT&T executives have said numerous times that all of their smartphones (the iPhone is one of the) will support 3G networking soon.
The Apple Stores have been out of stock of the iPhone for weeks. And people are forming daily lines outside Apple stores that still have a few iPhones in stock.
And here' are some rumors about what Steve Jobs might announce at the WWDC on June 9th:
Rumor: The new 3G iPhone will be about 20% thinner.
Rumor: The new 3G iPhone will have built-in video chat that would allow you to video chat with other iPhones or even computers with webcams.
Rumor: The Apple TV is going to get an add-on USB camera that will turn the Apple TV into a video chat system (see item above). How would it work? A picture in picture effect would happen if you were watching a movie on your Apple TV when someone tried to “video call” you from an iPhone.
Rumor: Just like the iPods, the new iPhone will come in several colors including black [pic] and white [pic]. Several colored iPhone photos have already surfaced on the Interweb. There's no doubt that black would be an extremely popular iPhone color.
Rumor: The new iPhone will have built-in GPS (it's about time).
Rumor: Apple will also announce a new, wireless keyboard specifically for Apple TV, with multi touch capabilities. Basically it will be a super remote control.
Here's a post from MethodShop.com about iPhone lines outside the Apple Store:
"This morning I had to go buy another copy of OS X Leopard (my original copy got scratched). As I walked closer to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue I was somewhat surprised to see a line of about 50 people waiting in line. The 3G iPhone announcement isn't rumored to happen until June 9th right? Are these people going to wait in line for over 2 weeks or do they know something we don't?
I asked the security guard by the Cube what was going on and he said it was for the iPhone. That's all he knew and he very was annoyed at me for asking him about the iPhone line. I'm doubt I was the first person to ask.
Still confused I walked downstairs and bought my copy of Leopard. Before I left the Apple Store, I asked Jessica, my cashier, if the people outside were waiting for the new 3G iPhone. She cryptically said "They are waiting to buy an iPhone. We will sell them whatever phones we have in stock." She was kind of pissed off too.
For some reason the majority of people waiting in line were Chinese. I was later informed by a friend that to get around iPhone quantity restrictions (one one per person), you can pay people (usually from Chinatown I guess) to buy you extra iPhones and even hold your place in line.
I wonder how many of these people will still be in line on June 9th."
"We all suspected it, but now it is confirmed: someone very, very close to the 3G iPhone launch has told me [Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz] that Apple will announce their new model at the WWDC Keynote on June 9th. The second-generation iPhone will be available worldwide right after the launch, and not at year’s end, as previously thought. The new model will also herald new sales policies in some countries.
In Spain, for example, the 3G iPhone will be available for sale at the June 18th grand opening of Telefonica’s megastore—an Apple Store-like shop located in the company’s historical building in Madrid’s Gran Vía— with nationwide availability the next day or after a few hours. The other European countries with iPhone availability will have similar launch schedules."
The 3G iPhone will also supposedly do away with fixed-price iPhones. Apple will be adopting a more traditional subsidized pricing model. This means that certain carriers can offer discounts and subsidies on the Apple handset. This also means that large companies will probably be able to purchase iPhones in bulk and offer them as part of their companies internal wireless plans.
What will this new 3G iPhone look like? Rumors say it might come in multiple colors including black (see a mockup above). There's no doubt that a black 3G iPhone would be extremely popular.
Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, first promised a 3G iPhone at a London press conference in September 2007. Sine then, it's been a guessing game trying to figure out when the 3G iPhone would be released. In April, hackers found a 3G toggle switch in the iPhone's 2.0 beta firmware hinting that a 3G iPhone release was imminent.
Occasionally an iPod or iPhone may freeze or fail to respond to your commands. This can happen for a number of reasons and does not necessarily indicate a serious problem. Sometimes they just need a restart much like the way your computer needs a reset once in a while.
Here it is... video evidence of the new unreleased iPhone 1.1.3 software improvements. The embedded video below is a nice and thorough walk-through of the unreleased iPhone 1.1.3 feature updates hosted by Andru from GearLive.com. Watch it fast before Apple's lawyers take it down.
Anyone still think it's fake?
If the embedded video above doesn't load, then click here.
Hate fingerprints on your iPhone or iPod Touch? Enough to spend $9.90 on some finger condoms? A enterprising company in Austria is selling something called Phone Fingers that prevent smudges and fingerprints on the screens of the iPod Touch and iPhone.
Here's a video of the "Phone Fingers" in action. It has a strange ending.
One more thing, the Phone Fingers only come in black and make the user look like they have a severe case of frostbite.
Silly product idea, weird choice in color and a demo video that ends in a theft... Yep, the Phone Fingers are a gag gift... like the Pet Rock.
Apple's touchscreen technology works by sensing the electrical fields in your skin. A latex finger condom is an insulator and would prevent the iPhone and iPod Touch from detecting any input from your fingers. The Phone Fingers website even says "This is probably the funniest accessory for the iPhone available!" But if you go over to Digg.com, there's a pretty heated debate going on in the comments. A lot of people initially thought this was serious product, not a gag gift. If you have a few minutes, it makes for a pretty entertaining read.
The Federal Communications Commission approved Apple's iPhone, clearing the way for the combined phone and music player to hit the shelves. Apple expects to begin selling the iPhone in late June.
Some of the FCC documents confirm a few features of the phone, including it will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and will operate in the 1900MHz and 850MHz frequency bands.
That means that despite the phone's high price, users won't be able to roam with it into Europe, where operators use different frequencies. The phone uses GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technology and the EDGE (Enhanced Data Rate for GSM Evolution) wireless data standard. Apple has said the phone will ship initially only in the U.S. but many GSM phones today, even on the low end, are capable of operating in both Europe and the U.S.
Eager potential users who hoped for a faster data connection will be disappointed that the approval is only for EDGE. Many operators, including Apple partner AT&T, have upgraded their networks to deliver download speeds of about 500K bits per second or more, more than twice as fast as EDGE.
How do you know you are a true geek? Well, when someone bakes you a gadget themed birthday cake, you might as well admit your chosen place in life. In a weird coincidence (or was there a gadget cake bake off recently) I found both an iPhone and Mac Mini cake on Digg's front page this past weekend.
A flickr user named icruise was surprised with this iPhone cake for their birthday. It looks like a sweet cake with a multitouch interface you can lick. Can you hear me now? No? Must be all the frosting in your ear.
The other photo is from 123macmini.com. Miles, the birthday boy, got this Mac Mini cake from his loving mom for his 15th birthday. Hopefully not too many people at his high school saw this online. He might get the frosting kicked out him after school. Just don't try to eat the disc. It looks like Miles' mom used an actual CD and covered it with frosting. Good luck trying to upgrade the RAM.
If you want to look for more Apple themed birthday cakes, try searching flickr for icake. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a black MacBook tray of brownies for my next birthday. You won't find any Zune cakes on flickr for some reason. Poor Bill. :(
So how can two different companies lay claim to the "iPhone" name? That's the problem... they can't.
Linksys, actually owns the "iPhone" trademark because of a Cisco acquisition. A company called Infogear registered the "iPhone" name in 1996. Then Cisco then absorbed the "iPhone" trademark when it acquired Infogear in the year 2000.
So what happens now? It's all up to the lawyers. Cisco filed a lawsuit against Apple yesterday in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Basically Cisco and Apple need to reach a settlement or Apple will have to call their iPhone something different like iChat Mobile.
According to the NY Post, Cisco thought it had reached a deal with Apple. The two companies were reportedly engaged in heated talks over the "iPhone" name the past few weeks leading up to the Apple iPhone announcement.
"We sent them final terms on Monday, but we never got approval back," Cisco spokesman John Noh told The Post. "We're very open to sharing the trademark. We made that clear. But then they went ahead and used the name without our permission."
Apple has been trying to get the iPhone name away from Cisco since 2001 when they first released the iPod. Will Apple finally be successful? They obviously have something up their sleeve or they wouldn't have halted talks with Cisco and just announced the iPhone this week. It will be interesting to see what happens these next few months.
Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. Apple, a company known for innovation, has been very fortunate in this regard. In 1984 they introduced the world to the first Macintosh and changed personal computing forever. Then in 2001 Apple introduced the first iPod and redefined the music industry.
Today Apple introduced 3 revolutionary products: widescreen iPod, mobile phone, and internet communicator. But there's a catch... these revolutionary products aren't 3 separate devices. They are all rolled into one product called the iPhone ($499 4GB, $599 8GB).
The iPhone (GSM+EDGE) has a touchscreen interface with multitouch capabilities. That means you can use multiple fingers at the same time. How can such a small device have an advanced multitouch interface? The iPhone runs the Macintosh operating system OS X. How did Apple fit an entire operating system into a tiny phone? I don't know. Magic?
The iPhone syncs to your computer just like your iPod. All your media (music, videos, podcasts, etc.) as well as contacts, email amd calendars will sync to your iPhone. You can even add any any IMAP or POP email account. Yahoo users will like this next perk. Yahoo is giving all iPhone owners free IMAP email. You normally have to pay extra for this feature.
Web browsing on a mobile phone was probably one of the worst user experiences you've ever encountered. Well those days are over. The iPhone uses the Safari browser and can smoothly navigate complicated sites like Google Maps.
On Friday afternoon I heard a rumor that the "iPhone" was coming out on Monday, December 18th. It was an interesting rumor because most people thought that Apple would announce their mobile phone product at the January 2007 Macworld conference.
Well, a new product called the iPhone did indeed come out today but not from the company that everyone thought. Linksys announced the iPhone in this press release, not Apple. So what the hell happened? For almost a year now people have been speculating about the possibility of Apple releasing a communication product called the iPhone. But apparently Linksys, a unit of networking equipment maker Cisco, already owns the "iPhone" trademark. According to BusinessWeek.com, a company called Infogear registered the "iPhone" name in 1996. Cisco then absorbed the "iPhone" trademark when it acquired Infogear in the year 2000. Oops. Score -1 for the bloggers. We really should have picked up on that little tidbit months ago.
So if Apple really has a mobile phone product in the works, they obviously can't call it the iPhone. What about a variation of a name they already own like iChat Mobile? While the name of this product may still be in question, a trail of clues about an Apple phone product have been popping up all over the Internet for over a year now:
Apple's CFO, Peter Oppenheimer, might have let the 'cat out of the bag' on an Apple analyst 2006 Q3 conference call when he said the following: "As regards cell phones, we don't think that the phones that are available today make the best music players. We think the iPod is. But over time, that is likely to change. And [Apple is] not sitting around doing nothing."
According to analysts, Apple is rumored to be ready to release an Internet phone product at the January 2007 Macworld conference. "From a technical standpoint, the phone is pretty much done," said American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu. "It's a big endeavor and we believe it's beyond speculation." Apparently the rumored existence of an Apple phone has morphed from a question of "If" to "When."