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iPhone, Apple TV Headline MacWorld Keynote 1619

Posted by Zonk
from the iphone-looks-pretty-good-eh dept.
Steve Jobs kept his audience rapt at the MacWorld keynote today. He rehashed the announcement of the iTV, now called Apple TV, and announced the iPhone, a revolutionary phone/ipod/wrist-computer that had MacWorld attendees sitting on the edge of their seats. Retailing for $499 (4 gig)/$599 (8 gig), it has to be seen to be believed. It uses a touch screen with a new form of input control, runs OSX and many standard applications, and connects to the internet via WiFi. It has a camera, functions as a movie player, a music player, and can send emails and photos in the middle of a phone call. From the Engadget coverage: "'[OSX] let us create desktop class applications and networking, not the crippled stuff you find on most phones, these are real desktop applications.' He's quoting Alan Kay - 'People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.' 'So we're bringing breakthrough software to a mobile device for the first time.'" Seriously, go check this out. They're going to print money with this thing.
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iPhone, Apple TV Headline MacWorld Keynote

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  • Leopard? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davidoff404 (764733) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:08PM (#17525820)
    The iPhone does indeed look cool, but I was kind of hoping to find out some new stuff about Leopard. Is it just me, or were there no announcements about the new version of OS X at all?
  • Battery life? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chemical55 (446280) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:10PM (#17525914)
    Any word on battery life on this thing?
  • They've done it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes@NOSPAM.xmsnet.nl> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:12PM (#17525968)
    Finally, a phone with a usable UI. Steve was right to refer to the 1984 introduction of the Mac. The iPhone looks to be just as much of a quantum leap.
  • by bheer (633842) <rbheer&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:12PM (#17525976)
    Seriously, why couldn't this have been network-independent? Surely they don't expect Apple folk to lemming-like move to Cingular?

  • Say what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RasputinAXP (12807) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:12PM (#17525988) Homepage Journal
    They're going to print money with this thing.

    Not at that price tag, they're not. That's with a two year agreement with Cingular. That's way, way beyond most peoples' price points, and with "only" 4 or 8 gigs of storage, it's roughly useless for the people who WOULD use it.

    It's a hybrid bastardization of several products that turned out to be a poor idea.

    There should have been a touch screen iPod announced as well, for those of us who have other, more sane cell providers.
  • Re:Price to high (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vought (160908) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:14PM (#17526016)
    So like you will $60 + month $40 for data $20 + for voice.

    And those prices will be exactly the same in June because you can see the future.

    Seriously - they'll be able to sell data in volume now. Price will drop or be bundled with voice.

    This device makes data compelling for everyone else - not just Johnny Businessman. It is what the phone companies built the data networks for in the first place.
  • by Chief Typist (110285) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:14PM (#17526028) Homepage
    Since this new device runs OSX, it's a great time for those of us with Mac development experience. A whole new (and huge) market for our products.

    Likewise, there's a new incentive for Windows-only applications to get ported to OSX so they can run on the iPhone.

    Personally, I think that the term "revolutionary" gets used way too much. But in the case of the iPhone, it seems appropriate.

    -ch
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:14PM (#17526046) Homepage
    My oldest dream. A real ebook reader.

    Even if we get a simple text file display app, the ebook is finally here.
  • Re:Price to high (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:16PM (#17526106)
    Why would they charge less for it when they could charge the same?

    Any mention of other carriers getting ahold of it? If so, then we'll entertain the notion of prices going down.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:17PM (#17526142)
    > It uses a touch screen with a new form of input control, runs OSX and many standard applications, and connects to the internet via WiFi.

    Assuming WiFi connectivity becomes widespread, I can see Google Maps printing money with this thing too. (If there's no WiFi available, but a cellular tower is within range, Cingular might be able to print money for the data shuffled back and forth while running an application like Google Maps.)

    Biggest loser might be GPS device makers: Why spend $500 for a portable GPS unit when you can have the same thing (and get the "killer app" of Google-searchable maps, plus the nice bonus of satellite imagery, which can't be done on a portable GPS unit) in your phone for the same price?

    I can also see a nice automotive aftermarket opportunity here. One of these things mounted on the dash, or in an aftermarket console/tray, would be an ergonomic (read: safer) way to do aftermarket GPS.

  • by technomancerX (86975) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:18PM (#17526162) Homepage
    Yup, I would have bought one in a heartbeat if it was unlocked... but they'd have to pay me to switch to Cingular, as they are HORRIBLE in my area.
  • Re:iPhone... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:20PM (#17526202) Homepage
    Make it open to all providers and thus anyone that has GSM could use the phone rather than tying us down to one -- the worst one...
  • Re:The name (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Duncan3 (10537) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:23PM (#17526282) Homepage
    No reason they would treat him any better then they do their customers.

    Safe to assume they are bending poor Steve over a desk on this one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:24PM (#17526300)
    If slashdot hates it, this thing is going to be successful. I remember the ipod was also coldly received around here. The ipod demonstrated the huge disconnect between "expert" slashdot users and your everyday consumer. In short, slashdotters severely undervalue ease of use.
  • by xzvf (924443) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:24PM (#17526302)
    Price point looks very familiar. Why is the PS3 dumped on for $599 price point while this is praised as a second coming? Where did Sony mess up?
  • by wandazulu (265281) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:26PM (#17526372)
    I agree...I've been developing Mac apps for awhile and already have some ideas for this thing. I can't wait to see what kind of dev tools they include in XCode 3 for it.

    Plus, the idea of having an open ssh session to your phone/ipod/whatever is kinda cool (in a geek sort of way).
  • by bstarrfield (761726) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:31PM (#17526502)

    Much as I detest Cingular, Apple likely had little choice but to partner with one of the major cell phone carriers. Apple could, of course, had sold the iPhone without a SIM and had the customers install their own.

    That would have been a marketing / tech support / and logistical mess, with different networks providing different data plans, features, connectivity, and even basic networks (GSM versus whatever the hell's out there). Partnering with Cingular makes life ever so much easier for Apple. Not only that, it prevents Cingular / ATT from partnering with some vaporware future Microsoft product that could steal Apple's thunder.

    I'm not going to defend Cingular's horrific record. They're awful, no doubt. But all the wireless firms are awful right now. Given that Steve divested Apple of the awesome Imaging group, the nifty Newton, and other business units it would be surprising if Apple wanted to get into the cell phone provisioning business.

    On another note, I'm already looking at how to rewrite a few Widgets to work on the iPhone...

  • by ubernostrum (219442) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:32PM (#17526510) Homepage

    Remember that Apple's been making buckets of money, for years, by selling things that either were or were perceived to be more expensive than the competition.

  • by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:32PM (#17526520) Homepage
    I think Cingular and T-Mobile share the same network, at least in part, so you might actually be getting the same service.

    Random access voice mail almost certainly required that they get the cooperation of a specific provider.

    The price is a bit high. I'd guessed $499 but without a contract. They could certainly obliverate their competition if they were able to get it cheaper, but this is to the Treo or Sidekick as Final Cut Pro was to Adobe Premiere when it was introduced. In other words, it blasts the competition into smithereens.

    I wonder if terminal and ssh are included somewhere in the device. Those nice Blackberry folks charge $95 for ssh and that would make up a lot of the price disadvantage if it was included in the Phone's MacOS X installation.

    Finally, when I heard all the stuff that goes on that device, I would think you'd want a 30gb version. 4 and 8 gb of Flash almost seems like an insult for something that powerful. I suppose a hard drive would have made it too big and heavy, but still, people carry around hard drive based iPods just fine, and a hard drive iPod's not much different in size from the sidekick.

    It's a pity consumers really love small ...

    D

  • Some reality (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Danathar (267989) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:34PM (#17526554) Journal
    1) It would not matter WHAT carrier they chose. People would dump on them because there are large groups which hate EVERY cell carrier in the U.S.

    2) I've seen NO confirmation that you HAVE to buy a contract.

    3) Anti Apple Trolls will take a large steaming dump on it no matter what it is.
  • by twbecker (315312) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:35PM (#17526568)
    Ok, the phone is incredible. But the carrier sucks and the price, while reasonable, is really gonna add up when you add a data enabled calling plan. What I really want is this version of OS X on the iPod. Turn it into the iPhone minus the phone, and they can still charge close to $500 for it, and not have to share anything with Cingular.
  • Re:Price to high (Score:3, Insightful)

    by no_such_user (196771) <jd-slashdot-20071008@@@dreamallday...com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:35PM (#17526572)
    Yes, but wireless bandwidth is not infinite...
  • Re:Say what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Der PC (1026194) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:35PM (#17526584)
    Battery... Battery Up to 5 hours Talk / Video / Browsing Up to 16 hours Audio playback But how long in standby ? On my first GSM phone ( back in '94 ) I had to charge the phone (big as a building brick) once to twice a week. Today, I still have to charge my phone twice a week (at least). If that phone is charge-daily or bi-daily, it will be a "cool flop" in just a few weeks after release. One thing a phone has to have is good standby. At least 160-200 hrs. I want the standby time. Apple. Hear me, hear me.
  • Re:Say what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:36PM (#17526598) Homepage Journal
    The RAZR started at that price, and still sold well enough to bring motorola to a respectable position.

    Apple wants a small part of the market to start. Unlike other cell phones, Apple is making money off every sale. They are not dumping the hardware hoping that market share will magically bring profits.

    One also has to look at the full package. Most cell phones are feature compromised. Most cell phones require additional purchases to work with a computer. Most cell phones are only well integrated with the PC, and are no integrated at all with the Mac. The reason this phone is a value is because it is feature complete. You will not buy and find that a feature has been turned off, or you need to spend another $100 dollars for software. At least on a mac, everything you need is there. I am not saying that this phone is really worth the money, just that after buying my RAZR the sales person told me it would be another $100 to hook it up to my computer. Fortunately I had a mac and my own cable. So the costs on the apple phone are up front, while the other phones nickel and dime you.

    As far as cingular, I am surprised they found anyone that was willing to give up the provider gravy train and allow such a phone. No need to pay $2 for ringtones. No need to use airtime to download songs. Given Verizon's huge monthly fees, and their lack of customer respect, I doubt they were even willing to talk about giving up the gravy train. Verizon does often have better coverage, but to me they have lost the war when it comes to value.

  • by nutshell42 (557890) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:38PM (#17526640) Journal
    This is the official thread for all those Apple fanboys who crashed any thread on new cellphones over the years with their "boohoo, a device should only do one thing" spiel.

    In this thread I want to give you the opportunity to state whether your earlier trolling against cellphones with mp3 playback functionality was 100%-Apple-fanboyism or if you stand by it and think the iPhone should never have happened. Thx.

  • Re:Say what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:39PM (#17526660)

    Not at that price tag, they're not. That's with a two year agreement with Cingular. That's way, way beyond most peoples' price points, and with "only" 4 or 8 gigs of storage, it's roughly useless for the people who WOULD use it.

    That has always been Apple's strategy. Skim the cream first. A lot of people I know paid that much or more for a PDA phone. This was really close to what I was guessing their prices would be, but a lot nicer looking than I anticipated.

    It's a hybrid bastardization of several products that turned out to be a poor idea.

    I have a cheap cell phone because I've never found an expensive one I liked. They all had crappy interfaces and were pretty indifferent at being phones. I don't own an iPod or any portable mp3 player because I never thought I would use it that much. I do own a GPS, but I rarely use it because I only have it on me when I'm hiking. I own a cheap digital camera I rarely use because I only have it with me on vacations. I figured Apple would be coming out with a phone, but I did not expect I would want one. But this is it. I'm willing to spend my money if I find a quality product that I think is worth it. My pocket knife cost $200, but it is not going to snap or fold while I'm using it. In general hybrid devices are not good at multiple things because the integration and interfaces suck. In principal they are great for items you carry with you because you actually are willing to carry them. The scissors on my old swiss army knife were not as good as a regular, full sized pair, but they got used because I had them with me. The same principal holds here. I'll buy a phone+PDA+mp3 player+GPS+camera because I will use those features if I have them with me all the time. I'll pay for them, if someone puts them together correctly, and it looks like someone finally has.

    I predict Apple will not be able to keep these in stock and they will be the most popular an imitated device in years.

  • Re:Say what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:39PM (#17526666) Homepage
    I love how people will gladly pay this and much more for a computer that does NOT:

    *fit in the palm of your hand
    *have a touchscreen
    *have an OS redesigned around the touchscreen
    *have a display
    *make and receive phone calls
    *deliver email the very second it arrives on the server

    But package a computer -- a full blown one running Mac OS X -- into a tiny, shiny device, and people complain about a $600 pricetag.

    Why?

    Because the computer is SMALL.

    Guess what? If anything, you should pay extra for that.

    Just because your brain stem equates it with a Snickers bar, LG cell phone, TV remote control or Palm PDA due to its size does not mean its value is anywhere near as low.
  • No Widescreen iPod (Score:4, Insightful)

    by devnull17 (592326) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:41PM (#17526712) Homepage Journal

    The iPhone looks nice. Overpriced and tied to a terrible service provider, but the gadget itself looks cool.

    But where's the next-generation iPod? It's obvious that the technology is there; the iPhone has pretty much every feature that one could dream of in a next-generation iPod: it's widescreen, touch-controlled, and has much better screen resolution.

    What about the vast majority of iPod customers who don't want an overfeatured, overpriced toy ($600 plus a two-year contract with the worst mobile service provider in the US--and they have a monopoly on it, by the way) with little storage capacity that won't be available until June? What about those of us who aren't interested in satellite images of the Washington Monument, or a simple way to voice-dial Starbucks, and just want a sexy gadget to play movies on the train? Why does Apple insist on shoving these extra features down our throats at an exorbitant price, offering no alternative? I thought they had more respect for their customers than that.

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:43PM (#17526756)
    Its a PDA with a phone and wifi. And it uses your fingers instead of a stylus (a bad mistake, having used a DS and other touch technology- I *want* a stylus, fingers are way too clutzy). If you carry a phone and a pda, you can converge. If you don't, it doesn't give you anything.

    I'll get excited over something like this the day there's reasonable nationwide wifi so I can use the net from literally anywhere. Until then, the only interesting feature of it is hamstrung.
  • by yet another coward (510) <yacoward@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:43PM (#17526768)
    This phone appears to be EDGE, not HSDPA. That this supposedly revolutionary device runs on Cingular's old 2G network is pitiful. EV-DO is out there and working in many places on Sprint and Verizon. Even rear guard Cingular has rolled out 3G in some cities. Color me disappointed.
  • by JavaLord (680960) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:44PM (#17526792) Journal
    The two OS probably have as much as common as say, Windows XP and Windows Mobile

    Yeah, I'm a bit skeptical of a full OS X install running on that thing. It would be pretty cool if you could get some type of desktop and actually write apps for the iPhone on the iPhone. I'm probably the only one in the world who would want a feature like that. :P

    Also, for an 'all in one' type device, there is one thing it's missing. Games! I'm not sure what kind of games could work well on a touch screen outside of puzzle/card games, but hopefully there will be a few that run on there.
  • Re:New Products! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bunco (1432) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:47PM (#17526848)
    Stream much 1080p? How's that going for you? How's your collection of 1080p content sizing up? 720p will meet consumers expectations.
  • by cowscows (103644) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:49PM (#17526878) Journal
    I think there a few reasons why it's only Cingular. A big one being that the phone companies make a lot of money by charging their users for all sorts of extra little features, and so they've kept very tight control on the features that their phones and networks offer. Giving up that control is a risky move for Cingular, and probably took a good bit of negotiation to work out. A period of exclusivity sounds like a likely concession that Apple had to make to get this deal to work.

    But even beyond that, if this phone takes off and cements itself into the public the way the iPod has, then a couple years from now, the other phone companies could be begging Apple to offer the iPhone for their networks. Just like the success of the iTMS gives Apple some decent leverage for dealing with the music industry, they're hoping to have that leverage with the phone companies, so that they can work out better deals in the future.

    Thirdly (is that a word?), this is Apple's first jaunt into the world of mobile phones. There's bound to be problems. Having just one provider to deal with while working through most of these issues will make things easier, and by the time they're ready to expand, a lot of the rough edges will have been smoothed out.

    We've already waited years and years for Apple to release a phone. A couple more won't hurt.
  • by goombah99 (560566) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:51PM (#17526932)
    Who said wii killer? it just is ripe for allowing wii like functionality. Not everyone has a wii or an apple. But if you had one of these iphones would you not want it to be a video game controller too?
  • by flipper65 (794710) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:55PM (#17527036) Homepage
    Am I the only one who was right there with Jobs up until he announced the specs and ...........no tuner card???!!! So basically it's an airport extreme for video. I'm first in line for the phone, but Apple TV? meh
  • by cmacb (547347) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:58PM (#17527092) Homepage Journal
    "And yeah, MACworld and not ONE word about Macs? "

    Yes, ther WAS one word in a way. One word REMOVED from the name of the company.

    Apple Computer Inc. --> Apple Inc.

    (Wasn't part of the deal with the Beatles over this distinction?)

    I think that speaks volumes about where Apple is headed, which is to make computers an optional part of their business. If five years down the road the hardware (or even software) part of the business isn't contributing, it can easily be jettisoned.
  • by John Girouard (716057) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:00PM (#17527124) Homepage
    5 hours of talk time. This seems to be in the ballpark of other cellphones.
  • by Chode2235 (866375) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:01PM (#17527136)
    Uh, Nintendo DS seems to indicate that touch screen games are highly sought after, and profitable.
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:02PM (#17527154)
    I (and just about everyone I know) cannot bring a phone to work with a camera in it. The camera renders it useless to me. Camera phones are for teens and kiddies. We adults have digital SLR Canons and Nikons.
  • by jonnythan (79727) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:14PM (#17527420) Homepage
    The PS3 is really functionally equivalent to the XBox 360, which is $200 less.

    The iPhone is a totally new device in almost every way. There's nothing else like it anywhere.
  • Re:Say what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dr.badass (25287) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:15PM (#17527442) Homepage
    That's way, way beyond most peoples' price points,

    It's only slightly higher than existing smartphones that have fewer features.

    and with "only" 4 or 8 gigs of storage, it's roughly useless for the people who WOULD use it.

    How do you figure? Most smartphones include less than 1GB of storage, and are at best expandable (at added expense) to about 2GB. The Treo 750, at $399+2 year Cingular contract only includes 128MB.
  • One assumes that it can play those files and will just scale them down to 720p on playback, since that's the most that its video circuits apparently support.

    This would be the expected behavior if it works like other Quicktime applications do -- if you run Quicktime Player on a 720x480px display (fullscreen) and play a high-definition source, it will just get scaled down and letterboxed.

    I would just tend to worry about the datarates of 1080i MPEG2 material; I haven't played much with these 802.11n routers but I have a suspicion that if you have any sort of electrical interference on them at all, you're not going to see advertised speeds. It would make sense to downrez files on the transmitting end and not send the 1080i signal over the air, if the playback device only supported 720p. Of course, that complicates the server end of it.
  • by porcupine8 (816071) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:25PM (#17527668) Journal
    They truly revolutionized computers in the 70s and 80s. The iPhone stands to truly revolutionize portable devices.

    My guess is that 5-7 years down the line, they introduce something that is barely recognizable as a "computer" that's aimed at replacing the current personal computer. The long-rumored tablet, but as different from current Tablet PCs as the iPhone is from blackberrys. A whole different class of product.

    I hope.

  • You're wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aurisor (932566) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:27PM (#17527738) Homepage
    Linux is a single unified source base. Pop open a console and go to /usr/src/linux. Architecture-specific code goes in the "arch" folder. On my system I've got code for 28 architectures in the arch folder, averaging about 2mb each. The other 217 megs of shit is platform-independent. That works out to about 1% arch-specific code.

    Most distros offer their own patchsets against the main kernel tree, but you can run red hat's 2.6.19 kernel on suse, gentoo, etc etc as long as you build it to use whatever features the operating system requires (udev/devfs/etc) support.

    Linux is not maintained as disjoint projects with a shared code base. One central repository (kernel.org) maintains the offical source, and specialists maintain the architecture-specific code.

    Neither the arch-specific code nor the patchsets are forks. You probably consider them to be forks because you do not know what a fork is. A fork is when a group of developers copy the code from a project and develop it independently in another direction without any intention to merge back with the main trunk. Arch-specific code is not a fork because it exists as part of the main kernel trunk. Patchsets are not forks because they only exist to be applied against the main trunk. Good patchsets frequently get merged into the trunk anyways.
  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:29PM (#17527778) Homepage Journal
    Or the Apple iPhone that is just like the 50 or so Windows Mobile phones that have been on the market for the last what 3 years.

    With one difference - the user interface, from both a hardware and software perspective, doesn't totally suck. This thing is going to eat Microsoft's lunch in the mobile market.
  • by steelfood (895457) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:34PM (#17527902)
    I'll be willing to bet insane amounts of money that Cingular has a stake in the project too. Otherwise, there's no reason for Apple to tie the phone to one carrier.

    No one's going to buy this with Cingular, especially at that price point with a contract. Most people who use blackberries--business customers, mainly--are not going to be attracted to the other features, and since this thing is two to three times the price of a high-end blackberry, there's no reason to replace the existing devices with this one.

    Now, if any unlocked units come out, they might be better received. After all, it makes for an awesome PDA, video viewer, and mp3 player in one package. And, it might even work with networks other than Cingular as a basic phone. But that's still not enough for wide adoption at the current prices. And that's assuming that there will be unlocked units.

    What they should've done was released a new series of video ipods with the present storage sizes of 4, 8, 30, and 80 GB (the 2GB would be too small to be useful), the fancy screen upgrades, HDD and flash, and the wireless at these prices (sans any required contract). That would've gotten people's attention. And I'm certain it would be next Christmas' big thing. The iPhone could've been released separately as it is now, even with the contract tie-in. This way, Apple can recoup their R&D losses with the iPod sales while they establish a foothold in the mobile phone market.

    As it stands now, it's an awesome product and all, but only a few people will actually buy it. Lots of wow. But they're not going to see much of a return for a long time.
  • by norminator (784674) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:35PM (#17527934)
    Considering the fact that it won't be until July 2008 before Microsoft gets games into the Zune [engadget.com], I'd say they're a little backlogged on iPod catch-up features. I'm seriously wondering what happened in the middle of your post, though, because it made lots of sense (or sounded like it, except it took me about 30 seconds to figure out what "visula voice messaging" was supposed to be), until about halfway through point 2.

    Sure the phone has sensors (lots of devices do), but I'm sure it will never, ever be intended for them to be used in the way you described. Maybe there will be some kind of hack project to make the iPhone usable as a very basic interface for something, but the basic sensors it has are limited, I'm sure to being useful for their intended design purposes. The Wiimote was designed over a period of years to be used as a controller for the Wii. It's functionality won't be duplicated by a hacked iPhone. And I don't think Microsoft wants to make a controller/phone/Zune that costs as much as its competitors more expensive games console, to attract people to the XBox360. The last thing you want to do is throw your $500 controller for the $400 console at your $2000 plasma. Not to mention the fact that the Wii controller concept works because the Wii was designed around it. Unless Microsoft wants to build a Wii-style console, Wii-style controllers will never sell for it. Look up "Power Glove" and "U-Force" on wikipedia.
  • Re:Price to high (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JWW (79176) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:36PM (#17527962)
    I agree completely. Coming from somewhere with absolutely no Cingular presence whatsoever, I would be VERY interested in an iPhone that doesn't have any phone capability at all. I sure hope there are plans for an iPod with all these features except the phone bits. Oh and with a 30Gb capacity too :-)

    I can understand where they'd want to introduce the full blown phone first as they appear to be going to the FCC for approval right now. So now they can go ahead and build an iPod with the same components and release that in June too.
  • by otis wildflower (4889) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:43PM (#17528132) Homepage
    Its running OS X from what I have read.

    If so, then Whither Inkwell?
  • by ivan256 (17499) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:44PM (#17528196)
    Is that because everybody you know works at the same place you do? I'll make a bet with you that less than 10% of american workers have camera phone restrictions. Are you in?

    Digital SLR cameras, however, are useless for 90% of everybody. A quality camera phone would be an excellent "adult" device. Who knows if the camera in the iPhone is any good though...

    If it's an iPod too, you wouldn't be able to bring it in to work anyway. Or do you work for one of those moronic places that lets you bring USB storage devices in, but not cameras?
  • by atl0man (1049000) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:46PM (#17528240) Homepage
    I think you may need to investigate your facts. There are only two major GSM operators in the US. Cingular, and T-mobile. The majority of the US is covered by CDMA service. The build out of CDMA network in North America is so drastically superior it is not even a close call. The largest carrier by actual land mass is Alltel. And they run CDMA almost exclusively except for some GSM, for roaming revenue in some major corridors in rural areas. Verizon would most likely qualify as the next largest for physical network build out. Sprint and Cingular are consistently rated the the worst carriers for call quality, dropped calls, network capacity, etc. The Fact of the matter is that there will have to be a CDMA/EVDO version of this eventually because it makes economic sense in North America, Korea, Japan, etc. CDMA users buy more expensive phones, use more minutes, use more Data services, have higher speed internet access, etc. Verizon does lock out functionality of phones and that is because they are jerks. But you can't deny that between Alltel and Verizon most US customers have really really good choices for mobile operators for actual call quality, Data Access, etc. These people are not going to go choose a lesser product because of the phone. In fact it would be in Apple's best interest to be partnered with any other carrier. The technological limitations of GSM as compared to CDMA1x\EVDO or even WCDMA(UMTS) are huge. They won't be overcome with a good user interface if the call drops half the time, or sounds like you are speaking with a robot. GSM is on the downturn overall in the US. Verizon will most likely surpass Cingular in subsribers this year, and with the rollout of WCDMA and some new chipsets that are due this year, phones will be able to run on both CDMA1x or WCDMA. Thank you for standards finally getting closer together. So in summary, you accurately informed the above poster that it is GSM only, however, you inaccurately inform them that there will probably never be CDMA version. I don't see how there won't be one eventually.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:48PM (#17528310) Homepage Journal

    The iPhone looks nice. Overpriced and tied to a terrible service provider, but the gadget itself looks cool.

    But where's the next-generation iPod? [...] Why does Apple insist on shoving these extra features down our throats at an exorbitant price, offering no alternative?

    It IS the next-gen iPod [apple.com].

    How many freakkin versions of the iPod does it take for you to consider that you have been offered an alternative? Because iPod, iPod Video, Mini iPod, iPod Shuffle weren't enough, no, you're stuck with only one single choice, which you are forced at gunpoint to buy, no less.

    Poor, poor you. How dare Apple design a slick product that will appeal to millions rather than spend their resources designing the product you want, at the price you deem fair? how dare they?
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:50PM (#17528364)

    I suspect that the defense for that would be thus: Since Apple itself never announced an iPhone product, Cisco (and any other company in a similar situation) shouldn't be locked out of their trademark by consumer rumors. Unless I'm mistaken, you can't trademark words unless you actually do "trade" in a particular name.

    Trading in a product does not guarantee you won't lose your trademark. Trademarks are tried in the court of public opinion. Bayer still sold Aspirin and Heroin under those names when they lost those trademarks. Kleenex is in danger of losing their trademark on the term, simply because people use it as a generic term for facial tissues, more than as a reference to their brand. So even if you have a product by that name, you can lose that trademark if the public does not understand that it is yours only, or if it confuses customers. Try opening a retail store called ElectronicsHack or Radio Hack, or ElectroShack, and you may well lose in court to RadioShack, who's pre-exisiting and popular brand is similar. "iPhone" is very similar to iMac and iPod and iTunes and many other Apple products. If you said "iPhone" to the average person last week before Apple had released their product and while Cisco was selling a product by that name, most people would have thought you were talking about something from Apple. As such, Cisco is likely to lose their trademark in any case and the courts could hand it over to Apple, who holds it in other countries. The legal system is confusing and complex and I would not say that that is the case, but I would not be surprised either. Likely, Apple and Cisco will come to a settlement.

  • I purchased a Danger Hiptop (T-Mobile Sidekick) back in the day because I needed (wanted!) a real web browser and Internet ability (SSH, chat, etc.) Also because they said you could develop Java apps for it. Well, the Java development didn't really work out (you can't install your own software. Grrr) but the Internet connectivity did. And I loved it.

    I then upgraded to the Sidekick II - color screen, better radio, speakerphone, etc. and all was right with the world. However, I got tired of still not being able to develop my own software and being left out of all the other goodies that are not provided by T-Mobile (i.e. Google Maps). I was reasonably happy with T-Mobile but didn't like the fact that they controlled the system with an iron fist.

    Finally, my patience has been rewarded! The Apple iPhone looks like the answer to all my hopes and dreams for a mobile device. I used to have, and love, a Newton MessagePad 120 but it fell down the stairs one day and broke. I think this will be the ultimate mobile device and I am saving my pennies right now to purchase one. And just for the record, I don't think a $350 premium over an 8GB iPod Nano is too much to ask for all the functionality this thing brings to the table.

    My only question is: will we be able to develop software for it? And if so, will we be able to install our own stuff? I really would like to be able to SSH into my work machines, but they are behind a VPN. Can I install a proxy and get to them? What about just plain old SSH access? Hell, can I run OS X's Terminal app on it?
  • Re:Leopard? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mean pun (717227) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:55PM (#17528466)
    The iPhone does indeed look cool, but I was kind of hoping to find out some new stuff about Leopard.

    I think indirectly we did learn something about Leopard. Since the iPhone will be available in June, and will be running Mac OS X, that will amost certainly be Leopard, although probably a lite/embedded/CE version. Still, I expect that a lot of the stuff they had to develop for the iPhone will also be included in the 'big' version, both in/as applications and stuff for developers.

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:56PM (#17528502) Homepage Journal
    You assume Apple will sell it unlocked? So far I haven't even found confirmation that it will run third-party software. I can't imagine a more jealously possesive control-freak combination than Apple joining forces with a cell carrier. I'm shocked they didn't pick Verizon for that reason.
  • Reread the slides (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:59PM (#17528574)
    It is priced with a two year contract with Cingular. And when you play with Apple you play by Apple's rules. I doubt they will sell one unbundled.

    Fairly nice hardware, but just another example why putting a phone and a computer together is crazy. Once you say cellphone you have to deal with the cell carriers and all they want to do is lock you into long contracts and screw you hard. Computers have hardware refresh cycles as do cell phones and the two are rarely in sync, and neither will be in sync with your contract expiration. Combine anything else you want into an integrated device but leave the phone seperate and linked via bluetooth.

    Nokia is a cellphone company and they are the only one smart enough to leave a phone out of their entry in the portable computer/pda/internet device game. That is a clue Steve, and you missed it.
  • Re:You're wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aurisor (932566) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:01PM (#17528610) Homepage
    Actually, a kernel does an OS make. Branding and userland utilities, such as in the case of Ubuntu and Debian, do not distinguish operating systems. That's why they're referred to different distributions of linux.

    Quoth wikipedia: "An operating system (OS) is a computer program that manages the hardware and software resources of a computer. At the foundation of all system software, the OS performs basic tasks such as controlling and allocating memory, prioritizing system requests, controlling input and output devices, facilitating networking, and managing files. It also may provide a graphical user interface for higher level functions."

    Note the fact that GUIs are optional.

    Ubuntu and Debian are just different package preferences and userland utilities running on the same OS, Linux. Ubuntu forked the installer, layout, and some of the organizational structure, but their kernels and userland utilties are built from the same damn source.

    Your initial comment was this:

    "You can be certain that the OS X that runs on the iPhone is a distant relative of the OS X that runs on the desktop. The two OS probably have as much as common as say, Windows XP and Windows Mobile. Think fork."

    XP and Windows mobile do not share a kernel, nor do they share userland utilities, because windows was not designed with scalability in mind. A GNU/Linux system, however, because it was designed with scalability in mind, can be run just as easily on an ipod as a desktop computer. Obviously some userland packages are too bloated, but the OS itself does not fork.

    My point was that your assertion that the os x that runs on the iphone must not be related to desktop os x is wrong. I've looked at the darwin sources, and the kernel could certainly be built for an embedded environment. They might need to introduce compile-time options into their userland utilities to allow them to build memory-efficient versions, and such, but there is *no reason why they would need to fork os x*. In fact, there's no reason why the iphone and desktop versions of os x couldn't build off of the same set of sources. My original point was that if they were smart enough to make their OS and applications scalable there's no reason why they'd need two codebases.
  • by LKM (227954) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:06PM (#17528736) Homepage
    This is a start. The first iPod was restricted (only available for Macs) too, and pricey. Apple may be starting out slowly, but this will absolutely be the next iPod.
  • Re:Contracts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by altoz (653655) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:09PM (#17528796)
    Hey, this is a GREAT looking device. But I have this weird feeling it's not a very good phone.

    For instance, why is the battery time just 5-16 hours? You mean, you have to keep the thing charged most of the time? Might as well be a laptop, then (and at these prices it pretty much is).

    It also seems a little bulky for a phone. It's essentially designed for women with handbags. It's not likely to fit into my pocket without fear it'll break.

    My guess is that early adopters will get it and use it, but for the general masses, this won't be something they get for another 6 years, unlike the iPod.
  • by WiseWeasel (92224) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:16PM (#17528966)
    Cingular's GSM coverage is just as good as Verizon's CDMA. I tried both a little over two years ago, and had better coverage with GSM in the San Francisco Bay Area, and they've improved GSM coverage since then. This is really not an issue at this point.

    The fact that CDMA is only in the US, and the rest of the World uses GSM means that most cool phones will be for GSM networks, as it has been all this time. If you want cool phones, use a GSM service. If you're fine with crappy CDMA phones, then by all means, stick with that. Don't expect this situation to change, as that's just how the economics work out. CDMA is not nearly as big of a global market as GSM.
  • by weston (16146) <westonsd@@@canncentral...org> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:21PM (#17529080) Homepage
    They're conspicuously absent, which makes some sense for a phone... but less for a palmtop computing device, which this clearly is.
  • by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans.gmail@com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:26PM (#17529208) Homepage
    Those specs don't seem to include a lot of the actual specs... Which I find odd. If this were a mobile OS-X device of my dreams, I'd know what sort of processor it has, and what sort of graphics hardware, etc. Unfortunately, it seems like they may plan on pushing it like a phone. Locked down, limited access to development tools, etc. That really could completely kill my interest in the device. Why is the fact that it runs OS X interesting to me if I can't easily program it? Am I supposed to get some pointless pride in the fact that in runs a particular kernel I can't interact with? Is it supposed to be more impressive to me than a phone running some other kernel if I can't actually see any difference?
  • Re:wear and tear (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ungerware (316294) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:33PM (#17529378) Homepage
    They had to leave something for the huge aftermarket accessory market!
  • by dontknowdidley (802457) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:40PM (#17529558)

    If five years down the road the hardware (or even software) part of the business isn't contributing, it can easily be jettisoned.

    It would seem that this device is a testament to the company's skill in hardware and software. Have not a lot of people pointed out that this is essentially a Mac computer in a smaller package? This isn't a app layer on top of Symbian or Palm OS - this is a variant of the OS running on millions of computers today. And I wouldn't say that Apple, Inc. is exactly losing money on the computer business. Weren't people complaining a year ago that the move to Intel was a sign of the end? Seems like there were a lot of MacBooks sold the 2nd half of last year.

    If your point is that it appears Apple is trying to turn a corner, I agree. It wouldn't be the first time they took a gamble at reinventing themselves, and this looks like a good way to start.

  • by grahamsz (150076) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:40PM (#17529562) Homepage Journal
    I've lived in quite a few areas, and indeed different countries, and never had poor T-Mo service - yet everywhere I go this seems to be held true.

    In the UK they had 95% coverage versus vodaphones 97%, but that's not a vast difference. In Colorado their coverage seems as good as any digital service, and my phone works fine in my basement when Cingular and Verizon handsets scarely work standing on the roof.

    I'm one bar short of full service in my current office and got decent coverage in my last one.

    The only problem i've seen is that some of their handsets have subpar reception, particularly the tiny samsung ones.

    Am i exceptionally lucky or is this an outdated myth?
  • Re:Battery life? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dfghjk (711126) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:41PM (#17529576)
    No, because it's better than many smartphones today, if it's to be believed, and it's adequate for nightly charging.

    The fatal flaw, if there is one, is likely the total lack of buttons. The claim that texting will be better than with a true thumb keyboard and the total lack of tactile feedback are real questions. Most other products have really suffered with this approach.
  • by MrPerfekt (414248) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:41PM (#17529578) Homepage Journal
    Is it a shock to you that the iPhone is primarily a phone?

    It's clearly an iPod second. After all, if you were to have a smartphone without mp3 playing capability, you'd look pretty silly.
  • Re:Contracts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ObiWanKenblowme (718510) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:53PM (#17529840)

    I'm going to pick on you a little bit since yours is the first post I've read mentioning battery life. Why is that such a big deal? I could understand if you were literally going to be on the phone all day, but assuming you'd have a more normal usage pattern, why is it so difficult to drop a phone into a dock (which they mentioned the iPhone will have) or plug in a charger when you get home at the end of the day? Sure, longer battery life is always nice, and I don't always remember to keep my phone charged either, but is having to plug in a cord once a day really such a hassle? :)

    A more important issue to me would be, does the iPhone have an "offline" mode that turns off the phone while still letting you use the iPod, say, on a plane?

  • by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:55PM (#17529898) Homepage
    And it may well come with a free lifetime supply of Q-Tips.

    You can speculate, or you can wait to find out the facts. I know which one I vote for.
  • by goombah99 (560566) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @06:07PM (#17530128)
    Bulky? it's thinnner than almost any phone on the market. it's shorter than most flip phones or ones that extend KB. it will slip nicely in my jean pockets. and good god who talks for 5 hours on a cell phone. that's 300 minutes a day.

    They were a bit cagey on the battery life I admit. this one clearly has varying modes of use. PDA mode with screen and CPU churning. Idle PDA with screen dimmed, and cell-phone mode, wi-fi on. blue tooth on. etc... No mention of stand-by time.

    I'm thinking they are being cagey because they are still developing the power management software and don't really know. They probably still have wads of debugging code in this and have not optimized a lot of it since it's obviously running on yet another cpu. THey did the same thing at the debut of OSX and then of intel, not beiing totally clear about the power management.

    On the other hand, the track record on the ipod is that they tend to underspec the battery life. Or rather they spec it for normal usage not minimal settings like other brands do. So those are lower bounds I imagine.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @06:08PM (#17530166) Homepage Journal
    Alltel's network is defined by the size of the coverage. This is actually the most important factor.

    I strongly disagree. What is most important is the number of [potential] subscribers who are within your coverage area. It's not useful to have coverage where no one ever goes.

  • by dfghjk (711126) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @06:14PM (#17530274)
    It's an intriguing device but it's not clear to me how it's "revolutionary". Compared to a Samsung Blackjack:

    - about the same size, though 37.5% heavier, without memory expansion but with adequate flash integrated
    - gives up ALL buttons in favor of a double screen and interesting, new multitouch interface.
    - offers no integrated apps that the blackjack doesn't (though the double-size screen is good for content)
    - fails to offer any 3G data capabilities

    I'm also not sure why you think existing Mac development experience is valuable since the Mac GUI is notably absent. Claiming that this device runs OS X is like claiming that Windows Mobile Smartphones run Windows. The device is a new form factor with a substantially different display, a totally new input method, and most likely and new binary format.

    I'm as curious about it as any, but it's still just a smartphone with some interesting, different features and some potentially serious liabilities. I sure hope the device has a real iPod dock connector and headphone jack. The only "revolutionary" aspect of the device is the multitouch interface which is new to the market but not originally from Apple. Hopefully the interface will be compelling rather than infuriating.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @06:20PM (#17530442)
    > That this supposedly revolutionary device runs on Cingular's old 2G network is pitiful.

    Shut up, this is Apple you are talking about. What they picked is GREAT, obviously the other options suck, otherwise Apple would have picked them.

    Seriously, imagine the howls of laughter has Microsoft tied a major new product to an outdated technology. But it's different with Apple.

    But your point just illustrates why putting a phone and a pda/mp3 player together is a bad idea. Both are evolving too fast, so any combined device is either obsolete at introduction (like iPhone) or you end up needing to replace them at double the speed to keep up. But with a cell phone in the mix you are stuck with the slow two year service contract cycle. Really, imagine the sort of clueless yuppie tech junkie with tons of disposable income who will be lining up in June to buy of these puppies. Anyone think they aren't going to be pissed when the realization sinks in they are stuck with it until June 2009 as new higher spec units roll out every six months?
  • Re:Computers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdray (645332) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @07:18PM (#17531444) Homepage Journal
    Well, maybe that's why they changed their name from "Apple Computer, Inc." to "Apple, Inc."
  • Re:Contracts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @07:24PM (#17531550)
    The best thing the iPhone is going to do for the market is force carriers like Verizon to get off their duff and compete with phones that offer better access and NOT nickel-&-dime for every ringtone, mp3, text message or THIRD PARTY APPLICATION. The biggest problem with Verizon IMHO, is that you can't install your own apps-- there's no such thing as a "homebrew" or "freeware" app on a Verizon phone because the app has to be digitally signed for BREW and that costs a minimum of $400, and there's no guarantee that Verizon might nix it if they think it competes with one of their own apps. I'm not sure, but the Treo might support Java apps which gives you one entry, but only with an $$$ data plan.

    What remains to be seen with the iPhone, is how much is it other than the initial cost of the phone? What kind of plan do you need to use these new features-- what's the monthly?

    At any rate, I hope the iPhone takes off like the iPod-- serious competition in the wireless market is a Real Good Thing(TM) IMHO, and Steve Jobs is about as good a candidate as their could be for converting that little bit of market pressure into a freight train...
  • Re:Fluffer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Angostura (703910) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @07:30PM (#17531644)
    I'm sorry but I get annoyed by comments that simply discount ergonomics and design.

    Why would anyone EVER buy a hammer? This rock I have just picked up does exactly the same thing it does.
  • by StikyPad (445176) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @07:41PM (#17531800) Homepage
    Also no removable/expandable media, no mention about the battery access (probably sealed), no mention about compatibility with existing iPod interface (such as docks, car connectors, etc.), standby time, etc. It's got a SIM slot, but is the phone locked? Scratch resistance? Songs as ringtones? Format compatibility?

    "Isn't that wonderful?"

    Fanboys go wild...
  • The strategy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ghjm (8918) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @08:21PM (#17532394) Homepage
    If they want a phone that actually works on launch day, then they have to partner with a carrier. There are two ways to do that: Become a private label operator like Virgin Mobile on the Sprint PCS network, or release the phone on a carrier network.

    All cell phone carriers have spotty radio coverage and poor customer service. This is unavoidable. If Apple becomes a private label carrier then the Apple brand has to absorb the damage of being in the cell carrier business. There's no reason on earth why Apple would want that.

    So they partner with Cingular. Then, either the iPhone flops or it wildly succeeds. (Given the development costs that went into it, anything short of define-a-new-subculture success can be counted as failure.) If it succeeds and drives substantial consumer demand to Cingular, then every other carrier will find a way to have one. Most likely they will all do deals with Apple, just like they all did deals for the Treo.

    If, unthinkably, Apple was dumb enough to sign an exclusivity agreement with Cingular, then we get to see what vPhone and sPhone and T-Phone look like (my guess on the vPhone: you interact with it as per a Rubik's Cube, except it costs you a buck every time you turn something).

    -Graham
  • by that this is not und (1026860) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @08:23PM (#17532416)
    only someone relatively poor in today's society would think that $500 is 'a lot' of money.

    $500 is more than half a month's mortgage payment. It's two months car payments.

    Now, if I were a 20 year old and still living at home, that probably wouldn't be much money to throw around.

    I feel sorry for anybody who lives in a region of the United States where $500 isn't a lot of money.
  • Re:Computers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by weileong (241069) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @08:36PM (#17532616)
    This is a trend likely to continue.

    Apple "computer" introductions are now a separate matter. Think about it. In the past, when Apple was (basically) the sole PPC user, they were responsible for everything - of all the PC vendors (HP, Dell et al) they were the only ones designing their own system chipset. Then, it was actually meaningful to introduce such things at major events because there was no visibility otherwise. Now - it's up to Intel, and Intel is generally responsible for and publishes the underlying technology roadmap.

    You want to know Apple's "computer" roadmap? Look at Intel's published roadmap. When Intel introduced the Core Duo, you knew more or less Apple was going to introduce Core Duo machines soon after. Same for Core 2 Duo. When Santa Rosa shows up in April, you also know new MB(P)s based on that will show up.

    CPU "refreshes" simply aren't important enough to warrant a keynote introduction any more - the intel imac introductions etc were different and important and warranted a macworld keynote introduction because those were the *first* intel macs. all future macs, unless they introduce something new and interesting (or if apple's product lineup has seriously run dry) are unlikely to warrant any further keynote introductions. There's absolutely nothing to stop the Apple.com home page being updated in the future with a "quiet" introduction of octo-core Mac Pros.

    But right now - and I think you're seriously underestimating the significance of the iPhone introduction on the players of the phone industry - the iPhone is *it*. It really is what is worth talking about right now.

    No matter what their production output is I do not believe the apple stores will be able to keep it in stock. They've staked out the high ground in terms of phone functionality, and all the other players are now left with having to basically compete on price, and higher-cost western producers - that means Motorola and Nokia et al - are NOT going to be able to compete in that space, squeezed between Apple on the top and the upcoming Chinese manufacturers at the bottom. This is a serious disaster for Nokia which has been trying for ages to become a "new computing platform" (didn't they ban their employees from calling their devices "phones"?).

    the "fundamental unifying characteristic" of all phones so far has been the keypad, and Apple just decided they weren't going to play there. Considering the careful patent protection apple must have put in place, any alternative implementation of a non-keypad interface must end up being klunky as hell, and there's going to be simply no way for anybody else (and this is going to include Microsoft) to compete (bar some amazing genius in their staff who comes up with a new UI idea completely out of left field ... but such a genius is probably going to want to work for Apple instead, anyway).

    Everybody kept saying "well MS never gets anything right until version 3.0 anyways" when they were comparing the Zune with the iPod. Well, Zune 3.0 can be the perfect MP3 player, but it won't matter, because this is the end of the "plain MP3 player" market dominance. sure they'll still continue to be sold, but the analysts who were talking about iPod sales levelling off or plunging in 2007 were, in fact, correct - but not because it's being taken over by external competition. I've dealt with windows mobile phones. they do not compare in any way with the UI of the iPhone.

    The only problem with the iPhone I can think of is basically personal safety. Think of the mugging potential.
  • by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @08:38PM (#17532646) Homepage

    Yep, no question about it. I also wish the price were lower not unlike many other devices from Apple and others. I am skeptical about your rather unsupported claim that your two year old phone stomps all over Apple's as yet unreleased phone. You fail to mention what model phone you have so that others could evaluate how accurate your claim might be.

    It's an HTC Universal, released in 3Q 2005- sometime in April-June, I'm not sure when. That will make it two years old when the iPhone is released in the mainland US. Look up the spec sheet sometime- 3G/UMTS, VGA screen, etc.


    I haven't held and operated Apple's phone but if the demo on Apple's website is accurate your claim about an existing phone being better as a phone is utter nonsense. Every phone I've ever used has required that I have its own cryptic and unknowable interface committed securely to my memory to operate it effectively. A call is coming in, what phone am I using, what is the magic key sequence needed to handle the call and if I guess wrong what happens to the existing call and the impending call? With a touch screen and Apple's useable interface that sort of common frustration is simply eliminated. The devices that are currently available are just plain broken and the vendors are mindless idiots to have done nothing to correct this sort of interface hell that they have been providing ever since we moved beyond circular dial phone.

    So... we've both seen the same Apple Demo... and you haven't held my phone... and you claim I'm lying. That's intelligent debating right there! The interface is the standard WM5 interface- I press the green phone-answer button which always brings you straight into the phone screen (or picks up the call, obviously, if it's ringing) and then dial the number from the dialpad, or press contacts to enter the contacts screen. I press the red-end button to end a call or return to the desktop from anywhere. It's about as simple as the phone can get without a dedicated phone keyboard. Not to mention the fact that my phone ALSO has a touch screen, and the interface is as simple as I've seen- plus, it's skinable! You could turn it into Apple's interface, if you felt like it.

    The things Jobs did in his demo- sending a picture via e-mail while in a call- is things I've been able to do on my phone forever, it's built straight into the OS. I expect this sort of thing from my phone. Those are basic things, not magic techniques that have never been applied before.


    This looks incredibly similar to the mp3 player market where existing devices and their unimaginative vendors have settled for crappy products and left it to Apple to do the sort of things that were obviously needed but no one was providing. As a result Apple could charge high prices and still rout their competition utterly. Plenty of otherwise savvy viewers of the market were oblivious to the glaring shortcomings of existing products because they made the needed absurd accomodations. So Apple's success remains an inexplicable mystery that can only be understood by inventing a fanbois mythology. Wake up and smell the coffee!

    Now I know you're just an idiot. Apple's MP3 players are rediculously horrible compared to the competition. Anyone with half a brain shouldn't use one, and I advise all my friends not to get one. Me? I just play music... from my phone! (Which, by the way, gets approximately 18 hours of battery life playing music when I I set it into music mode, with processor and radios offline, and it gets approximately 5 hours of wifi, phone, and full use.

  • by shaneh0 (624603) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @09:39PM (#17533328)
    Touchscreen Keypads Suck. Horribly.

    There is no tactile feel. I can dial a $20 cell phone without having to see or hear it. I've used touchscreen keypads on existing phones already and you have to look when you dial.

    And you make it sounds like Apple invented the keypad-less phone. Did you happen to miss the dozen phones that have been out for years now that lack a dial pad?
  • by I_M_Noman (653982) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:14PM (#17533710)
    only someone actually very old and out of touch would think a phone today is 'just a phone'
    Your opinion, pal. To a whole lot of us, a phone is indeed just a phone.

    While I think iPhone is nifty, I'd like it a whole lot better if it didn't have a camera. (Can't have a camera when I go into government buildings.) As always, of course, YMMV.

  • Re:Contracts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Atryn (528846) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @01:13AM (#17535176) Homepage
    Well yes, those ring tones are a nice profit margin billion dollar industry (not exagerating!).
    From what I saw, nothing in Steve's speech confirmed that you could use your music library AS A RINGTONE. He consistently had another ringtone even when music was playing. That could leave room for both iTunes music AND ringtone customization by the carrier. Same with the newer ringback capabilities.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @01:56AM (#17535470)
    Dial? What on earth are you dialling numbers for? That's like typing IP addresses into a web browser. Of course there are plenty of other things to type on a phone, like SMS messages. But for text the typical T9 keyboard arrangement is shit.
  • Yes. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cappadocius (555740) <cappadocius&vampirethemasquerade,com> on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @02:46AM (#17535732)
    but is having to plug in a cord once a day really such a hassle?

    For a phone? Yes, I'd say so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @02:46AM (#17535734)
    In other news, MP3 players without arrow keys suck. Horribly.

    Doesn't Apple know this? How can you down-arrow without an arrow?

    Don't they know about the Nomad?
  • Re:Computers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jacobw (975909) <slashdot.org@NOSpaM.yankeefog.com> on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @06:30AM (#17536984) Homepage
    The iTV / Apple TV... well, aside from the fact that you won't be able to get one for a little while yet, I'm not sure what it'd do for me that I can't already do. Apparently, the marketing went right over my head. Anyone have a summary of why this is an interesting product in a world of tivos, dvrs, frontrow, hi-def dvd and xbox and ps3 and so on? Aside from giving Apple a vector to sell DRM'd movies?

    I was wondering the same thing. In fact, I had the same reaction to the iTV that I had to Widgets when they were first announced: this is nice enough, but it seems more like an upgrade to an existing apple product than like a revolutionary new thing.

    Then I thought a bit more about the Widget analogy. With hindsight, I can now see the real purpose of Widgets. They're certainly useful on their own, but the long-term purpose of introducing them was to get lots of developers writing useful little stripped down programs--which will now be available on the iPhone. Widgets were what you might call a wedge technology. And Dashborad was just the thin end of that wedge.

    So I have to assume that's what iTV is. I'm willing to bet that somewhere in Steve Job's desk is a timeline showing when they'll introduce TiVo like functionality to the AppleTV. (or, for that matter, merge the AppleTV and the iPod into an Archos-like device.) By the time that happens, they'll have had a few generations of experience to work out the basic bugs with the product, and perhaps to develop an ecosystem of third-party software and hardware designed around iTV.
  • by clonmult (586283) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @06:38AM (#17537030)
    And just how many DS games are purely based around the touch screen? Its an additional input method, but the majority of games/apps for the DS use the other controls as well.

    I think V-Rally on the old SE P800/900 range showed a racing game with a reasonable control method, but far from ideal.

    Was there any mention of J2ME support on the iPhone? The majority of mobile gaming seems to do a fairly decent job of handling 3D via Java now (look at Helistrike, Ashphalt 3D, etc.), and its getting mature enough to make a viable gaming platform.
  • by ericlondaits (32714) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @10:40AM (#17539064) Homepage
    The camera is in the back????

    I guess they don't see the potential of video chat... or perhaps they see the potential of sex video chat, since you can point the camera to your genitals while looking at the other party's.

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