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Communications Apple

Inside the iPhone — 3G, ARM, OS X, 3rd Partyware 318

Posted by kdawson
from the informed-speculation dept.
DECS writes "After heading off the top ten myths of the iPhone, Daniel Eran of RoughlyDrafted has written a series of articles looking 'Inside the iPhone,' exploring (1) why Apple didn't target faster 3G networks, (2) a substantiated look at how the iPhone is indeed running OS X (contrary to reports that it isn't), and (3) what it means to users and developers, and how ARM is involved, in Mac OS X, ARM, and iPod OS X, and why the supposedly 'closed' system Apple describes for the iPhone won't preclude third party development."
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Inside the iPhone — 3G, ARM, OS X, 3rd Partyware

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  • FUD much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @02:47PM (#17604366) Homepage
    "Open development has both benefits and disadvantages. The reason Linux has made so little impact in the desktop market is largely because a fully open system tends to devolve into anarchy.
    "Who supports what? What version is the standard? Where is the commercial incentive to develop for it? Who makes it all work together in a nicely integrated package, and once that happens, it is still open?"

    It's all so confusing?!!? Windows, take me away... !!!!
    • Re:FUD much? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:03PM (#17604528) Journal
      The reason Windows is so unsuccessful as a platform is the fact that there are cheap, well-supported developer tools available. Right. Apple lost the desktop war, in a large part, due to having a much smaller developer ecosystem than Microsoft. It seems they haven't learned.

      As to the price, my current phone was free with a cheap contract and has 1GB of flash, an ARM CPU and both Java and C++ SDKs. The UI is a little rough around the edges, but I don't think I'd pay $500 for a better UI. It does everything I need a phone to do, and third party applications allow me to use if for things I didn't imagine I would need it for when I got it. Oh, and it does 3G data transfer and lets my MacBook Pro connect to the Internet at a reasonable speed when I'm mobile, which the iPhone doesn't (who buys a device with only EDGE these days? Even a year ago when I got my latest phone it was hard to find one. Buying music from iTMS over EDGE is going to be very painful).

      • Re:FUD much? (Score:5, Informative)

        by bheer (633842) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <reehbr>> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:14PM (#17604660)
        > It does everything I need a phone to do, and third party applications allow me to use if for things I didn't imagine I would need it for when I got it.

        Indeed. I wonder if the iPhone will ever run Skype, for example (XDAs sold in the UK do). The article in the submission goes through embarrassing contortions to 'prove' that a walled-garden approach to software is good in the face of all evidence. Even the iPod marketplace is a bit of a joke, given that device does half as much as it could if given a free marketplace.

        In many ways, this approach is the anti-thesis of Open Source: valuing spit and polish over flexibility and the freedom to tinker. Now I value polish, I just don't think it should mean as much as it does to Macheads.

        • Re:FUD much? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Lane.exe (672783) * on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:27PM (#17605376) Homepage
          Even the iPod marketplace is a bit of a joke, given that device does half as much as it could if given a free marketplace.

          But that's just the point -- if the iPod is successful as it is now (and it is), what's the point of having it do half again as much as it already does? Don't get me wrong, I'm the kind of guy that would like a device that can play music, show video, take pictures, make julienne fries, and call my mom on her birthday, but I'm a geek.

          Most consumers want something simple and easy to use -- IE, the iPod. It's not the "ideal" product, and there are some flaws with it, but it is good enough to entice LOTS of people to buy it, and lots of people to use it. I wouldn't mind having an easily-replaceable battery in my iPods, for instance, but by the time I'm to the point with my iPods that I find the battery life unacceptable, there's a newer one out with a higher capacity, more features that I want, etc. and I just upgrade. These are consumer electronics -- they're meant to be used until they've reached the end of their normal, useful life, and then disposed of. Lament this sort of consumer culture all you wish, but them's the breaks.

          Sure, the iPhone doesn't look like it's shaping up to be a little mini-computer, that plays games, browses the web, does x, does y, etc. and so on. But that's OK. It's really just a video iPod that also browses the web and makes phone calls. Think of it as a beefed up Sidekick, rather than a tiny MacBook.

          • Re:FUD much? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by bheer (633842) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <reehbr>> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:51PM (#17605588)
            > But that's just the point -- if the iPod is successful as it is now (and it is), what's the point of having it do half again as much as it already does?

            That's the point - you don't know. That'd be like a 70s guy asking what's the point of having a general purpose computer when you can have perfectly good word processing machines and tabulating machines? The point is that people do interesting things with your stuff when you open it up.

            IBM knew this when it designed the PC. Microsoft knew this when they made MS DOS (and later OSes, including Windows Mobile) available to every OEM. Linus knows this extremely well. The point here isn't that IBM ultimately went out of the PC business or that Microsoft doesn't have a huge share of the smartphone OS market, it is that their ability to spawn platforms has added to their stature in the industry and has materially helped their bottom line.

            Apple fans might get excited about the free publicity Apple gets with every launch, but companies like IBM and Microsoft -- and the Open Source community -- get free publicity from a LOT of people every day by creating opportunities for other people to do cool new stuff. And in the long run, the latter kind of publicity is what matters.

            • Re:FUD much? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by iluvcapra (782887) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @06:29PM (#17606632)

              Indulge me in a little play extempore:

              Mr. Hindsight:

              That'd be like a 70s guy asking what's the point of having a general purpose computer when you can have perfectly good word processing machines and tabulating machines?

              1970s Guy: "Why none, sir, I have my secretary do all of my typing and accounting does the invoicing! I value my free time and enjoy being able to delegate certain responsibilities, such as drafting memoranda, managing my schedule, and keeping my correspondence organized, to a human being who knows her job."

              Mr. Hindsight: "But you could save a lot of money!"

              1970s Guy: "I see what you're saying, but I think you're making a false comparison. I (like you, probably) make most of my purchasing decisions based not just on dollars-and-cents efficiency, but on certain values I hold. You seem to value 'open standards' and are opposed to 'walled gardens,' while I value 'getting my memos typed.' I will generally pay a premium for a solution if it's easier to use than the others. It might cost me more money in the future to migrate from my easy-to-use solution to another, but frankly I can't tell, because I can't see the future, and I don't want to bet on a miserable-but-open solution and wait for it to improve."

              Mr. Hindsight: "One day they'll take away all your secretaries."

              1970s Guy: "Who the hell answers the phones!?"

              Mr. Hindsight: "Computers that give you a list of options, and try to guess what number you say!"

              1970s Guy: "I think I'm going to pour myself a stiff one. Executives still have wet bars in their offices in the future, right?"

      • Re:FUD much? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mrshermanoaks (921067) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:00PM (#17605680)
        I have a Treo 650 and can install all kinds of 3rd party apps. Of course, the more running on my Treo the more unstable it is and the more I hate my Treo when it locks up.

        Apple's products have been successful because they have controlled a lot of the "freedom" (hardware choices on the Mac OS X, software choices on the iPod) that open products offer. More consistency has kept their users from having to stare at driver errors and the BSOD.

        I will replace my Treo - with all it's 3rd party software offerings - with an iPhone the second one is available.
    • Re:FUD much? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:11PM (#17604616)
      I thought it was a perfectly valid point. If you want to make a desktop app for Linux, right out of the gate you have to deal with competing desktop environments, competing APIs, and competing package managers. There's no standard, seamless experience across the board.
      • My complaint is about TFA's general misunderstanding of the purpose of having source code. e.g. another graf:

        "Few aspire to being their own full time, unpaid systems integrator, or are at all interested in managing their own mobile lifeline as an experimental technology project. In fact, the majority of people who plunk down $500 for a pocket computer, mobile phone, and media player from Apple will expect it to just work."

        This is a standard line against open source software. So one more time: it's not that
      • I tend to think of it more as competing //boxes//, out of each of which the experience //is// consistent. Think of each distro as a separate OS, and you get the right idea.

        Ubuntu users don't actually have to deal with KDE at all. Kubuntu users don't have to deal with Gnome, etc.

        Freedom doesn't limit consistency by forcing choices on people. It just means the choices created by variety and the consistency of reducing confusion can be contributed by different parties, instead of a monolithic proprietary vendo
        • Ubuntu users don't actually have to deal with KDE at all. Kubuntu users don't have to deal with Gnome, etc.

          Sure they do. If a Gnome user wants to install something from KDE, say AmaroK, they end up having to install a bunch of libraries from KDE. If they're lucky, there's a theme to make it look the same as the rest of his Gnome apps, otherwise, they may even look different. Even if they do look similar, it's likely they use different menu structures and keyboard shortcuts, so its all very confusing.
          • If a Gnome user wants to install something from KDE, say AmaroK, they end up having to install a bunch of libraries from KDE.

            I'm betting you didn't pick amaroK by accident -- it's the sole reason any KDE libraries exist on my otherwise stock Ubuntu system, and I know several other Ubuntu users in the same situation. If a GNOME-ified version of amaroK existed, I'd install it in a heartbeat and kiss KDE goodbye.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by zecg (521666)
              USE="-kde" emerge amarok saves you from having to have kdebase. If you have Gentoo, of course.
            • Actually, I was just picking a random app - I'm an OS X user, not a KDE/GNOME user :)

              You could replace amaroK with aKregator or Yakuake (where do they come up with all these stupid names), my point still stands - if you want to use an application not part of the core KDE or GNOME distribution, you'll have to install a bunch of libraries, and it likely won't fit in with the look and feel of the other applications.

              Contrast with Windows or OS X (ignore Apple's non-sensical Aqua/Brused Metal/New "Unified" look/
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      The reason Linux has made so little impact in the desktop market is largely because a fully open system tends to devolve into anarchy.

      From the words of Proudhon [1809-1865], original self-described anarchist:

      Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order.

      The word anarchy is too often misused in place of the word anomie, or chaos.

    • by shmlco (594907)
      "The reason Linux has made so little impact in the desktop market is largely because a fully open system tends to devolve into anarchy."

      You're disputing this? There is no "Linux" in the marketplace. There's Red Hat and Debian, and Ubuntu and SUSE and Gentoo and hundreds of others. All with their own different distros and installers and package managers and so on. Heck, you can't even write something other than the simplest of applicatons to one single common GUI.
  • by aussersterne (212916) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @02:48PM (#17604372) Homepage
    ...but now I have to say it: how many iPhone stories a day are we gonna get on the Slashdot front page, and for how long? This is a hell of a lot of coverage for a mere _phone_ that a) offers no new features not already available on other smartphones, b) is priced mostly out of the market, c) isn't on the market yet, and d) is tied to one carrier.
    • Oh but this isn't an iPhone article... in any meaningful sense.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Damek (515688)
        Further meaningless iPhone articles do not belong on Slashdot, and neither does Al Gore.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by narf501 (1051136)
          iPhone articles do belong on Slashdot. They are an important new technology, one which will eventually be pretty much in everyone's (well, everyone but the would-be Luddites who stick with last year's stuff because they hate Apple) pocket in a year or two as soon as their existing cellular operator contracts expire. No tech gadget since the iPod deserves as much coverage as the iPhone. Give this phone a year or two, and people will be doing like they did with MP3 players -- calling any MP3 player an iPod
    • by MrWGW (964175) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:05PM (#17604562)
      I'm of the opinion that Slashdot's extensive coverage of the iPhone is warranted by virtue of the enormous public interest in the iPhone as a product. While there is really nothing new in the iPhone (although it is a clever combination of existing technologies), the public interest in it is intense, and if it does indeed live up to its promise and deliver a dramatically improved user interface experience for smartphones and handheld devices, it could become an extremely signficant product. What is terrifying about this prospect, is of course, the fact that the iPhone represents a blatant rejection of everything the FOSS community has been advocating: open platforms, open standards, open source, and user choice. If the iPhone promotes the idea that closed source, closed platform monopolies are cool, then that obviously does not bode well for us. Consequently, there is an obvious need for Slashdot to cover the iPhone as extensively as possible, so that we as a community can (a) better understand the threat that it poses, and (b) get a sense of how best to respond.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by aussersterne (212916)
        You make an interesting point (re: openness). Are there any companies out there making reference hardware platforms for GSM phones with PDA-like form factors? Perhaps it's time for an "OpenPhone Project" that implements wacky OSS coolness and innovation on top of a reference smartphone design and that can ultimately make its way into the hands of interested manufacturers? I'd be interested in reading about that on the front page of Slashdot...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shmlco (594907)
        "... better understand the threat that it poses..."

        What threat? Is open source so fragile that the mere possibility that someone will do a closed application or platform that much of a "threat"?

        It's odd to me that the FOSS community gives so much lip service to concepts like freedom and choice... as long as that choice is the one THEY wanted. From my perspective, Apple is in a position to judge what they think is best for their products and their customers. If they're wrong, the market will tell them so, an
    • That's what Apple is doing right now. If you don't want to read about Apple, turn off that category.

    • You are wrong, it offers one important feature that other phones don't: integration.

      Don't underestimate its importance.
      • by Mr2001 (90979)
        Please explain. How is the iPhone any more "integrated" than other devices in its price range?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It shows just how much an impact the announcement of this device has made, and how it will probably revolutionize the market the way the iPod revolutionized its market. Guess what, when there's an iPhone story, you don't have to click "Read More," read the story, click "Reply," and type a post. Yep, you can actually skip all that and just scroll to the next story on the front page. It's amazing; try it.
  • Enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Carrot007 (37198) <Carrot007NO@SPAMthewibblereport.co.uk> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @02:50PM (#17604390) Homepage
    This is just more speculation against other speculation.

    Can we stop posting these untill we have some real information please.
  • by smably (992308) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:05PM (#17604556) Homepage
    As for artificial limitations on development: According to a developer I talked to who apparently worked on the iPhone, it will have secure boot; i.e., the bootloader checks to make sure it's booting Apple's OS, and the hardware won't run any bootloader other than Apple's. Obviously Apple is taking a different approach this time compared to, say, the iPod and their Intel Macs. So, I doubt we'll be seeing iPhone Linux or anything like that unless Apple has done something really stupid.
    • As for artificial limitations on development: According to a developer I talked to who apparently worked on the iPhone, it will have secure boot; i.e., the bootloader checks to make sure it's booting Apple's OS, and the hardware won't run any bootloader other than Apple's.

      This may be due to 3GPP requiring phone manufacturers to insure that the phone can't load non-approved firmware (FTA). They don't want someone to load firmware that causes problems on the wireless network.

      Of course, this is entirely di

  • Don't downplay 3G! (Score:5, Informative)

    by fons (190526) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:07PM (#17604568) Homepage
    People who argue about numbers or bullet points are probably unaware of the bigger picture and what difference customers will actually see.

    I can UNDERSTAND why Apple thinks HSDPA is not necessary for their iPhone. Most people will not use it. And the iPhone is not a notebook. But please state the real reason and don't start the "Apple Distortion Field" and try to tell us that EDGE is as fast as 3G. There is a difference and customers WILL actually see it.

    In theory EDGE seems almost as fast, but I can assure you that in the real world, HSDPA/3G is the only game in town that FEELS like a normal broadband connection.

    I work for mobile phone operator. We have tried to push people to use data services on their mobile devices for years now. Why? Because we charge enormous amounts of money for data and it makes us a lot of money.

    In all our commercials we promised people broadband expierience. Up until we had HSDPA/3G, we KNEW that we were fooling everybody. We advertised EDGE-speeds that were only realistic if you live under a GSM-antenna. It's only with HSDPA/3G (and i've done a lot of testing) that we don't have to lie anymore. HSDPA is really fasters and customers notice it (certainly those customers that use their cellphone as a modem for their laptop.

    Even HP starts selling notebooks with the HSDPA chip in it. Not EDGE. Why? Because only HSDPA is relly workable. But then again, the iPhone is no notebook, maybe apple prefers putting 3G in its notebooks?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by weave (48069)

      Unless this phone will allow tethering to another device, like a laptop, 3G probably doesn't matter. The internal processor will have a hard enough time drawing the pages at EDGE speeds as it is. Watch the keynote when Jobs is loading the New York Times website OVER WIFI and see how long it took to get it all rendered.

      I have ev-do through Verizon now. I won't switch unless the phone does 3G and allows tethering, so looks like I'm not getting one. :(

      • Isn't one of the major selling points of the phone that you can buy music from iTMS with it? That's going to be really slow over a GPRS connection.
    • by kanweg (771128) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:49PM (#17605014)
      "I work for mobile phone operator. We have tried to push people to use data services on their mobile devices for years now. Why? Because we charge enormous amounts of money for data and it makes us a lot of money."

      And for exactly that reason I refuse to use it. Voice is data, like internet stuff. I don't see any reason to pay tens of times more for one byte than for the other. (and it seems to me that the transfer requirements for voice are higher than for internet data). If you're bosses really want me to use it, give me a $40 per month deal like I have for voice. You'll make up in volume (more users) than what you're earning now.

      BFN

      Bert
    • by beeblebrox (16781) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:15PM (#17605258)

      I work for mobile phone operator. We have tried to push people to use data services on their mobile devices for years now. Why? Because we charge enormous amounts of money for data and it makes us a lot of money.

      And that, right there, is why your data capacity is (collectively, as an industry) about 98% not utilized. That's the number I heard at the last Symbian Smartphone Show last October, coming from industry insiders. Things will probably not change much until your bosses bite the bullet and decide to sell their data capacity for prices that make sense.

      I personally have given up on waiting for the legacy telcos to learn this lesson. I'd rather look for applications that are designed to work on cheap (WiFi) connectivity most of the time, with an auxiliary "Keep it short and absolutely necessary" mode when only racket connectivity is available. Therefore, 3G is of no value to me. Having said that, the iPhone is also a dead proposition as far as I'm concerned. I'm not paying serious money when all it gets me is a 100% Apple/Cingular-controlled applications sales delivery vehicle.

    • by modeless (978411)
      Apple didn't put HSDPA in because Cingular sucks. HSDPA isn't available most places and is expanding slowly. To me, it's obvious that Apple should have gone with Sprint for the iPhone. The iPhone without decent Internet access is pointless (it's 1/3 an "internet communications device" after all), so I'm not even going to consider buying one until I can get it on Sprint's 3G network, and here's why:

      Sprint's EV-DO is practically ubiquitous now, unlike Cingular's HSDPA, and it provides a very good web brows
  • Just wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by (H)elix1 (231155) <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:13PM (#17604632) Homepage Journal
    Took a quick look at the article. Many of these 'myths' are really serious issues for a touch screen smart phone getting pitched at this price point. I get to replace my smart phone on the company's nickel soon, and for what $600 gets me, I'll not buy one of these. Point 3, fsk them. An unlocked phone might have been worth that. A locked phone, no way. A smart phone without 3rd party applications? Nope. For anyone thinking of looking at the blog entry...

    Myth One: the iPhone is missing EVDO (or some other high end feature) which will stifle adoption.
    Myth Two: The iPhone is priced too high. It needs a 2 GB version for $299 lacking phone features.
    Myth Three: The iPhone should be sold unlocked, not tied to Cingular service.
    Myth Four: The iPhone software is a closed model, therefore the sky is falling.
    Myth Five: The iPhone is just a phone with features lots of other phones already have.
    Myth Six: Cisco owns the iPhone name, which presents an impossible conundrum of epic proportions.
    Myth Seven: Apple will need to port iLife 07 to Windows in order to have a photo viewer for PC users.
    Myth Eight: An integrated battery is a significant problem for users
    Myth Nine: OMG Scratches
    Myth Ten: Apple can't figure out how do do a phone.
  • by subl33t (739983) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:15PM (#17604670)
    Stop complaining and drink the Kool-Aid, dammit.
  • by twfry (266215) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:17PM (#17604698)
    Whaaa.... I love the iPhone! How dare you people point out flaws in it. Whaaa!!! Well you are all wrong, see I've created a list of illogical arguements that proves the iPhone is superior in every single way to everything else in the world. Whaaa!!!!

    My favorite statement from the article was that the iPhone is not priced too high because other phones that have not been released yet are going to be priced higher. Does this guy work for segway marketing?
  • I know that every site has iphone news coming out of it's ears, but that's because it is a story worth reporting.

    While roughly drafted may be publishing what amounts to just more speculation to fuel the fire, I've found the articles published there before insightful and refreshing.
  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:23PM (#17604752) Homepage Journal
    That same article explained why: Apple wants the iPhone to work reliably, not to be known as a toy that can load various shareware apps, but which freezes erratically and is plagued with spyware and security hazards.

    The Orwellian double-speak is mind-boggling. This is the world according to an Apple fanboy:

    A device that can be adapted to do anything within the limits of technology and security: a toy.
    A device that does only what Apple product managers and Cingular marketers think you should be allowed to do with it: apparantly, not a toy.

    Here's a little trivia: the Apple store uses either Symbol [symbol.com] or Intermec [intermec.com]-based handheld devices to scan products. These devices run either Palm OS or Windows CE. Apple uses toys to manage its invetory.
    • by MojoStan (776183) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:07PM (#17605186)
      Subject: Not this FUDmeister again

      That same article explained why: Apple wants the iPhone to work reliably, not to be known as a toy that can load various shareware apps, but which freezes erratically and is plagued with spyware and security hazards.
      The Orwellian double-speak is mind-boggling. This is the world according to an Apple fanboy...
      Also note that this story's submitter, DECS [slashdot.org], is the same Apple fanboy who writes these articles on roughlydrafted, Daniel Eran. As Slashdot user DECS, he refers to himself, Daniel Eran, in the 3rd person. In addition to submitting his own articles, he also pimps his own articles [slashdot.org] in his Slashdot comments, in the 3rd person of course.
  • would be easier to swallow if the phone supported flash(and to a lesser extent java applets). While certainly a ton of dynamic web content can be created without these technologies, a flash player would be able to handle some of the functions that 3rd party apps would have. As it stands, its looking less and less apealling. Maybe they should have stuck with a 12" macbook pro to cater to the portable data heads
  • by eraser.cpp (711313) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:29PM (#17604818) Homepage
    I don't see how some of this criticism isn't true.

    Myth 1: the iPhone is missing EVDO (or some other high end feature) which will stifle adoption.

    Decent 3G service is not for a niche market or only for the rich. People have shown that high-bandwidth services like streaming video can drive a broadband market. Could we honestly say that broadband Internet access on the desktop hasn't brought with it a range of practical and compelling uses for the general public? Now you'd have that kind of speed wherever you are and in your pocket! Stating outright that people won't need it for their handset is arrogant and short-sighted, the market will decide in the end. TFA also writes that decent 3G service is "overpriced, and not quite ready yet" but my PocketPC handset is over a year old, works great, and is cheaper than the announced price for the iPhone!

    Myth Two: The iPhone is priced too high. It needs a 2 GB version for $299 lacking phone features.
    How is the iPhone not expensive when compared to other phones? The $499 and $599 prices are with the two-year contract! That's significantly more expensive than every other PDA/Smartphone offered by Cingular, some of which are very comparable to the iPhone. "but it's also not expensive when compared to similar phones, which... aren't yet available" Need you be reminded that the iPhone itself is not coming out for almost 6 months? And how are the phones out today not similar? The Cingular 8525 looks comparable to me.

    Myth Four: The iPhone software is a closed model, therefore the sky is falling.
    How can you say that third-party software would make the handset insecure and unstable? Do you believe this about computers in general? Third party development can (and frequently does) turn the ideas of the general public into brilliant applications that would likely not have existed otherwise. They drive the entire computer industry, and how can you so quickly dismiss the handset market as being different where third-party development would only mean negative things?

    I'm out of time but these "myths" just speak of desperate fanboism. Please realize that criticism is a healthy thing and that if this handset isn't perfect Apple has the time, money, and resources to make something that is better. After all, they're only just entering this market and will have lessons to learn just like everyone else.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gravesb (967413)
      Myth 1 response: The author supposes that Apple will include Cingular's 3G network, when it is available. He was saying that Apple can't include every feature people want, and made some decisions. EVDO specifically can't be offered for legal reasons, and the benefits the deal with Cingular outweigh, at least in Apple's mind, outweigh one particular brand on 3G. Hopefully, Apple will include some sort of 3G capability in the future, or the iPhone will have issues. Myth 2 response: I think the iPhone wil
    • by voidptr (609) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:07PM (#17605190) Homepage Journal


       
        Myth Two: The iPhone is priced too high. It needs a 2 GB version for $299 lacking phone features.
      How is the iPhone not expensive when compared to other phones? The $499 and $599 prices are with the two-year contract! That's significantly more expensive than every other PDA/Smartphone offered by Cingular, some of which are very comparable to the iPhone.
      $599 isn't significantly more expensive than any other high demand phone at launch day. Cingular sold the RAZR at $500 with a 2 year contract in 2004, and the only thing it had going for it was a well styled enclosure. Mine needs a reboot once a week due to bugs, it's GPRS data only (which makes EDGE scream by comparison) and the web browser is unuseable.

      I've got problems with the iPhone seemingly being crippled in more than one area at Cingular's request, but the price isn't really out of line for any new phone launch.
    • by damsa (840364)
      The Cingular 8525 is 399 after rebate. It takes Micro Sd cards.They don't make 4gb micro sd. So max is 2gb. So to match the specs of a iPhone you have to pay additional 100 dollars for a flash card and you get half the capacity of the 499 phone.
  • is the press it is getting. At best, its just a new phone with a couple of nice features. On a more realistic note, its iJust a iFreaking iPhone that is shackled with Apples iDRM and the Cingular network.

    This is ignorant to give a phone this much press/talk time.

    Yeah, sure, mod me down for this, but its true.
  • by fdobbie (226067) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:46PM (#17604972) Homepage
    The claim that "An unlocked phone can make GSM calls and send basic SMS. No MMS, no Internet, no iTS." is just wrong. Woefully wrong. See, for exampke, the Nokia gateway for pushing these settings to a phone (for example one which is new and unlocked [wdsglobal.com].
    • Not only wrong, but years and years wrong. I've used unlocked GSM phones to access the internet from both Cingular and T-Mobile's American networks since at least 2004. I don't know what kind of crack they're smoking at Motorola, but all three of the Ericsson and SonyEricsson phones I've owned in the last three years have been unlocked and able to do this -- and at 3G speeds when I'm in a 3G coverage area (real 3G in Europe, not the 2.5G slow "EDGE" [really EGPRS] stuff that Cingular brands as 3G for the
    • Yeah, that's what I was about to post. My phone is self-unlocked, and MMS and internet access both still work fine from it.
  • The author of Inside the "iPhone: EDGE, EVDO, HSUPA, 3G, and WiFi" seems to have confused himself with the acronyms associated with 3G, and then goes on to attempt to explain it to the rest of us.

    He correctly stated that we won't be seeing EVDO because that is the realm of CDMA handsets, not GSM ones. But then he goes on to talk about HSUPA as being 3G.

    In GSM phones, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is considered 2.5G

    Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) is simply an expansion on GPRS and is so

  • The author of this article is really confused about mobile tech. He was probably a Mac guy who didn't know anything about mobile stuff until the iPhone announcement. 1) It's HSDPA. Not HSUPA. I repeat, it's HSDPA. That's the technology that Cingular and all other mobile carriers are using right now. HSUPA is a future technology that is currently in trials. No one ever expected the iPhone to have HSUPA. 2) "EDGE is also widely deployed in the US. Newer generation technologies, including HSUPA and EVDO, are
  • My Opinion (Score:2, Informative)

    by Thumper_SVX (239525)
    I must admit I liked the iPhone at first. I thought it had real potential, but here's why I for one won't be buying one;

    1) 3G is a BIG DEAL. Anyone who's used it can tell you that. Especially for a device like this that's so data-centric I can't believe they are using EDGE. EDGE is a piss-poor replacement for 3G which only got implemented in this country because it was cheaper than a real rollout of 3G. Wake me when iPhone supports it... or when it actually manages to download an entire web page, whichever
    • by bar-agent (698856)
      Fine, you don't have to buy it. But consider the following.

      1) 3G is a BIG DEAL...Wake me when iPhone supports it... or when it actually manages to download an entire web page, whichever comes first.

      I'll set your alarm clock for next year, then. The iPhone is starting out with EDGE, but the next one, for the European market, will have 3G. The 3G argument is FUD.

      2) Closed platform. Hello? What? ... My phone also contains a couple of hacked together apps of my own that use the (admittedly piss-poor) data conne

  • still speculation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by underwhelm (53409)
    Most of the criticisms of the iPhone sound petty and idiosyncratic to me. No user-replacable battery! I don't know the last time I removed the battery to my cellphone. Locked to Cingular! Well, I already use Cingular, so a 2-year contract is not an obstacle at all to me, and I realize that every cell phone company sucks in one way or another so it makes no difference to me to whom I send my check every month. These are all highly specific needs that only really matter to a few people that value a certain as
  • Is it me or are the macfanboys rampantly modding down perfectly valid [slashdot.org] and appropriate [slashdot.org] comments [slashdot.org] as 'Offtopic' or 'Troll' just because they don't fit the narrow minded fanaticism.

    Well, you can mod me down, but you can NEVER TAKE MY FREEDOM!
    (I'll just do some Karma Whoring tomorrow to make up for my sins [slashdot.org])

    • by MrHanky (141717)
      Applefanboys have been destroying Slashdot since even before OS X became usable with the Panther release. The only thing you can do about it is cringe.
  • Fanboy alert (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrBuzzo (913503) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:35PM (#17605424) Homepage
    This is obviously very pro-apple and leaves out a few things. Admittedly, I like the iPhone and it definately has some great features, but it is missing some things which are a dispointment:

    1. NO 3G. No high speed. Verizon and Sprint use EVDO, and cingular uses HSDPA and UMTS. EVDO is more avaliable, while Cingular's high speed is limited to a few cities, but they are working on upgrading it and will likely have much more coverage in the next year or two.

    The iPhone has neither. It supports EDGE, which is kinda-okay speedwise. My experience is it's about like a 56k modem and often a bit slower. If your phone is media-centric, then this is not going to cut it. And adding these capabilities will NOT raise the price. There are plenty of reasonably priced phones which do support high speed.

    2. "No third party apps" - This is definately true now, but hopefully will change. However, it will be some time before it has the applications that Palm or WinMo or Symbian has.

    3. "OMG Scratches" - Considering the screen is the whole phone and it's the only input method, a scratch-resistant coating just makes sense. It's more than worth the extra few bucks to now have to worry about handling the phone with kid gloves.

    Again...I'm not putting down the iPhone. Given all it DOES have it's still pretty sweet, but the lack of high speed wireless is a BIG omission for a phone which is supposed to be for music and video as much as calling
  • As Linux is technically 'just a kernel', then does this mean that OSX is technically also 'just a kernel' meaning that Apple can compile it for a washing machine CPU and claim it's 'running OSX'?

    For example, there are several phones and PDAs that 'run Linux', however everyone will agree it's not the same as a desktop OS as they essentially are talking about the kernel.
  • 1. Old lady felt while walking was saved by her new iPhone, from which she called for help. 2. World hunger is now over. Thanks for the iPhone, people can easily be more conscious about the real problem of the world. 3. Whatever.
  • by lisaparratt (752068) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:33PM (#17606050)
    I couldn't care less about 3rd party development. What I care about is whether I can develop for it.

    I use a PDA as a prosthetic memory. As such, I need to be able to write my own programs for it to fill my own needs. I don't care whether I can distribute them or not.
  • I mean, the article says that there aren't any phones on the market that are comparable, so what would I get from an iPhone that I wouldn't get from one of these [my-xda.com] plus an addon SD card to bring its memory up to the same spec?

    And why does the article author seem to think that not having a replaceable battery is an advantage? (And his point about iPod batteries being replaceable... yeah right [theregister.co.uk]... "Sonnet [the people who make the kits] recommends iPod Mini and fourth-generation iPod users seek professional insta
  • EDGE or 3G? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by porttikivi (93246) * on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:09PM (#17607508)
    Note that 3GPP rel. 7 standard will define "EDGE Evolution" which makes the EDGE speed 2-3 times faster. That's a good, cheap, and POWER SAVING alternative for a future iPhone model. Apple will of course still consider further upgraded models with GSM/UMTS path (W-CDMA and HSDPA/HSUPA) technologies, but they consume more battery and the results may vary.

    I typically get about the same speed with EDGE and 3G, country wide here in Finland. The real speed depends on the network congestion. Anyway the capped limit in current UMTS phones (my Nokia N70) and networks (all the non-HSDPA UMTS networks I know, which is 90% of the UMTS world) is 384 kbit/s, so it is not much better than the max ~256 kbits/s of standard EDGE.

    And the real life results with the HSDPA supporting new handsets and networks will vary. With bad coverage or congestion you will not benefit much of it. So even in the near future (~5 years), the difference between EDGE and UMTS versions will not be so big.

    And before EDGE gets really old and undesirable, many things may happen and change the picture: Wimax, xMax, whatever radio; SIP, Skype, XMPP, whatever VoIP. VoIP changes the picture radically: you don't have to necessarily implement legacy technology (GSM/UMTS, CDMA/EVDO) anymore, because now any acccess point with any (radio) technology works with your VoIP.
  • by timmyf2371 (586051) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:29PM (#17608120)
    Shortly before the iPhone's release, Dean Hall, a seven year software engineer for Motorola, explained in an email the limited usability of an unlocked phone:

    "When a phone is unlocked it loses its privileges on a provider's data network. An unlocked phone can make GSM calls and send basic SMS. No MMS, no Internet, no iTS. Apple would either have to reverse engineer a method to gain access to the data network (unlikely as most data networks require SSL-level security to access) or it would have to offer something different."
    If Mr Hall is a typical representation of a Motorola software engineer, it may explain why any Motorola phone I've ever had the misfortune to use has experienced software issues. I'm not sure that he has much of an idea about what he's talking about here.

    The network I'm on allows me access to voice, text, MMS, and 3G data services. The handset that was provided with my contract (Nokia N80) fully supports all of these features. Now, I've also got a Nokia N70 which was previously locked to another mobile network, and it's now unlocked to work with any network. If I put my current SIM card in and turn it on, perhaps I should be shocked to find that I can access the same services before (after putting in the right settings).

    I've used a variety of mobile phones, both SIM-locked and "vanilla" unlocked handsets, on most of the mobile networks for the last ten years and I've never had any problems such as those mentioned by Mr Hall.

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