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Communications Portables (Apple) Wireless Networking

How Jobs Played Hardball In iPhone Birth 479

Posted by kdawson
from the my-customer-dammit dept.
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Apple bucked the rules of the cellphone industry when creating the iPhone by wresting control away from normally powerful wireless carriers, the Wall Street Journal reports. From the article: 'Only three executives at the carrier, which is now the wireless unit of AT&T Inc., got to see the iPhone before it was announced. Cingular agreed to leave its brand off the body of the phone. Upsetting some Cingular insiders, it also abandoned its usual insistence that phone makers carry its software for Web surfing, ringtones and other services... Mr. Jobs once referred to telecom operators as "orifices" that other companies, including phone makers, must go through to reach consumers. While meeting with Cingular and other wireless operators he often reminded them of his view, dismissing them as commodities and telling them that they would never understand the Web and entertainment industry the way Apple did, a person familiar with the talks says.'"
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How Jobs Played Hardball In iPhone Birth

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  • by daddyrief (910385) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:23PM (#18075332) Homepage
    I'm really for anything that helps wrestle proprietary control settings away from the major carriers.
    • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:28PM (#18075396) Homepage Journal
      I'm really for anything that helps wrestle proprietary control settings away from the major carriers.

      Yup, you can expect Apple to fairly license [ipodobserver.com] proprietary control settings in a reasonable and non discriminate manner and help level the playing field in the cell phone market!

      Thanks Apple for giving us more choice!
      • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:16PM (#18077450)
        Apple shouldn't have to license FairPlay any more than Microsoft should have to license the Win32 API to Apple so I can run my DirectX games on any computer.
        • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @12:09AM (#18077884) Homepage Journal
          Please read my comment.

          I didn't say Apple should license fairplay, I implied that Apple is not above using proprietary tools to lock out competitors (just like the cell phone companies).

          Thank you for pointing out that Microsoft, like Apple and the telcos is not above using proprietary tricks to lock out competition. Do you really think anyone's surprised by that?
          • by Lars T. (470328) <Lars DOT Traeger AT googlemail DOT com> on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @08:35AM (#18080624) Journal

            Please read my comment.

            I didn't say Apple should license fairplay, I implied that Apple is not above using proprietary tools to lock out competitors (just like the cell phone companies).
            Lock out of what exactly? Out of selling music online? Out of making a Mobile Music Player?
        • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @12:31PM (#18083518) Homepage Journal

          Apple shouldn't have to license FairPlay any more than Microsoft should have to license the Win32 API to Apple so I can run my DirectX games on any computer.

          You don't have to license the Win32 API, because reverse-engineering for the purpose of interoperability is protected by the DMCA. You do have to license FairPlay, because a competing implementation would not only almost certainly run afoul of Apple patents, and because it would be an unlicensed copy protection circumvention device, and thus illegal under the same body of law.

          You are welcome to attempt making another analogy.

      • by Grail (18233) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @01:09AM (#18078302) Journal
        Forgive me for trotting out Apple's own tired line on this subject: Licencing DRM means there will be more chances for the details of the DRM to be leaked, and thus the system will be compromised. The best way of handling DRM is to not use it at all. This will ensure 100% interoperability and allow for true competition in the marketplace.

        Microsoft "licenced" their DRM system to their friends and colleagues in a system called "Plays For Sure". You might have heard of that mess when reading up about the abominable Zune media player.

        DRM isn't just bad for consumers, it's bad for hardware manufacturers, content providers and anyone attempting to run a media store.

        Apple does give you choice: you can choose to (a) buy the song from the iTunes Music Store and only play it on iTunes or an iPod, or (b) buy the song from a bricks-and-mortar store (ie: as a CD) and play it where you want. If the device that Apple sells you doesn't do what you'd like, complain to Apple or buy another device (or hack your iPod to give you the features you want).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SultanCemil (722533)
      You are 100% on target. The major carriers in the USA have gotten so incredibly bad it boggles the mind. I am now in Australia, and what a difference. Real competition! You can take your phone *with* you. Its a huge difference. Oh, and the phones tend to be better. Man, the FCC really needs to require unlocking of phones.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TapeCutter (624760)
        I'm an Aussie and haven't got a clue about US telco's, I recall that Telstra was tipped to be the distributor for the iPhone in Oz but has recently told Apple to "stick to knitting" because their phone is "only 2.5G not 3G"? IIRC, Cingular is the parent company of Telstra's biggest competitor.
        • by Achromatic1978 (916097) <robert@@@chromablue...net> on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:42PM (#18077156)
          Telstra's biggest competitor is Optus. Optus is owned by SingTel (Singapore Telecom). The iPhone is EDGE (IIRC), which never really took off in Australia, the four+ years ago it was introduced. Telstra's NextG etc networks are CDMA, not GSM, that's why.

          US telco's (speaking as an Australian who moved to the US in December) are up and down. On one hand, for A$200 (US$175), my wife and I get unlimited time to each other, and each of us to any five land or cellular lines in the US and Canada, unlimited evening time, unlimited weekend time, 2000 additional minutes beyond that, unlimited text messaging, and unlimited data, as well as free WiFi access at any of the provider (T-mobile)'s hotspots. On the other hand, it's amazing how horrible coverage can be. Major suburban centers with /zero/ coverage. Some areas where you roam onto another network (fine, esp. since you don't get charged for it these days), but in my office in Redmond I get nothing, while Cingular and Verizon are fine. Mind you, elsewhere, it's the reverse, and friends with those two ask to use my phone.

    • by mp3phish (747341) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:44PM (#18076106)
      While I normally do not like to praise Apple, this is one thing I commend them on. With all the proprietary gimmicks Apple tries to shove down customer's throats, they are not as bad as the gimmicky trash shoved down wireless carrier's throats. For this reason, I have to take Apple's side on this.

      The wireless carriers in the US (and a few other regions) have been gouging the eyes out of customers simply because they have always been considered a premium service, thanks to the federal subsidy known as the universal service fund on landline phones. While the rest of the world commoditized their wireless telephone markets, the US wireless carriers turned them into crap shoot proprietary bullshit.

      The iPhone (though I refuse to admit it is a good deal, or worth anything close to $500) is the first step in finally commoditizing wireless telephone service. Not allowing the carriers to screw up the phone's firmware is what companies like Nokia and Motorola should have done a decade ago. It is no wonder the wireless carriers are doing what they do, look at how easilly the FCC allowed SBC to buy out AT&T Wireless and then buy out AT&T long distance all in a 3 year period, consolidating almost every drop of the original baby bells.

      Thank you Apple for your willingness to play Hardball. I am glad you can see through the corporate crap that is Cingular/AT&T/SBC. My only hope is that you can take the same approach to your own business model and look at yourself from an outsider's perspective, just as you have approached this problem with Cingular.

      • Not the first... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by IANAAC (692242) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @08:27AM (#18080580)

        The iPhone (though I refuse to admit it is a good deal, or worth anything close to $500) is the first step in finally commoditizing wireless telephone service. Not allowing the carriers to screw up the phone's firmware is what companies like Nokia and Motorola should have done a decade ago.

        RIM, with their Blackberries, were really the first ones to not allow carriers to screw up their firmware. It's really quite trivial as a normal user to do pretty much whatever you want with a Blackberry (provided you have a data plan).

    • by squiggleslash (241428) * on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:44PM (#18076114) Homepage Journal

      I'm sure a locked down phone that only runs Apple's software and is only available on Cingular, with Apple claiming that it's morally wrong to unlock a phone (such people are "bad guys") to run on other networks, is going to do that.

      Anyone who thinks Apple is trying to do anything but shift power from one proprietary group to another is delusional.

      Worse still, Cingular is one of the only two major GSM/UMTS carriers in the US. So it was one of the few that was truly open and non-proprietary, compared to the likes of Verizon.

      I'm hoping some of Apple's innovations in the UI realm will make their way to competing phones, but right now the Apple phone itself is bad news from the point of view of opening up the industry. It represents everything that's bad about the US mobile phone industry, it's expensive, locked down, and treated by its maker as little more than a weapon to play in some insane power wars in which the end user will always be the victim.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JudgeFurious (455868)
        How about from the point of view of "using a phone"? Is it bad news from that point of view?

        I have to confess that I'm really only concerned with that point of view and don't really care all that much about whether the mobile phone industry is "opened up" in some fashion or another. As long as the service provided is acceptable (it is) at a price I feel is not out of line (it isn't) then that about covers it for me.

        From the very beginning all I wanted was a phone. I didn't care what games y
        • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:54PM (#18077274)

          I have to confess that I'm really only concerned with that point of view and don't really care all that much about whether the mobile phone industry is "opened up" in some fashion or another. As long as the service provided is acceptable (it is) at a price I feel is not out of line (it isn't) then that about covers it for me.

          Do you realize that's the exact same attitude a majority of Americans had about AT&T before the break-up? When long-distance calls were easily over a dollar a minute and it was illegal to connect a non-telco handset to the phone-line in your house?

          Your perception of what is "acceptable service" and a reasonable price is shaped by the status quo and, pretty much by definition, the status quo favors the entrenched businesses and systems.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dr.badass (25287)
        Apple claiming that it's morally wrong to unlock a phone (such people are "bad guys") to run on other networks, is going to do that.

        Apple didn't claim that. Glenn Lurie of Cingular did. [pcmag.com]
  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:24PM (#18075338) Homepage Journal
    Mr. Jobs once referred to telecom operators as "orifices" that other companies, including phone makers, must go through to reach consumers.

    Incorrect. The consumers are the orifices in the telco / phone maker / customer relationship. Everyone gets to screw them.

    Anyway, let's hope the iPhone enjoys more success than the last Apple/Cingular deal mentioned in the article:

    But the Motorola ROKR, released in the fall of 2005 and carried exclusively by Cingular, was a huge disappointment for Apple executives. .
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by avalys (221114)
      If the 'consumers' feel they're being screwed by the cell phone operators, they don't need to purchase their services.

      When people complain about , I always wonder - why are you buying their products if you hate them so much?

      • If the 'consumers' feel they're being screwed by the cell phone operators, they don't need to purchase their services.

        Damn right. I'll just carry my laptop around and look for an open Wifi access point so I can use Skype. Way to stick it to the man.

  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:24PM (#18075352)
    Remember than no iphones have been sold yet. The analysis needs to wait until some sales figures are available.
  • Still Two-Faced (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:29PM (#18075398)
    ...if Apple meant it, the phones would be 100% unbranded and unlocked, they'd take any GSM provider's card, and APPLE would provide simple, regional, downloadable settings (for carrier-based web proxies, etc.)

    Apple doesn't have to sell them through Cingular (AT&T) or anyone else.

    Bucking the system...my shiny metal ass.
    • by MeNeXT (200840)
      You are so right...I was high with anticipation when I first heard of it. When I started looking into it I found it to be crippled. I have a hard time with lock in. I have a hard time with supplier imposed limits. The iPhone is broken and it's not even released yet.
      • No the iPhone simply only works as its supposed to because AT&T (Cing) let them do what the others didnt.

        Once it sells like hotcakes you will see the rest of the GSM market bend over backwards to change their systems to allow for the iPhone to work right.

        Its not a distribution issue, its a service issue. Apple wanted it one way and they where the only company to say ok, and even there I bet you they kicked and screemed.

        • by Tancred (3904)
          What is it you think won't work on another GSM network? I know of one thing - the visual voicemail feature, which requires the operator's involvement. Maybe that'll catch on, but it's a fairly small thing. Got anything else?
          • im sure as hell there is going to be a huge deal with the broadband access (as in no extra plan) TFA basically spelled that one out there that its likely the only thing that will be charged for access is a normal minutes service plan with web being free. And I am sure there are other bells and whistles we havent seen yet.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Reaperducer (871695)
        Locked-in? Yes. Crippled? Well, that's just FUD.

        How exactly do you expect Jobs to convince a cell phone company to alter a fundamental feature of its network (voice mail) to support an iPhone-only killer feature (Visual Voice Mail)? In this world you have to give in order to receive. It's why he's a billionaire and you're posting lies on Slashdot.
        • by gutnor (872759)

          Locked-in? Yes. Crippled? Well, that's just FUD.
          Locked-in == Crippled.
          I think you have been badly redirected from FreedomIsForTerrorists.gov
          We are on slashdot, a friendly community that value stuff like OpenSource, DRM-Free, Free porn and generally free everything.

          It's why he's a billionaire and you're posting lies on Slashdot.
          Ah! so you knew ??
          Oh you must be a troll, sorry, keep up the good work.

        • Re:Still Two-Faced (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Tancred (3904) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:44PM (#18076112)
          Visual voicemail a killer feature? You're the first person I've seen get excited about it.

          Getting a cut of monthly revenues...now that's the kind of thing that makes a guy a billionaire.

          (And in reference to your sig, most atheists I know don't get angry about religion until it's used against them.)
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:50PM (#18075596)
      .if Apple meant it, the phones would be 100% unbranded and unlocked, they'd take any GSM provider's card....

      And then Apple would not be able to provide features like visual voice mail which require changes to the carrier network.

      What Apple gets by partnering is concessions in network development they would never get if they stood along against all other phone companies. That is the value that Apple brings to the table, making complex things easier and stuff like network improvements to handle random access voice mail are part and parcel of that. If the iPhone were just like any other MVNO phone, it would lose a lot of potential for true innovation in phone development.

      What will be really interesting to see is how the open Linux phones proceed, or if they run into roadblocks.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by squiggleslash (241428)

        And then Apple would not be able to provide features like visual voice mail which require changes to the carrier network.

        Of course Apple can support it on an unlocked phone.

        Believe it or not, there are many de-facto standards in the mobile phone industry. One of the most famous is the voice mail icon. GSM doesn't really standardize it. There are multiple ways to implement it. Most cellphones support most ways of implementing the VM icon. On some, if you buy an unlocked phone, you have to configure a ha

        • Understand the term (Score:5, Interesting)

          by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday February 19, 2007 @09:32PM (#18076536)
          Believe it or not, there are many de-facto standards in the mobile phone industry. One of the most famous is the voice mail icon.

          Your whole rant makes it apparent you don't understand what visual voice mail is. It's not iBiff. It's, well, voicemail that is visual - as in, you get to see a list of all voice mails you have currently waiting, and then you can choose to listen to any one you like, in any order.

          Now of course this is not a new thing to phones, IP phones in particualr. But the cell phone industry? They support nothing like it today. To actually be able to randomly access voice mail is, in 2006, apparently a startling concept to cell phone network providers.

          Making an unlocked phone doesn't mean being forced to limit yourself to the documented features of GSM. You can implement whatever the hell you want, and let the carriers decide what they're going to implement.

          And the carriers can laugh at you, and the feature is useless. Apple cannot realistically build a phone, and then release it "hoping" that all (or any) of the ideas they have get implemented. They have to make a polished device first, so that people wll actually want to buy one. If they did not the cell industry would seek to kill it fearing Apple would gain too much power. Far easier to play to the greed of a single carrier and get them to do what is needed.

          The Linux phone is basically taking the path you advocate. But I really do not think it would ever be in a position to dictate new network features the way Apple currently is by basically taking hold of a carrier and shaking some sense into a very stagnant industry who really doesn't understand device development. I say that as a user of various cell phones for years, which are uniformly horrible in day to day use. The Linux phone would eventually be better but it would always be limited in potential by what the carriers allowed. I am thinking the Linux phone will eventually be able to make use of the same features that are being added for the iPhone.

          Also Apple is not just supporting visual voice mail, but also push email from Yahoo and perhaps other things we have not heard of yet. Allowing Apple to help design user-oriented improvements to the network is something that eventually will improve all phones, not just the iPhone.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SeaFox (739806)

        if Apple meant it, the phones would be 100% unbranded and unlocked, they'd take any GSM provider's card....

        And then Apple would not be able to provide features like visual voice mail which require changes to the carrier network.

        Are there any other features that require Cingular on the iPhone? I hate to think we're justifying the decision to lock the iPhone on a single feature most people could care less about.

        What Apple gets by partnering is concessions in network development they would never get if they s

    • Oh please... sell an unbranded product? How many cell phone manufacturers do this? Get real.

      As for Apple and GSM - their decision to go US-first represents how poorly they understand the cell phone market. Europe and Asia represent a far larger and more sophisticated market for the iPhone, so the decision to start it in the US was short-sighted and will lead to a less successful product.
    • It's been stated pretty clearly: implementing some of the things Apple wanted is a lot of work for the carrier. I think the "visual voice mail" is one of the bigger ones. Someone has to pay that freight, and a good way to do that is to offer a time-limited lock-in to the carrier, allowing them to recoup their investment and make a profit as well. Verizon turned Apple down, so we get Cingular.
    • Re:Still Two-Faced (Score:5, Insightful)

      by brarrr (99867) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:13PM (#18075828) Journal
      Dude. Chill. Nothing in the press or from Apple indicates that the phones will be locked or that they won't work with another GSM provider's card. That said, the features co-developed (ie visual voicemail) will only work w/ Cingular unless is some standard is determined and enabled by other GSM carriers & apple supports it. Only selling through Cingular? Makes sense to me if they want to have the co-developed features and still prevent leaks. Have to give to get, and they gave exclusivity to cingular. I'm sure Jobs would prefer for it to be sold directly by apple but then they'd be just another cell phone manufacturer that may or may not work. The tight integration is the whole apple hallmark thing. It did buck the system, in a way. Just not the way *you* want. I'd rather have the features work as advertised vs the crap that happens now with every phone I've ever had & differing carrier implementation...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by squiggleslash (241428)

        Apple has said publicly that the phones will be locked, and indeed has described people who unlock phones as "bad guys".

        Slow Down Cowboy! Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment. It's been 1 minute since you last successfully posted a comment Chances are, you're behind a firewall or proxy, or clicked the Back button to accidentally reuse a form. Please try again. If the problem persists, and all other options have b

  • I guess the tone would indicate we are supposed to demonize Jobs for wanting control of his product rather than letting the Telecoms dictate what he could build. Point he was talking about a tiny market share so none of them had a gun to their heads. Cingular decided to play ball but they could have said no. Microsoft could have just as easily come in and said we're throwing ten billion at this the first year and expect in three years to have 10% to 25% of the market share. Play ball or we'll run you out of
  • by nighty5 (615965)
    Love the telco's or hate them, Jobs only "got away" with his demands purely because he has a rock solid "PR" product which will certainly sell by the litre. Regardless if the product is a stinker it will sell well, because its Apple.

    If anybody has half a brain they will stay away from this product for at least 1 revision - like most products, especially Apple.
    And yes I own lots of expensive Apple gear.

    It seems the Americans are getting screwed still on the contract, so Jobs didn't get all he wanted. The pro
  • iPhone (Score:2, Funny)

    by BGatesFan (1065072)
    The iPhone is a joke until it runs Windows Vista Mobile Premium, with Aero enabled holographic projector with 3D holo-conferencing. I'll hold out for the dellPhone.
  • Steve Jobs really is a badass! I played hardball once in high school; broke my leg, three ribs, and four fingers. I hope the engineers weren't too severly hurt...
  • I'd been wondering exactly what Apple got out of the deal. The only previous item I'd heard was the visual voicemail. And I don't consider the marketing and retail channel to be big gains for Apple against the exclusivity limitation they're giving AT&T. But monthly revenue sharing could make sense for Apple. I would guess that Jobs made it clear they could go operator-less if they didn't get a good deal.
  • by LinuxInDallas (73952) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:15PM (#18075844)
    I am looking forward to trying the iPhone. In particular I'm looking formward to being free of the god-awful software that comes with most phones.

    Just this weekend I decided to check an ebay auction on my samsung phone. I noticed that Sprint offers a "ebay premium" program for download. Guess what? It's FIVE dollars a month. WHAT? I already pay for internet access on my phone, why should I pay another dime to get a better view of my ebay account? If the phones came with capable browsers then this nickel and diming wouldn't be possible because the phone would have desktop-similar browsing capability. I think the iPhone is going to go a long way to helping consumers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nikster (462799)
      Me too. I have a Nokia N73 - it has an excellent web browser, first time I have seen that. It also has a large and pretty screen. However, in all other regards, this phone has the same usability as the 4 or 5 year old 6600 I had before. Progress? We've heard of it. There's a long delay for bringing up most functions, Symbian/60 interface is clunky to say the least.

      I paid over $500 for this phone and it's a huge disappointment as a smart phone. As soon as I can get my hands on an iPhone it's a goner.

      The posi
  • lawyers at dawn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mgabrys_sf (951552)
    And now the countdown starts on the two other phones cited in the WSJ article. It didn't fly under my radar the "boy have we patented it" line at the expo - and for those who want the recast, on the (free) download at iTunes of the keynote - at 1:30 (remaining) comes the clarifier of over 200 patents filed on the iPhone.

    Looking at the slightest cause for a lawsuit - "trade dress" it seems the other manufacturers are playing with fire already.

    For a fan of corporate porn (me), it's going to be fun watching th
  • It seems to me the difference is competition and the benefits of competition. Apple has been forced to innovate and pass the benefits and savings onto the customers. OTOH, the old AT&T justifiable charged customer for innovative service, but never seemed to pass savings onto the customer, and always seemed to be more concerned with charging for the privilege to make a call rather than charging for service rendered. For instance, even though addtional phones in a house incurred no additional load on t
  • Apple decided to not take cash directly from Cingular, hence the lack of a Cingular logo on the phone. The phone is locked, so Apple has don't nothing for consumer. Yes, you should be able to get an iPhone out of contract and that means a cheaper monthly for the consumer (in theory). Is Apple the good guy? Not really.
  • Apple selling your dissent back to you at twice the price! Film at 11!
  • by Namarrgon (105036) on Monday February 19, 2007 @09:21PM (#18076440) Homepage
    "You phone companies don't know nuthin' about proper phones, not like Apple does."
  • Odd (Score:5, Funny)

    by king-manic (409855) on Monday February 19, 2007 @09:38PM (#18076584)
    Ken Kutaragi: Our product is so good we want the whole industry to bend over backwards, kiss our ass, then take a good old anal reaming and for our customers to pay $600 for our product.
    Slashdot: Arrogant asshole.

    Steve Jobs: Our product is so good we want the whole industry to bend over backwards, kiss our ass, then take a good old anal reaming and for our customers to pay $600 for our product.
    Slashdot: OMG!!1! you are such a massive visionary. please come here and ream me right now.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nikster (462799)
      There's a sligtht difference in the products though.

      PS3: Thinly veiled attempt to shove BluRay down the masses' throat. Would be $300 cheaper otherwise.

      iPhone: Phone people actually want to use. First innovative phone since the color screen. Same price as other smart phones.
  • Rumours (Score:5, Funny)

    by hack slash (1064002) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:00PM (#18076758)
    Is it true that the iPhone will only have 1 button?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mkiwi (585287)
      Besides the touch-screen controls, the iPhone should at least have 2 buttons- the wake/sleep button on top and the home button on the bottom. I can't remember exactly, but there also may be controls for volume.
  • by RexRhino (769423) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:44PM (#18077176)
    It would have 12 buttons, and make phone calls... and would be waterproof, have a huge freakin battery, and survive a fall from a low flying airplane. Why are no companies making the kind of cell phone I want? No MP3 player, no alarm clock, no text messaging, but broadcast a signal strong enough to stop your grandpa's pace maker, and heavy enough to be used as a meelee weapon in a bar fight!

    I want the civilian version of this:
    http://home.att.net/~wd0giv/Phones/ta838.jpg [att.net]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Animats (122034)

      What you're looking for is a Motorola i560 [motorola.com]. "The i560 meets rigorous US Mil Specs for dust, shock, vibration, high and low temperature, low pressure and solar radiation." There's a "Maximum Capacity Battery" option with 5 hours of talk time or 130 hours of standby.

      It's available for Nextel.

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