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Technology (Apple) Communications Technology

iPhone Gets Better Battery, Scratch Resistant Glass 527

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the clean-off-your-pants dept.
Dekortage writes "Prior to its much-hyped launch on June 29, Apple has announced upgrades to its battery life (almost 40% more than originally announced) and scratch resistance (using "optical quality glass" rather than plastics). The announcement also includes a comparison chart pitting the iPhone against smartphones from Nokia, Samsung, Palm, and Blackberry."
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iPhone Gets Better Battery, Scratch Resistant Glass

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:41AM (#19551435)
    Apart from not selecting like for like that's arguably the most horribly biased selection of measurements I've ever seen used in a comparison chart. I know the aim of the chart is to try and make the iPhone look good but when doing these type of charts most companies at least give their competitors some credit so as not to look too desperate. Probably the most obvious is the first - thickness comparison without weight, width and height comparison? It's a shame it doesn't list things like features either because that's where the iPhone really fails miserably, it simply has no killer app like the Nokia N95's built in GPS.

    Posted anonymously to avoid the Apple fanboy army that plagues Slashdot and that can't accept that Apple aren't always capable of producing a decent product.
    • by pantherace (165052) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:45AM (#19551501)
      You've not looked at many of Apple's comparison charts have you?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by piecewise (169377)
      The press release is about the physical attributes of the iPhone, so the comparison charts deal strictly with physical attributes, not things like GPS.

      Finally, slimness is what consumers care about. If you want to make l x w x h comparisons, all that data is readily available.

      Fails miserably on features? Plays TV shows, movies, music, Google Maps with traffic and directions, syncs with iTunes, iPhoto, iCal, Office/Outlook, supports third-party development, on a huge 3.7" screen. How is that failing on featu
      • by eln (21727) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:53AM (#19551639) Homepage
        the comparison charts deal strictly with physical attributes, not things like GPS.

        Really? I had no idea that "Internet Use", "Video Playback", and "Audio Playback" were physical attributes.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by madsenj37 (612413)
          Alone they are not. However, they are physical attributes when related to use of battery time.
        • by Fulkkari (603331) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:33AM (#19552375)

          the comparison charts deal strictly with physical attributes, not things like GPS.
          Really? I had no idea that "Internet Use", "Video Playback", and "Audio Playback" were physical attributes.

          Time! Internet Use [Time]. Video Playback [Time]. Audio Playback [Time]. Timetimetime! How long the battery can keep up with the load. That certainly is a physical attribute.

      • by Wabin (600045) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:59AM (#19551749)
        Supports third party development? Are you kidding? Sure, you can make web apps, but palm, symbian and even windows mobile kinda blow it out of the water on that front.
      • by killmenow (184444) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:00AM (#19551753)
        ... on a huge 3.7" screen...

        Only on slashdot will you ever hear 3.7" referred to as "huge".
      • by Xest (935314) * on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:00AM (#19551765)
        You sound roughly about as biased as the comparison chart. To be fair the OP has a point.

        If it's about physical attributes why does it list non-physical attributes? and only one of the few physical attributes?

        Slimness is all consumers care about? If that was the case everyone would be happy with the iPaq phones because they're so slim, of course in reality, the issue is they're too wide for most people to want in their pockets. Personally I also prefer phones to be light, so for me weight is one of the largest issues.

        As for features well, yes it does have a few but not as many as the new Nokia and Sony offerings. Supports 3rd party development? this is a joke right? again, other offerings have full Java and some even C++ application support - that's an awful lot more than rich internet apps which nice, are still extremely limited - again, you aint EVER going to see anything like this on iPhones with their supposed 3rd party application support:

        http://www.midlet-review.com/index?content=news&id =1023 [midlet-review.com]

        It's probably worth noting the iPhone's camera is pretty dire in comparison to the new Sony/Nokia offerings too - 2megapixel vs. 5 megapixel.
        • by Firethorn (177587) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:23AM (#19552159) Homepage Journal
          Slimness is all consumers care about?

          Another oddball consumer here-

          What I care about is reception range/quality and battery life. I actually prefer a larger phone, as long as it'll fit in a pocket. Note: I shove paperback books in that pocket all the time. The reception range is on the list because I live a long ways from the nearest cell tower. The battery become second because as a result my phone ends up having to use full power much of the time.

          Followups would be durability, then various features like bluetooth, GPS and MP3 playing. I know how to use a map, and do so, so I normally know where I am, and already have a dedicated mp3 player.

          A nice big brick phone with a sensitive receiver, powerfull transmitter, huge battery with bluetooth would almost be my ideal phone. That way I can use my nice headset and stick the monster on my belt or passanger seat of my car.
          • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday June 18, 2007 @12:07PM (#19552917) Journal

            What I care about is reception range/quality and battery life

            An oft unappreciated phone (and the one I use on a day to day basis) is the Motorola V195 [phonescoop.com]. It's offered by T-Mobile and Cellular One, but it's GSM, so you can get it unlocked and use it with anyone.

            It has the highest RF output of any non-brick phone I've ever seen (1.7 watts on GSM850/900 and 1.0 on GSM1800/1900), the best reception, an insanely long battery life (rated for 10.5 hours of talk time -- I tend to get six or seven, depending on signal strength), class 1 (long range) bluetooth, plus it's a quad-band phone and will work in any country with a GSM network.

            Yeah, it has no camera (who cares?) and is slim on features. But if all you want is a phone, I'm hard pressed to think of a better GSM one. And the full retail price is only $120.00 ($20 with contract) from T-Mobile. I'll cry a lot less when my $120 phone goes into the swimming pool/toilet/stolen then I will when something happens to my $600 iPhone. And that's with contract -- wonder what they'll charge you to get one at "full price" once you are already under contract?

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by nasch (598556)

              I'll cry a lot less when my $120 phone goes into the swimming pool/toilet/stolen then I will when something happens to my $600 iPhone. And that's with contract -- wonder what they'll charge you to get one at "full price" once you are already under contract?
              The $600 price is with no discount for signing a contract, that is full retail price. Apple has stated there will be no discount for a contract - it's just that they won't sell the phone without a contract at any price.
        • by empaler (130732) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:35AM (#19552415) Journal

          It's probably worth noting the iPhone's camera is pretty dire in comparison to the new Sony/Nokia offerings too - 2megapixel vs. 5 megapixel.
          Give me a 2 MP cam with good photosensitive silicon rather than a 5 MP with cheap third-rate silicon.
          I'm not saying that Apple has shelled out for a better cam function, I'm just saying that MP count is like snakeoil.
      • by walt-sjc (145127)
        I'd also like to see weight on the chart. All fit in a pocket just fine unlike the phones of yester-year, but some phones are just bloody heavy and don't sit well in a pocket.

        Talk time is great and all, but if you can swap batteries it's not all that important. If you have sacrificed features such as a keyboard (I prefer a slide-out keyboard), memory card slots, replaceable battery, etc. for the small size, then you have also sacrificed usability and utility.
      • by pla (258480) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:08AM (#19551899) Journal
        Finally, slimness is what consumers care about.

        So you'd feel just fine with a 0.25in thick phone 1ft high by 6in wide and weighing 15lbs?

        I care about exactly one aspect of my phone's geometry - Does it fit in the little half-pockets on the mid-leg side of all my jeans.

        For the record, the iPhone comes in at 0.46x2.4x4.5in. That would probably not fit in said pockets (which have a flattened width of just under 2.5in on the pants I have on today), or at best would fit too tightly for comfort. My current phone fits nicely, however, at 0.9x2.0x4.3in, despite literally twice the given-yet-irrelevant thickness.



        the comparison charts deal strictly with physical attributes, not things like GPS.

        The "Wi-Fi", "Talk Time", "Internet Use", "Video Playback", and "Audio Playback" rows on that chart would tend to disagree.
      • by Solandri (704621) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:34AM (#19552403)
        Thankfully they seem to have gone out of vogue, but they were ubiquitous back in the 70's and 80's. Basically a product's marketer would take the spec sheets for their product and their competitors' products. Then they'd go through and cherry-pick all the features where their product was the best. Then they'd make an ad based on it. It was incredibly annoying because you'd see ads for a half dozen competing products all (semi-truthfully) claiming to be the BEST in bold letters with the details hidden in the fine print. "This cereal is the BEST! (has 100% recommended dietary allowance of niacin)." "No, this cereal is the BEST! (has 100% recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C)." etc. This was in direct contradiction to the common accepted definition of "best" which implies that only one product can qualify.

        The fanboys would also pick up on it too, trying to think of excuses why their list wasn't a list of features that made their chosen product look good compared to the competition, but rather was a list features that mattered. I see nothing has changed in that regard.

        • Oh good grief (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Gary W. Longsine (124661) on Monday June 18, 2007 @12:06PM (#19552897) Homepage Journal
          The chart is very clearly focused on a small set of features related to key differentiators of the iPhone. It's designed to attract people, to make them want to learn more about the iPhone. People who are curious will explore the feature set of the relative devices beyond this little chart. A giant chart with every feature of all devices would not attract nor interest anyone.

          Your use of the term "fanboy" is unnecessary, as no actual fanboy performing actual fanboy stunts is cited. Attempting to use the propaganda technique of creating a boogeyman, "the evil fanboy" who pollutes your, uh, your advertising world by making excuses for, uh, advertisements, undermines any rational argument you may attempt to make.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by W2k (540424)
        Plays TV shows, movies, music,

        So does any PDA with a media player. My ancient Windows Mobile 5 device does this remarkably well, using an SD card for storage (my music collection isn't that big).

        Google Maps with traffic and directions,

        Also available on any PDA which runs Java. Or any device with a semi-competent web browser. I usually use Opera Mini to surf for directions on my WM device. Which is fast because while old, my device supports 3G, which the iPhone lacks.

        syncs with iTunes, iPhoto,
        • by shmlco (594907) on Monday June 18, 2007 @02:15PM (#19555121) Homepage
          "It's failing because despite all the hype, the iPhone offers practically nothing that competing devices hasn't had for years..."

          I could rephrase that to "It's failing because despite all the hype, the iPod offers practically nothing that competing devices haven't [sic] had for years." And look where that got them.

          "...except the "Apple feel"..."

          Which is the point you've missed entirely. Yes, many phones may have done some or all of those things before. Doesn't matter. The iPhone, like the iPod and the Mac, is about integration, and about doing those things consistently, seamlessly, and WELL. It's about elegance, and as such about NOT cramming in the kitchen sink, just because you can. Some people get that. Others don't.

          You'd also do well to remember that it's merely the first iPhone. Future versions may have some or all of those features you deem to be necessary for success.. Then again, future versions may have FEWER features (e.g. nano).
        • A user interface that does not suck.

          Really, all these feature comparisons are meaningless. People aren't going to buy this phone because it has some innovative new feature. It doesn't. It does, however, seem to have an UI that does not drive you insane. Which immediately makes it better than pretty much any other smartphone in a lot of people's minds.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fishthegeek (943099)
      Seriously, if you are the sort of person that must rely on GPS and a four billion dollar infrastructure to get lunch you probably shouldn't be allowed in public unescorted anyway.

      GPS is a gimmick unless you are :
      A) Plotting cruise missile strikes
      B)Lost in a forest being chased by bigfoot

      TomTom is much better for in car navigation than any cell phone could be.
      • by djdavetrouble (442175) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:14AM (#19551993) Homepage
        GPS is a Gimmick ?!?

        HOORAY, I LOVE GIMMICKS !

        seriously, isn't that what this is all about anyway? most gimmicks wins ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by theGreater (596196)

      A better comparison chart might include

      • 02 XDA Flame
      • Eten Glofiish x500+
      • FIC neo1973
      • Sharp 904SH
      • T-Mobile MDA-IV

      These models are all in a similar price range, have nice touchscreens (I think), and full 640*480 resolution. Have I missed one?

      -theGreater.

  • Not that most/any battery lives up to its ratings, but in terms of announced figures, this is pretty impressive. Other smartphones out there tend to have 4-5 hour talk time batteries. Maybe 8 hour talk times will stem complaints of non-replaceable batteries a bit. After all, if you're on your cellphone more than 8 hours a day, you might need to re-evaluate your life... even as a business user ;)

    And 24 hours audio playback? Where do I sign up? Goodbye recharging my cell phone every night and my iPod e
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by notanatheist (581086)
      quote "if you're on your cellphone more than 8 hours a day, you might need to re-evaluate your life"

      If you're on a business trip for a couple of days without access to a charger then it sure would be nice to have that exteneded talk time. Though it can be considered irrelelvant if it uses a standard mini-USB connection as you can always find a shop that'll sell the cable for less than $10.
      • Dock connector (Score:3, Informative)

        by SuperKendall (25149)
        If you're on a business trip for a couple of days without access to a charger then it sure would be nice to have that exteneded talk time. Though it can be considered irrelevant if it uses a standard mini-USB connection as you can always find a shop that'll sell the cable for less than $10.

        It uses the same dock connector with other iPods, so it's almost as easy to find a charger... or if you are bringing a laptop, just remember the iPod sync cable.

        However there are other external battery solutions like thi [batteryspace.com]
  • Nice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:44AM (#19551471)
    Those are upgrades every user will appreciate. Battery life is obviously good, and remember all the furor over iPod Nano scratches?
  • Glass why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:45AM (#19551495) Homepage
    Why dont they simply use polycarbonate and use the same coatings used on glasses? There are some anti-scratch coatings for polycarbonate that give you nearly the same durability as glass does with far less weight and problems.

    Although I have wondered this cince the Ipod came out. anti scratch coatings are pretty darn impressive.
  • But.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by svendsen (1029716) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:45AM (#19551499)
    How is the actual voice quality since well it's a phone and all?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shakrai (717556)

      How is the actual voice quality since well it's a phone and all?

      Probably shitty, cuz it's Cingular^wAT&T and they make everybody use a half-rate codec even in those markets where they have enough network capacity to allow you to use full-rate. What, 60mhz of spectrum isn't enough for you to let me use full-rate? T-Mobile does friggen NYC on 5mhz....

      Of course, the to-go joke here could also be: "What, you wanna use your phone to talk to people? What a concept!"

  • Dvorak strikes again (Score:4, Informative)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:46AM (#19551533) Journal
    A little while back, Dvorak (the original, not the popular term for a retard) was claiming the iPhone would have 40 minutes talk-time [youtube.com] [the link doesn't go to Dvorak's site].

    So, where's the retraction, John - after all, any *responsible* journalist's priority is the truth, not just seeking attention for himself at the expense of others...

    Simon
  • by Gary W. Longsine (124661) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:50AM (#19551593) Homepage Journal
    Looking at these phones it becomes clear that battery life was a secret feature of the iPhone, probably known to Apple all along. It's clearly one of the intended design features of the phone. By eliminating the keyboards (and sliders), and stylus storage slots, Apple wound up with a phone that not only has almost twice as much space available for the display screen, but also has nearly twice as much room for battery. Sure, they probably put a lot of effort into power management features of OS X, and other optimizations in the hardware design, but the biggest win is undoubtedly the physical design.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by toleraen (831634)
      How exactly is removing features to extend other features brilliant? Don't forget they removed the battery cover, circuitry for 3G, GPS, etc etc.
    • by dfghjk (711126) on Monday June 18, 2007 @12:16PM (#19553055)
      I think you have that exactly backwards. The iPhone is limited by it's thickness and weight. Any manufacturer can add a bigger battery if they're willing to sacrifice in those areas. With the iPhone, removing a keyboard that consumes no power and replacing it with a double-sized screen leads to more power consumption, not less. Apple has had to contend with a device that uses more power for its size than its competitors. It is also using an OS not specifically written for low power devices. That doesn't mean that the device will be a failure but it sure indicates the unlikeliness of your claim. It's far from clear that battery life is the secret feature; everything suggests the opposite.

      I'll also note that, in true /. fashion, the author claims in the title that the iPhone gets a better battery. Not true, of course, as the iPhone gets better battery *life* *ratings*. I'm curious what the new weight *rating* is especially with glass replacing plastic for the screen.
  • by dprovine (140134) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:50AM (#19551599)

    I used to think the NFL was the world's greatest hype machine, with the annual orgy of coverage about the Super Bowl, a game that's usually not as interesting as the commercials.

    But Apple has probably gotten something like a billion dollars of free publicity for six months about the iPhone, which almost nobody has actually held in their hands yet. I'm convinced that the business last week with Safari was planned way in advance, as was this bit with the batteries and the screen, so that in the last few weeks before the iPhone came out Apple would be getting more gobs of free press.

    Is there anybody who works the press as well as Steve Jobs?

  • Seven Hours of video playback? Color me skeptical.
  • Uh huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lewp (95638) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:51AM (#19551611) Journal
    The battery probably didn't even change. The only difference is that the old numbers came from engineering, and the new numbers came from PR :P

    (I kid, I kid. I think it's a pretty sweet little device, personally.)
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:53AM (#19551629) Homepage Journal
    Cell phones get dropped fairly regularly. I'm sure the same goes for ipods. Will the iphone be able to withstand a fall from 3 or 4 feet onto carpeting or concrete?
    • by soft_guy (534437) * on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:03AM (#19551817)
      I assume you are specifically referring to the fact that it has glass?

      The Newton had a glass screen and I recall seeing a lot of them fall and none ever broke the screen from the fall. One time someone dropped a newton onto the screen of another newton and the screen did break, but the one she dropped was OK.

      So, who knows? It is possible that it might survive a fall but it is hard to say until it actually ships.

      See you in line on the 29th!
    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:18AM (#19552061) Homepage
      I know a guy who worked at RIM, and they said they actually did testing like this with their blackberries. I'm not sure about the current models, but 3 or 4 years ago, they were made to stand up to quite a substantial drop. This kind of stuff is really important. I almost wish there was independant crash tests done on consumer products the same way they are done on cars.
  • by delire (809063) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:54AM (#19551645)
    ..and the new Intel Macs were supposed to be four-to-seven times faster [gizmodo.com] than a 1.7GHz PPC and have 4 hours battery life.

    I think I might just wait for the first few 100k sales before I look at the next 'comparison chart' from Apple Corp..
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      My MacBook Pro takes 7-10 second to do a complete build of my thesis (pdflatex, bibtex, gnuplot for graphs, etc running from a big Makefile), while my 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook took 40-60 seconds. Of course, that's not all from the Core 2 Duo, a big part of it comes from the faster hard drive, but it's not a completely unreasonable speed comparison. I have had 4.5 hours of battery life from it when I tried hard (low screen brightness, not doing much with the CPU or GPU), but 3-3.5 seems more reasonable.
    • Price
    • # of carriers on which the system is supported
    • Available SDK for developers
    Apple makes nice hardware, but they want to make a buck just like all the other companies with phones in that lineup. The chart was pretty, but what I'd really like to see is some independent site doing a reasonably fair comparison.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:58AM (#19551723) Homepage Journal
    Mow the lawn, teach me Spanish? Is it waterproof, shockproof? Can it float fly and sit in an oven? Will it let me run my personal build of BSD? No? Then it's shit and we should shun it and hate it.

    How many N95's sell anyway? They cost $800 (list from Dynamism).
  • Why did Apple choose to use millimetres to represent the thickness comparisons, but then use inches to represent the screen size comparisons? Is this some kind of marketing ploy made to emphasise the minuteness of the millimetre, and the heft of the inch?

    How about they pick a unit of measure and stick with it? If you want to describe thickness (I'm surprised they didn't say thinness) in mm, then use mm/cm for the screen size too.
    • Re:Pick one. (Score:4, Informative)

      by cowscows (103644) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:08AM (#19551897) Journal
      Inches for the screen because Americans know what inches are.

      MM for the thickness, because the point of the chart isn't the actual thickness, but the relative thickness of the iphone compared to the other phones. It's much easier for most people to compare the MM measurements against each other than it would be to compare 3/4" to 5/16" to 3/8", or whatever the imperial measurements would end up being. I deal with fractional measurements all day at work, and I still have to take a few seconds to think about it when I compare them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jbeaupre (752124)
        I've found that most people don't know units at all. Sure, 12 inches in a foot, 10 mm in a cm, stuff like that. But ask people to hold their fingers 1 cm or 1/4 inch apart. For non-integer or fraction sizes, it's worse (3.3 cm for example). Even with technical people, it's hit or miss. If someone comes close, it's because they try to match something known.

        For comparing relative sizes, you could probably get away with a mix of cubits, angstroms, and width of a human hair ... as long as you were consiste
  • RDF (Score:3, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:09AM (#19551913) Homepage Journal

    Apple has announced upgrades to its battery life (almost 40% more than originally announced)
    All they had to do was find a way to turn off the inbuilt RDF [wikipedia.org] generator.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:29AM (#19552265)
    The iPhone, from this chart, essentially comes with two batteries compared to other devices. That was one complaint...

    But even if that were not enough for you, there is a viable solution to extended power I have seen used with Windows Mobile phones - a small external battery pack that can recharge the phone. It's around the same size as a normal phone battery, and gives quite a bit more power.

    In fact, it's such a good idea - they are already being made today [engadget.com]. That's for the iPod, but since the iPhone uses the same dock connector...
  • Phony "upgrade" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ClosedSource (238333) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:40AM (#19552515)
    You can't upgrade a product that doesn't yet exist. The original announcement was probably deliberately misleading so they could announce an "improvement" just before the product is made available.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday June 18, 2007 @01:06PM (#19553883)
    Reminds of an ancient TV cigarette commercial where their cigarettes were 2.55 inches long compared to industry standard 2.54 inches - "just a silly little millimeter longer": Benson & Hedges 101s.

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