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3G iPhone on the Way? 191

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the still-waiting dept.
mooseman93 wrote to point out Forbes is suggesting that if you haven't purchased an iPhone yet, you may want to wait just a little bit longer. Supposedly the next generation of iPhone will offer some substantial upgrades, including 3G capabilities. "To be sure, a 3G iPhone likely won't pop up over the next several weeks. The Unofficial Apple Weblog reported this week that Apple is hiring a television production firm in preparation for a high-profile late February announcement. That event, however, will likely detail the widely anticipated release of a software developer's kit for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch. But the wait can't drag on much longer. AT&T is building out its high-speed wireless network as quickly as it can, announcing Wednesday that it will expand its 3G wireless broadband service to more than 80 additional cities by the end of the year for a total of roughly 350 markets."
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3G iPhone on the Way?

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  • by jrothwell97 (968062) <jonathanNO@SPAMnotroswell.com> on Saturday February 09, 2008 @07:12AM (#22358968) Homepage Journal

    A great point: over in Great Britain 3G has been working (very quickly) for several years now, whilst O2 have only just started rolling out EDGE for the iPhone (mainly). When I tried using an iPhone in an O2 shop a few months ago, it was painfully slow under EDGE (but fine under Wi-Fi).

  • by kenok (812929) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @07:25AM (#22358982)
    Asia also has 3G capabilities already for the last few years as well.

    If Apple would release it in Asia, Jobs would be often saying "boom!" with each sale.
  • Forbesian Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lancejjj (924211) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @09:02AM (#22359288) Homepage
    Here's why Forbes pretends it knows what its talking about:
    • AT&T announced that it will expand its 3G wireless broadband service
    • Broadcom, last year began "cranking out" samples of the BCM21551 3G chipsset
    • Apple "quietly" upgraded the storage on its highest-end iPhone to 16 GB
    • Jobs "complained" about the slow pages of the nytimes.com

    Here are some questions that Forbes should have asked:
    • Is the AT&T's 3G expansion really about the iPhone, or is it about AT&T advertising the fact that it wants high-value data-centric corporate accounts to come on board?
    • Does the Broadcom chipset fit Apple's need? Yes, it is designed to be a low-power 3G chipset. But does it deliver, and is it designed well enough for a product like the iPhone? Is it stable and reliable?
    • Does a memory upgrade of the iPhone merely mean that Apple thinks users will pay for more memory if offered?
    • Was Jobs complaining about EDGE, or about the busy NYTimes page? After all, he was using WIFI, and he wasn't loading the simplified NYTimes mobile page.


    Again, Forbes shows that journalism takes the back seat. There are plenty of great articles that could be written. Instead, we get an article that isn't even worthy of an unpopular rumor blog. Like mine.
  • by ocbwilg (259828) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @10:00AM (#22359544)
    Yes, but you guys actually have competition and choice in the mobile space. You can go buy whatever phone you like, then go to a carrier, buy a SIM card and be up and running. If you don't like the service you can switch to another carrier.

    Here in the US you get to choose between 4-5 major carriers. However, most of them use different signalling technologies that make their phones incompatible with most of the other carriers. Because of this you can't just buy a phone somewhere and hook up with a carrier. Instead you have to get the phone from the carrier, and it's usually locked to their network. They do give you the phone "for free" if you sign a 2-year contract for their service. Obviously the phone isn't free, it's subsidized by the contract fees. If you terminate the contract early you're charged a several hundred dollar penalty. Of course once you've completed the terms of the contract you still usually can't take the phone to another carrier, so if you want to switch the whole process starts over again.

    So while consumers do have a choice between multiple carriers, the carriers all design their services in ways that make it next to impossible to switch service if you are dissatisfied. This lowers the amount of competition, which means that the carriers don't have to spend as much money building out/improving their network or adding new features to bring in new customers. Let's face it, if you want mobile service in the US it's like choosing between three shit sandwiches. You don't want any of them, but you still have to choose.

    That's one of the reasons that AT&T has suddenly started doing so well in the US market. Because they were the exclusive US carrier of the iPhone they actually had something different that people wanted, so millions of people switched to their service. But even that works to tie consumers to AT&T, because even if you can unlock the iPhone the only other US carrier that supports that signalling technology (GSM?) is T-Mobile, and they don't have anywhere near the market penetration or coverage area that the other big carriers do.

    Incidentally, the same sorts of entrenched interests that make the US lag so far behind the rest of the developed world in the mobile communications space are responsible for making the US lag so far behind the rest of the world in other communications formats, like broadband Internet access.
  • Re:iPhone in Japan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 09, 2008 @10:07AM (#22359586)
    Take a look at http://www.worldtimezone.com/gsm.html, [worldtimezone.com] then tell me: who's the oddball. Japan is special because there's no GSM coverage (their second generation network is PDC, which exists only in Japan), but their 3G network is the same kind you'd find everywhere else in the world, except in the US.
  • by Troed (102527) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @10:10AM (#22359598) Homepage Journal
    ... and in Sweden we have HSPA mobile broadband - that's 7.2/1.4Mbit.

    Oh, yes. The cost.

    $25/month.

  • by jrothwell97 (968062) <jonathanNO@SPAMnotroswell.com> on Saturday February 09, 2008 @10:23AM (#22359652) Homepage Journal

    Let's face it, if you want mobile service in the US it's like choosing between three shit sandwiches.

    I like that. I'm going to use it to break the ice at parties in future. Thank you.

    While the UK mobile system is far better than the US system, it still has its flaws. For example, some providers have the habit of 'locking' a phone to its provider, and demanding an unlocking fee to unlock it. If you want to transfer your number from an old to a new SIM, you have to phone both providers and go through rather intrusive security checks.

    For example, last month I switched providers from Tesco Mobile to 3, and wanted to transfer my mobile number over. I had to phone Tesco Mobile, tell them my postcode, the location, amount and date of the last top-up, and then tell them who I was moving to, why I was moving to them, and why I wasn't moving to Tesco's own Extra tariff before the lady on the other end of the phone would give me the PAC code.

    (For those on the other side of the pond, over here Tesco is like Wal-Mart in its relative size, popularity and rubbishness. I only had the SIM because it was given to me someone else a few years ago.)

    If the US's market is a choice between shit sandwiches, then the UK's market is like choosing between a pleasant, lightly toasted, warm bread-and-butter sandwich, or a sandwich made of cardboard and artificial margarine. The problem is that they're all hidden within opaque sealed boxes, á la Deal or No Deal.

    There are contracts in the UK, but the cancellation fee is usually quite modest (around £30-50, which is equivalent at the present exchange rate to ~$60-100).

  • by anothy (83176) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @10:45AM (#22359756) Homepage

    3G beats the crap out of Edge
    this is totally non-sensical; it's like saying "Hybrids beat the crap out of a Prius". EDGE is 3G. IMT-2000 sets the definition for 3G overall, and the 3GPP and 3GPP2 (stupidest organization name ever) do it for GSM and CDMA technologies respectively. both of those organizations recognize that they're working within the IMT-2000 framework, as defined by the ITU (the telecom standards people).

    the market use of these terms has changed over time. five years ago, nobody questioned that EDGE was 3G. the marketing hype was that once 3G (by which everyone meant EDGE) was ubiquitous, it would change everything. well, we got EDGE, and very little changed. so they kept the same marketing message - once we get 3G, everything will change - and just obliterated and precise meaning of what 3G was.

    EDGE is explicitly a 3G technology. the speeds found in real-world applications are dependent on far more things than the underlying technology used. one can run EDGE slower than RTT (a clearly 2G technology) if you allocate few enough cells, or faster than EVDO if you allocate enough. if what you really mean is that we want HSDPA, please just say that. if what you really mean is that you want >300Kbps, say that.
  • by GreyWolf3000 (468618) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @11:50AM (#22360234) Journal
    At the same time, Apple may become the catalyst for broad 3g adoption in the US, which is good for the whole world, because cell phone companies can then develop the same phones for the North American market as they do for Asia and Europe. Of course, our 'version' of 3g may be so butchered by marketing types that all functionality is reduced to the sharing of digital photos (why is it that marketoids seem to think all we want to do with small devices is share photos?).

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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