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iPhone Doesn't Surf Fast Enough for Jobs 436

ElvaWSJ writes with a link to a Wall Street Journal interview with Steve Jobs and AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson. As you can imagine, they're pretty enthusiastic. Just the same, they address the possibility that the iPhone will slow internet access on Ma Bell's cell network. "Mr. Jobs acknowledged that the company's new iPhone won't surf the Internet as fast as he would like on the network, called "Edge," but added that the device's ability to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots would give consumers a speedier alternative for Web browsing. For his part, Mr. Stephenson said the iPhone represents a broader push by AT&T into Wi-Fi services, including, potentially, mobile Internet calling. The two men also discussed the iPod's "halo effect" and reflected on the origins of their corporate partnership."
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iPhone Doesn't Surf Fast Enough for Jobs

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  • Not much choice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday June 29, 2007 @09:34AM (#19688121)
    Since AT&T was supposedly the only provider who would agree to Apple's list of detailed demands, it's likely they had little choice but to accept their network. It's not like other providers were lining up for a chance at it.
  • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @09:43AM (#19688215) Homepage
    Agree. Though the problem is not that GPRS (with or without EDGE) is slow as a network. The problem is that the ubiquity of the Blackberry has largely driven it over capacity in the places where the demand for mobile computing is likely to be the highest - commuter routes and tourist areas.

    Here are some number from the UK Vodafone GPRS (non-Edge) network collected on a typical Cambridge to London Commute:

    1. Business commuter trains (starting time) 7:15-8:45 and 17:15-18:45 97% downlink packet loss, totally unuseable. Looks like the BB is actually prioritised versus any other traffic to ensure that the people who enjoy a vibrator up their crotch have an instant vibration regularly.

    2. Transition period: 8:45-9:15 and 16:15-17:15 - works in some areas depending on cell capacity

    3. Non-business commuter trains 9:15-15:45 and after 19:15 - works flawlessly except a couple of holes in coverage. Speed is not great, but quite tolerable. Definitely useable for some minor surfing, checking mail, working on a couple of documents.

    I would not expect ATT to be much different. In fact, it is likely to be worse. With or without Edge.
  • WiFi (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU ( 810740 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @09:47AM (#19688277)
    I'm amazed AT&T or any cell company would allow a cell to enter their market that has built in wifi. Won't this cut into their profits? Since anyone can go to McD's and check their email instead of having to pay their provider for the online minutes.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @09:48AM (#19688281) Homepage
    Why did not apple buck the whole system and offere the iPhone as a unlocked device only.

    that way you could get your choice of service, your phone is not held hostage by unscrupulous Service providers, and it would have forced a change in the way cellular companies abuse their customers.

    a win,win,win situation.

  • Re:Halo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nbvb ( 32836 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @09:57AM (#19688371) Journal
    > If I were running an AT&T competitor right now I would be wondering why Jobs didn't approach me with this opportunity and what I could do to earn his approval. I wouldn't want to be left behind

    Unless, of course, you're Verizon who had the balls to stand up to Apple. Right decision in the end or not, at least they stood up for their business.

    If someone came to you and said:

    1) We want you to agree to sell our product, sight unseen.
    2) You have to cut all of your partners out of it.
    3) We will tell you whether the phone can be replaced if a customer has a problem.
    4) We want a percentage of service revenue.

    - does that sound like a good business decision to you? You're going to alienate all of your other partners (i.e. Best buy, Walmart, etc..) You're going to alienate your customers (Sorry, we'd love to replace your handset Mr. Big-Important-VIP-Customer, but Apple said no. Can't help you.), and worst of all, you open the door for *EVERYONE* to take a piece of your service revenue - why wouldn't Motorola/LG/Samsung/etc. ask for the same deal? (You did it for Apple - either split revenue with us, or no RAZR2 for you.)

    I agree - I think it would've kicked butt if VZW had the iPhone. A real 3G network (EV-DO) would complement iPhone wonderfully, as would a real voice network (GSM quality is crap. CDMA not only covers more area per tower, but it has a better vocoder as well.)

    But can you blame them for turning it down? I would have, given the way Apple approached them. on-iphone_x.htm []
  • Re:Wow (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 29, 2007 @10:00AM (#19688393)

    I was afraid we wouldn't see a single iPhone advertisement...I mean article fears have been relived...
    Not a chance I'm afraid. And in the coming days, lots more articles once people have their hands on them and do review and criticism after criticism.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Apple, I'd like an iPhone, but I no longer want to read one more single word about them, I don't think I am alone in this.

    All I can suggest is going to the firehose and voting iPhone articles down. There are dozens of iPhone "adverticles" every day, not all of them -- mercifully-- make it to the front page. Assuming the firehose is working as designed, I think there are just so many that it's inevitable that some will get published.

    It's kind of the same with Wikipedia -- most stores about that, so called, "encyclopedia" have no bona fide geek or technology news in them, but there's such a strong cabal of submitters (presumably just proud of their own work and words) that articles get though anyway.

    Not sure what value the firehose has. Is it just underused by the average slashdotter, and overused by cabals? Or is it just beta and not entirely functional. Or does the majority here want to read an iPhone or Wikipedia article a day?
  • Wrong! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr2001 ( 90979 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @10:25AM (#19688683) Homepage Journal
    EVDO is 3G, and it's available across the US []. And my EVDO phone's battery lasts a lot longer than 45 minutes.

    The US is 3G ready - it's Cingular/AT&T and T-Mobile who aren't.
  • Re:WiFi (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WhiteWolf666 ( 145211 ) <> on Friday June 29, 2007 @10:35AM (#19688801) Homepage Journal
    Many of T-mobile's devices have built-in WiFi, and their newest devices actually use VoIP when on a WiFi network (unlimited minutes while on WiFI, too!)

    See []
  • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @10:39AM (#19688875)
    The problem is power consumption of the 3G chipsets. It's too high to give the battery time in the form factor Apple wanted. Had they gone with 3G, they would have reduced the performance for the majority of users in terms of battery time, so that a few users can have 3G speeds between home and office.

    Hopefully, AT&T will get a massive deployment of picocells in areas with extra need going to ease the network burden. Apparently AT&T has done a lot to open up extra slots on their EDGE network that should help ease congestion some.

    When it hits Europe, 3G is a given. It just doesn't make design sense in the US at this time.
  • Re:Halo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bemopolis ( 698691 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @10:54AM (#19689073)

    and worst of all, you open the door for *EVERYONE* to take a piece of your service revenue - why wouldn't Motorola/LG/Samsung/etc. ask for the same deal? (You did it for Apple - either split revenue with us, or no RAZR2 for you.)

    Oh noes!! Please don't withhold the RAZR2 from us!! Our customers will die -- all three of them!!

    Well OK, the RAZR sold more than three units. I assume. Anyway, the curent economic model between the cellphone manufacturers and service providers sucks. It leads to stupid shit like feature-blocking. I want my cellphone provider to provide service. And usable information about that service. My cable company didn't sell me a TV. My ISV didn't sell me my computer (and if they did I'll bet it wouldn't be one that I wanted.) Sure, I wish the iPhone was usable with all carriers, but it isn't. Yet. One step at a time.

    Oh, and P.S. When the RAZR came out it cost $500 as well WITH a service agreement; $800 without. Just saying.
  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Paradise Pete ( 33184 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @10:59AM (#19689145) Journal
    I no longer want to read one more single word about them, I don't think I am alone in this.

    You're apparently also not alone in people who say that don't want to hear about it, and yet read the replies and post comments.

  • by jcgam69 ( 994690 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @11:55AM (#19689779)

    There's often times a Wi-Fi network that you can join whether you're sitting in a coffee shop or even walking along the street piggybacking on somebody's home Wi-Fi network.
    Yeah, great idea Mr. Jobs. Felony [] piggybacking is built into every phone, and it's automatic. What will they think of next!?
  • by norminator ( 784674 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @11:55AM (#19689787)

    I can't understand why they would 'ban' tethering from the iPhone, I mean if it is an unlimited plan, what difference is it if you go straight through the phone or a laptop while out and about on occasion?

    I think you just answered your own question... Really, the unlimited plan is limited by how much data you'd actually use on your phone, which is a lot less than you can with your laptop. The phone itself isn't going to transfer much data, because other than YouTube, it can't make use of large amounts of data (unless they start allowing people to buy from the iTunes store directly on the phone). Your laptop is where you could start downloading large files and doing a lot of other communication. That eases the strain on their network, but they still get to call your data plan unlimited.
  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @11:59AM (#19689845) Homepage
    >No it doesn't. I for one find it unacceptable to have to plug in my cell phone in the middle of the day.

    Yes it does.

    Say you want to pull out your phone and check your stocks. So you hit your brokerage account website.

    EDGE phone: You spend two whole minutes on this because the connection is so slow. The radio operates most of the time pulling data at slow speeds, sucking down, say, 1 watt for 60 seconds of that time.

    3G phone: You spend 30 seconds on this because it's a nice fast connection. The radio only operates some of the time, pulling data at high speeds but sucking down, say, 4 watts for 10 seconds of that time.

    The result? You used four times as much power for 1/6th as long. You come out ahead.

    Using more power to go faster is a good thing, because you'll use it for less time, and end up using around the same amount of energy to do that work.
  • Re:Halo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The One and Only ( 691315 ) <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Friday June 29, 2007 @01:02PM (#19690719) Homepage
    On the other hand, Verizon Wireless has horrible customer service, cripples their phones (to the extent that, for instance, you can't even get your pictures off of them and onto your computer without using some proprietary service), doesn't use GSM...
  • No offense, but carry an extra battery. I'd MUCH rather carry an extra battery and get fast internet speeds than get slow internet speeds.

    Carrying and extra battery means you need a separate charging station for the battery. Get one for your car. If you don't have one for your car, that's fine. Two batteries should last you more than enough time to get back to your place at night (or hotel room, wherever) and put the extra battery in the charging station and plug in your phone. Wake up, have two fresh batteries, repeat.

    The only added time is that you have you plug in two things at the outlet when you go to recharge. Except wait, you're saving time not sitting there like a tool while EDGE does its slow-ass thing.

    Hmm, sounds like a time savings overall.

    And if you are too much of a cheapskate to buy another battery, then I dunno what to tell you except maybe you don't value your time enough.

  • Re:oblig (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rho ( 6063 ) on Friday June 29, 2007 @02:43PM (#19692215) Homepage Journal

    It's not really the bandwidth, it's the latency. T-Mobile's EDGE runs about 700-1000ms ping times for me. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. I generally get 60-80kbps, which isn't horrific. Hell, I've even watched YouTube videos on the EDGE network. Not something I'd do a lot, but it is doable.

    If they could get the latency down, EDGE would be a lot less annoying.

I've got a bad feeling about this.