Blog Post

The unstinkable

iPhone restricts usage or invades privacyI was surprised to find out this morning that the local stores still have iPhones. They didn’t sell out! I figured they would have been gone instantly. Yesterday our local Apple store had a line waiting out front waiting for them to open. I mean a huge line, like that was seen everywhere. Gobs of people wanting an iPhone. But only a handful of people purchased one, the employees were upset, tired, hungry, and whatever else you can think of that just drains you.

I want to know something though, if any of you purchased one, has it been turned on yet? My neighbors decided to pick up a couple yesterday, and almost 24 hours later, they still have useless devices with a full battery charge. AT&T has yet to activate their phones. I read somewhere online another person is experiencing the same thing, however he didn’t have comments activated, so I really want to know if you purchased one, how was the experience? I am personally waiting for the Openmoko to see what that is all about.

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  • You should rather wait for the very first release of UME (ubuntu mobile and embedded)

    =)

  • erik

    Although it is good it is also extremely expensive. Not many people really are willing to do more than marvel it from aside with that price tag. Apple is truly skimming the cream this time. And yeah, the operator locking sucks majorly. Considerably more expensive as you can’t switch as you please.

    Sure, it’s pretty, and many fanboys will buy it… But I doubt it really is enough. Especially as they screwed the launch features (no 3G data, no iChat, .. wtf?!) majorly.

  • Mine was activated in about 5 minutes.

  • tj

    i didn’t buy one, but am certainly waiting for openmoko … same type of device with all that open source deliciousness.

  • I’m waiting for openmoko before I buy a new phone. It will be much cheaper than the iphone, even without a contract. The iphone hasn’t even arrived in the UK yet, but I imagine apple will try and lock it into one network(Probably vodaphone or orange), the same as in the states.

  • @tenshu: well of course ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been reading little snippets about UME and I definitely cannot wait!

    @erik: oh wow, I didn’t know they shipped a feature locked version. No iChat, that is very odd, since they were pimping that big time.

    @Mike: you are one of the lucky ones. It seems everyone is coming up now. My neighbors are outside showing theirs off to the rest of the kids. It does look cool, I will admit. I think there are more features than I would ever use. My cell phone has calendar and all of that stuff, but I don’t use it. I used it 1 time to remember to bring a guy some Ubuntu CDs and that was it. Did you have an existing account? I heard/read some people with existing accounts got screwed for anywhere between 3 and 24 hours. The activation process disabled their original cell phones before the iPhones were rocking. Of course that isn’t an iPhone issue, but AT&T definitely dropped the ball. MSNBC, Fox, CNN, CNBC, and the rest are saying AT&T flopped on this one. Wonder how Steve Jobs feels about this one ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Matt: openmoko will be $350 for the basic and $450 for the advanced. So it isn’t much cheaper. I am affraid when they do release it, the iPhone will have dropped $100 or so. UME sounds promising as well.

  • It seems the delay was for users switching carriers and transferring numbers.

    From what people are saying, the transfer started, their original carrier did as they were supposed to, deactivated the phone number and gave it to AT&T, who seems to have dropped the ball big time. AT&T has commented on TV all day that they are trying to fix glitches here and there. That link above, one person stated they were packing their iPhone up and returning it.

  • mpt

    It’s called price skimming. Apple first charges US$499 (for the 4GB model), getting all the customers for whom to those for whom a 4GB iPhone is worth at least that much. Then a few months later they lower the price to (say) $399, and get all the customers for whom a 4GB iPhone is worth between $399 and $499. Then a few months later they lower the price to (say) $350, and so on. (They may increase the storage space and/or data speed instead of reducing the price, but the same principle applies.) This way Apple avoids charging only $350 to people who were willing to pay much more, so they maximize their profit, even if (as nixternal reports) they don’t sell out of iPhones on the first day. They did the same with the iPod.

    This strategy works only as long as your competition isn’t able to leapfrog you in product experience and/or price. That’s been true for the iPod so far, and that tenshu and Matt Jones are pinning their hopes on products that haven’t even had a release date announced yet suggests that, unfortunately, it may be true for the iPhone for a while too.

    nixternal, on a separate topic, what do you mean by “feature locked version”? Can you give any example of Apple ever saying that the US iPhone would be 3G or include iChat?

    [Posted from my Mac because Xorg has broken on my Ubuntu box. Oh, the irony.]

  • Yes, Apple has on their website about 3G and the reason the phones being released with Edge instead is due to some type of court order/lawsuit. Once that is complete they are supposed then release the iPhone with 3G. But then at the Apple store today, the guy said that once it is all taken care of they will have 3G switched on with the phones being sold today. The posters/advertisements leading up to this release at the Apple stores locally and the AT&T stores have shown the iChat icon, with some sort of “chatting has never been better” or some garbage. As a matter of fact, the AT&T salesman who sold the kids next door their cell phones said they had iChat. OOPS ๐Ÿ™‚

    I played with their phone tonight for 2 hours. I will say it is damn neat. I sat there and flipped it who knows how many times watching it go into wide screen mode. Also the pinching of photos kicks ass. Openmoko has a release date of this fall. There is an announcement on their mailing list. I am not to happy with the FIC pick because I have had bad experience with hardware from that company in the past. I would say more than 25 times in fact.

    And if anyone wants an iPhone in the Chicagoland area, all of our Apples stores (5 in total) are loaded with them still. Everyone showed up to play, a bunch bought, and in Schaumburg 2 returned ๐Ÿ™‚ Ya, I did nothing today but geek out and hang out pool side.

  • Jerome

    I would have preferred it if they just sold unlocked phones but I guess that’s not a practice in the United States. Over here, we’ll get the iPhone by next year, but that’s alright, for sure we won’t be needing to activate them.

    I remember my old work a few years ago when we dabbled in building Franklin eBookMans. I thought the activation part was sucky because one needed an Internet connection to be able to use the device (DRM stuff), so if you didn’t have internet, you pretty much have a brick in your hands. OTA activation is possible but it still restricts the user from the start. I guess they (activation proponents) haven’t really learned a lesson.

  • mpt

    Apple has on their website about 3G and the reason the phones being released with Edge instead is due to some type of court order/lawsuit.

    Can you give a link to that, please? I don’t see it, though I have found multiple sources saying that the reason is battery life, not lawsuits.

    As for the kids next door, either the AT&T salesman goofed, or he said that iPhone text messages look like iChat (which is true).

  • @mpt: I found that yesterday from my iGoogle page that has links to stories, and I unfortunately cannot find the post that had it. I thought it was from a CNet post, but I searched it, apple.com, and the appleinsider.com with no luck. The only thing from Apple that I seen was THIS.

    Q: Could you go through some of the thinking of not putting 3G in the phone given that it is pretty much leading edge technology in every other aspect?

    A: Our thinking first and foremost was that we wanted GSM. Because GSM is the world standard and that was one of the factors in selecting Cingular. Secondly, the product, as we announced, has Wi-Fi capabilities. And so many people, like in this room I’m sure there is Wi-Fi in this room as there are hot spots everywhere — at your home, where you have coffee, your place of work, etc., etc. — they’re going to use Wi-Fi. And between these spots we are going to use EDGE because it is widely deployed. And we are confident it will give the user a great experience.

    I too have found the multiple sources about the battery life as well. As for the AT&T salesman, I wouldn’t doubt the goof, but there is no neglecting the fact their advertisement posters have the iChat icon. If I get a chance after the LUG meeting today, I will drive buy and snap a picture of it. You are correct though, the chat service on there is dead on with regards to it looking like iChat. Even has the bubbles ๐Ÿ™‚

    OK, after further research, the Newsvine has a post back in the comments section about the 3G court ruling with Qualcomm chips. It seems this is only for Verizon and someone else, not AT&T or T-Mobile, so that would count out the iPhone. Unless I can find that damn news post now about this alleged court order, it looks like I was wrong about the 3G then.

  • HERE is that Newsvine story, in the comments section. The news story I had yesterday though had a link to Apple’s website, subsite, Insider, or something to that sort that did state something similar to this. I will keep looking though and hopefully find it.

  • erik

    I understood that the iphone will work on 3G networks. It just does not have the 3G data transfer specific module, which makes it suck surprisingly much for that price.

  • I have read various things on the 3g though. Some sites say it is nothing more than a software update to enable it when the time comes, but then again I seen some places say that the first gen iPhones didn’t ship with it.

    Today at our LoCo and LUG event, one of the guys there works for Motorola, he tried to explain the 3g stuff, and lets just say he confused the hell out of me. He did say though that the iPhone not shipping 3g support isn’t Apple’s fault, but is AT&Ts fault. It will be interesting to see this all pan out. There will probably be more information out of Apple after the 4th I am sure.

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