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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

iPhone roundup

Since I've been away for a few days, I went back to see what's happening with the iPhone. Here are some relevant stories:

Despite all the hype, iPhone details are still scarce for would-be buyers (Boston Globe)
The most-hyped phone in history goes on sale at 6 p.m. June 29 -- a product launch turned cultural watershed that has created tremendous expectations. An estimated 19 million Americans have "strong interest" in buying the phone that Apple Inc. has promoted as a "breakthrough Internet device."

The buzz and secrecy surrounding the $499 phone have created a cultlike following, but so far Apple and AT&T, formerly known as Cingular Wireless, have been short on the details -- including basics like how to get one.

no one knows yet whether the iPhone will have its own service plan or whether people will buy one of AT&T's existing plans for voice and data. It's unclear whether people who buy the phone at an Apple store will have to take it to an AT&T store to have it activated or sign up for service at the Apple store.

AT&T said details about the terms of service and activation will be revealed next week prior to launch.

An AT&T spokeswoman said that the corporately owned AT&T stores will carry the iPhone, but authorized retailers -- which may look just like the company-owned stores -- will not carry the phone initially.
Confusing and stupid. The iPhone launch is going to be a mess. And a huge, huge success.

iPhone Delivers Up to Eight Hours of Talk Time (Apple PR)
Apple announced that iPhone will deliver significantly longer battery life when it ships on June 29 than was originally estimated when iPhone was unveiled in January. iPhone will feature up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback.*
That asterix is important, as Apple's battery life estimates are always on the very positive end of the scale. Still, more is good. So to speak.

iPhone developers camp slated for early July (AppleInsider)
A group of volunteer designers and developers plan to team up in the Bay Area early next month to host the first ever iPhone Developer Camp, a non-commercial event aimed at making the Web a better place for Apple Inc.'s upcoming mobile handset.

The free gathering, inspired by BarCamp, SuperHappyDevHouse, and MacHack, is open to the public and will run July 6-8 at a still undetermined location in San Francisco, Calif. By the completion of the three-day event, the group's organizers hope to launch a number of iPhone-ready web applications and web sites to the public.
Neat. I'm intrigued by iPhone development, but I'd love to see Apple host an iPhone-specific WWDC this year.

Mass Consumer Adoption of the iPhone Not a Certainty (IDC)
The price of the device itself and the cost of switching carriers may dampen the demand for Apple's iPhone, according to a survey conducted by IDC.

The survey of online mobile phone shoppers, conducted by IDC and Market Insight Corp., found that while a majority of the respondents – nearly 60% of a sample of 456 individuals – were interested in the iPhone, they were unlikely to buy one anytime soon owing to the cost of the device and the potential cost of switching carriers.
Those are good reasons. I think the lack of a real keyboard is an even bigger problem: The two biggest markets for smart phones--business users and youngsters who send text messages all day long--need real keyboards, sorry. You can't touch type on a screen without staring at what you're typing. AT&T's network, too, is a joke, though Wi-Fi capabilities could help offset that issue.

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