Dumbstruck. Simply Dumbstruck.

Version 1 of the iPhone isn’t that persuasive a device. Here’s why…

8 Gb storage. C’mon! OS X is going to chew up an ungodly portion of that and if it doesn’t then the OS is residing somewhere we don’t yet know about. So, carve off 1 Gb for the OS. How much more do you carve off for storage of music? Videos? Another 4 and probably more? OK, so we’re down to a svelt 3 Gb left. Quite a few of my Picture folder and their documents are bloating up there and would easily chew up the remaining 3 Gb.

Can I load my other apps? Mozilla? Firefox? Opera? Copy/Paste? TextExpander? You get the idea. The answer is probably not on version 1. Besides, there’s no space left.

OK, the FCC will probably approve this deal in flank speed. Apple will camp out in Washington to get it in and out. It’s just their velvet hammer approach. So, when it is approved the FCC is going to REQUIRE them to ship an unlocked version in the states. Absolutely true. There will have to be an unlocked version of this thing. That said, I’m curious to know how it will behave on someone else’s EDGE GSM network… like say, oh, TMobile. Keep in mind the selective voicemail “magic” is a Cingular trick. Will it work on TMobile? Will the unlocked phone be crippled to some degree? Yeah, the unlocked phone will probably have a reduced feature set.

Now, to it’s good… This phone is really sexy. The design is very simply minimalistic and elegant.

An oddity or two

  • One button called “home”. (But, how the hell do you turn the thing on and off? Hmm?)
  • Hip holsters anyone?
  • Touch screens get so grimy and scratched…
  • Device coverage for oopsies?
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Explore posts in the same categories: Apple, Cingular, iPhone, keynote, Steve Jobs

12 Comments on “Dumbstruck. Simply Dumbstruck.”

  1. Tim Says:

    Interesting observations. To your questions:

    – You turn it off with the sleep button on the top edge
    – I would expect the holsters to be similar to my PPC-6700
    – See any review of the 6700 above… you just buy a protective film, just like for an iPod
    – That would be the same as the coverage for any high-end phone

    I’m knee-deep in writing a comparison of what I’ve seen of the iPhone, compared to what I’ve experienced with the PPC-6700. Given that the price points are pretty close (the 6700 was around $400), the only compelling reason I can see for choosing a Windows Mobile device is if you’re a fan of Microsoft. 😀

    Cheers! – Tim


  2. I think you’re missing a bit point here, and don’t know too much about how phones work. No offense, but this is why you are wrong:

    1. “8 Gb storage. C’mon! OS X is going to chew up an ungodly portion of that”

    When Steve Jobs says it “runs OS X”, that doesn’t mean that it contains every driver, every part of OS X. It just means that it’s based on a UNIX core and happens to have the same API as Dashboard built into it. Comparing OS X on the iPhone and OS X on my Macbook Pro is comparing apples and oranges. The cut down version of OS X on the iPhone will, like many phone firmwares, be about ~60-150MB. I have a Nokia N80 which has Wi-Fi, google maps, a web browser (yes, a full web browser), a messaging system with email etc. you get the point. It has most of the features of the iPhone, but none of them are quite as pretty as those I saw in the Keynote. Guess how big the firmware is… No, not 500MB, it’s more like 15. So your first point is wrong. Way wrong. I think you’ve been caught up in Jobs’ reality distortion field: It’s still a phone, albeit a phone that is shinier and nicer to use than most if not all currently in the market. If this phone ran full-blown OS X, it would be three times the size with a two hour battery life and a decent spec processor. It’s not.

    2. “Can I load my other apps? Mozilla? Firefox? Opera? Copy/Paste? TextExpander?”

    Obviously not. As I said, this phone DOESN’T run the identical OS X as on a desktop. This is a very silly question.

    3. “That said, I’m curious to know how it will behave on someone else’s EDGE GSM network”

    Exactly the same as on any phone. It will work.

    4. “Keep in mind the selective voicemail “magic” is a Cingular trick.”

    It’s not. And if it is someone should be fired at Apple. The voicemail is stored on the handset, all that happens is that the handset itself answers the call before it is cut off, plays a message to the caller and then records their input. It’s just like a normal office answer machine that sits next to the phone. The “magic” is a lie, it is as simple as Cingular switching off the default (carrier-based) voicemail on the service.

    5. “Yeah, the unlocked phone will probably have a reduced feature set.”

    Not likely. It will just cost more (as it lacks Cingular’s subsidy)

    6. “This phone is really sexy. The design is very simply minimalistic and elegant.”

    Agreed.

    7. “One button called “home”. (But, how the hell do you turn the thing on and off? Hmm?)”

    The iPod doesn’t have a power switch, yet I seem to be able to switch it off. Or maybe I’m just “magic”.

    8. “Hip holsters anyone?”

    They look awful. But third-parties will manufacture them regardless.

    9. “Touch screens get so grimy and scratched…”

    It depends what they’re made of. I had a P910i for a long time and it was in pristine condition still. It’s downfall is that it went swimming.

    10. “Device coverage for oopsies?”

    Not sure what this is supposed to mean.

    In summary: I agree with you that the iPhone is not perfect, however I think you have chosen all the wrong reasons. What irks me with the device is the lack of 3G functionality. I love having 3G, just the ability to download at 500Kbps on the move. It’s the one thing I would sorely miss from my Nokia.

  3. gwhiz Says:

    Tim – Must have missed the sleep button bit. Must admit I was in the shock and awe mode as it was being unleashed on us.

  4. gwhiz Says:

    Lawrence – I hope you’re right on the OS points. Firmware makes a good bit of sense. I’ll wait till I get the dope from the Developer Network to swallow that hook though.

    As for other apps. It would be a fine feature to open this phone up for other developers. Otherwise, it’s as closed a system as the iPod was pre-games. Yuck.

    On the voicemail trick… (and so much more of this) we’re going to have to wait and see won’t we. And, I’ll bet you a nickel right here and now it WILL lack some functionality of one kind or another on the unlocked phone.

    The iPod has a multifunction batch of context sesitive switches. And, I’m sure you’re a bit magic too! 🙂

    Swimming’s no good. I’ll take scratches any day. The most annoying bit of all these “interact with the screen” devices (including the Newton I used to develop for) is the damned things scratch WAY TOO easily.

    “Device coverage”!? Optional insurance offered by the carrier… just in case something foul happens to our new $600 brick.

    3G’s turning out to be a big deal. Looks like a lot of this is let on the table for v. 2 and 3 (which you gotta know are already under development.

  5. aRdent Says:

    I too hope the OS is contained in ROM and that the 8GB is user-available space. Some of the PDA phones have played this game claiming to have x amount of memory, but actually only x-OS of memory for your stuff.

    The Voicemail thing could be strictly Cingular. Having the phone actually answer and store the VM misses the point of VM, when you are not in coverage, in airplane mode, etc. On the other hand, Apple could well be sharp enough to have it go ahead and call VM when available and store them, but then there goes storage space.

    I’m sure hoping we’ll see something that we can develop for like Palm or WinMobile. First things will be stuff to make your own ringers, etc. Then GPS applications so you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription for everythng. After all, this isn’t a Sprint phone.

    To me, this looks like a truly integrated device that stakes out the middle ground between PDAs with mediocre phones and Super phones that rely on the carrier for all their super stuff. It’s also a great path toward a new generation of portable computing/communication devices.

    I’m sure putting off upgrading my phone/pda until these are out!


  6. It will be interesting to see how the openness of the iPhone pans out – In the keynote, Jobs mentioned Cocoa, which to me seems to say that there might be a way of writing software for the iphone in a future version of Xcode, maybe just click the compile for iPhone instead of Intel, obviously with a custom interface to fit the small form factor. These custom applications would obviously go into the 8GB of user space available on the handset.
    Not sure about the voicemail now – there must be an application server Cingular’s side in that case. I didn’t think of being out of coverage or the phone being off, here in the UK, neither ever really happens for me =)
    The integration, if that is what it is, between the iPhone and Cingular, is reminiscent of the features I had on my blackberry, and that worked great!

  7. gwhiz Says:

    I’m reading a LOT of second-hand gossip that the OS is a reduced Leopard. Makes sense. Still no sense that it’s in its own partition. Time will tell on that one.

    Also reading that there will be no 3rd party development opportunities. At least initially.

    Lawrence, I really believe the Cingular deal is going to be an exclusive and that the other networks are going to have to either license the patents behind it (presumably from Apple) or miss out on one of the better features of the phone IMHO. I can only hope the voicemail is stored locally on the iPhone. Would make sense in a lot of different respects… Thinking VoiceMail sync’d with iTunes.

  8. Tim Says:

    You can see Jobs hit the sleep button at the very beginning of the actual demo… around the 15:20 mark of the Quicktime “iPhone Introduction.” He puts the phone to sleep by sliding the switch to the left, and then wakes it up by moving it to the right. – Tim

  9. Tim Says:

    As for all the questions about 3rd party apps, the biggest concern that I have is malware and viruses. Depending on the application (and the API restrictions), I can see the need to move cautiously until there’s a clear manner for authorizing the installation of new functionality. Unlike a computer, there’s no “Administrator” level user to grant an installer permission to do this or that. Even worse would be the Windows solution, which is to make the default user an administrator, and therefore able to do anything and everything.

    Widgets are (as someone else has suggested) a “wedge technology” that came in with OS X. They were kinda cute & fun on a desktop, but recompiling these and deploying them on an iPhone… that would be very, very cool. – Tim


  10. Voicemail synced with iTunes is a horrible thought for me. Don’t think it really flows with Apple’s whole, i don’t know, software “thing”. Mixing voicemail and music sounds like a recipe for disaster 😉
    I would have thought that the voicemail works similarly to push email, as in the voice-mails are “pushed” to the handset after being received by cingular.
    But who knows at this point, it’s only speculation.
    The Cingular deal may well be exclusive in the states, but I’m sure it won’t be in Europe. I have my doubts about exclusivity of it in the US because I have no idea how cell networks operate there, I’m basing my experience of that in the UK. Here, phone’s come out exclusively for a month or so, and then are released operator-wide and SIM free.
    Am going to pick one up as soon as they release a version with 3G instead of that crappy EDGE stuff. No-one in Europe uses it, it was around like 3 years ago!

  11. gwhiz Says:

    Tim – Watched the keynote again last night and it’s clear where the wake and sleep buttons are. Funny how when you’re drunk on an announcement like I was that day what you do and don’t pay attention to.

    IF (big IF) the phone inherits much of OS X and more specifically Leopard… it’ll be a secure platform with all the trappings of a mature OS. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone could SSH into the phone truth be told. IE, it will be a hacker’s (not cracker’s) playground.

  12. gwhiz Says:

    Lawrence – I dunno. I kinda like the idea of having a persistent folder for important voicemails personally. And I like your push voxmail concept. THAT would be the best of all worlds… unless our 4 Gb phone lacks adequate storage space… then it’s not so nice.

    I can only hope in the 3 months leading up to the debut of this thing in a consumer channel near all of us that this deal sprouts wings and has 3G and CDMA and EVDO options. If Apple shoots for the moon like that though there’s not much room for the gradual intro of features they’re hanging their hats on these days.

    I’d simplly be happy with more storage space, better battery features and an unlocked GSM sim.


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