Tag Archives | Apple. iPhone

Will iMadness Descend on June 19th?

iPhone KidHere in the U.S., the phenomenon of iMadness has occurred twice in known history. Once was on Friday, June 29th 2007, when the original iPhone was released (and I took the photo tothe  left of a very small boy dressed as a very large iPhone  outside the Apple Store in San Francisco’s Union Square). The second time was on July 11th, 2008, when the iPhone 3G went on sale.

In both instances, thousands of otherwise normal people woke up at 2am and stood in line outside Apple Stores and AT&T Stores for hours simply to become among the first consumers to own a new cell phone. Even though there was no shortage of said phones, and even though other consumers were able to stroll into the same stores shortly thereafter and buy iPhones with little or no wait.

(In the case of the iPhone 3G, there were residual signs of iMadness for many days afterwards–when I happened by Apple Stores, there were usually lines (not long, but lines nonetheless) ouside of people patiently waiting to buy new iPhones.)

The iPhone 3G S goes on sale on June 19th. Will iMadness reappear? It’s an interesting question, and I’m not sure about the answer. It’s in Apple and AT&T’s interest to stoke the release for everything it’s worth, obviously. If they announce special opening hours or other out-of-the-ordinary plans for the 19th, we’ll know that they hope to strike lightning for the third year running.

On the other hand, the 3G S is neither the first iPhone nor the first affordable high-speed one.  It’s a nice new phone. (It’s also the first iPhone not to benefit from a Steve Jobs demo–Phil Schiller simply made it feel like a neat upgrade with some cool new features, not an Important Moment in World History.) Many of the folks who wanted an iPhone have one now, and relatively few of them will ante up to buy a 3G S. And some of the people who want iPhones but don’t yet have them will opt for a $99 iPhone 3G, which is available right now. And some of the people who do want the 3G S will figure out that they can probably buy one on day of launch without much waiting by sauntering in someetime in the late afternoon or early evening.

My guess is that there will be scattered outbreaks of iMadness, including people with beach chairs hanging out at Apple Stores at midnight. Maybe even little kids inexplicably dressed as smartphones. But this will be the most sane iPhone rollout to date. Probably. Any other predictions?


Sixteen Random Questions Prompted by Apple’s WWDC Keynote

iPhone 3GsIn the end, predicting what Apple wll announce at a press event isn’t nearly as difficult as some folks make it. If you’ve been listening to scuttlebutt over the past few months, nearly all of the stuf you heard that was basically plausible came true today. Snow Leopard is indeed a minor OS X upgrade focused on under-the-hood improvements. The new iPhone is in fact a faster model with double the memory and a better, video-capable camera, but otherwise not a radical departure. There were new Macs, and their newness indeed consisted mostly of bringing features from the 17-inch MacBook Pro to its small cousins. And Apple finally lowered the price of the current iPhone to $99, an idea that’s been in play in the blogosphere for many months.

Rumors that were either less plausible or supported by fewer convincing details turned out to be groundless, at least for now. There was no tablet, and no iPhone Nano. And, of course, no Steve Jobs.

As for out-of-nowhere surprises…well, you know that an event is short on them when the two biggest ones may have been the introduction (at last) of Macs with SD slots, and the return of FireWire on the 13-inch Mac.

As usual, the event prompted as many new questions as it answered. After the jump, the sixteen that leap to my mind most immediately.

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Will the iPhone 3.0 Upgrade Be Available Next Week?

I don’t want to start any wild rumors, but here’s an intriguing comment that just got added to the post I wrote way back in early November when AT&T Wireless’s CEO said that iPhone users would “soon” be able to tether their phones to their laptops as wireless modems:

Andy Mc Says:
June 5th, 2009 at 4:46 pm I spoke to an AT&T store rep today, and he DISCOURAGED me from buying their laptop connect card and $60/month plan. Instead, he told me to wait until June 9, gave me his card, and said to call back to add the tethering plan to my current iPhone for $30/month more.

June 9th, of course, is the day after Apple’s WWDC keynote, an event at which it would not be startling to learn that tethering is finally ready to roll. Tethering is enabled by the iPhone 3.0 software. Does that mean that part of Monday’s WWDC keynote will be the news that iPhone 3.0 is ready for immediate downloading by iPhone owners?

Maybe. Blog comments aren’t utterly reliable, and neither is the advice of random phone-store reps. But it’s something to chew on, at least. And it feels more plausible than the new iPhone hardware being available on Monday.

I make no predictions, but hope that the clerk Andy talked to knew what he was talking about and had loose lips…


Four Reasons I Don’t Think the New iPhone Will Be Available on Monday

GearLive’s Andru Edwards thinks that the new iPhone–let’s call it the iPhone Video–will not only be announced on Monday but available in Apple Stores the same day. It’s not entirely clear what prompted him to say this–he headlines it as a prediction and then says it’s “likely” to happen, then simply states without hedging “Yes, you will be able to pick up the next version of the iPhone on Monday, if you get to an Apple Store before they sell out.” He says that he thinks iPhone OS 3.0 is ready to go and that Apple would like to put a crimp in Palm and Sprint’s release of the Pre on Saturday. And then he talks about “sources” who say “the stars are in alignment” for Apple Stores to have the iPhone Video on Monday.

In other words, it’s not entirely clear whether his story is based on wishful thinking, attempted logical deduction, investigative reporting, or some combination thereof. In any case, it seems like an extremely unlikely scenario to me. Here’s why:

1. FCC approval. The iPhone Video will have to get it, and it’s really hard to keep the phone secret once it’s started that process. By announcing the phone on Monday but not shipping it instantly, Apple gives itself a buffer to get the phone approved.

2. iPhonemania. With both the first iPhone and the iPhone 3G, Apple created tech-hype history by whipping gadgethounds into such a frenzy that throngs lined up at the crack of dawn to buy phones. It’s likely that the iPhone Video won’t create quite the same madness–it’s neither the first iPhone nor the first 3G one–but I’d think that Apple would like to stoke some initial crazy excitement. If the phone’s simply available the first day anybody knows about it, it can’t. (That would be like releasing a summer blockbuster movie that nobody knows about for sure beforehand.)

3. It’s not just about the Apple Store. Even if we assume for the moment that the iPhone Video will debut in the U.S. only, the phone will be for sale in Apple Stores, AT&T stores, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart. Presumably those last three merchants would be nonplussed if the phone was only available in Apple’s own outlets on the day of announcement. And while it’s not utterly inconceivable that all the iPhone sellers are ready to put the phone on sale on Monday, it would be an impressive achievement to keep the phone secret with so many folks involved in preparations already.

4. Apple doesn’t need to to release it on Monday to respond to the Pre. Even if you accept the notion that Apple is worried enough about the Pre to think it needs to plan strategy to respond to its release, it doesn’t need to have iPhones on store shelves on Monday. Anyone who’s completely entranced by the Pre will try to buy one this weekend; Monday is too late to prevent that. But most people who might buy a Pre won’t do so this weekend–they will, very sensibly, give it some thought and see what their other options are, and they already know that it’s dead certain that a new-and-improved iPhone will be available soon. If Apple announces a new iPhone on Monday, it’ll surely be a matter of weeks at most before it goes on sale. Virtually nobody who really wants an iPhone Video will opt for the Pre instead simply because it’s available a bit sooner.

I’m not saying the chances of GearLive’s prophecy coming true are zero.  Just that if it is true, it’ll be one of the more startling things Apple has ever done…


Apple Rumors Build to a Crescendo

Apple LogoNo doubt about it–today is the Friday before a major Apple event (namely WWDC). I can tell because everywhere I look on the Web, I’m seeing last-minute rumors and predictions. Such as these:

The Wall Street Journal reports that Steve Jobs’ medical recovery is “coming along,” and that he’s expected to return to work later this month. It also broaches the possibility that he may appear at WWDC.

The Financial Times says that Apple is getting ready to release a cheap iPhone–at $99 or $149–and that it may debut on Monday.

The Unoffical Apple Weblog has received an anonymous tip that a new iPhone will be called iPhone Video.

TUAW also has a post about an Italian site’s alleged spy shots of a new iPhone that might have a front-facing camera.

AppleInsider says that placeholder listings for new 16GB and 32GB iPhones have appeared in the systems of British retailer Carphone Warehouse.

None of these sound inherently wacko or implausible (although if Steve Jobs shows up at WWDC I’ll be both startled and pleased). In a bit over 72 hours, we’ll know what transpired at WWDC–though I hereby predict that some people will immediately contend that any rumors that wasn’t confirmed by the WWDC keynote will come true at a later Apple event…


What Will Be at WWDC: Your Predictions!

Apple WWDC PredictionsApple will announce a new iPhone at next week’s WWDC keynote. It’ll sport a faster CPU, more storage, and a high-res camera that’s video capable, and will introduce a new case material. Rumors that it might include built-in iMovie or do multitasking, however, are false.

Also wrong: The scuttlebutt that Apple will launch a tablet computer at WWDC. In fact, there won’t be any new personal computers at all. The company will, however, unveil a new iPod Touch. And, of course, it will formally introduce Snow Leopard upgrade for OS X.

Those, at least, are the collective predictions of the folks who participated in Technologizer’s WWDC Prediction Challenge. We fielded a survey (via the wondrous PollDaddy) that let folks guess at what Phil Schiller and other Apple execs will tell us next Monday. We’re saying that any prediction that was made by a majority of respondents counts as a Technologizer prediction. We’ll report on them below–and follow up after the Monday keynote (which we’ll be covering live–join us!).

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5Words for Thursday, June 4th, 2009

5wordsSpecial Palm Pre-free edition!

Does Hulu want your money?

A radio for next iPhone?

Tony La Russa’s suing Twitter.

Cheapest MacBook outperforms pricier version.

Sony Ericsson’s green cell phone.

Verizon’s 3G BlackBerry flip phone.

Remember Apple’s cybercafes? Loved ’em!

Microsoft had a good E3.

Eee PC’s 11-hour battery?

Your favorite celebs’ iGoogle pages.

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Take Technologizer’s Apple WWDC Prediction Challenge

Apple WWDC PredictionsAnalysts and other pundits do a lousy job of predicting what Apple will do next. Rumors about the company are often sheer fantasy. I’ve guessed wrong so many times that I’ve mostly given up trying. With Apple’s WWDC conference and its accompanying keynote a week away, what to do? Should we just swear off predictions altogether?

How about seeing if the collective Technologizer community–or any of its individual members–comes closer to telling us what Apple will unveil than your garden-variety professional Applewatcher probably will? That’s the idea behind our WWDC Prediction Challenge. Spend a few minutes taking our survey, and we’ll ask you about a bunch of possible announcements, including the likely (a new iPhone), the unlikely-but-tantalizing (a tablet), and the almost-certainly-not-for-one-reason-or-another (like new iPods). We’ll aggregate the results and see if there’s any consensus on what’s likely to happen, and publish a report before the keynote. Then we’ll publish another report after the keynote, grading the overall results. We might also mention any respondents whose predictions were eerily dead-on or otherwise interesting.

(Related shameless plug: I’ll be attending the WWDC keynote and will provide live coverage of what we learn as we learn it at www.technologizer.com/wwwdc09.)

The survey mostly involves multiple choice questions, but you’ll have the opportunity to make free-form predictions. For the most part, it involves matters other than the two topics which Apple has already told us it will discuss: the upcoming Snow Leopard OS and iPhone OS 3.0. Oh, and here’s one more incentive to participate: We’ll give one $100 Apple Store gift certificate away to a respondent in a random drawing.

Ready? Click here to take the WWDC Prediction Challenge.


5Words for Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

5wordsSell yourself, Yahoo. Or don’t.

Yahoo price: boatloads of cash.

Google introduces Web Elements widgets.

AT&T readies a speed boost.

iPhones dominate smartphone Web traffic.

A family of MacBooks Air?

How to activate a Pre.

New Acrobat.com takes on PowerPoint.

Sirius XM’s iPhone app: soon.

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Fooled You, Apple!

Nelson MuntzWired.com’s Brian Chen has an interesting story up about the iPhone app Lyrics and the fact that it contains uncensored, profanity-laden lyrics that can be unlocked via a specific sequence of finger swipes. The author resorted to this tactic after Apple rejected his initial version of the app. I remain puzzled about Apple’s unwillingness to approve iPhone apps with dirty words given that it cheerfully sells the music downloads whose liberal use of cussing is documented by Lyrics’ secret uncensored version. But I’m also bemused as to why the app’s author snuck in the hidden-swear version. His subterfuge is revealed not only in Brian’s article, but also in the user reviews at the iTunes App Store; Apple can now delist the program if it chooses, and if history is any guide, it probably will.

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