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Pulpit Comments
Status: [CLOSED]

Jobs went on record in the WSJ last week saying that 3G chips were too big and too power hungry and that's why they didn't make the cut in the iPhone. Are you actually saying there is a 3G chipset in there that both Apple and AT&T are denying the existence of?

Mike D. | Jul 05, 2007 | 9:08PM

HSDPA is a combination of GSM and EDGE??? Spend a few minutes at wikipedia reading about HSDPA and W-CDMA.

W-CDMA and HSDPA use a different air interface than GSM/EDGE, which means additional RF components -- not a SW upgrade.

Ken | Jul 05, 2007 | 9:29PM

My buddy works at an Apple store in west farms mall, he had to purchase his own iPhone like all the other employees there...
For my own opinion on the product, the iPhone is a way to bring the business PDAs capabilities to the non- technical/business-savvy user. Within 5 yrs. between the iPhone and competitors products, the avg. person will have a laptop-like and fully internet capable product in their pocket. That's going to be a huge culture change.

Craig | Jul 05, 2007 | 9:38PM

Sorry Bobo, I have to agree with the previous two posts, 3G can't happen without a hardware upgrade... the chips would have to be already in the phone. Jobs said that the current iPhone doesn't have 3G chips... AND the iPhone disassembly pics floating around (supposedly) clearly show EDGE hardware, not 3G... although I personally don't know what an EDGE chip looks like.

It's so tempting, I really want to believe the iPhone will get 3G via a firmware update!

Dan | Jul 05, 2007 | 9:55PM

Dream on. If there is an updated iPhone for Christmas, higher capacity is all you'll get. And I'm hoping that is true. 8GB is great for a phone, but pitiful for an iPod. AT&T will enhance it's EDGE network and they'll squeeze maybe 10-20% faster speeds out of it, but 3G requires a hardware upgrade. Expect MMS messaging and maybe even iChat capability, better iCal and To Do Lists and other minor tweaks in a software upgrade. And expect them to tie into Leopard and iWork and iLife. Think create your own iPhone webpage/app using iWeb and on the go spreadsheet and word processor functionality using Pages and Sheets.

If that happens, I'm getting one... no doubt.

Jay Benson | Jul 05, 2007 | 10:00PM

Let me be frank, although I am a Mac Pro user. I have no desire to purchase an iPhone. The only reason I have a cell phone at all is because my work provides it so I can be in contact while traveling. The absolutely number one reason for this lack of desire is due to the pathetic screen size and the limitations that small screen gives to the devices cursed with them. The small screen prevents these devices, i.e cell phones, PDAs, etc, from being even remotely useful except for extremely limited applications. Try doing anything useful, editing a 'real' text document/spreadsheet or composing an email/script of more than 10 lines, and the lack of screen space just makes it an ordeal.

And yes, I have had the opportunity to try various PDAs and handheld computers over the last 10 years but all suffer from the same fault. A few of the handheld computers had promise but were cursed with 'Lite' OS's and their crippled 'Lite' applications even though the screen was perhaps large enough to do 'real work'.

I would suggest something with the screen size of the Sony eBook Reader but with a high resolution 64K color screen and a 'real' OS, Mac OSX or Linux (Windows? yeah right). The ability to load 'real' apps and your in business. Oh yeah, include a built-in FM radio, too, for those times when you want to listen to something educational, like NPR.

Larry T. | Jul 05, 2007 | 10:02PM

It sounds like AT&T has already made the EDGE network faster (from user reports of the speed). Although they might be able to improve network speed somewhat, i doubt they will be able what you suggest.

The iPhone is already such an amazing device that Apple and AT&T can do simple things to keep sales going, and maybe even increse them. They don't need to magically make it a 3G phone. If they did that, why would you need to upgade your iPhone next year :)

Here is the 1 thing they could do that would increase sales dramatically, and is already planned by another mobile carrier.

VOIP, AT&T and Apple have already talked about this, and it sounds like T-mobile is doing it. Basically T-Mobile is going to offer a deal where for $10 extra a month (and with a new cell phone) you can make calls for free if you are at a WIFI hot spot.

Just think how iPhone sales would increase if all your call where free when you were using WiFI. I know it would make the phone a much better deal for me. Hell i might even buy it if they do that since it makes the min. $60 a month plan sound like a deal.

Cameron Mulder | Jul 05, 2007 | 10:02PM

I got an e-mail this morning with a link to a set of pictures of an iPhone being disassembled. (From E-Week, I think.) The SIM chip was labled "3G," so I expect you are right about 3G being just around the corner.

Amazingly few components in the thing.

John | Jul 05, 2007 | 10:04PM

Was this written months ago?

• The iPhone has been taken apart. There are no 3G capabilities.
• The Xmas releaes willcome out in Sept or Oct. Too soon for another iPhone. The mostly likely release of a 3G version is when the Japanese version (which has to be 3G) comes out in 2008. Don't expect it before MacWorld 2008
• We have Leopard, and mot likely new iLife, ,Mac, iPods and Macs coming out later this year too. Another US iPhone just isn't happening and AT&T will need "at least" a year to get 3G going.
• As i understand it, Apple employees still have to pay for the their service plans which means Apple's monthly cut from AT&T will likely Apple getting back their the wholesale cost. Your other points on this matter are valid.

solipsism | Jul 05, 2007 | 10:05PM

YOur buddy just couldn't wait until ALL APPLE EMPLOYEES, full-time and part-time (for over a year with Apple) will get a free iPhone... Steve Jobs announced this officially when the iPhone was released. Before correcting someone, check your facts. Your buddy sounds like he may be just a guy you know at the Apple Store or he would have shared more info with you...

Curtis G. | Jul 05, 2007 | 10:49PM

A little research on phone standards please...

HSDPA is part of the UMTS standard, not EDGE. True 3G support via HSDPA will have to come but I would suspect that this will be when it releases in the traditional GSM based markets (i.e Europe, Australais, not Japan?)

Glen Barnes | Jul 05, 2007 | 10:52PM


A million people pissed at Apple for NOT upgrading firmware to do 3G wouldn't be pretty. I think there's one thing you're missing though....

At AllThingsD, Walt Mossberg asked Jobs:

"You obviously have a very large Internet business with iTunes and you sell a lot of stuff in the Apple Store, but, you know, you were early with this idea that when you bought a computer from Apple, you had this kind of Internet service back end, and it was called “.Mac”. And I think a lot of people feel you haven’t developed it very much."

Jobs responded: "I couldn’t agree with you more, and we’ll make up for lost time in the near future."

My strong belief is that .Mac will be an extremely compelling hub between a PC and an iPhone...effectively integrating the two so well that it will be one seamless computing experience.

Steve Borsch | Jul 05, 2007 | 11:20PM

I wish you hadn't brought up a speed upgrade. This means it will never happen (since although your articles are always interesting, they never, ever seem to actually be accurate predictions of the future).

Peter Payne | Jul 05, 2007 | 11:27PM

att has gotta' be the weak link in the scheme. after wrestling with them for the last 2 weeks with a dsl speed connection issue, type of dsl service i'm paying for vs. being billed for (overcharged for the past 6 months) and trying to get the whole seemingly simple mater resolved and a technician scheduled for a line repair i've come to the conclusion that they are the most rude, inept and moronic company i have ever dealt with. apple has chosen to hitch their wagon to a 500 lb gorilla. after hours of phone calls and a thousand times of hearing a recording tell me that all agents are busy but to please remain on the line as my call is very important to them all i can say is that i wouldn't have an iPhone until someone other than att is available for the connection end of the device. how about that for a christmas present? ps - how come when i call the phone company half the time i get a crappy phone connection? why does att hate their customers so much???

richo | Jul 05, 2007 | 11:39PM

Mr. Borsch: Actually I made a nice return on my investment in Burst after reading RXC talk it up. But that was one of the few times he was right. He is a blast to read, though, isn't he?

Jonathan Fletcher | Jul 05, 2007 | 11:57PM

Oops, I meant Mr. Payne. Sorry, Steve.

Jonathan Fletcher | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:04AM

I was pondering this very point today, as i was reading yet another review bashing the iPhone for the lack of 3G capabilities. I thought to myself, I bought a MacBook Pro, then found out a month later it had a Draft N chip in it that just needed a software update. Judging by some of the comments, my cursory understanding of cellphone technologies, and the disassembly pics I have seen with my own eyes, I don't think the 3G chipset is in there, and I think this fact means it will be 08 before we see the inclusion of 3G, when the Japanese phone is rolled out.... It seems part of the delay would have to be to keep early adopters from feeling too cheated/abused, and of course AT&T's network does need some work. I will gladly invest in one when it is 3G.

Joel Crookston | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:19AM

Yeah, there have been a few Cringely ideas that sounded great (remember downloading movies on to your iPod at Blockbuster?), but never happened. But ol' Bob may be on to something here with the 3G upgrade. The SIM card in the iPhone shipping now has a very noticeable 3G logo on it. Pop the thing out with a paper clip and you'll see it, plain as day. Leads me to believe the cards were designed for a phone capable of 3G speeds. My thinking is that Apple is ready to deliver 3G on these things, but AT&T isn't. Apple could be waiting for them to get things ready before it promises something AT&T can't deliver. No one's gonna blame AT&T for a phone performing slower than promised, even if it's their fault. All the user, and the press is gonna see is that shiny Apple logo on the back of the phone. And that would ruin Christmas, wouldn't it.

Voxer | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:20AM

Cringley has finallly said something reasonable!!! All his points are worthy--- thank you for such an honest appraisal...

rjwill24 | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:43AM

I do wonder... Apple has a way of ignoring Europe completely. I suspect Steve Jobs has a mental map of the world that's similar to George Bush's. For example, my MacBook Pro doesn't even have a pound (£) sign on the keyboard, in spite of the fact that I bought it in the UK, thus paying a significant premium.

(I'd write a letter to complain how much I spent on the damn thing, but I can't because there's no pound sign. Clever...)

Macs are far, far more expensive over here - as is a dot mac account and iTunes - in spite of the fact that there's really no cost difference in providing the service. Steve has always assumed that the Europeans and Asians will eat up anything you market in the US, and pay a premium for it. After all, that's been Apple's experience over here.

But while you yanks have always been ahead in IT, the US lags way behind Europe in mobile penetration and sophistication of use. (No criticism guys, after all, you're world leaders in the meat sandwich and drive-in experience markets). And Japan is waaay ahead of Europe. So nobody would do a global launch of a high-end phone that's specced at the US market.

That would be like launching a top-of-the-line multiprocessor special effects system aimed at the sub-Saharan African market.

I mean, to create a smart phone that barely meets US expectations and then expect Europeans to buy it... you'd only do that if you were surrounded by some kind of a field that distorts realit - oh.


Brian | Jul 06, 2007 | 1:22AM

I do wonder... Apple has a way of ignoring Europe completely. I suspect Steve Jobs has a mental map of the world that's similar to George Bush's. For example, my MacBook Pro doesn't even have a pound (£) sign on the keyboard, in spite of the fact that I bought it in the UK, thus paying a significant premium.

(I'd write a letter to complain how much I spent on the damn thing, but I can't because there's no pound sign. Clever...)

Macs are far, far more expensive over here - as is a dot mac account and iTunes - in spite of the fact that there's really no cost difference in providing the service. Steve has always assumed that the Europeans and Asians will eat up anything you market in the US, and pay a premium for it. After all, that's been Apple's experience over here.

But while you yanks have always been ahead in IT, the US lags way behind Europe in mobile penetration and sophistication of use. (No criticism guys, after all, you're world leaders in the meat sandwich and drive-in experience markets). And Japan is waaay ahead of Europe. So nobody would do a global launch of a high-end phone that's specced at the US market.

That would be like launching a top-of-the-line multiprocessor special effects system aimed at the sub-Saharan African market.

I mean, to create a smart phone that barely meets US expectations and then expect Europeans to buy it... you'd only do that if you were surrounded by some kind of a field that distorts realit - oh.


Brian | Jul 06, 2007 | 1:22AM

bob - HSDPA is not a combination of GSM and EDGE. it is an entirely new standard with its own spectrum (5 MHz channels)

scott | Jul 06, 2007 | 1:29AM

It's a given that Apple will offer software upgrades to the iPhone. It appears that they can easily be delivered via a download through iTunes and an iPhone sync. If that's the case, I predict updates will be delivered within the month to fix various issues that will be discovered by a user base of 500,000+ that weren't noticed by the initial test user base. This ability to control the software on the iPhone is unique among smart phones as far as I can see and I think Apple will use it to their advantage and ours quickly and regularly. It's part of the way they will work to stay ahead of the competition which is even more fierce in the cell phone industry than it is in the computer industry.

I doubt that today's iPhone has 3G in it, though. Current AT&T 3G coverage is sparse and does not appear to be growing quickly enough to have the kind of coverage the average person wants. And with the exception of the price which will inevitably come down and/or be subsidized, the iPhone has clearly been built to be a phone that EVERYONE will want. And that means it has to have near ubiquitous internet connectivity or else 1/3 of its touted capabilities will simply not function whenever you want to take a road trip.

So, 3G will get added when AT&T gets their act together with their coverage. I don't think Apple would spend the extra dough on the 3G chipset for a 1st gen iPhone since, in my experience, they've never been shy about making us upgrade to the latest Apple hardware. I bought a 60 GB iPod photo a little more than a month before they released the iPod video and I was told there was no upgrade path except to shell out the full price for the newer unit. Christmas definitely seems like good timing to release the Gen 2 iPhone. Top of my list for Gen 2 features would be: 3G, 802.11n, 16 GB model and video phone capabilities. Top of my list of software upgrades to be released in the interim: various bug fixes and performance enhancements, custom ring tones, Flash client, iChat client, call notification if a call comes in while you're using the internet.

Masen | Jul 06, 2007 | 1:35AM

I just read the first post by a clearly idiotic Brit! Of course there are pound signs on British released Macs. If you bought it in the US and expect a pound sign you are an idiot-- thought you can make it happen, but I would never enlighten you!

As far as your views on hoe POOR the US phone system is, you obviously have NO idea. We have an extremely good system overall, though it lacks some cohesion but it is an ongoing development that, just like digital television has left Europe and the UK in the dust. You HAVE NO useful television in either content or modern technical specifications.

The contracts with phone companies in the UK is draconian-- rip-off ++++ so don't talk about how superior you are to the US in that regard. My best buy in the UK was way worse than any crap I could get in the US... I used T-mobile at first-- DREADFUL in both countries but it made the US look like Disneyland.

The US phone system is bloody good. It will improve. Meanwhile, you cannot have the BEST phone on the planet... and, after your silly uninformed comments, rightfully so.

rjwill246 | Jul 06, 2007 | 1:53AM

Re Steve's comment above about .mac. I saw that same Mossberg interview and nearly leapt from my seat! I hope they finally do something about .mac. I've been a user since it was called iTools (before Apple decided to ape ".net," both .mac and .net being STUPID names for anything. My email is @mac-DOT-COM, not @-DOT-MAC....) Anyway, the only useful thing this service has done is the sync between my Macs, my Nokia 6600, and the web. Being an instant and easy backup (had to replace the phone once already), it's ridiculously valuable, so I pay. Other than that, the webmail sucks (when it's up), mail of any type has ridiculously low sending limits ("anti-spam"), I can't easily edit my iCal online, and the web hosting isn't so hot. All this, for just $100 a year in Apple Tax, not including the charges to upgrade my OS X every 12-18 months. Sheesh!

So an upgrade to .mac is way overdue!

OTOH, I guess this means if I need an iPhone to take advantage of the new, improved .mac.iphone.whatever I would have to cough up another $600, plus Santa Clara County 8.25% tax, plus $60 a month (plus tax) on top of the rest.

I think I'll wait until January, or until I can get the iPhone on t-mobile.

John S. Leyba | Jul 06, 2007 | 2:04AM

Cameron,

VOIP is already available for the iPhone and any phone with 'real' internet. Its called Jajah. www.jajah.com

.03 per min to most countries; .028 in US

David

David Kennedy | Jul 06, 2007 | 2:09AM

I'm not so sure about your prediction 3G upgrade for current models in software for the same chipset reasons already mentioned above, but who knows. I do agree with your main idea that a software upgrade for the holiday shopping season is inevitable; however I predict that iPhone SP1 will enable a different new feature of existing iPhones: video recording. January 2008 = 2 million video recording iPhones + iMovie (for Windows?) + .Mac/YouTube.

Barnabas Kendall | Jul 06, 2007 | 2:12AM

Um... No, the existing iPhone cannot be 'activated' to become a 3G phone. Duh. If there WAS a 3G radio in there, not only would the break-downs have spotted it, but so would the FCC (as you accurately point out, any features of a phone are effectively outed by FCC filing 3 months ahead of launch). And it would be ridiculous to spout about 3G being too battery hungry at the moment - and then activate it a few months later, with the same battery. This theory is just bonkers. Sorry.

Sulis | Jul 06, 2007 | 2:38AM

AT&T or EDGE doesn't exist in Europe (not in that incarnation anyway). So since most carriers are 3G compatible, iPhone Europe will be 3G (http://www.newswireless.net/index.cfm/article/3466). This implies the hardware has indeed 3G capability - i doubt the hardware is different.

elise | Jul 06, 2007 | 3:17AM

Oh that gorgeous high-resolution widescreen. It invites you to touch it - which is just as well, given that's how you interact with the iPhone.

www.mp4-converter.net/iphone-converter/iphone-video-converter/

jackie113 | Jul 06, 2007 | 3:22AM

I have to completely agree with Sulis' comments. Maybe "bonkers" is a bit strong, but everything else - Apple wouldn't come right out and say that 3G was bad for battery power, then reneg on that three months later. I don't think even the heartiest fanboy would believe "oh, wait, we figured it out!" on the battery issues.

Two other points: first, Apple has a history, if I'm not mistaken, of NOT making people's Christmases come true. They usually drop prices on things before Christmas, but introduce the Next Great Thing in January.

Second, there's no way Apple is going to make their 10 million phone quota without dropping the price -- this isn't news. So I'm going to counter-predict Cringe with a much safer gamble by saying that January will see the emergence (or at least the official announcement of, with emergence less than 30 days after) of the iPhone mini, or something along those lines that will be sold at a mere $299-399 with a few trimmings, like a smaller/cheaper screen. However, I think they will NOT have this out by Christmas.

I wouldn't expect to see 3G until late 2008 if only because AT&T is doing such a horrible job of getting their HSDPA networks to remain up and stable.

Keith | Jul 06, 2007 | 3:23AM

I don't think that 3G is already built-in in the iPHONE. It would have shown up on the FCC document.

I bet that the 3G version will come up early next year in the US after having been launched in Europe.

Blessipo | Jul 06, 2007 | 3:44AM

Teardowns I have seen say baseband is PMB8876 which is an Infineon EDGE transceiver. So software upgrade to HSDPA is unlikely.

Martin | Jul 06, 2007 | 4:15AM

I'm in the UK and have just bought the shockingly expensive Nokia N95. What a technical masterpiece, for features it just blows the iPhone away.
Until you go online. The experience is absolutely appalling. I think I've been watching too many iPhone ads but I actually found my finger involuntarily moved up to drag something across the screen. Future versions of the iPhone are going to destroy these devices. This already feels like one of the iPod competitors with loads of features you will never use (42 TV channels for even more cash per month!). The iPod won because it kept things simple. In two years time I want an iPhone with 3G, 5 megapixel camera that does video and 32GB. And I think I'll be able to buy it.

jpmuk | Jul 06, 2007 | 5:25AM

Keith : "Apple wouldn't come right out and say that 3G was bad for battery power, then reneg on that three months later."

Well, Apple already did something similar. Remember when PowerPC CPUs where a gadzillion times better than the Intel ones ? Remember when all of a sudden Intel-base Macs where 5 times faster than before ?

BTW, 3G is *really* bad for battery power. I run my phone in 2G mode, switching 3G only when I need the data bandwidth.

Nicolas Lehuen | Jul 06, 2007 | 5:43AM

As previously said HSDPA is not GSM + EDGE. It's 3GPP Release 5 and will require a new chipset.
AND a new battery!


The iPhone is just a 1st gen iPhone. there will be others just like there were other iPods.


Weird thing is O2 (telefonica) is going to sell the iPhone in the UK - and O2 do not have EDGE. They do have UMTS + HSDPA though. !??!


I've got an N95 - it's a gimmick phone and I love it. It's got HSDPA, 5MP camera, 802.11g, a real browser, youtube and I can install 3rd part apps. Can't get the GPS to work properly though!
However, I wouldn't rely on it for business. Battery life


And I think that answers why no mega features on the iPhone yet - it's not for geeks, it's going to be THE item to have this Christmas because it's cool.

Jon | Jul 06, 2007 | 5:52AM

The iPhone is about as relevant to computing as Paris Hilton is to Acting...

What a load of hype about essentially nothing.

Phillip | Jul 06, 2007 | 7:33AM

Here's one for the conspiracy theorists. Is it just possible that Apple went with AT&T because they KNEW that their network was creaky and they wanted to put them in a bad light?

Weaken AT&T to the desired level then call cousin Google up, who are looking to gobble up a telco as it is and away we go...

(See previous Cringely articles for the missing links in all of this).

John Knights | Jul 06, 2007 | 7:36AM

HSDPA allows for much higher speed than you write.
In St'Pete pilot we were able to easily achieve 3Mbps. In Moscow tests - 2.4Mbbps.

Sergey Zak | Jul 06, 2007 | 7:51AM

The iPhone is about as relevant to computing as Paris Hilton is to Acting...
What a load of hype about essentially nothing.
Phillip | Jul 06, 2007 | 7:33AM

Thank you. $600US for yet another device I can accidentally drop in the loo is something I can live without, 3G or no 3G.

GuyFromOhio | Jul 06, 2007 | 8:00AM

It looks like O2 will be the UK iPhone vendor by Christmas and they are big proponents of 3G technology. It seems rather unlikely that the UK launch of this phone would not include 3G - so that is possible confirmation of this prediction.

Mike Griffiths | Jul 06, 2007 | 8:01AM

I heard that the EDGE network had ramped up its speed and that iPhone users have experienced a great increase in network speed connection. giving nearly 3G performance

Thurstan Johnston | Jul 06, 2007 | 8:15AM

The iPhone is about as relevant to computing as Paris Hilton is to Acting...

What a load of hype about essentially nothing.

Nice to hear from the school of thought that said:

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.

. . . and leave us not forget:

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”

JoeL

Joel | Jul 06, 2007 | 8:33AM

I love you Bob, but you're wrong again.

The browser function on the phone is not its main selling point, and a bump up from Edge to 3G is not going to move phones in the future. E-mail and all non-browsing functions are just fine on Edge (and I'm technical and demanding of my gadgets).

Usability and applications is what makes this phone a desired piece of hardware. My non-technical friends and family couldn't care less about Edge versus 3G, it means nothing to them.

To move more phones, Apple will add more cool applications and features, -not 3G upgrades.

davevi | Jul 06, 2007 | 8:33AM
Paul Dubuc | Jul 06, 2007 | 8:34AM

Word is that when you pull the SIM from the iPhone, surprise! its a 3G SIM (which wouldnt be necessary simply to support EDGE). Supports the idea of 3G as a software rollout...

Erik Josowitz | Jul 06, 2007 | 8:35AM

The phone needs a big screen, such as Microvision (www.microvision.com) has available.

De High | Jul 06, 2007 | 8:41AM

Here's the science!

HSDPA is an extension of WCDMA technology, which is a spread-spectrum 3G radio technology. It's only relationship to GSM is that it uses a lot of the same infrastructure in the operator's landline backhaul network, which makes it easier for GSM operators to roll out WCDMA/HSDPA networks.

The WCDMA/HSDPA air interface to the phone is completely different from, and totaly incompatible with GSM/EDGE radios. The only way the iPhone can support them is if it has a seperate W-CDMA/HSDPA radio chipset as well as the GSM/EDGE chipset, or some kind of integrated chipset from the start. Software alone cannot do the trick.

Personaly I don't expect to see 3G iPhones this year. Of course we will see software updates perhaps including new services such as an iTunes client and better integrated location based services. More than that is just wishful thinking, there's no way Steve would obsolete all those existing iPhones within 6 months, and realisticaly a new product would have to be out by October to be realy ready for gift-giving time and that's only 3 months away. Not going to happen.

I knbow we all want shiny new toys for christmass, but we'll just have to wait. Apple will milk all the profits it can out of this iPhone rev before bringing out a new one next year. It's not as if it's got any competition.

Simon Hibbs | Jul 06, 2007 | 9:14AM

Where exactly is the disruptive technology here?
Just a pathetic attempt to squeeze more money from brain dead consumers. It's a very good device but
nothing we can't find elsewhere for a better ratio of price/performance.
As long as we have open WWW no one will be able to
control data flow as you described in the last articles. ( Using this iPhone together with iTV
and iWhatnot ).
The whole scheme will be disturptive if Apple will start talking about a new brave WWW of their own.

Moish | Jul 06, 2007 | 9:17AM

I had a chance to use an iPhone for about 30 minutes on the 4th. My impressions :

Screen size : A phone that won't fit in a shirt pocket is too big. The size is perfect. It's almost all screen. If that's your main complaint, you've obviously not used one.

Usefulness : The iPhone is not a small laptop. It does everything it can do considering the form factor. If you don't want any compromises, carry a laptop.

3G vs. EDGE : 3G would require a bigger battery to provide useful run times. EDGE is fine for a first gen device.

Having said all that, I'm not getting one (right away). It's too expensive as an everyday, carry around device. At least for me.

TomK | Jul 06, 2007 | 9:21AM

There has been so much discussion here whether the 3G upgrade is at least technically possible. Though I know the statements from Steve Jobs about the iPhone not being 3G capable.

The article about dissembling the iPhone on applesinsider.com (http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2940) based on the actual work of Semiconductor insights assumed that an apple branded chip is probably an Infineon chip and could be an Infineon PMB8876 S-Gold 2 chip as the RF transeiver. This assumption is certainly affected by the fact that Apple claims the iPhone not to be 3G capable.

It could possibly be as well an S-GOLD®3H - PMB 8878 and that finally is an HSPDA,WCDMA and EDGE capable chip. The downside is that the form factor on the Infineon web site and on the dissected iPhone photos are not the same.

You can find the chip on the Infinoen web site at http://www.infineon.com/cms/en/product/channel.html?channel=ff80808112ab681d0112ab6ab94205ef

Jobst-Hinrich Jacke | Jul 06, 2007 | 9:22AM

Interesting piece in the Guardian on Thursday regarding 02's deal to become the iPhone carrier in the UK. It seems to suggest that 3G is not necessarily a prerequisite for an Xmas European launch:

http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2118778,00.html

'The iPhone does not use 3G technology, but a variant of the existing wireless technology called Edge. So far in the UK, only Orange has installed this technology into its network - but O2 is expected to roll out Edge technology in time for Christmas, and also, it is thought, in time for the iPhone.[...]

The other operators, however, say that upgrading to the new high-speed data service needed for the iPhone is not expensive, as it is merely a software upgrade; it does not need a full-scale refit of existing wireless networks, unlike the switch to 3G, which has cost the industry billions of pounds.'

Nestor Makhno | Jul 06, 2007 | 9:39AM

EDGE is still an upgrade for those of us on GPRS today ... Apple has insufficient incentive to cannibalize current sales by following so soon with an upgrade.

Thomas | Jul 06, 2007 | 9:58AM

Interesting thoughts. Look at the FM radio that was lurking in the Nokia 800!

But I also think there's more to this story:

A Horrible Thought: What If The iPhone Is Just … A Phone?

Mike Cane | Jul 06, 2007 | 10:04AM

For Christmas, how about a full size screen for the iphone - say, like the one from Microvision
www.microvision.com
www.microvisionblogspot.com

de high | Jul 06, 2007 | 10:15AM

I thought that in order to upgrade to 3G, you needed to replace the radio in the phone. no?

robert german | Jul 06, 2007 | 10:53AM

What I am wondering is, how long will it be before Microsoft releases its iZunephone?

Jim | Jul 06, 2007 | 10:57AM

Bob, did you do like 30 seconds of research for this column?

Within 12 hours of retail launch, several sites had dissected the iPhone as did I for a work assignment. The radio chip in the iPhone shipping now is one that is "EDGE only" and not upgradable to HSDPA/UMTS/W-CDMA in any flavor. Such upgradable chips exists, but were not used in the initial iPhone implementation, primarily due to the fact that adding 500K-1M users in a week or so would melt the AT&T HSDPA down to slag forthwith.

Expect AT&T to begin further buildout of that network based on initial iPhone sales; the dual PCB board design of the iPhone would make replacing the radio chips on the 2nd board and replacing only that board and some system software the only items needed to turn the curent config into a 3G device.

I would NOT expect the same $20/all you can eat data plan on a 3G iPhone, be forewarned....

Jack! | Jul 06, 2007 | 11:00AM

So what I want to know is, will Apple/ATT be able to match T-Mobile's new WiFi VoIP phone deal? Methinks it's merely corporate blinkeredness that they haven't got something like that out right now..

Imagine something like TMo's thing, but with a phone people actually _want_ to use!

(and I'd drop Vonage and sign up the TMo plan, but they don't support the SIP VoIP client built into my Nokia E70... Yet...)

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater | Jul 06, 2007 | 11:09AM

Oh come on. ALL AT&T's new SIM cards have "3G" printed on them. It has NOTHING to do with the phone capabilities. Go to an AT&T store and ask to see their stacks of SIMs they keep at the counter. They are ALL printed with "3G", regardless of which phone you get. My AT&T Razr 3(not the 3xxx, which is 3G) is a 2.5G phone, and it has the "3G" on the SIM.

Its marketing, people. Jesus.

SimPerson | Jul 06, 2007 | 11:13AM

iPhone is a non-started for some of us, whatever the radio topology. As long as it's AT&T only then I will not partake. I cannot fund one of the largest, laziest evil empires in plain sight.


WRT to Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's post about T-Mo....I like the idea of the wifi/GSM dual mode phone. I have tried several Wifi SIP devices over the past two years and found them wanting. Wifi is not always (perhaps not often) up to voip.


The solution to the wifi/sip device issue has been www.gandcentral.com. Now I can transfer a call made on my Aastra desk phone to my cell phone with on button press, totally transparent to the other party. Grand Centre integration with Gtalk could be promising. Their integration with Gizmo Project was very nice.

Michael Graves | Jul 06, 2007 | 11:43AM

Please pardon the typos. I should never type before the end of my second cup of coffee.

Michael Graves | Jul 06, 2007 | 11:45AM

The screen size sucks. I can hardley see my you tube videos,
when holding it up on my steering wheel.....aaahhhhhhhh.

Fastfred | Jul 06, 2007 | 11:57AM

The iphone screen size is to small. I can hardley see my you tube videos,
when holding it up on my steering wheel.....aaahhhhhhhh.

Fastfred | Jul 06, 2007 | 11:58AM

If what you say is true, then Apple will not release a wide screen ipod this year. Since the wide screen makes the phone like no other ipod.

barton low | Jul 06, 2007 | 11:59AM

Good morning:

What is unique about the iPhone and AT&T’s stance is a paradigm shift within the cellular industry. All advances in communications start with Layer-2 topologies.

The telephone companies in the US are happy to maintain an equalibriam that does not allow for dramatic change in layer-2 switching services.

Analog to digital was to increase the efficenciey of the network, not for the user benefit. GSM was because it was the clear winner in digital technology, and deployment cost are lower than competiting technologies.

The American history of communications in the last 30 years has been based on Dr. John von Neumann Minimax Therorem where the primary rule for competitors is to minimize their maximum losses. Where every outcome is measured against all possible responses from the compitition. So if we do nothing, they will do nothing, so no WiFi in cellular, late on G3, no G4, no massive price cuts, high taxes, etc.

With the introduction of the iPhone the Layer-2 topology has changed. We now are seeing multiple carriers offer WiFi services for the first time. Why, the iPhone? Steve Jobs is the leading player in consumer technology. AT&T figured it was worth the minimax risk to try something new before Sprint and others displaced their network solutions.

2007 will be the year that we see RIM, Moto, and other introduce WiFi as a standard part of the cellular network. Expect to see radical new designs and plans now that AT&T has opened the door to new Layer-2 technologies into the cellular network.

As for me, shame on the FCC for not blocking the cellular, telephone companies, and cable companies from playing the minimax game. The US is far behind other nations in Layer-2 technology deployment, and it all due to von Numman’s minimax game theory rules.

George Morton, Ph. D.

George Morton | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:01PM

Hi Jack,

which dissection review actually revealed the exact type/name of the radio chip?

One of the serious dissections was made by Semiconductor Insights (and lots of sources/reviews refer to that) and only ASSUMED that it is an only EGDE capable chip from Infineon (see my comment with the product codes above). The chip itself seems to have no identifier from Infineon or some other manufacturer and no easily readable product code.
This could be a hint that there might be more inside than initially told by Apple.

You might be totally right that the AT&T HSDPA network would not be capable of the load right now. But hey, right now the use only EDGE and the HSDPA network from AT&T will certainly evolve and by that time a simple software upgrade from Apple could turn out (at a price for 3G capability maybe!).

Jobst-Hinrich Jacke | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:08PM

So the apple employees got a free iPhone. The next question is how many Google employees already have an iPhone, which with its wifi functionality, should work well with Google's Mountain View Wifi network?

alejo espinosa | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:15PM

The iPhone activation process plays into the gifting idea. Normally you'd buy a cell phone at a carrier's retail outlet and they would activate it and set up your contract for you; not a great scenario for gift-giving. With the iPhone you just walk out of the store with the phone in the box, and activate it on your time. The person buying it does not need to be the person activating it. I was surprised by this when I bought mine, but now I get it.

Jason DeFontes | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:16PM

As you've pointed out, Apple deliberately left out support for Windows Media files so as to hinder if not destroy Microsoft's emerging monopoly over digital content. Likewise, your analysis of iPhone functionality surmised that leaving out Flash/Flash Lite would weaken Adobe's billion-plus installations of Flash and Acrobat Reader. But yesterday, Walt Mossberg of the WSJ reported that Apple told him they'd be adding Flash support in the next iPhone. Is this smoke or were you wrong?

Phill Medeleven | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:27PM

rjwill246 - what's this about digital TV in Europe... One common standard, 80% coverage, terrestrial, and satellite, digiboxes costing just $50, hard disk digital recorder/tuners just $250...

pjw | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:41PM

Christmas? You're such a tease. Shall you tell everyone in next week's column what next year's Apple phone show stopper will be or shall I? And what's with the "take that Bill"? Isn't Microsoft already partnering with Apple for apps for next year's phone? Watch, one will be a version of Office for OS X, but there is a heightened version of Google Docs&Spreadsheet for iPhone in the works. Before you know it, Steve will HAVE the developers gravitating towards OS X away from Vista via the halo effect of the iPhone. Okay, when that phenom begins, you can say, "Take that Bill!"
And that's how Steve Jobs and Google will steal thunder from Linux crowd and Microsoft. Fogies and nerds will cling to box and laptop computers, but young to used to be young people will abandon those kludges and do everything on iPhone (and the iPhone clones). The other Apple appliance will remain as the home media center - music, photos, videos only (Apple may wisely stay out of electronic games arena unless it buys or partners it way in - Nintendo? Microsoft's X-Box division?).

Kevin Kunreuther | Jul 06, 2007 | 12:59PM

Yes thats all nice speculation... but something else tells us that it won't happen. Apple is becoming too much of a control freak and is becoming too greedy. This soldering the battery so consumers can't replace it, and charging $79 plus shipping to replace the battery is just too much (but, you can get a loaner phone for $29 while waiting) What are they worried about landfill pollution? Not to mention the 55% mark up on the iPhone, This AT&T only deal and not allowing AT&T to subsidize it is just plain crazy! Don't get me wrong. I think the iPhone is great, and Apple will no doubt move innovation for the telecom industry forward, but they may be shooting themselves at both feet! Let's hope they don't really piss off the Mac loyalist!

mh | Jul 06, 2007 | 1:31PM

I disagree with your theories involving 3G. First, various tear downs of iPhones have shown there is no 3G components in the iPhone. I suppose Apple could mislabel parts to fool people, but I don't see that happening. If I am correct, that means if Apple adds 3G, you will have to buy a new phone.

Second, there is a huge patent conflict concerning 3G right now. So much so that newly designed phones using 3G have been barred from entering the US. In fact, if Apple had included 3G, there is a chance it could have been barred as well (depending on what chip it used). I doubt Apple will include 3G (in the US anyway) until these patent issues are resolved.

Terrin | Jul 06, 2007 | 1:35PM

Apple could have included a Dual-use radio in the phone, only activated EDGE and submitted it to the FCC that way. Apple could then "resubmit" the phone spec to the FCC with 3G - then activate it when the approval comes in and when the 3G network is sufficiently spread across the US -- Remember, 3G defaults to EDGE when it cant get 3G so both radios are needed in the phone to be effective.

Fingers crossed!

John Fischetti | Jul 06, 2007 | 1:57PM

Dissection of the iPhone at Anandtech:

http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3026

Mick T. | Jul 06, 2007 | 2:07PM

If they are going to do a 3G upgrade by Christmas, then it is likely that they will have it built into current models - I agree with Bob on that, Steve is not stupid, far from it in fact. However, it will likely require an FPGA firmware upgrade that to enable it. That's probably part of the price of the iPhone, and would give them a big boost over competitors if they could upgrade tech like that; it would also give greater benefit to the cost of the iPhone, and make a $500 to $600 price tag more feasible for more people.



Also, expect it to cost current iPhone customers some money - not as much as a new iPhone, but a good chunk ($50 to $150 would be a likely range); of course, that will likely come with other additions (new software, etc.) all for one grand price.



So, especially if there is an FPGA module controlling the 2G network stuff in the current models (haven't looked at the engineering specs, but that would be hard to determine) - then you can expect Apple to do just that - roll out 3G to current phones (for a price) as an upgrade, and do so BEFORE Christmas (October, November) and release the new 3G capable phones at the same time at the same price.



Why? Because it would show the phone can go across tech, and show their value. AND, as Bob says, spur the Christmas sales season - which means, expect it before Thanksgiving if it is going to happen. (They would have to have it completely rolled out with success stories by the Friday after Thanksgiving to do as Bob says.)

TemporalBeing | Jul 06, 2007 | 2:18PM

This was pretty full of information. Only thing I don't agree with is that mean idea, about the 3g chips. Steve Jobs said he didn't want to put 3g chips in the iphone because they are too big and drain the battery to fast. He said maybe when the techlogy gets better you would see a 3g chip on the iphone but not anytime soon. If I read this right you are saying they're are 3g chips in the iphone right now they just need a software update to unlock it? Or are yous saying they will put a 3g chip on the iphone around chirstmas?


Can someone answer that please

Gabe Krebs | Jul 06, 2007 | 3:37PM

I see the Steve Jobs reality distortion field is in full force here. $500-600 for a cell phone? No friggin' way.

Mike | Jul 06, 2007 | 3:44PM

uhhh,3G is NOT a combination of GSM and EDGE. Do more reading and educate yourself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSDPA

flip | Jul 06, 2007 | 3:56PM

You lost credibility in this article... look at the FCC documents, none of which mention the 3g bands

Bashar Makhay | Jul 06, 2007 | 3:57PM

Christmas and the iphone have this in common: they are all about visceral, transparent delivery of what people want now. No one knows what 3G is except geeks, so it will not be a Christmas item as such. The only way it will get into the iphone at all is if it represents a goodie that is tangible to end users. While quality of service is now tangible enoughe to be a central selling point for cell phones, improvement of an existing feature is not going under the tree.

Ryan | Jul 06, 2007 | 4:13PM

"I think so. The question here is whether 3G is already built into the iPhones shipping now....It is very likely that a firmware upgrade will awaken the 3G within all you iPhone owners."

Bob, you often make statements that go broader than I believe are needed to make the case, and are sometimes proven true.

But this is technically provably false. There are no 3G chips even in the pre-sampling stage that would provide the necessary support for 3G in an iPhone. I would love to be wrong as an early iPhone purchasers. The chip market for 3G is controlled by a very small number of players, most of them suing Qualcomm or being sued by Qualcomm, so it's easy to know which companies are in play.

It's much more likely that AT&T and Apple decided to hold out for 7.2 Mbps HSDPA. AT&T was originally deploying 3.6 Mbps, but 7.2 is now being widely deployed in Europe. The faster flavor will deliver much higher average and peak rates than EVDO Rev. A, where 3.6 Mbps HSDPA delivers rates on par.

So I suspect part of the delay was cornering the market on the first supply of 7.2 Mbps HSDPA chips of the right size and battery consumption for a iPhone 2.0.

Glenn Fleishman | Jul 06, 2007 | 4:26PM

Just got my iPhone and it shames every other phone on the market. $500-600 for a cell phone? an iPod (music, videos, podcasts)? actual usable contacts & calendar? full web browser? instant weather? YouTube? Google Maps with driving directions? random access voicemail? WORTH EVERY PENNY!!! :)

Ahhhh remember the first iPod reviews: Too big, too heavy, only 5GB, small screen, Mac only, no contacts, no calendar, no games, no color screen, etc. (chuckle chuckle)

iCon | Jul 06, 2007 | 4:26PM

I read that Jobs said the iPhone didn't go the 3G route this time around was because of heat issues. If this is the case then I would imagine new hardware will need to be implemented.

lantzn | Jul 06, 2007 | 4:28PM

I'd like to see a larger iPhone if it meant fewer heat issues and longer battery life.

John | Jul 06, 2007 | 6:37PM

The iPhone already ships with a AT&T 3G SIMM card installed so that means Apple only has to upgrade the software to make it work.

Tony Martin | Jul 06, 2007 | 6:49PM

The iPhone already ships with a AT&T 3G SIMM card installed so that means Apple only has to upgrade the software to make it work.

Tony Martin | Jul 06, 2007 | 6:50PM

HSDPA is NOT a combination of GSM and EDGE; it's wideband CDMA for radio links, not TDMA as GSM and EDGE are.

john | Jul 06, 2007 | 7:16PM

Boy, this discussion just goes in circles as the newcomers blow past previous comments and blurt out whatever thoughts overflow their buffers.

Tony: read previous comments about the '3G' SIM card. And stop repeating yourself.

Duncan | Jul 06, 2007 | 9:03PM

Yes, b-b-b-b-but...

No one has yet explained to me why I even need an "I-Phone." Not even sure what it is. And why should I replace my Motorola "Tracfone" which has served me well over the years I've had it? It only costs $8 per month, rings if someone calls, and if I don't answer takes a voicemail, retrievable later. I rarely make outgoing calls on it: not liking to be using a phone while driving, and once back to home or office can call by landline. I do have hundreds of available minutes piled up on the Tracfone to use when needed.

Besides, if I bought something small and portable like an I-Phone which costs $600, it would Vaporize within 24 hours, never to be seen again. My Tracfone has never Vaporized because it was inexpensive. I wear cheap prescription eyeglasses obtained from an internet source, and because they're cheap, none of the multiple pairs have ever Vaporized.

For computing, I prefer my large, bright and sharp Sylvania monitor, and the standard full-size IBM typewriter-like keyboard. As others have commented, when displays and keyboards become too small they are difficult to work with. "Limitations of scale," I suppose one could call this.

And, it gets worse. I still use some DOS software everyday, as nothing further is required, and I drive a car that's 45 years old. On the plus side, no teenager would ever steal the car, and I have no debt!

Joe Schmidt | Jul 07, 2007 | 1:45AM

If it had a 3g radio it would be in the fcc filings, since it would have to be approved.

Craig | Jul 07, 2007 | 2:48AM

Brian:

Try option-3 for the £ (pound) sign on the Mac.

Juan

Juan Miguel | Jul 07, 2007 | 3:54AM

Great article. However, HSDPA is not a combination of GSM+EDGE. It's an upgrade to the standard WCDMA standard which has become commonly known as "3G" (of course, EDGE is supposedly a third generation standard, but people don't really refer to it as 3G in practice).

HSDPA is not limited to 300-700Kbit/s -- in Australia, we have the world's largest HSDPA network covering about 1.6 million square kilometres, and it runs at 14.4Mbit/s. Of course, each user doesn't get that, but the speeds per user are certainly in the 2Mbit/s range -- I can easily achieve that using an Option GT HSDPA ExpressCard on the Telstra Next G network in my laptop.

If the iPhone gets HSDPA, it'll provide GREAT network speed. In fact, the challenge for devices with HSDPA built in is having enough CPU grunt to chew through the incoming data feed quickly enough to keep up with the network connection. e.g. web pages will download very quickly on HSDPA, but it may still take a few seconds for the relatively puny mobile CPU to render the page graphically in the browser.

Dan Warne | Jul 07, 2007 | 10:20AM

The GBP/pound sign? I'm pleased you colonial cousins remember us English/Welsh/Scottish/Irish. Given that we will have to pay another 40-45% more for the latest buzzy gimmick, it's a hard price to swallow for not joining the Euro or becoming the 57th state when it was offered back in the late 1940s!

Only kidding (or am I?).

L

Lez | Jul 07, 2007 | 12:40PM

Software upgrade to 3G no way!

nonsequitor | Jul 07, 2007 | 10:06PM

This is wishful thinking!

UMTS/HSDPA cannot be enabled via a firmware update, it requires that the radio support a different frequency (2100 Mhz) from the traditional EDGE/GPRS network. And if the iPhone had the support, they would have had to mention it in their FCC filings, which they have not to the best of what I have read in the press. The iPhone isn't 3G. Period.

And you haven't figured out Steve Jobs - if he can get you to plonk money down for a new iPhone a year down the line, why give a free upgrade to the existing one? Thats never been the Apple way.

You are right though about adding a new Oomph to the product by year end. And it will be a software upgrade. My bets are:

(a) better integration and synergy i the iphone + itunes + mac + appletv ecosystem.

(b) enhancements to current technologies, such as a A2DP profile for bluetooth (wireless streaming of music to a bluetooth headphone) or syncing over bluetooth.

(c) better use of the wifi support

(d) better integration with mobile fads such as MMS or ring tomes, of course, with the apple touch.

(e) better integration with .mac

(f) better integration with iChat, possibly video streaming.

digitalenvy | Jul 07, 2007 | 11:33PM

I transcoded a DV video, of people walking slowly towards camcorder, using criteria on Apple's site.

The results suck badly - a bad case of the blockies.

Cannuck | Jul 08, 2007 | 12:53AM

Let's go through with this one more time:


* A 3G SIMS doesn't mean the iPhone supports "3G" networks. It doesn't have a 3G chipset which is good considering the legal wrangling going on. If the iPhone had a 3G chip, Apple would not have been able to sell them in the U.S. Right now, new 3G devices are not permitted until the legal issues have been worked out.


* When the iPod first came out, I decided I wasn't going to get one. Too few features (it can't record or play the radio), and it was too expensive. I'm now on my fourth iPod. Resistance is futile, you will be assimulated. I think the iPhone is too expensive, but I know I'll be getting one in a couple of years. Which is when Steve will annouce the latest and greatest iPhone that will make the previous model I just bought as desireable as last week's fried fish.


* The iPhone, like the iPod doesn't do anything revolutionary. It simply does it 1000 times better than what is on the market. That's what made the iPod so popular, and that's why the iPhone will succeed.


* Apple doesn't use a consumer replaceable battery because that adds weight and size.


* AT&T was chosen because of Verizon wouldn't let Apple do what they want, Sprint is in too much turmoil to even think about, and T-Mobile's data network is in worse shape than AT&T's. AT&T would let Apple do whatever they want, and they had a nationwide network.


* The iPhone is not a replacement for the Blackberry or the Treo smartphones. The iPhone is not as feature rich and people who need a smartphone won't buy an iPhone. However, 90% of the people who have smartphones don't really need a smartphone, so they'll be thrilled with an iPhone. Blackberry is safe, but if I was Palm, I'd be getting very little sleep.


* Is $600 too much for a phone? Yes, if you want to sell 200 million of them. No if your goal is only 10 million. We'll see more features, but probably not a price drop.

David | Jul 08, 2007 | 1:53AM

Let's go through with this one more time:


* A 3G SIMS doesn't mean the iPhone supports "3G" networks. It doesn't have a 3G chipset which is good considering the legal wrangling going on. If the iPhone had a 3G chip, Apple would not have been able to sell them in the U.S. Right now, new 3G devices are not permitted until the legal issues have been worked out.


* When the iPod first came out, I decided I wasn't going to get one. Too few features (it can't record or play the radio), and it was too expensive. I'm now on my fourth iPod. Resistance is futile, you will be assimulated. I think the iPhone is too expensive, but I know I'll be getting one in a couple of years. Which is when Steve will annouce the latest and greatest iPhone that will make the previous model I just bought as desireable as last week's fried fish.


* The iPhone, like the iPod doesn't do anything revolutionary. It simply does it 1000 times better than what is on the market. That's what made the iPod so popular, and that's why the iPhone will succeed.


* Apple doesn't use a consumer replaceable battery because that adds weight and size.


* AT&T was chosen because of Verizon wouldn't let Apple do what they want, Sprint is in too much turmoil to even think about, and T-Mobile's data network is in worse shape than AT&T's. AT&T would let Apple do whatever they want, and they had a nationwide network.


* The iPhone is not a replacement for the Blackberry or the Treo smartphones. The iPhone is not as feature rich and people who need a smartphone won't buy an iPhone. However, 90% of the people who have smartphones don't really need a smartphone, so they'll be thrilled with an iPhone. Blackberry is safe, but if I was Palm, I'd be getting very little sleep.


* Is $600 too much for a phone? Yes, if you want to sell 200 million of them. No if your goal is only 10 million. We'll see more features, but probably not a price drop.

David | Jul 08, 2007 | 1:53AM

It is my understanding that it does not have 3G built-in, which surely would have been uncovered when taken apart by ifixit.com. Apparently the given reason by Apple is that 3G draws way too much power at present, battery power being a prime concern, and supposedly the current chips are not well integrated, so would require a fatter phone. And if AT&T doesn't currently have a proper 3G network, it would be a waste anyway, with all the bad press going toward the short battery life. It's a different story once they launch in Europe and Asia, where 3G is more prominent. As mentioned above, here in Australia (and I understand Japan and Korea) there is a widespread fast 3G network already to compete against. Here they would partner either with Telstra (the biggest) or Optus, and it would look seriously flawed for a multimedia phone like this not to support 3G (or MMS).

Martin Andersen | Jul 08, 2007 | 3:50AM

So, Bob, you never mentioned whether or not YOU bought an iPhone?

Craig | Jul 08, 2007 | 8:59AM

I have used the iPhone for over a week now and I am enthralled beyond belief. It is quite simply the finest consumer product I have ever used.

I am sending this on a 2.5G network from Paris on Orange, from my iPhone. (I am on international roaming with ATT, and it works like a charm). People who are complaining about 2.5G on the iPhone either don't know what they are talking about, or they have not used it.

anant | Jul 08, 2007 | 10:33AM

I have used the iPhone for over a week now and I am enthralled beyond belief. It is quite simply the finest consumer product I have ever used.

I am sending this on a 2.5G network from Paris on Orange, from my iPhone. (I am on international roaming with ATT, and it works like a charm). People who are complaining about 2.5G on the iPhone either don't know what they are talking about, or they have not used it.

anant | Jul 08, 2007 | 10:35AM

When I bought the iPhone, it was merely based on playing with it. At the Apple Store, I turned off the WiFi and played around on the EDGE network. Exceptionally slow? That's an extreme exaggeration. Works fine in most areas where I live for YouTube (crap quality, but certainly something we're used to with YouTube), E-mail and weather/stock widgets. I don't always need to browse the web. But I've had an iPod since 2002. Through software updates, this basic MP3 Player exploded with features that were unlocked. I no doubt believe Apple will continue with this traditio. Steve Jobs knows when it worked then, it'll work now.

Stephen | Jul 08, 2007 | 10:43AM

I love ya, Bob - always have, always will - in a purely geektonically way, of course.

However, you're off base here. 3rd party teardowns of the iPhone don't reveal any HSPDA circuitry in the current build. This means that at the very least, the first gen iPhones won't be cruising past EDGE speeds. Call this Drew's first law - Those using first gen iPhones may apprach - but never exceed - theoretical max EDGE speeds.

Drew Grgich | Jul 08, 2007 | 12:16PM

I like the Phraze-It Keyboard for typing with your fingers on large keys. It is a full on-screen computer keyboard. Easy to use and works great for emails etc.

Bill M | Jul 08, 2007 | 3:03PM

Correct Drew, AT&T already has a 3g network.

Apple made the decision not to support 3G in the first due to battery and overall device size concerns.

So really, it's not AT&T that needs to change, but Apple.
http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/why/technology/3g-umts.jsp

David Felfoldi | Jul 08, 2007 | 7:13PM

No, instead, I expect a 6 gen iPod for MacWorld Expo, and a way for Apple TV to serve as a remote dock for same (and iPhone).



Maybe next summer, after ATT increases their bandwidth footprint, Apple might move to a 2nd Gen iPhone that does 3g.



One thing they are trying to avoid is high bandwidth roaming from Cell to Cell as people drive. An iPod/iPhone storage of content, keeps the network from being hit for a ton of bits as people are driving.

bud | Jul 08, 2007 | 7:49PM

Umm... I'm having a hard time understanding the battery life and size excuses given for the iPhone not being 3G - my LG CU500 is UMTS (AT&T's flavor of 3G) and was available months before Jobs announced the iPhone - and it's pretty small. It hasn't had any battery life issues and the size excuse is laughable. If the upgrade to 3G/UMTS is only a firmware upgrade, that would redeem my opinion of Steve Jobs and his first gen iPhone. I think it would be a fraud to sell *any* phone these days without 3G capability.

Stephen | Jul 08, 2007 | 11:50PM

So...

you think the lack of Flash support on the initial launch is for holding that feature back as a "sweetener" for the forthcoming update?

By not having Flash support first-up could be potential detractor, although minimised with Apple saying "it's coming".

just not sure why it wasn't there in the first place, that's all...

barry.b | Jul 08, 2007 | 11:56PM

I have not seen much reported about the lack of flash and the lack of 3g together in an article. It's not in apple's best interest to let us stream music on an iphone nor would att like us to consume their 3g bandwidth at $20 mo. I usually agree with this column, but I think this editorial fails to respect the very guarded revenue streams of AT&T. From ringtones, 3g, txt msging, to iTunes there seems to be a lot of defensive moves being made by both companies. What neither company wants is for me to stream rhapsody on my iPhone over $20 mo. 3G. Also notice how their is no dashboard on the iPhone! They don't want passive Internet traffic. I have my iPhone for 24 hours and have already used over 100mb of edge bandwidth.

jared brown | Jul 09, 2007 | 12:10AM

Apple is already dealing with people who are "upset" at some features and implementation. Now, lets say they advertise a new feature and tout the new faster data capabilities. Oops, sorry, 80% of the country cant use that feature. That is not good business.

This is also why I dont think you will see a 3G iPhone in under 6 months. For v2 of a product to be successful, you need many v1 people to "upgrade." Given the very high price, the 2 year contract AND the fact that a 3G upgrade would be useless to 50%-75% of all iPhone users. It is not a great situation for Apple.

Ash Greyson | Jul 09, 2007 | 5:13AM

1) Dissections have already revealed no 3G capable chip inside current models. I can't believe anyone still tries to speculate otherwise.

2) It would have been brilliant to give away the phones to employees LONG BEFORE the launch, so bugs could be found.

Kevin D | Jul 09, 2007 | 7:42AM

check this out:http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070709/tc_nm/apple_nanophone_dc

The iPhone is SUPPOSED to cannibalize the iPods the way the Mac eventually cannibalized and replaced the Apple II.

Kevin Kunreuther | Jul 09, 2007 | 7:33PM

I have some questions for all you iPhone users: Can you *update* the calendar on the phone, and sync changes to the calendar back to iCal? Can you edit the To-Do list and sync it back? Can you edit contacts and sync them back?

The answers to these questions on the iPod has always been No, No and No - the iPod is philosophically a read-only device (what we PDA users call a "brick").

Rick | Jul 10, 2007 | 10:48AM

This is better than the iPhone

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20070710/tc_cmp/201000323

www.openmoko.com

rob | Jul 10, 2007 | 11:25AM

I bet the current iPhone has SDR (software defined radio). A firmware upgrade could make it 3G capable. It is related to FPGA, which people already mentioned here. Maybe that's the reason why Jobs told that a bad iPhone application could disrupt the wireless network.

Wagner Ikeda | Jul 10, 2007 | 1:40PM

Looks like iPhone will have BATTERY problems like the iPod !!! Soldered in place battery, not user-replaceable like other cell phones. Jobs steps on his crank - AGAIN !!!

torroid88 | Jul 10, 2007 | 4:46PM

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070710/tc_afp/usittelecompatent

The tail wagging the dog

but in other news:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Marlette

Doug Marlette died in auto accident today, excellent editorial cartoonist (today's entry, iPOd therefore I am!http://www.tmsfeatures.com/tmsfeatures/servlet/com.featureserv.util.Download?file=20070709edmar-a-p.jpg&code=edmar)

Kevin Kunreuther | Jul 10, 2007 | 8:21PM

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070710/tc_afp/usittelecompatent

The tail wagging the dog

but in other news:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Marlette

Doug Marlette died in auto accident today, excellent editorial cartoonist (today's entry, iPOd therefore I am!http://www.tmsfeatures.com/tmsfeatures/servlet/com.featureserv.util.Download?file=20070709edmar-a-p.jpg&code=edmar)

Kevin Kunreuther | Jul 10, 2007 | 8:22PM

Nothing said it quite as well as this prophetic piece:

http://cache.gizmodo.com/gadgets/images/iProduct.gif

It's funny because it's true.

Jace | Jul 10, 2007 | 9:43PM

Spoken by someone who doesn't use 3G. The bandwidth goes up, but the overall experience is still sluggish presumably because of the latency. Certainly you won't see a 3-5x speedup, if European networks are anything to go by. You might see a flat battery, though.

Ian Wilson | Jul 11, 2007 | 9:32AM

att/cingular has been putting "3g" on SIM cards forever. That doesn't change the fact that all their phones use EDGE...

bob-a-loo | Jul 12, 2007 | 6:30PM

No iPhone comment here - just wanted to give you props for the movie reference in the title... I watched it last night and the movie is so bad it approaches greatness!

Bryan J | Jul 12, 2007 | 7:04PM

Great article, let me just echo it a bit.
I do not own an iPhone but based on all I've read and all its capabilities, is far better than a lot of what is already out there.
A couple of things to keep in mind that can be improved and will be improved.
-Keypbaord:
*If you turn the phone to landscape, the keyboard doe not turn to landscape with it...it should.
*The spacing on the keyboard should be adjustable...for those with slightly big finger
-True GPS...Google maps is great but GPS can be better (correct me if I'm wrong)
-WiFi music download or blue tooth (wireless sync)
-Add applications for IT professionals.
Will the iPhone sell in Christmas??? YES, but I agree there will have to be a bit more from AT&T or Apple Inc.
- Either lower the price or offer discounts...I think this is necessary to have EXPOLSIVE sales.
*Keep in mind that the iPhone is a 4G or 8G device and I feel that there will be firmware upgrades available by Christmas...space is not an issue and it will also be hard for me to believe that there is no provision to upgrade to things like faster network, more applications, games...What I'm trying to say that I think the iPhone will stick around and Steve Job will sell lots of fimrware before the iPhone 5.0 comes out.

Thank you for reading.
J.R. Garcia.

Jose R. Garcia | Jul 12, 2007 | 8:39PM

When you compare the fewer and larger on-screen keys of the Phraze-It Keyboard, you will see that it is very easy to type with your fingers on the Phraze-it Keyboard for Windows Mobile phones. The Phraze-It Keyboard is really made for mobile productivity. Prevalent Devices has touch screen phone text entry figured out. They offer typing, thumbing, one handed or two handed text entry, a full comoputer keyboard for word processing full sentences and paragraphs. A business user will prefer the Phraze-IT Keyboard.

Al | Jul 14, 2007 | 7:20AM

I'm not sure where I heard this, either from Jobs himself, or from Walt Mosberg, but the current lot of iPhones will support 3G with a hardware upgrade, which Apple will provide for a fee.

Also, the reason 3G was not included in the initial release of the iPhone was because the current chipsets wwere power hogs.

Doug Evans | Jul 17, 2007 | 6:40PM