Sunday, June 22, 2008

IPhone out... IPhone in...

Here's the dilemma I had a few months back. Speculation was in the air that a new iPhone is to be released very soon. I was excited to get a new one on my hands especially if it had 3G and GPS and more. But I wasn't gonna pitch in another couple hundred bucks to lay my hands on it. Also there were a couple other phones which looked enticing. So I basically wanted an exit strategy so that I can test the waters for the next phone.
What pulled the trigger on my decision was my friends insider word that the iPhone is gonna be a 200$ cheaper but will have a more expensive data plan. So off I went and got into the act of unlocking using Ziphone unlock tool. My first attempt was pretty bad - ended up losing Youtube and Visual Voicemail. But then I reverted all my actions and started off afresh. This time, it was all success.A few days before the big announcement, I posted up the unlocked one on ebay. The 3 day posting didn't look promising till the last one hour when the price jumped from 150$ to a whopping 370$. What's more - I got to play around with the unlocked iPhone to get a glimpse of the kind of applications and games that can be developed on the device.
So here I am, back to square one, using a $15 motorola phone, a device while does solely what the name stands for. But then, the next few days are dedicated to exploring the market and zeroing in onto my next device. Let's say - the wizard is on his wand hunt.

Monday, June 9, 2008

IPhone 3G is here! Finally!!!!

The iPhone is itself a revolutionary product in many ways. To take it up, spruce it and notch up to the next level is an extremely difficult challenge and that's exactly what Steve Jobs accomplished in his keynote today.

Come July and the 3G iPhone hits the market. Bolstered by an inbuilt GPS, enterprise support with push-email and the wide array of softwares & games (all thanks to the IPhone SDK), the 3G IPhone is all set to challenge RIM (Blackberry) and Palm and give them a run for the market share. The coming days will uncover an interesting battle, definitely worth watching.

So, here's a short cover-up on what the keynote did right, how the equations changes and what the unplugged holes are.

Where Apple scored with the 3G iPhone?
- 3G Support: Definitely not the first phone to go 3G, but yes definitely amongst the phones which would benefit the most by 3G support. This has been a deal-breaker for many and will go a long way to attract a big market share. 3G speeds of the IPhone has been shown be at least 2-2.4x higher than the traditional EDGE speeds.
- Enterprise Support & Push email: One area where iPhone lagged was the Enterprise market. That required a minimum of Microsoft Exchange support, push email and secure communications. And that's exactly what iPhone delivers in this new Software release.
- A-GPS: GPS support has become a must for the high-end phones of today's market and this can be no exception.
- Software Apps & Games: With the release of Apple Iphone SDK, the development of new apps & games has skyrocketed with interest for the same surpassing that of Mobile development for windows & symbian devices.
- 3.5 mm headphones: Apple finally woke up and decided to offer 3.5 mm headphone support (in constrast to the reduced 2.5 mm ones in the 2G iPhones)
- Innovative Chat/Messaging infrastructure: A modest example to show the extent Apple goes to avoid compromising on power and battery life in the face of power-hogging applications like chat & messengers
- Price: Well, how more enticing can you get than by slashing the price of the iPhone by half from $399 to $199. (Note: The price is actually up by $40 if calculated correctly ;))

Where Apple missed the boat?
- 3D Software Accelerator: An addition of 3D Graphics chip would have enhanced the splendid iPhone display to new levels.
- Haptics support: An advanced technology in touchscreen devices which gives the touch feedback feel as in case of real keys.
- Camera: The current 2MP camera is an unconvincing excuse. Recent Nokia/HTC devices have upto 5MP inbuilt camera in mobile phones
- Copy-paste functionality: So basic & so missing
- MMS support: Not sure why this still miss out on this one
- No video recording/video conferencing: This was one of the much expected features in the new release but the release fell short. While video conferencing was a bit too much to ask, basic video recording is an inexplicable miss
- No A2DP support: Cannot listen to music/video using wireless bluetooth headsets. Again a dealbreaker for a selected audience.

So here we go - the pros & cons of the new iPhone. All said and done, my take on it - the software update and the 3G iPhone is a big improvement despite its shortcomings. Buy, Buy, Buy!