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Praise be, new jesusPhones!
June 9, 2009 11:04 AM   Subscribe

As expected new iPhones were announced yesterday, taking a bit of wind out of the Palm Pre's excellent sales, pissing off some current iPhone users over upgrade fees, and leaving several gadget makers wondering if they have a future.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (200 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is something I've apparently been misled about... so existing iPhone users don't get the OS upgrade over the air? They have to buy new hardware in order to get the software improvements?

How often are these revs going to happen, and does Apple have any plans to upgrade the OS OTA in the future?
posted by gurple at 11:11 AM on June 9, 2009


I was going to get the new iPhone, but the Pre has gotten really positive reviews... Now I am lost and confused.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:12 AM on June 9, 2009


Will the hype never end? iPhone is rapidly becoming the Hannah Montana of personal communication devices.
posted by MikeMc at 11:12 AM on June 9, 2009 [20 favorites]


I have no complaints whatsoever about the iPhone or its pricing scheme.

One thing that did drive me insane yesterday was seeing that the MBP's expresscard slot was replaced by a SD memory card reader. Note that you could've bought a more capable reader and stuck it in that expresscard slot. Also note that the slot was too small to read CF cards (a staple of pro photographers), and so making a multifunction reader would've made sense if it could read CF. Nope, they just stone cold ripped out the usable expresscard slot and put in a really, really anemic replacement. Dumb dumb dumb.
posted by mullingitover at 11:13 AM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


so existing iPhone users don't get the OS upgrade over the air?

Not over the air, but via iTunes. As a developer, I've been using 3.0 pre-releases on first-generation iPhones without problems. No new hardware needed, although the new 3GS's are pretty neat!
posted by DreamerFi at 11:13 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


How can the cost of buying a new phone be an "upgrade fee"? It's hardware.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 11:18 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


American hipsters may passively roll over and take this shit, but UK customers are up in arms. And if it's one thing the UK likes at the moment, it's angry mobs that don;t give a shit about reasonable excuses. Rar!
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah I thought from the messaging on apple's website that you get the OS upgrade through ITunes like you get any ITunes upgrade. Anyone have a link that confirms?
posted by spicynuts at 11:19 AM on June 9, 2009


The first link is a tech reviewer noting how underwhelmed he was the iPhones. Not that they're bad, but rather he already knew what the upgrades were, whereas before there tended to be more mystery. Perhaps a sign of Apple without Jobs?

The second link is about the Pre and it's record breaking sales for Palm. The Pre looks like an excellent device, but I question the timing of it's release, just two days before the iPhone, especially since people are pissed off about the upgrade prices. Palm could have thought this through better.

The anger over upgrades in the third link is kinda sadly funny. AT&T locks people into 2 year contracts, yet Apple is releasing iPhones on a yearly schedule, that was bound to make AT&T look really bad, let alone the lack of immediate tethering or MMS.

And as to single use devices, their future does look dimmer, but probably not dead. Not everyone wants an all in one device after all.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 AM on June 9, 2009


Gurple, the OS upgrade is free:

iPhone 3.0 will be a free release for all iPhone customers -- both original iPhone users and iPhone 3G users will be able to download it at no charge once it's released.

The upgrade fees people are complaining about are hardware upgrades: those who wish to swap their older iPhone or iPhone 3G for the new 3GS.
posted by rokusan at 11:20 AM on June 9, 2009


The upgrade fees people are complaining about are hardware upgrades

Gotcha. I also was confused about the "upgrade fee" language.
posted by gurple at 11:23 AM on June 9, 2009


Will the hype never end? iPhone is rapidly becoming the Hannah Montana of personal communication devices.

IT'S MILEY!!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:23 AM on June 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


The 3.0 software upgrade isn't going live until the end of the month.

Really, I don't have a huge problem with not getting a cheap hardware upgrade right away. The software upgrade will solve about 90% of the problems/disappointments that I've had with the iPhone, and the rest I can wait for. After the new users and people that are willing to pay the early-adopter tax have gotten theirs and sales level off, it will be more affordable at about the time that my AT&T contract is up and I can see if the Pre's hardware has improved to match the software, which is supposedly very good.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:24 AM on June 9, 2009


The iPod touch can get the upgrade too, but because of some weird extrapolation of Sarbanes Oxley they have to pay for it. Which means you're going to get people not paying for it and using the previous OS instead, which will mean another enviroment app developers need to test on, which is something developers always love.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on June 9, 2009



How can the cost of buying a new phone be an "upgrade fee"? It's hardware.


Yeah, the outrage is a bit weird to me, unless the point about the OS upgrade via ITunes is wrong. If I buy a MacBook Pro and then a year later Apple introduces the MacBookPro 2.0 with a slimmer profile, bigger screen and new colors, I'm not going to expect that I can just trade in my old hardware for the new one, right? Isn't this the same thing? You can get the OS for free if you have a 3G phone, but if you want the new look of the S, you have to actually buy the new hardware?
posted by spicynuts at 11:24 AM on June 9, 2009


Auto makers come out with new versions of each model practically every year. But you don't hear new owners of 2008 Accords whine that Honda won't to give them a 2009 Accord for next to nothing. Suck it up, iPhone babies.
posted by mullacc at 11:25 AM on June 9, 2009 [13 favorites]


Customers that bought 2008 Volkswagen Jettas are up in arms over the upgrade fees for the 2009 models.
"It's a slap in the face to loyal customers", said one man who eats most of his meals alone and within 10 feet of the microwave that reheated it.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 11:26 AM on June 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


I was going to get the new iPhone, but the Pre has gotten really positive reviews... Now I am lost and confused.

I can't decide which to get either. I'm leaning towards the pre because the unlimited service (voice, data, and sms) costs $100 from sprint and $150 from att...
posted by foodgeek at 11:26 AM on June 9, 2009


The most straightforward way around this is simple: buy [current iPhone iteration] on contract. Use it for 51 weeks. Sell it unlocked on eBay one week before WWDC, completely recouping the subsidized price. Skate by with an old phone for a week until [next iPhone iteration] is available. Buy the new phone, using the money from the old phone to make up for the price difference. Use it for 51 weeks...
posted by mullingitover at 11:26 AM on June 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


The 3.0 OS release is June 17th.
posted by beowulf573 at 11:27 AM on June 9, 2009


Re: the ExpressCard slot. Apparently only 1% of MBP owners use the slot, whereas presumably many more use SD cards, which are already the standard for point & shoots and are rapidly becoming the standard for dSLRs as well. Pretty much all of the lower end dSLRs use SD and many of the pro models offer SD alongside CF now.

Apart from card readers, for Mac users, many ExpressCard 3G modems are terrible. With AT&T, for example, the Option GT cards are absolutely awful, whereas one of AT&T's USB modems is pretty good (Quicksilver or Mercury, I get them confused). Soon it'll (mostly) be a moot point with the availability of tethering on the iPhone.

A CF slot is almost a third wider than an ExpressCard slot, so it's not clear that there was actually the space for a CF slot. And of course adding CF instead of SD would anger lots of people with SD-based cameras. The compromise of having both CF and SD slots would hurt the MBP's design aesthetic. And speaking of aesthetics, ExpressCard devices tend to have rather ugly bits sticking out of the laptop, which isn't Apple's style.

If you're completely dependent upon ExpressCard, the 17" MBP still has a slot.
posted by jedicus at 11:28 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah I thought from the messaging on apple's website that you get the OS upgrade through ITunes like you get any ITunes upgrade. Anyone have a link that confirms?

It's downloadable for free, $9.95 for iTouch owners on June 17. The OS will run on every version of the Touch or Phone, though of course older versions won't be able to use all the new features.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:28 AM on June 9, 2009


mullingitover, I know what you mean. I was just thinking about getting an eSATA ExpressCard for my old MBP, but now I won't because, well, I won't be able to use it on a new MBP. Firewire 800 FTL (unless those 800 ports are actually 3200 ports in disguise).
posted by infinitewindow at 11:30 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Current iPhone owners will get the software upgrade for free. Touch owners will have to pay a small amount ($10, I think). The outrage over not being given new hardware at the subsidized rate is ridiculous.
posted by null terminated at 11:30 AM on June 9, 2009


I have read about this here, Consumerist and elsewhere. Forgive my cluelessness, but I loathe the idea of touch-screen email typing, so I've never been interested in trading in my Bberry for an iphone...

Can someone summarize the problem here? As I read it, a new iphone has come out, and people with an older model want the new-customer deal, is that correct? There's nothing more to see here?

If there's more to it than wealthy self-entitled hipsters whining, please let me know.
posted by bunnycup at 11:33 AM on June 9, 2009


The first link is a tech reviewer noting how underwhelmed he was the iPhones. Not that they're bad, but rather he already knew what the upgrades were, whereas before there tended to be more mystery. Perhaps a sign of Apple without Jobs?

A couple years ago, the press was complaining about how they had all this massive secrecy and buildup to what turned out were minor announcements. I guess you can't please everyone.
posted by blenderfish at 11:34 AM on June 9, 2009


One thing that did drive me insane yesterday was seeing that the MBP's expresscard slot was replaced by a SD memory card reader.

I had an 'Oh Shit!' moment when I heard about MBP upgrades as I had just bought one earlier in the year (after the last speedbump).

Now I don't feel bad at all.
posted by mazola at 11:36 AM on June 9, 2009


If there's more to it than wealthy self-entitled hipsters whining, please let me know.

Actually, it's mostly dorks, nerds, dweebs, and the occasional greaser.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:36 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that the problem of subsidies is easily solved such that AT&T doesn't lose any money on a subsidized upgrade and their customers remain happy. Simply prorate the subsidy to the number of months a customer is into their 2-year contract. I don't know why this is so hard. If a subsidized 3GS is $199, unsubsidized is $399, and I've been a customer for a year, why can't I get a 3GS for $299?
posted by fusinski at 11:36 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


infinitewindow: "mullingitover, I know what you mean. I was just thinking about getting an eSATA ExpressCard for my old MBP, but now I won't because, well, I won't be able to use it on a new MBP. Firewire 800 FTL (unless those 800 ports are actually 3200 ports in disguise)."

This. My example wasn't the best, and jedicus has a point that most pro cameras are now rolling with SD. In either case, all cameras have a USB port which makes a card reader kinda pointless. The use case infinitewindow points out is much more likely--eSata blows the doors off firewire any day of the week.
posted by mullingitover at 11:38 AM on June 9, 2009


I'm looking forward to the 3.0 upgrade, it'll add some neat features. The extra cost for me to buy a new phone is a blessing in disguise because it'll keep me from running right out and upgrading.

Anyone who gets overly excited about any of this, or overly critical, or overly critical about the over-excitement, needs to go outside and take a walk.
posted by bondcliff at 11:40 AM on June 9, 2009


MetaFilter: it's mostly dorks, nerds, dweebs, and the occasional greaser.
posted by mazola at 11:40 AM on June 9, 2009 [12 favorites]


That's about the size of it, bunnycup. I'm champing at the bit to get a new iPhone (my Alltel contract ends in November), but I don't get the winhy-baby brattiness of these folks. Apple is not doing any more than they promise to do. But it's typical bullshit "disappointment" from assholes who blame Apple for not meeting their unrealistic expectations. And it bothers the hell out of me. Hence my MacBook review at Amazon.
posted by grubi at 11:40 AM on June 9, 2009


Nope, they just stone cold ripped out the usable expresscard slot and put in a really, really anemic replacement. Dumb dumb dumb.

yeah for once I'm pleased as punch for NOT having the follow-on make my present HW a POS.

I use the expresscard slot for PnP eSATA for my backup drive, and it rocks -- way faster than internal.

which will mean another enviroment app developers need to test on, which is something developers always love.

3.0 has some nice bug fixes, new features (just got out of the WWDC session now LOL), CoreData, and AFAICT OpenGL ES 2.0. All iPhones will have it, and nearly all iPod people (who actively buy apps) will have it too. No 2.x entry in my test matrix.
posted by @troy at 11:40 AM on June 9, 2009


If a subsidized 3GS is $199, unsubsidized is $399, and I've been a customer for a year, why can't I get a 3GS for $299?
posted by fusinski at 2:36 PM on June 9


Or you wait a year, get the even better iphone that undoubtedly comes out next year, and get it for the full subsidized price of $199. Imagine!
posted by Pastabagel at 11:41 AM on June 9, 2009


Can the iPhone copy and paste yet?
posted by loquacious at 11:42 AM on June 9, 2009


I got a Pre on launch day. Even waited in line for it. I'm pretty happy with it and the physical keyboard (enough to write this post on it). There are a few little software bugs and the battery life isn't so super hot. The only thing about the iPhone 3GS announcement that gave me second thoughts about the Pre was the promise of better battery life. Hopefully they'll push some software updates out for the Pre that lower power consumption.
posted by zsazsa at 11:42 AM on June 9, 2009


Yes, loquacious. With iPhone OS 3.0, it can.
posted by grubi at 11:46 AM on June 9, 2009


The sensible part of me thinks its totally reasonable to have to wait to December (on my contract) to catch the subsidized 3GS

The lulzy bastard part of me secretly hopes the insane mob raises enough of a stink about this to force AT&T into offering the subsidy to us too.

/was able to get a $200 check from Apple in 07 after the price drop that way.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:48 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can the iPhone copy and paste yet?

No. It will be able to in 8 days, however. It will be able to 'cut', as well.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:49 AM on June 9, 2009


Simply prorate the subsidy to the number of months a customer is into their 2-year contract.

AT&T does pro-rate the early-termination fee. And it does prorate the subside... you only have to be 18 months into your 2-year contract to get a new phone at the low prices.

Really, the problem is just whiny iPhone 3G buyers who bought their phone a year ago, and want the new one for cheap. And can't wait 6 months to qualify for the upgrade pricing.
posted by smackfu at 11:49 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


The figures for the 3G iPhones current power consumption were ludicrously optimistic, so there is no reason to believe that the 3GS ones are any less fictional. the iPhone is simply not a phone to get if you ever plan on being away from a USB port or charger for more than a day.
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


eSata blows the doors off firewire any day of the week.

That's true, but Apple is pushing towards more and more use of wireless. Witness the Time Capsule, MacBook Air and optical drive sharing, for example. Aesthetics and simplicity are favored over raw speed. Also, I don't think Apple cares much for eSATA. Not even the Mac Pro includes it out of the box, though of course it has the slots for an adapter.

But even apart from Apple the manufacturers of external hard drives favor USB. A quick check of Newegg shows that there are 253 drives with USB or Firewire and 88 with eSATA, a ratio of almost 3:1. While the use case may be compelling for those with the technical knowledge to pick the best setup, the number of people who own a MBP, have an eSATA drive, and are willing to buy a clunky-looking $45 adapter has got to be pretty slim indeed. Certainly it can't be more than 1% of the MBP-owning population, per Apple's research.
posted by jedicus at 11:51 AM on June 9, 2009


Just because Apple digs it's heels in about something does not mean they are not ludicrously wrong.
posted by Artw at 11:53 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Really, the problem is just whiny iPhone 3G buyers who bought their phone a year ago, and want the new one for cheap

The price diff between the iPod touch and iPhone indicates to me that Apple & AT&T are charging what the traffic will bear. In this case, the consumer must push back in this effort of price discovery.

Me, the hw fee is irrelevant compared to the $2000 back-end cost. I'm happy to be on a discontinued $80/yr plan with another provider and use the money for something else, like a week in Maui or something.
posted by @troy at 11:57 AM on June 9, 2009


Which means you're going to get people not paying for it and using the previous OS instead, which will mean another enviroment app developers need to test on, which is something developers always love.

Most iPhone developers know this is not an issue of much significance, for the simple reason that Apple has already warned developers that it will not allow apps to be sold on the App Store if they do not work in v3. So any developer who wanted to keep targeting v2 users will be required to target v3, anyway, if they want to sell anything, period.

There was plenty of warning about this during the pre-release and testing phases and not much grumbling, probably because recompilation to a different target was sufficient for most.

There is some under the hood stuff that just requires a recompile, but most of the difference between the two versions is in API additions, such as MapKit and Core Data, which didn't exist before (so there's nothing to test). If you're writing OpenGL ES, you knew OpenGL ES 2.0 support was coming, and 2.0 routines are mostly a superset of ES 1.1. So unless you're writing an ES 2.0 app, you don't have very much work to do to keep your old app running.

In other words, I just don't see this is a genuine concern to (iPhone) developers. To people who don't develop on the iPhone, I could see why this tactic might scare them away.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:59 AM on June 9, 2009


use the money for something else, like a week in Maui or something.

But you'll never get laid in Maui because all of the girls will be pointing and laughing at your phone.
posted by MikeMc at 12:00 PM on June 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


If you're writing OpenGL ES, you knew OpenGL ES 2.0 support was coming

I did?

and 2.0 routines are mostly a superset of ES 1.1

Mostly disjoint sets. (Yeay, finally get to use 7th grade pre-algebra class on March 12, 1980)
posted by @troy at 12:02 PM on June 9, 2009


In other words, I just don't see this is a genuine concern to (iPhone) developers.

I can confirm that this is an actual real concern to actual real iPhone developers. And to clarify, the concern is not so much that they have to make the app work on 3.0, which is a given, it's that it still has to support 2.0.
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on June 9, 2009


the iPhone is simply not a phone to get if you ever plan on being away from a USB port or charger for more than a day

The above statement is simply false.

I go three days on my two-year old first gen iPhone between charges. Two if I listen to MP3s.

On my previous phone, I went three days between charges, without features like touchscreen, MP3s, calendaring, synchronization, etc.

I get that you don't like Apple but there's no need to spread misinformation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:06 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I did?

You didn't?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:07 PM on June 9, 2009


My HTC PPC-6800 has variable battery life. I can do the same thing two days in a row with teh phone. Day 1, it loses battery power inside two hours just sitting on the end table. Day 2, I forget to charge it overnight and it's at 90% the next morning just sitting on the end table. So confusing.

Are we not complaining about our mobular phones right now?
posted by grubi at 12:09 PM on June 9, 2009


You didn't?/i>

The ES2 headers appeared yesterday, AFAIK. At any rate they weren't in the earlier betas. Maybe beta 5, but I stopped looking for them after Beta 3.

posted by @troy at 12:12 PM on June 9, 2009


Also, the subsidized price for the current (old?) 3G iPhone will be just $99. These things will be everywhere!
posted by LordSludge at 12:12 PM on June 9, 2009


I get that you don't like Apple but there's no need to spread misinformation.

***BZZZT*** APPLE IS GOOD ***BZZT*** APPLE COMPETITOR IS BAD ***BZZZT*** MUST MAINTAIN PERSECUTION COMPLEX ***BZZT***

I think you've been replaced by Blazebot again. It's a lovely phone, wouldn't want to be without it, but it's got shitty battery life.
posted by Artw at 12:13 PM on June 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Another datapoint on ExpressCard:

I really didn't use the PCMCIA slot on my old Powerbook either. Until a faulty Firewire device burned out the Firewire on the logic board, that is. Solutions? New board (==new computer basically) or a $20 PCMCIA card.

Expandability is a nice thing.
posted by mazola at 12:14 PM on June 9, 2009


I'm getting the Pre.
posted by oddman at 12:14 PM on June 9, 2009


I think you've been replaced by Blazebot again. It's a lovely phone, wouldn't want to be without it, but it's got shitty battery life.

OFFS, you got caught making up shit about them. Give it a rest, already!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:16 PM on June 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


They missed an opportunity. They should have called it the ]|[ GS.

I go three days on my two-year old first gen iPhone between charges. Two if I listen to MP3s.

I'm disappointed they didn't announce a Touch bump as well. I'm in the market, but I think I'm going to hold out.

I believe the 3G iPhones average a day on a charge under normal use. This guy's friends are "astonished" that he gets 36 hours of life out of a charge, for instance.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:19 PM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Whoops, should preview. Swap the second and third line there. C/P error.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:20 PM on June 9, 2009


Meanwhile in Canada we can't get an iPhone unless we sign up for a minimum 3 YEAR contract with NO upgrade deals.

I hate you Rogers. Yes I do.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:21 PM on June 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


There appears to be a highly focused aperture in the Reality Distortion Field. I can only suspect that Job's positronic matrix is failing. Unfortunately, for aesthetic reasons it was engineered not to be replaceable.
posted by srboisvert at 12:21 PM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


What's the point of a mobile phone if it spends half its life plugged into the wall?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:22 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


OFFS, you got caught making up shit about them. Give it a rest, already!

I what? Where? Give it a rest fanboi.
posted by Artw at 12:24 PM on June 9, 2009


A side point, yes, but it's amazing how Japan is not in this market. Can you think of other electronics where that might be true?! For many reasons Michael Crichton's Rising Sun has not come through, but you'd have thunk some corporation from there would put together an efficient, wow-making product in this market also.
posted by skepticallypleased at 12:24 PM on June 9, 2009



The battery life on the iPhone sucks, if mine was any indication. But it's not that bad because you can just pop it out and buy a new one.

And, as a bonus, if you left the phone on for two or three days, it would forget how to make or recieve calls. On the plus side, rebooting it so often made me nostalgic for the Windows 95 days and reminded me how awesome everything Apple is.

But alas, I no longer have that phone, having had to trade down to a Motorola Razr. I miss the touchscreen, but now understand what battery life truly is.

It occurs to me that your phone does not have a battery, but rather is powered directly from your RDF. That's a neat feature, I admit, and would explain the discrepancy.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:25 PM on June 9, 2009


Does the iPhone pop and lock yet?
posted by snofoam at 12:28 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


skepticallypleased - Until the iPhone the US was actually quite a backwater as far as phones go. Over in Asia they've had cool internety stuff on their phones for quite some time, to an extent that even made European phones use look primitive, so the iPhone is somewhat less impressive.
posted by Artw at 12:29 PM on June 9, 2009


Here's something I'm really confused about, and I'd really like an answer to: What features are missing from the iPhone 3G with the 3.0 OS that you get with an iPhone 3GS?

This is what i know so far, the iPhone 3GS has:
-better camera
-video
-compass
-better battery life
-faster processor

What else is there?
posted by Mach5 at 12:30 PM on June 9, 2009


Give it a rest fanboi.

Call me a fanboi if you have to, but it doesn't change the fact that you don't know what you're talking about.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:31 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you don't like the current iphone on AT&T, it will almost certainly be released within a year or so on Verizon/Telus/Bell/CDMA/HDSPA. Telus (in Canada) is already unofficially telling corporate clients to expect it when the new network rolls out - as early as September. And no - they aren't "switching to GSM".
posted by jeffmik at 12:33 PM on June 9, 2009


Metafilter: Go outside and take a walk.
posted by willmize at 12:33 PM on June 9, 2009


Pepsi3g... apparently they got David Fincher to direct the ad
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:33 PM on June 9, 2009


Mach5 - I'll be pleasantly surprised if the voice stuff doesn't require extra hardware.
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on June 9, 2009


but you'd have thunk some corporation from there would put together an efficient, wow-making product in this market also.

Lack of end-to-end skillsets and will. The Japanese don't do "generalist" well, and the last OS they shipped was AFAICT DOS/V, a bad MS-DOS knockoff.

They don't have the CS bodies or chops, compared to the US, which imports tech talent from all over the world.

Sony and Nintendo are doing well in their niches but have relied on wunderkinds (Kutaragi and Miyamoto) and a history of institutional success to retain their industry positions. (Japan doesn't have the collective IQ left for a third presence alongside these two, IMO).

Apple had all the pieces laying around to put this together. e-commerce since the Apple Store opened 10 years ago, the iPod from 2001, OS X from the mid-90s, experienced UI designers from this decade. You need all the parts to work to succeed. A system, like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest component.
posted by @troy at 12:39 PM on June 9, 2009


What else is there?

More storage (16 or 32 GB).
posted by daniel_charms at 12:40 PM on June 9, 2009


My v3xx Razr has served me just fine for the past handful of years. Don't need flashy old iPhone. Nope. Had this model since '06 and it has the longest battery life I've seen.
posted by kldickson at 12:41 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is what i know so far, the iPhone 3GS has:

-faster processor


Have you seen an actual spec on this? All I've seen is claims that the new phone is faster, is this the result of new hardware or software optimization?
posted by MikeMc at 12:44 PM on June 9, 2009


Have you seen an actual spec on this? All I've seen is claims that the new phone is faster, is this the result of new hardware or software optimization?

I don't think we'll know until the first teardown, although they aren't claiming it for the old 3G models. You'll probably get some bump from webkit/javascript updates, but that wouldn't affect the "faster to load apps" type comments.
posted by Kyol at 12:47 PM on June 9, 2009


To me, it's the non-phone uses of the iPhone that are about to get really interesting, as implied by the Tom-Tom article.

I already use my iPhone to stream personalized internet radio, for free, in my car. Satellite radio is obsolete. But now, the new 3.0 OS will have a real bluetooth stack (finally!) that allows pairing with 3rd party devices. Think how many gadgets could benefit from a slick, bright touchscreen + built-in internet connection + location awareness.

For example: My trusty Passport 8500 radar detector has saved me from many a ticket, but it's nearing the end of its life, and I've been ogling the cool GPS-enabled, $450 Passport 9500i -- the GPS lets you tag false alerts so they don't bother you again, and you can even sync it up to my PC via USB to get the latest traffic cameras and speed traps from a collaborative internet database and... hey waitaminute!! I bet in less than a year, there will be a little radar detector accessory that pairs via bluetooth to the iPhone, updates all the falses via wireless internet ON THE FLY, and displays all the threats on a Google Maps display. It'll probably even integrate into a Tom-Tom-esque GPS application. "In 500 meters, turn left onto 5th street. Caution -- speed enforcement officer 1000 feet straight ahead." with a little police car beacon displayed on the map...

Conversely, I kinda feel like a chump for having just paid a few hundred bucks on a standalone Garmin 770 GPS. Its maps are obsolete out of the box, the traffic reports require a monthly subscription, and the touchscreen and general refinement aren't anywhere near the iPhone's. It'll play mp3s, but just barely. And it really is a pretty neat device, but the iPhone just makes it seem so utterly clunky and obsolete.


I can definitely see a future demand for iPhones with ONLY a data plan, just to mount in your car and use as a mobile, internet-enabled information device.
posted by LordSludge at 12:48 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Any rumors of a 240GB or better classic? My hoarding tendencies need to know before they fill the remaining 10 gigs on my 160 and switch to a different brand with more capacity.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:49 PM on June 9, 2009


What features are missing from the iPhone 3G with the 3.0 OS that you get with an iPhone 3GS?

OpenGL ES 2.0 most likely (will look at this tonight).

The upshot of this is that there might be higher-quality graphics for games, or not since the old way of doing things isn't that bad on such a small display device.

is this the result of new hardware or software optimization?

Faster hw, including a new-generation graphics chip, the PowerVR SGX (replacing the previous MBX).
posted by @troy at 12:49 PM on June 9, 2009


What else is there?

Voice commands.
posted by grubi at 12:50 PM on June 9, 2009


Call me a fanboi if you have to, but it doesn't change the fact that you don't know what you're talking about.

Make nice you two. He's talking about the 3G, you're talking about the original iPhone. Your experience is typical for the phone you have, his is typical for the 3G.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:50 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


The only reason to be annoyed by the upgrade prices / subsidization scheme is simply that theoretically the reason why you have to be under contract is because they need to have you for 2 years at $HighMonthlyRate to make back the subsidy.

But the reality is that if you buy one unsubsidized (as I might to upgrade mine), then you'd *still* be locked into the contract at the $HighMonthlyRate even though theoretically you just paid off your subsidy. So there is a reason to be upset with AT&T but it has nothing to do with the new phone prices.

Not that I'm going to whine. I went from an incredibly cheap pre-paid plan with no obligations whatsoever to get an iphone ... and I had been on that because I'd finally escaped Verizon's upgrade / contract clutches. So it's not like I don't know how mobile operators in the US, uh, operate. The iphone pricing and "upgrade" issues have nothing to do with the iphone and everything to do with the mobile companies being crap.
posted by R343L at 12:51 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can definitely see a future demand for iPhones with ONLY a data plan

demand, yes. Supply, no, IMO. But my faith in the free market is rather limited, of course.
posted by @troy at 12:52 PM on June 9, 2009


I am willing to concede that the iPhone maybe an okay choice for battery life of 2 days - as long as you are buying Blazecock Pileons magic 1st gen iPhone. For anyone else: Shitty battery life.
posted by Artw at 12:53 PM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I hope and pray for that future, LordSludge, since I normally don't use my (Virgin Mobile) phone enough to burn through my prepaid account balance, and end up buying ringtones to keep the accumulated balance from growing too ludicrous. Still, knowing the carriers, it'll be ludicrously priced.
posted by Kyol at 12:54 PM on June 9, 2009


I hate you Rogers. Yes I do.

Ditto, although not for the 3year/no upgrade reason. The data costs through Rogers are ridiculous. $60CDN/month (including voice) for 1gb/month? Versus unlimited on AT&T at $60USD. I would so already have a freaking iphone if the data costs here were not stupid. Grrrr.
posted by juv3nal at 12:54 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


At&T already have a deal with Dell to do a Mini 9 with 3G, so the data only idea is not as ludicrous as all that.
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on June 9, 2009


I can't speak to the old iPhone, but the 3G's battery degrades *badly* over the course of a few months. My phone can be fully charged at 9AM and will be dead before 7PM, unless I use an external battery pack.

This wouldn't matter nearly as much if it wasn't an appointment-requiring thing to get a phone replaced. I travel way too much for that, and anyway I'm in a place where no Apple stores exist.
posted by effugas at 12:55 PM on June 9, 2009


Oh, also, regarding battery life ... I have a 3G. I don't have to recharge every day unless I listen to music literally all day and even then the phone isn't dead when I get home, it's just at somewhere between a third to a half and I may as well charge it. If I turn of wifi (so it stops searching when generally speaking the only networks available are secured) and don't play music as much it lasts for days. Of course, I spend a lot of time at the computer so I don't use the internet functions maybe as much -- just if I'm on the bus (or waiting for one!) or in the bathroom. ;)

And in any case battery life hasn't been any different than my previous phone which was a 2-3 year old motorola fllp phone with no internet (well it had a crappy verizon-crippled browser that I didn't use because I didn't have a data plan) which I had to charge every 2-3 days even though I literally only ever looked at it for the clock, to take calls (hardly ever dial them) or text message (maybe 10 a day on the heaviest days when I'm trying to organize things). So .. well, the iphone's battery life for what it does compares pretty favorably to my old phone. :)
posted by R343L at 12:56 PM on June 9, 2009


fusinski: "It seems to me that the problem of subsidies is easily solved such that AT&T doesn't lose any money on a subsidized upgrade and their customers remain happy. Simply prorate the subsidy to the number of months a customer is into their 2-year contract. I don't know why this is so hard. If a subsidized 3GS is $199, unsubsidized is $399, and I've been a customer for a year, why can't I get a 3GS for $299?"

I don't know if AT&T's profit margins really work out that way. However, it seems like you ought to be able to upgrade early, and add the new 2-year commitment to the 1 year remaining on your old commitment, and sign something that agrees to an increased early-termination fee (the sum of both fees) if you break contract in the next year.

Of course, if Apple continues to release phones annually, eventually there will be people with 20 or 30 year AT&T contracts and million-dollar ETFs...
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:01 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wake me when they can be worn on your wrist like the future told me they would.
posted by The Whelk at 1:04 PM on June 9, 2009


Now that the initial enthusiasm's faded, I've realized there's not a whole lot of improvement from last year's iPhone to this one. The better camera is a plus; I have a QCode app on my phone that I can barely use because I can't get close enough to a printed code to take a crisp photo. But video and voice controls aren't things I'm interested in. For me it's not four or five hundred dollar's worth of better.

But there's a big horkin' caveat there: If the hardware ecology around the iPhone expands to include devices that allow me to use my iPhone as an ultraportable computer (like I used to do with my Palm Vx), faster hardware and a bigger execution space are going to become really, really attractive features.
posted by ardgedee at 1:04 PM on June 9, 2009


Wake me when they can be worn on your wrist like the future told me they would.

Depends on the size of your wrist, guv.
posted by Kyol at 1:05 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am willing to concede that the iPhone maybe an okay choice for battery life of 2 days - as long as you are buying Blazecock Pileons magic 1st gen iPhone.

Does Microsoft pay you a Zune for each fanboi comment of your own? Please share more of your insightful punditry.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:08 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Welcome to the world of planned obsolescence.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:13 PM on June 9, 2009


My v3xx Razr has served me just fine for the past handful of years.

Mine as well, mostly because it's free (work phone).
posted by MikeMc at 1:13 PM on June 9, 2009


Now that the initial enthusiasm's faded, I've realized there's not a whole lot of improvement from last year's iPhone to this one

Do not underestimate the speed improvements. In my larger street maps the list of names is long enough to slow down the phone quite a bit when searching. The speed improvement of the new device is very significant for a developer like me.
posted by DreamerFi at 1:14 PM on June 9, 2009


iPhone 3G is known to have a much shittier battery life than the 1st-gen iPhone, especially if you actually use 3G. Turning 3G off brings it closer to 1st-gen iPhone levels, but it can never go two days unless you never talk or use WiFi. 1.5 days is an optimistic number.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:14 PM on June 9, 2009


Welcome to the world of planned obsolescence.

That's been true for a couple of decades now...
posted by DreamerFi at 1:15 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's an iPhone?
posted by Rashomon at 1:15 PM on June 9, 2009


Blazecock, I think you're being a bit unfair. I've got a 3G, and my battery life is pretty much exactly like effugas and Artw describe. Love the phone, but the battery often doesn't make it through the day, or I need to cut back on my use because the 10% battery alert comes on and I'm not by a pc.

I'm sure part of the problem is how much I use the phone, and how I use it (the gps gorges on power), but I can attest ArtW isn't completely making up his point that the battery life sucks if you're use to phones that only require charging once a week or so.
posted by ShadowCrash at 1:16 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


To settle the argument in this thread:

Artw claims that the iPhone is not a good choice unless you can charge it every day. Because Apple's specifications for the iPhone battery claim it to be limited to 5-8 hours of heavy use (depending on what combination of talk time, internet use, and video playback you do), for such usage patterns Artw may be right.

Blazecock Pileon claims that he goes 2-3 days between charges of his iPhone depending on whether or not he listens to MP3s. Because the iPhone battery specifications claim 24 hours of audio playback or 250 hours in standby mode, for those usage patterns Blazecock may be right.

That's right, everyone: when two people compare apples and oranges and don't agree on the color, that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them is an automaton apple fanboi with a persecution complex or that the other must be making up misinformation without knowing what he's talking about.

Make nice you two.

I think a bare fisted fight to the death would be more entertaining.
posted by roystgnr at 1:20 PM on June 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


Oh, and the upgrades are definitely not enough for me to shell out for a 3GS. I expect there's going to be a new and better iPhone right about the time my AT&T contract runs out.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:20 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dude, I use Apple stuff and have even *gasp* been known to post about it from time to time. Sometimes i even say nice things! Now, granted, I don't make retarded M$ SUXXOR comments in every single FPP relating to Windows, Microsoft, and things that you might need Windows to run like you do EVERY FUCKING TIME WITHOUT EXCEPTION. And I am not ridiculously uncritical of everything Apple does, which may smack of lack-of-proper-objectivity to you but I think I am capable of noticing how long the battery lasts on my own phone, thank you, and did not buy the thing as part of a ridiculous conspiracy to diss the company you love. Get a grip, stop being a freak.

roystgnr - No, he really does get replaced by an automaton apple fanboi sometimes. Quite a nice guy otherwise.
posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on June 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


What's an iPhone?

Context.

You're welcome!
posted by mazola at 1:23 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


My iPhone is lit up and actively used for an hour or more every day: Every moment I'm standing in line it's switched on and I'm looking up data, catching up on email, browsing, or playing word games. It sits by my bed at night so I can get detailed weather forecasts the moment I wake up. My RAZR would go for days without being used at all.

I'm a lot more interested in how its battery compares to other smartphones being used for similar task loads (data transmission, data processing, GPS, backlighting a display that's maybe twice as large as a Blackberry's). Comparing it to my past non-smartphones is like comparing the MPG of my car and my bike. It's probably more fair to compare it to the battery life of a Nintendo DS.
posted by ardgedee at 1:25 PM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I think it'll be interesting to see how the battery life goes when I go from my Touch (I rarely ever consciously have to stop and charge it) to a new GS at some point. My wife gets fairly typical sounding iPhone 3G battery life, but she uses the living _hell_ out of it, while I poke and prod and go back to whatever I was doing on some other device. The two big battery burners for me are catching up on video podcasts, and to a lesser extent reading ebooks with the backlight set too high. But I haven't really messed with Slacker/Pandora because if I'm where I have WiFi, I'm also near a computer, so why constrain myself to a pocket device?

that's right, I'm going to buy a 3GS for _science_ yeah that's the ticket
posted by Kyol at 1:31 PM on June 9, 2009


When I bought my phone, it didn't have video capability, and now it does, since I got upgraded to Android 1.5. Oh and I even could have gotten a dev phone and hacked the OS however I wanted, since it's open source and free.

Yeah that's right I'm comparing toys even though I was slamming that in whole practice in another thread. Ah well.
posted by delmoi at 1:33 PM on June 9, 2009


Can I get a phone without worrying about the cultural baggage attached to it?
posted by hellojed at 1:34 PM on June 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Shame the new iPhone didn't include a forward-facing camera -- I've given up on flying cars, but we coulda had a mass-market portable video-phone! (And that one feature probably would have pushed me over the edge to "upgrade" my current 3G.)

I wish they would have done *something* to protect the screen on the new model. I have several friends who have cracked the glass on theirs, and cases are so bulky...

Oh, and although the 3.0 OS will fiiiiiinally be MMS-enabled, you won't be able to send a photo via txt msg on AT&T until "the end of summer". Ugh.
posted by LordSludge at 1:40 PM on June 9, 2009


Dude, I use Apple stuff and have even *gasp* been known to post about it from time to time. Sometimes i even say nice things! Now, granted, I don't make retarded M$ SUXXOR comments in every single FPP relating to Windows, Microsoft, and things that you might need Windows to run like you do EVERY FUCKING TIME WITHOUT EXCEPTION. And I am not ridiculously uncritical of everything Apple does, which may smack of lack-of-proper-objectivity to you but I think I am capable of noticing how long the battery lasts on my own phone, thank you, and did not buy the thing as part of a ridiculous conspiracy to diss the company you love. Get a grip, stop being a freak.

Dude, I use Microsoft stuff and have even *gasp* been known to post about it from time to time. Sometimes i even say nice things! Now, granted, I don't make retarded Apple SUXXOR comments in every single FPP relating to Mac OS X, iPhones, Apple, and things that you might need Apple to run like you do EVERY FUCKING TIME WITHOUT EXCEPTION. And I am not ridiculously uncritical of everything Microsoft does, which may smack of lack-of-proper-objectivity to you but I think I am capable of noticing how long the battery lasts on my own phone, thank you, and did not buy the thing as part of a ridiculous conspiracy to promote the company you hate. Get a grip, stop being a freak.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:40 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Boys, Boys.
Both your phones are fine, attractive, nay, manly phones. Phones of which to be proud.

Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who. This is supposed to be a happy occasion.
posted by tkchrist at 1:59 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, and although the 3.0 OS will fiiiiiinally be MMS-enabled, you won't be able to send a photo via txt msg on AT&T until "the end of summer". Ugh.

I think the take-home point from the keynote was "AT&T sucks more than you could ever have imagined". Tiny little telcos from countries you couldn't spot on a map are able to provide MMS and tethering, but not so much the death star. Time for another round of divestiture, I think. *cough*
posted by Kyol at 2:02 PM on June 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Could be worse. they could be Verizon.

Hey, Verizon, FUCK YOU.
posted by Artw at 2:06 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Don't flame out, now.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:07 PM on June 9, 2009


I think the take-home point from the keynote was "AT&T sucks more than you could ever have imagined"

Yep. I was surpised at how MASSIVELY they called out AT&T. (MMS, Tethering, and I think there was one more.) And this was a heavily orchestrated press conference--not just some spur of the moment interview where someone said something bad, which can happen sometimes.

Things have to have broken down pretty badly between two companies like this for them to start airing their grievances in public.
posted by blenderfish at 2:07 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


delmoi, you can do video on the 3G if you jailbreak it, but that's sorta hacky-geeky and not something the average Joe/Jane is going to do. I may end up doing it at some point, as it does give you access to all sorts of neat apps that AT&T and/or Apple aren't cool with for whatever reason. (I'm surprised they allowed Skype -- although I think it's WiFi only...) FWIW, the new OS should be jailbreak-able too.

I do hope the Pre, Android, Blackberry, etc. prove to be stiff competition for the iPhone. As much as I love my iPhone, I'm a little worried about Apple securing an insurmountable market share and stifling competition/innovation.
posted by LordSludge at 2:10 PM on June 9, 2009


I'm tempted to hold out for the ultra-budget option of iPod Touch + bluetooth headset + google voice. It would lack some of the features you'd get in a full-function phone, but the ~$2000 difference in price over the life of a two-year contract is compelling.
posted by mullingitover at 2:23 PM on June 9, 2009


That's right, everyone: when two people compare apples and oranges and don't agree on the color, that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them is an automaton apple fanboi with a persecution complex or that the other must be making up misinformation without knowing what he's talking about.

Nooo! Tolerance... for ambiguity... straining. Must... find... narrative of... utter certainty...
posted by weston at 2:25 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


hellojed: "Can I get a phone without worrying about the cultural baggage attached to it?"

No, you have to pick a side and then fight to the death to defend it
posted by octothorpe at 2:26 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Speaking of new phones, the pre comes with a "kill pill" in case your phone is lost/stolen. Sadly, it doesn't actually kill the person who stole your phone, but it does lock down your data.

Given the increase in cost for phones (my phone costs more than my laptop) and the sensitive nature (I've got stock apps, banking apps, notes, contacts, facebook, pics, videos, etc...), manufacturers really need to make it possible to brick the phone remotely. If my car stereo can lock itself down any time it's disconnected from a power source, there's no reason my phone shouldn't be able to disable itself if needed.
posted by ShadowCrash at 2:36 PM on June 9, 2009


No, you have to pick a side and then fight to the death to defend it

Speaking of which, octothorpe, I have yet to see you declare your allegiance to any particular phone.

*sharpens pointy stick*
posted by eyeballkid at 2:38 PM on June 9, 2009


Yep. I was surpised at how MASSIVELY they called out AT&T.

Eh, they didn't exactly call them out on tethering. They just didn't include them in a slide that had the logos of the companies that did have tethering. They could have sugar-coated it and left that slide out, but they didn't even mention them by name.
posted by smackfu at 2:41 PM on June 9, 2009


Given the increase in cost for phones (my phone costs more than my laptop) and the sensitive nature (I've got stock apps, banking apps, notes, contacts, facebook, pics, videos, etc...), manufacturers really need to make it possible to brick the phone remotely. If my car stereo can lock itself down any time it's disconnected from a power source, there's no reason my phone shouldn't be able to disable itself if needed.

Also a consumer feature in OS3 on the iPhone, too. And I agree, these things are starting to carry a significant portion of our personal information, remote wipe is going to rapidly become an expected feature. And if you're a MobileMe subscriber (eh), you can _track_ your phone, and force it to ring, even if it's in silent mode. I mean, even setting aside theft, you don't have to have another phone call yours in able to find it when you misplace it. The future is finally here.
posted by Kyol at 2:43 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course, that track-my-phone feature is going to do you a fat lot of good given the phones short battery life.

What?

/ducks.
posted by Artw at 2:46 PM on June 9, 2009


I'm tempted to hold out for the ultra-budget option of iPod Touch + bluetooth headset + google voice. It would lack some of the features you'd get in a full-function phone, but the ~$2000 difference in price over the life of a two-year contract is compelling.

Uh, Google Voice requires you to dial a phone number. It's not Skype. Also, what you describe requires WiFi.

I'm a little worried about Apple securing an insurmountable market share and stifling competition/innovation.

Apple has done a fantastic job and has pushed the market forward farther & faster than any other company in the space. They truly make the entire WinMo strategy look even more pathetic than it already was. Apple will remain a strong player. But in 12 months we'll see if there is an Android phone that can compare. Or whether a dozen Android-powered almost-iphones can have the same market muscle.

Also: Blazecock, don't feed the trolls. Every Apple post has the obligatory flame directed squarely at you. It's like all those other predictable MeFi things. You don't have to play along.
posted by GuyZero at 2:50 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is kind of obvious, but the amount of time between iPhone charges depends entirely on how much it is used. In my experience, if the phone is sitting your pocket and occasionally receiving calls, multiple days between charges are not at all out of the question.

FWIW, the official numbers:

iPhone
Talk time: Up to 8 hours
Standby time: Up to 250 hours
Internet use: Up to 6 hours
Video playback: Up to 7 hours
Audio playback: Up to 24 hours

iPhone 3G
Talk time:
• Up to 5 hours on 3G
• Up to 10 hours on 2G
Standby time: Up to 300 hours
Internet use:
• Up to 5 hours on 3G
• Up to 6 hours on Wi-Fi
Video playback: Up to 7 hours
Audio playback: Up to 24 hours

iPhone 3G(s)
Talk time:
• Up to 12 hours on 2G
• Up to 5 hours on 3G
Standby time: Up to 300 hours
Internet use:
• Up to 5 hours on 3G
• Up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
Video playback: Up to 10 hours
Audio playback: Up to 30 hours
posted by designbot at 3:05 PM on June 9, 2009


No wireless, less space than a nomad. Lame.
posted by killdevil at 3:08 PM on June 9, 2009 [10 favorites]


So if you charge an iPhone, and leave it on but don't get any calls, it should last 10 days without a charge?
posted by smackfu at 3:08 PM on June 9, 2009


So if you charge an iPhone, and leave it on but don't get any calls, it should last 10 days without a charge?

No, my 3G iPhone's battery lasts for almost exactly 48 hours under these conditions.
posted by killdevil at 3:11 PM on June 9, 2009


Hey, is this where I complain about Snow Leopard 10.6? It is? Good.

Yesterday, Apple software-obsoleted five computers for me. I didn't expect anything for the G4's, but the two G5's, I was hoping maybe -- just maybe they'd support them, since they went on and on about them being 64-bit processors when they intro'd them in 2003. But noooo, the rumors had to be right. I'm not gonna have money for new hardware for a long, long time, which means I'm going to be stuck with the software I've got for a long, long time, too.

Not really mad at Apple -- just bummed.

*sigh*
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:15 PM on June 9, 2009


I do hope the Pre, Android, Blackberry, etc. prove to be stiff competition for the iPhone. As much as I love my iPhone, I'm a little worried about Apple securing an insurmountable market share and stifling competition/innovation.

Seriously? I mean, I think my Blackberry is pretty clearly superior in any sense besides fashion, but I'm not really spoiling for a fight.

But 95% or more of the people in this country can't afford $120 a month and $300 for the phone. When the day comes that everyone, or even 10% of people, can even consider being able to afford an iPhone, I think we will be doing pretty well.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:17 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, my 3G iPhone's battery lasts for almost exactly 48 hours under these conditions.

There's no central mechanism for metering internet usage and my experience with a G1 is that if you have a lot of apps installed they each ping their server at some frequency, usually far too often, and this eats a lot of battery life. If you factory-reset your iphone and left it sitting there it would last longer. The mere act of regularly checking for email cuts a day off your standby time.

Removing the native facebook & twitter clients from my G1 improved battery life considerably.
posted by GuyZero at 3:25 PM on June 9, 2009


Eh, they didn't exactly call them out on tethering. They just didn't include them in a slide that had the logos of the companies that did have tethering.

Hmm. I'm not going to point out the elephant in the room, but here is a slide containing a list of 22 African animals which are not in this room.
posted by blenderfish at 3:34 PM on June 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


In other words, yes, compared to, say a Mefi callout, it was super subtle. But it was still a pretty damn bold move in a Corporate PR context, especially regarding a company who is a partner in a major ongoing enterprise.
posted by blenderfish at 3:36 PM on June 9, 2009


I got my Pre the same time zsazsa did. I'm pretty happy with it. Its PIM capabilities really shine, which is no surprise given that's been Palm's bread & butter since day one.
The Pre looks like an excellent device, but I question the timing of it's release, just two days before the iPhone, especially since people are pissed off about the upgrade prices. Palm could have thought this through better.
The iPhone is incredibly successful, and Palm is going to have a hard time of things no matter when they release their Pre. If it came out a month earlier (as was rumored they would), some of the sheen would wear off while people waited to buy phones until after the iPhone 3GS announcement, plus it wouldn't be as ready (there are still some bugs as it is - I look forward to more over the air updates). If they waited a month or two after the 3GS they'd lose some early adopter sales. As it is now, they get a bunch of bonus press - whenever anyone mentions the new iPhone, they also say something about the Pre. This FPP is an example.

There's few people who are more excited about the new iPhone now than they were before Apple announced its details. I have no idea if Palm knew what Apple had planned (okay, they probably knew about the compass), but given the outcome I think they played this right.

If the Pre is good enough to be viable, this is as good a time as any to release it. And if it's not able to compete with the iPhone, Palm can't save itself on release timing.
posted by aubilenon at 3:40 PM on June 9, 2009


With a worldwide audience for Apple, AT&T is probably only 50% or less of new iPhone sales. They dug their own grave on this one. Besides, the iPhone did a lot more for AT&T than AT&T ever did for the iPhone. My read on the relationship has always been that AT&T was the only carrier desperate enough to agree to Apple's onerous terms for the original iPhone - implementing visual voicemail, expensive accelerated 3G rollout, etc. I know it sounds crazy now, but I think at the time it was a pretty big gamble for AT&T.

At least AT&T doesn't require a mandatory 3-year contract like Rogers in Canada. That shit stinks.
posted by GuyZero at 3:43 PM on June 9, 2009


Can I get a phone without worrying about the cultural baggage attached to it?

You really think this is cultural baggage? You only get insecure about these things if you let people get you insecure. Me? I've got an iPhone. If it wasn't the chic phone of choice I'd still have an iPhone. I put up with its other limitations because the web browser is second to none and the iPod functionality is the only thing that has managed to tear me away from an actual iPod.

And who was that idiot talking about his RAZR with such fondness? I don't know how desperate people in the US are for new phone models but over here in .au owning a RAZR and not figuring out it's a piece of shit in 6 months is a mobile phone retard test. That piece of garbage is one of the worst phones over here in recent memory. Terrible OS, terrible shoddy, slow UI, terrible reliability. Just damn terrible. Just ask anyone who's worked in a cell phone store about them over here and they'll each have a RAZR story or 17.
posted by Talez at 3:57 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was hoping maybe -- just maybe they'd support them
Yep, me too. I'd been suspecting it ever since the first builds were intel-only, and since one of the big selling points is the vastly reduced footprint, but I think a lot of that is simply down to cutting the PPC binaries, it didn't look good for PowerPC. It's still an pretty quick EOLing: The last PowerMac G5s aren't even three years old yet (though they will be, just, by the time Snow Leopard is released) and aren't nearly outdated -- the quads especially are still pretty damn nippy machines.

It's even worse on the server side -- we've got XServe G5s which aren't even nearly overtaxed, but Leopard Server is pretty damn buggy (Apple engineers admitted as much at WWDC), and a lot of Snow Leopard Server has some serious fixes. Which will be intel-only. So we either format back down to Tiger and write off the cost of Leopard, or soldier on with a bug-tastic OS. Neither is appealing.

As for the iPhone: I'm pretty smug about sticking with my original and not upgrading too early, as I knew what getting a subsidised phone would mean, but find I'm not that excited about the 3G S: It's the same old design, and there's not too much thrilling about 3.0. The Pre looks a lot more interesting to me, though apparently has hardware flaws, especially in the battery.
posted by fightorflight at 3:59 PM on June 9, 2009


American hipsters may passively roll over and take this shit,

Doooood. Ever try to resist and not take this shit? Best case, you get cut off, worse case you are a between a bullet and a target.

Simpler to take it - that way you get the insanely great Mapple products.

(Mapple free after Mapple ][ forever banners - tried to be Mapple again with the New-tonne, now waiting for Steve Mobbs to cack it)
posted by rough ashlar at 4:06 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


My problem with the great mobile phone debate is that anti-Apple zealots and [insert phone here] zealots always weigh in with "ugh... iPhone".

I was speaking to a guy at work who was looking for a new phone.

"Do you use it for a hell of a lot of calls?"
"Do you intend to use it for work email?"
"Do you spend a lot of time on public transport?"
"Do you really care about a camera?"
"Does having an awesome browser and media capabilities appeal to you?"

If their main interest is just calls, get a candybar and Opera Mini. Work email? Recommend a Blackberry. Spend time on public transport a lot and want decent media capabilities? iPhone. Want a great music player? iPhone if you can afford it, cheaper Sony Ericsson walkman phone if you can't. Camera is the primary feature of choice? Samsung's super camera flavour of the month or older Cybershot phone for on the cheap or prepaid.

He ended up wanting a browser/media player for his public transport trips to/from work while any phone/camera functionality would have been good enough. Perfect candidate for an iPhone really.

Some girl walks by, asks what we're talking about and he goes "thinking of getting an iPhone" and she goes "ugh... iPhone... get a Pre".

No regard to what his uses are which I just carefully helped him to reason out. Just anything but an iPhone. And of all things a Pre which probably isn't going to see a UMTS release this year.

/sigh
posted by Talez at 4:08 PM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


I, too, agree that the outrage over having to pay a fee to upgrade the hardware is funny and ridiculous at the same time. Firstly because I find the fact that we live in a country where we expect shiny new things to be given to us for free, but mostly because I don't see the point in upgrading to the 3GS.

I own an iPhone 3G. Once iPhone OS 3.0 comes out in a couple of weeks, my phone will be able to do everything that the 3GS can do, aside from having a software compass and video recording capabilities.

Frankly, I don't even need any hands to count the number of times that I've been out and about and thought "Jesus, fuck I wish I had a compass with me!" since the number would equate to exactly zero. And while video recording would be nice, I can live without it. After all, I have done exactly that since I bought my iPhone last year, and during that time there have been probably only two or three occassions where I lamented that fact that my phone didn't have that ability.

The marginal speed improvements, the extra megapixel for the camera and the fingerprint-resistant coating are the only extra reasons that I can see as being a reason one would want to fork out for a 3GS, and again, I don't think it's that big of an improvement over an iPhone 3G running OS 3.0. Not to justify spending any amount of money, be it full-price or an upgrade fee. It's certainly not the quantum leap many of us were expecting the new iPhone to deliver.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:09 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Welcome to the world of planned obsolescence.

That's been true for a couple of decades now...


More like a few decades. I think it's funny that some Apple fans are just discovering it now.
posted by jabberjaw at 4:11 PM on June 9, 2009


AT&T - Really?

Do you want a re-cap of the AT&T 'we sold your data for the war on terror' posts and comments on Metafilter?

Do you want the old show pony (+ dog) to be trotted about with the banner "your only vote is with your money"?

Come on folks - this is the Blue - a bastion of (imagine Rush Jowles flapping while saying) Liberal thinking. Why ya all even thinking of supporting AT&T?

There's a fine G1 over at T-mobile. One of the firms backing that says they have a motto of 'don't be evil'. Walk away from AT&T....
posted by rough ashlar at 4:12 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think it's funny that some Apple fans are just discovering it now.

You forgot the 1995-whenever Jobs came back marketing.

Buy an Apple - they last longer than Windows boxes cool-aid that was passed about.

(for extra fun, get in your time machine and listen to the 1995 vintage Apple Mac users talk about how having a command line sucks. Then hop in and ask 'em about UNIX as the core of MacOS now.)
posted by rough ashlar at 4:17 PM on June 9, 2009


I still have the original 2G iphone, which my spouse bought me for Christmas before last. It's fine for my needs, and I have no problems with Apple.

I DO have a big problem with AT&T. When my spouse bought me the phone, he had to pay the full $599 price at Apple, and agree to a two-year contract from AT&T. There were no other options at the time; you couldn't get a lesser contract, and you couldn't buy the phone from AT&T, so he didn't get a price break.

Six months later folks were getting either the phone cheaper with the contract, or a contract without a termination fee, which AT&T waives. They will also prorate the termination fee for folks that waited.

But for me, 18 months into a 24 month contract, having paid the full price for the phone, they would make me pay $175 for me to terminate my contract early. This with no original incentives. And since I am a current AT&T user, if I bought the new phone six months from now when my contract is up, I'd again be paying that hefty $599 price tag, because the incentives are only for NEW sign-ups to AT&T.

So, yeah, I have a problem with AT&T, and I'm going to whine about it.
posted by misha at 4:18 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


And my Sony Ericsson mobile phone can still take photos, record videos, make videos calls, send SMS and MMS, browse the internet (and post to Metafilter), receive and send e-mail, log onto IM apps like MSN and Yahoo, play .mp3s, and connect my laptop to the internet anywhere I can get a phone signal. It may not have a neato splashscreen or be easily recognizable as a status symbol, but unless the new iPhones are able to serve as handheld flying carpets, I'll stick with my three-year-old phone.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:38 PM on June 9, 2009


And my Sony

Sony - the firm built on rice cookers that burned rice and made sure Congressmen got paid to pass the DMCA.

Yea - I'll pass.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:46 PM on June 9, 2009


I'm not selling Sony?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:47 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


We always used tin cans and string and we liked it! But now there's that damned Tin Manufacturers of America to contend with *shakes cane*.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:49 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, cite? The only mention I see of Sony on the Wiki page about the DMCA is an exception made to the law because of their CDs or something.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:49 PM on June 9, 2009


And who was that idiot talking about his RAZR with such fondness?

It wasn't me, but I'm not sure what your complaint is. You can change the OS on the RAZR in a process akin to jailbreaking an iPhone. Verizon gave me one for free in '05 or '06 and I haven't had any problems with it once I uncrippled the software. $30/month with no contract (but no data plan). I'm a gadget guy and would love to have an iPhone, but the monthly cost is, frankly, insane.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 5:00 PM on June 9, 2009


> listen to the 1995 vintage Apple Mac users talk about how having a command line sucks

Would any of those people be deliberately hitting the interrupt button on the back panel to drop their Macs into MacsBug to use a command line?
posted by ardgedee at 5:02 PM on June 9, 2009


Congressmen got paid to pass the DMCA.
Also, cite?


Let me understand your request from me - you are wanting proof positive that the contributions of Sony BMG to the re-election funds resulted in the CongressKritters to vote/not vote for the DMCA?

You are wanting me to *PROVE* that somehow the money from Sony influenced the greatest uncorrupted Republic in the world?

*I* am insulted, and dueling to settle this matter may still be legal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duel#State_constitutional_provisions_and_military_laws_prohibiting_dueling
Let me know if my glove slap is accepted.
http://snpp.com/episodes/AABF19.html
posted by rough ashlar at 5:11 PM on June 9, 2009


Hey, whoah now. How about a free beer instead? I never got slapped with no duel-slappin' glove.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:13 PM on June 9, 2009


I do notice, though, that there still tends to be an awful lot of, hrm. anti-fanboyism? That claims the iPhone is some sort of status symbol or even as easily recognizable, which with usual hand positions I'm not sure I see. At best, I go "ooh, smartphone" but it takes me a bit to decide which of the various rather identically sized bricks it is. It's possible I'm thick, but I think some people are so vehemently decided on their position in the marketing culture wars that there _has_ to be some illogical reason something they aren't interested in is so popular.
posted by Kyol at 5:13 PM on June 9, 2009


It's possible I'm thick, but I think some people are so vehemently decided on their position in the marketing culture wars that there _has_ to be some illogical reason something they aren't interested in is so popular.

Yeah, speaking for myself there, I was just pointing out that there is older, cheaper, already existing technology that does what the iPhone does. "Anti-fanboyism" is not something you'll ever see me professing. Weeaboos are prohibited from ridiculing fans of anything.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:15 PM on June 9, 2009


"Whoever holds the iPhone gets to speak, that's the law!"
posted by ...possums at 5:15 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Talez: If their main interest is just calls, get a candybar and Opera Mini.

But I've got a Nokia 1110i, you insensitive clod!

(yes, my young friends at university laugh at me...)
posted by Pinback at 5:21 PM on June 9, 2009


Frankly, I don't even need any hands to count the number of times that I've been out and about and thought "Jesus, fuck I wish I had a compass with me!" since the number would equate to exactly zero
The point of the compass is not to have a compass app. The point of the compass is to be available on the API for other apps to use. I don't know whether it's really that useful for apps either, though I did see a neat G1 app this weekend that used data from the accelerometer, compass, and GPS (and I suppose clock) to drew constellations on the screen at whatever patch of sky I was pointing it at. The other obvious use of the compass is to say "the thing you're navigating to is -> that way" which is not possible from GPS alone (You can figure out which way you're moving with a GPS, but not which way you're facing).

I'm a little sad that the Pre doesn't have a magnetometer, just because I want to write a toy app that uses it. I wonder if they left it out because the magnets in the wireless charger battery door would throw it off.
posted by aubilenon at 5:39 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Re: battery life... I have a 3G and find it pretty good for my uses. I can go about 2 days if I'm not using it heavily (I'm mainly a text/twitter/facebook user with a little web browsing and maybe some mp3 playing. I rarely actually talk on the phone.)

But then again, my acceptable battery life margin may have been reset by my previous phone, a Samsung Blackjack. The Blackjack's battery life is so bad they give you two batteries with the phone. I seriously couldn't get through the workday without draining the entire battery on that thing. The iPhone is great by comparision.

Also I dropped my iPhone in water recently (a clean toilet bowl, if you must know) and the thing survived without any problems. Just let it dry out for a few days and it was fine.
posted by misskaz at 5:45 PM on June 9, 2009


Yeah, not necessarily so much in this thread, MStPT, as other places I've seen in the past 24 hours. It's like it's the standard issue reason for hating iPhones and Apple devices in general: It's just a status symbol! You think you're cooler because you have the shiny black phone! Which is always so puzzling when there are real substantive problems that you can point to and argue over: battery, AT&T's network, single-tasking, incremental upgrade policy, etc.

*sigh*

Someone actually tried arguing that Apple is attempting to treat the cell phone market the same way as they treated the MP3 market with these incremental upgrades and it will only end up hurting them in the end. Gosh, Apple should be so unlucky! If there's one thing they've shown an almost complete and utter lack of understanding of, it's the MP3 market. </sarcasm> Frankly I sort of see it the other way around - we might be heading towards the end of the annual iPod upgrade path. The 3GS really isn't _super_ compelling to a 3G user, but the software that is written for a 3GS will (mostly? I gather) work on a 3G just fine.

And I'm surprised by the notion that GPSs requires a magnetometer to determine orientation - I'm pretty sure my (ancient) Garmin eMap could tell if I spun it in a circle, and it didn't have a magnetometer. Maybe it was just that sensitive?

Frankly I'm anti-populism for Apple stuff - it dilutes the magic. And it's mine all mine!
posted by Kyol at 5:47 PM on June 9, 2009


You think you're cooler because you have the shiny black phone! Which is always so puzzling when there are real substantive problems that you can point to and argue over: battery, AT&T's network, single-tasking, incremental upgrade policy, etc.

A friend of mine bought one, and the splashscreen thingy with the pages that flip open if you move your fingers a certain way? That is pretty cool, no doubt. I didn't know you were locked into AT&T if you bought one, though. That's just bizarre.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:50 PM on June 9, 2009


(On the other hand, I say that, and next year they'll release an iPhone with an OLED back so you can display whatever the hell you want on the back of your iPhone (even video) and it will be SO stinkin' cool and so forth and so on - Apple seems to be really good about finding that one particular consumer itch, and scratching the living hell out of it. I shouldn't predict that they're done with the hardware improvements, I guess.)
posted by Kyol at 5:59 PM on June 9, 2009


And I'm surprised by the notion that GPSs requires a magnetometer to determine orientation

You're right that eMap didn't have a magnetometer. I haven't used an eMap but I have used an eTrex Legend (which I think is a successor). What they do is, if you're moving the unit, it assumes that it's pointed in the direction that it's moving. The higher end eTrex Vista came with a magnetometer so that it could accurately determine its facing without these restrictions. This made it much funner to use geocaching - since you didn't have to be careful not to rotate the GPS without also moving it 10 or 15 feet or so afterwards.
posted by aubilenon at 6:16 PM on June 9, 2009


Hey, is this where I complain about Snow Leopard 10.6? It is? Good.

Remember when MS said that Vista would ship with WinFS and then that didn't happen.

Snow Leopard was supposed to have ZFS. Until yesterday, anyway. They were probably too busy making the dock icons translucent or something to actually live up to their criticism of Microsoft.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:20 PM on June 9, 2009


the quads especially are still pretty damn nippy leaky machines.

I love the old PPC line -- got a souped-up Cube in the bedroom and a Mac Mini G4 as a home theatre box, and I use a dual G5 at work -- but odds are good that the Quad is going to give you a puddle of antifreeze and at best a toasted processor, at worst, the power supply and logic board need replacement.

I've serviced a few post-meltdown Quads and it's clear that the water cooling is an engineering fustercluck. Start migrating data and apps off of these boxes with the expectation of failure.

Not too torn up about Snow Lep being Intel-only; dev builds never had PPC support, and Lep's a fine OS for Macs of this vintage.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:25 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


What they do is, if you're moving the unit, it assumes that it's pointed in the direction that it's moving.

Yeah, I guess thinking back (it's been a while since it was the ooh-aah toy), _I_ spun in a circle, giving it a path of a couple feet in circumference to follow. Although the little arrowhead always seemed to point the right way, but that might have just been lag or the predictive motion trick. (i.e. it pointed perpendicular to the path, not tangential to the path like you might expect.)

I wonder if the magnetometer is just a package upgrade with the accelerometers, or if it's a distinct chip. mmm, speculation.
posted by Kyol at 6:50 PM on June 9, 2009


Is ZFS finally production-ready under Solaris? I keep sort of hearing that it is, but it isn't really, and I can't make heads or tails out of the wiki entry in a quick scan. (or is it more that ZFS as a basic UFS replacement is fine, but ZFS as the wunderkind with related toolkit just isn't quite there.)
posted by Kyol at 7:02 PM on June 9, 2009


And who was that idiot talking about his RAZR with such fondness? I don't know how desperate people in the US are for new phone models but over here in .au owning a RAZR and not figuring out it's a piece of shit in 6 months is a mobile phone retard test.

The Razr + Verizon made a pretty good phone if that's all you want. In the Santa Cruz Mountains (California), Verizon's longer wavelength signal penetrates the redwoods better.

Even without hacking Verizon's screwing up of Moto's UI, it worked as a phone. The first version of it even had idiotic Bluetooth data restrictions common to Verizon removed so you could sync the phonebook & calendar & grab your photos. Browsing that phonebook with Verizon's UI was painful, but I only had 3 or 4 people I called a lot, so no biggie. But almost every time I wanted to call them (or they me), I had enough charge & signal to make it happen.

It was a phone, not a pocket computer that also happened to make calls.
posted by morganw at 7:15 PM on June 9, 2009


manufacturers really need to make it possible to brick the phone remotely

A friend's startup has a product that does just that for Nokia and Windows Mobile phones.
posted by the cydonian at 8:19 PM on June 9, 2009


Buy an Apple - they last longer than Windows boxes cool-aid that was passed about.

In that era, they certainly seemed to stay useful longer to me. The period of time spanning when I first got a Mac Plus or an SE/30 to when I mothballed, sold, or otherwise stopped using them were longer than the 286 PC I had for a bit or even the NeXTStation 68040. Heck, I still have the SE/30. It's almost 20 years old but I still switch it on and actually use it for stuff periodically. Sometimes I can't believe how responsive it is running System 7.

Maybe if I'd bought in on my first PC at the 386+ level I would have had a different experience, but PCs reached that level of durability for me in the late 90s during the late PII/early PIII stage... and as Linux reached a certain point and Windows finally got around to not sucking so badly with Win2k. I don't have any doubt any computer from then on out could still be pleasantly useful enough to warrant switching on in 20 years. But before then I think there's something to the idea that they became less useful relative to new hardware faster.

get in your time machine and listen to the 1995 vintage Apple Mac users talk about how having a command line sucks. Then hop in and ask 'em about UNIX as the core of MacOS now

When/where the alternative was DOS, this dichotomy makes a lot more sense. Not all command lines are created equal. And I strongly suspect people who carry a thing for the terminal window were not the command line critics of 1995 (many of whom, for what it's worth, had a point. Some tasks fit well into a shell environment. Some others fit better into a well-considered desktop-ish metaphor).
posted by weston at 8:22 PM on June 9, 2009


I guess I don't understand why there's a problem with having to charge an iPhone nightly. I mean, I'm not using the phone while asleep, except to play white noise music on the iPod part, and it charges fine while doing that. Even when I had a smartphone with a longer battery life than the iPhone, I would charge it nightly. It's just a good habit.

Ok, if I were away from a charger for three days, like if I were out camping in the middle of nowhere, I could perhaps see a problem. But, frankly, that does not describe 98% of my life.
posted by lleachie at 9:04 PM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Kinda inconvient for that 2% though isn't it considering it'll most likely be when you don't have any options for phone service.

"manufacturers really need to make it possible to brick the phone remotely."

Considering how insecure these networks seem to be I'm not sure this is a good idea. The howling if a cracker managed to brick every AT&T iPhone in one fell swoop might knock the earth off it's axis.
posted by Mitheral at 9:24 PM on June 9, 2009


Well, part of why it's kind of reasonable (for normal users, anyway) is that a wiped iPhone only takes however long it takes for the data to re-transfer over USB to restore. Assuming they do a forensic wipe, and not something as simple as putting it into some lockdown state requiring a docking to undo, anyway. Frankly they could go either way for consumers, I don't know which way they'll choose. The OS does provide for a forensic wipe, and lord almighty it takes forever to purge 8 gigs. But what's the baddie gonna do, pull the battery? Ho ho ho.
posted by Kyol at 9:44 PM on June 9, 2009


I think we're talking about two different things. "Bricking" to me would mean disabling the device and implies semi permanence (IE: you'd have to send it to Apple with proof of ownership to revert). You're talking about a memory wipe which I agree would be useful and would be a lot less damaging. Though your still potentially going to be dealing with tens of thousands of users who don't have a useful back up.
posted by Mitheral at 10:24 PM on June 9, 2009


Oh, agreed, sort of a dodgy choice of words, I suppose. I mean, I could potentially see a theft-reduction case for remote bricking, but I don't know that it stands up to the hijinks potential. But remote wipe? Even though my data is fairly low-interest, it'll be nice to know that Johnny Five Fingers doesn't have Mint login, especially now that the OS will store site logins and passwords. And the "Where's my iPhone" feature coming to MobileMe subscribers might be sufficiently worthwhile for loss prevention, if they get the turnaround time ironed out. Apparently in testing with the prereleased 3.0 firmware it took several minutes for the request to come through, which makes it only good for finding it under the sofa.
posted by Kyol at 10:34 PM on June 9, 2009


Even when I had a smartphone with a longer battery life than the iPhone, I would charge it nightly. It's just a good habit.

This. If you have access to a power outlet before you tuck in to bed and your phone isn't on the charger you've forfeited all rights to complain about battery life. If you use the phone so much during the day that you run out of battery before before five or six o'clock you have a legitimate complaint, and it appears as though the iPhone IIIGS (I just *know* this was an intentional throwback to the Apple IIGS) will alleviate this problem with its battery life improvements. I'm at 20% battery life by the time I get home from work, but I use the phone way more than I imagine the average person does. It only ever needs to last the day because it takes half a second to throw it on the charger on my nightstand before bed and it's ready to go in the morning with a full charge.

I'm still recovering from the shock that Apple hasn't changed the screen in three generations of the device, especially with the Zune HD shipping with a gorgeous OLED display. The black levels have always been atrocious on the iPhone and the screen is such an important part of the immediate experience that I have to question the logic here. It appears to me that Apple is being overly cautious with the 3GS and I can't decide if they're milking the enthusiasm or have something much larger and groundbreaking up their sleeve. Time will tell, I suppose.
posted by Awakened at 12:44 AM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Snow Leopard was supposed to have ZFS. Until yesterday, anyway. They were probably too busy making the dock icons translucent or something to actually live up to their criticism of Microsoft.

ZFS is featureful, but it also (a) requires a ton of memory to be effective, (b) be a 64 bit machine, really[1], and (c) has some annoying glitches and failure conditions (don't fill a zpool up unless you had some snapshots, or want to recreate the zpool, don't overallocate a pool unless you enjoy back/restore, make sure you have a UPS or disable write caching in the ARC).

ZFS has some nice points if you're a Solaris admin running appropriate hardware and know what you're doing (although it sure as hell isn't the cure for cancer Solaris weenies would have you believe), but it sure as hell needs some work before it's ready for Apple's core markets.

[1] Sun don't offer it on 32 bit architectures for a reason, and the FreeBSD porter pretty much answers complaints about ZFS on 32 bit machines with, 'well don't do that then.'
posted by rodgerd at 1:28 AM on June 10, 2009


(or is it more that ZFS as a basic UFS replacement is fine, but ZFS as the wunderkind with related toolkit just isn't quite there.)

ZFS is not a replacement for UFS. It's an augmentation for it. A number of technologies that work well under UFS have problems in ZFS - Flash archive/upgrade, upgrading machines with zone roots in ZFS[1], to name two I've run into.

As a general filesystem it's pretty good if you don't use snapshots as advertised (creating lots and lots cripples performance) and are careful to work around the kernel panic inducing bugs that still exist in places.

[1] Actually, that was true in 10u4, which is a bit old, it may be fixed now.
posted by rodgerd at 1:32 AM on June 10, 2009


(manufacturers really need to make it possible to brick the phone remotely.

I'm pretty sure the pre does this, no?)
posted by rodgerd at 1:33 AM on June 10, 2009


Is the cheapest way to get it outright still to get a contract, cancel it, pay the cancellation fee then walk away with the phone? Anybody got the numbers? What about a 3G instead of a 3GS? (Assume I'm in the US.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:24 AM on June 10, 2009


Not too torn up about Snow Lep being Intel-only; dev builds never had PPC support, and Lep's a fine OS for Macs of this vintage.

While this is true, the fallout for us PPC owners is that 3rd party app developers -- Adobe, Omni, whoever, that write apps I use every day aren't too far from 10.6-only versions of their software in order to leverage an the 10.6-y goodness that comes with hot 64 bitness, new dev tools, new APIs, etc.

FWIW, in the Apple longevity side-thread, my replacement cycle has always been about 4 years. I generally wait for a real-world 3X speed increase at least. My history, I think, was 20 mhz > 150 mhz > 450 mhz > dual 1.0 ghz > dual 2.0 ghz. Not counting of course, supplemental machines for employees, kids, etc. that fell in between. Now that we're at about that point with the Intel towers, I'm in a financial hole that I won't be out of until at least my daughter's graduation from college, in 4-5 years. No impulse-buying of Macs anymore.

Machines I have loved with the burning hotness of 1000 suns -- my Sawtooth G4, my Cube, and my alu. 15" Powerbook. The Cube was a princess, but the PB is a fucking brick shithouse.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:32 AM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


And I strongly suspect people who carry a thing for the terminal window were not the command line critics of 1995

In my experience, these are indeed two totally separate groups. Even in my early-learning days, I felt constrained that Mac OS 7-9 wouldn't let me go places I wanted to go and sought out a lot of work-arounds, like Peek-A-Boo to prioritize CPU time, give a kill option, etc. that were just plain buried. I was very happy to get a terminal window, especially with 10.1, which really needed it. Lots of stuff has been added to the GUI via both Apple and 3rd party apps that was command-line-only at first. The UNIX also brought on board a lot of people who hadn' previously been to enamored of Mac OS in the first place, and they were the proudest proclaimers of Terminal goodess. The OS 9 adherents (there were a LOT of them for a while) cared nothing for this Terminal business.

Blaming it all on Apple-apology is really a falsehood.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:06 AM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


ZFS has some nice points if you're a Solaris admin running appropriate hardware and know what you're doing (although it sure as hell isn't the cure for cancer Solaris weenies would have you believe), but it sure as hell needs some work before it's ready for Apple's core markets.

Well, yeah, and I don't disagree. But that doesn't invalidate what I said, either. The other half of being the superior option is actually being superior, after all.

That said, it's not like Apple hasn't shipped half baked software before either - like the Finder, or more or less the entirety of 10.5.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:30 AM on June 10, 2009


(manufacturers really need to make it possible to brick the phone remotely.
I'm pretty sure the pre does this, no?)


Yes. Also, the Pre does make daily over-the-air backups of all your personal information to your "Palm Profile" all the time, so if your phone gets stolen (or eaten by a bear or something), you're "only" out the hardware cost (a hefty $550 w/o contract), and, I expect, a big bunch of inconvenience. You can turn off the backups if you don't trust Palm to take good care of your personal information.
posted by aubilenon at 8:49 AM on June 10, 2009


[Long, unattributed pastejob removed. Please don't spam internet chainletter copypasta here.]
posted by cortex at 8:59 AM on June 10, 2009


> Snow Leopard was supposed to have ZFS. Until yesterday, anyway.

10.5 Server had read-only ZFS support. 10.6 was supposed to have full support but apparently won't now, unless you feel like rolling your own. Incidentally, the Mac ZFS discussion list is also curious about what happened.
posted by ardgedee at 9:22 AM on June 10, 2009


I downloaded 3.0 from a torrent site just now and updated my phone. Posting from it now just to play around with it. It's noticeably faster, especially in Maps. Filling out forms is a bit easier, for example the screen follows the cursor in text boxes now.

Now I'm posting a link just so I can test select and cut and paste.

Ok cool so text select and the JavaScript tools here work, too.
posted by empath at 8:35 PM on June 10, 2009


Will the hype never end? iPhone is rapidly becoming the Hannah Montana of personal communication devices.
posted by MikeMc at 11:12 AM on June 9 [19 favorites +] [!]


That's not true. I'm allowed to touch the iPhone.
posted by chairface at 4:34 PM on June 12, 2009


Does anyone know when the 3.0 update will be available? Papa's feeling bold.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:28 PM on June 16, 2009


Tomorrow, Brandon.
posted by misskaz at 2:03 PM on June 16, 2009


Tomorrw midnight, Eastern Standard? Pacific? 10am?

I got plans, see?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:06 PM on June 16, 2009


all my 3rd party pps stopped working on Sunday :(

I'm hoping downloading the legit firmware update tomorrow fixes them again..
posted by empath at 2:18 PM on June 16, 2009


I ask because several of my apps have been updated to be 3.0 compatible, so it got me to wondering.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:33 PM on June 16, 2009


Rumors say the 3.0 update will drop sometime between Noon and 2pm EST.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:10 AM on June 17, 2009


Or maybe 1pm EST, the best time zone ever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:08 AM on June 17, 2009


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