Friday, January 29, 2010

Sane Explanation Of Why NO Verizon iPhone or iPad For A While

In the days leading up to the iPad announcement, speculations were hot and sweaty about what the iPad can do and who Apple will partner with for the iPad's 3G data needs.

Well, I'll be honest. I want to see an iPhone on Verizon's supposedly wireless network for two reasons. First, I'm a believe in Apple's mobile devices and strategy. No, 100% but close. Second, I want to know once and for all just what the impact of the weight of tens of millions of iPhone users on VW's vast 3G network.

But alas, that will not come to pass. In fact, I still firmly believe T-Mobile will see some Apple love before anyone else. That being said, AllThingD has a good post about why VW will not see an iPhone for a while and probably not until the next generation LTE network has sufficiently covered a majority of the US market.

Here's why:
  • Money, money, money.  ATT is will to play.
  • ATT's network might be more robust in the coming year.  And with 3G improvements in terms of speed and reliability, Apple will have less reason to be looking at Verizon's aging CDMA network.
  • Apple is willing to wait for the LTE network to come online.
  • Cook is a believer in ATT's network roadmap.  He said so himself.
  • ATT is looking for a fight. Just look at the commercials.  A and A have taken their gloves off.  
One thing I don't see anyone point out about a CDMA iPhone that has been in the commercials.  How can an iPhone on a CDMA network miraculously make calls and surf the Web at the same time when all the other devices cannot?  It would go contrary to the marketing message, right?

However, I do believe a CDMA iPad is possible provided that VW is will to pay.

Note:  Aside from the fact that T-Mobile USA also runs a GSM network and will be running on their 3G network for a while.  A long long while since they're still expanding it.  Keep in mind that Steve Jobs has a long memory.  He's probably not happy with VW executives who spurned him when he approached them with the iPhone.  He's likely to go with Sprint before he does a VW deal.  Ask Eisner how his fight with Steve Jobs went and you'll know what kind of grudge the Apple founder can hold.

More at ATD.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPad A Secret Push Into China

This is the first of many speculations and analysis regarding the iPad on my part. Mostly speculation because while the Apple media event to officially, and I say "officially" only because we've known about it in one capacity or another for months), to the world, we still don't know a whole lot about it.

But it's interesting that many folks have indicated that it supports simplified Chinese while not traditional Chinese writing. Why is this significant?

Simplified Chinese is the official written language used by China while pretty much Chinese everywhere else still use Traditional Chinese. And with 1.3 billion Chinese in China, it means more folks uses it.

So, is Apple's omission of support for Traditional Chinese a signal that Jobs and company will be pushing the iPad hard into the Chinese market?

We'll see where the iPad goes from here but don't be surprised if Apple will use the iPad as a Trojan Horse, to create a halo effect for other Apple products and services. $499 iPad versus a $999 Macbook is a no brainer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

McGraw-Hill CEO Confirms iTablet's existence; Not iCar We Had Hoped

This is as much as a confirmation we're gonna get about the iTablet.  Rumors no more.  We'll know the features and the iTablet's implications to the mobile computing world tomorrow.

Monday, January 25, 2010

iTablet And-Or iPhone On All Major Wireless Networks (Including

I think we ought to have a moratorium on any and all rumors (speculations are okay) 24 hours before any major Apple event. Nah, I couldn't stand the silence. But there is one rumor that I would like to move into the speculation category just so that I can talk about it here.

As you know, Apple will be holding a special media event on the Wednesday morning, January 27th, at 10am PST to introduce their "latest creation" (I wonder what might be).

But many folks believe there will be other announcements as well. According to one analyst, the Wall Street kind (hissss), from Oppenheimer, Apple will be making the iPhone available to the four major wirless providers in the United States, plus one that I previously didn't consider if not only because it just doesn't seem plausible.

This particular Wall Street "analyst" believes that the following networks will be seeing the iPhone running on their networks in 2010:
  • ATT - we already know them well.  Apple currently has an exclusive deal with them and as with any deal, it'll end.  Many folks thinks it's this year.  
  • Verizon Wireless - the next likely candidate.  Well, legend has it that Apple previously went to them before going to speak with ATT but VW wasn't keen on ceding control to Apple.  But since the iPhone's introduction and the quarter after quarter of bloody noses the Apple-ATT combo has given them, VW is finally coming around.  Plus, it's got more than 80 million users and many of them are hungry for the iPhone.
  • T-Mobile - I think they've got just as good a chance of getting the iPhone as VW because of the network they use -GSM which is the same as ATT (different wireless frequency).  The only ding against them is that they're got a small 3G footprint.  However, Apple has worked with T-Mobile USA's German parent company and that probably helps a bit.  
  • Sprint - I like Sprint before I went to ATT and then T-Mobile now.  Sprint works for me.  However, it's not exactly healthy at the moment.  Maybe the iPhone will help.  
  • Last, Clearwire.  Just WiMax service.  No voice.  I think this most unlikely in 2010.  But I included Clearwire only because of its association with Sprint and because it was mentioned as part of this Oppenheimer prediction.
Those are the five networks (other than ATT which already has the iPhone) that Apple will make the iPhone available in 2010.

What's interesting is that the iPhone is being sold by ATT with a voice plan.  For Clearwire, it would need to also offer some sort of a voice plan to match what's already on the market from ATT.  Otherwise, we're talking about an all data service here.  That would mean a lot of things that Apple and Clearwire would need to provide to supplement the lack of a voice function.  Things like VOIP or, dare I say, video conferencing.

Anyway, Macrumors turned the original colorful artwork from Apple's invitation and put a spin on it with the colors representing these 5 networks.

Doesn't that make sense?  I ran this by Dave The Mobile Warrior.  Frankly, I think Apple used just about every bright  and cheerful color possible in their event invitation.  It's likely a coincidence but I think we can all hope right?

With less than 48 hours before Apple's main event, I doubt we have reached the crescendo of rumors and wild speculations.  No, no moratorium on rumors.  I wouldn't be able to survive tomorrow without specks of false hopes, wild innuendos, and improbable predictions to get me through the day.

More At Macrumors, Businessweek,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Water Damaged iPhone

Have you had an iPhone damaged beyond repair?  Well, I certainly feel for you.

I was informed via e-mail last night that my friend's iPhone 3G suffered some water damage.  It was quite unfortunate to hear this since earlier in the week, she had to go into the Apple store and pay for a new battery replacement.

I've often dropped my 2G iPhone here and there.  And here.  And There.  Had babies drooled on it.  I've even had it flung out of my hand a few times.

I'm happy to say that Apple really built a solid device.  But when it comes to water, it's pretty much over.

I've recommended my friend to wait out the water.  Let's it dry up a bit and see if things improve.  I've spilled coffee over my keyboard before.  But a few days later when the liquid dried up, it was working again.

I'm not sure this will be the case with the iPhone since it's an infinitely more complicated device than a Dell keyboard at work.

Suffice to say, it is the only option my friend has at this time.  She's eligible for an upgrade in a few days.  I've counseled her to wait until the 27th, Apple's next media event to introduce the iTablet.  Though I'm doubt we'll see anything more than the iTablet, I'm hopefully we'll see " more thing..." in the form of a new 4th generation iPhone.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Proof iTablet Is Coming

There is certainly no shortage of rumors and speculations going on about Apple's January 27th event and what Apple will unveiling.  Well, you want more proof that the iTablet is coming?

Amazon, according to TechCrunch, is introducing a new royalty scheme where publishers and writers can earn more.

Why now?  Couldn't Amazon simply have done this to begin with and spread the wealth a bit when they released the Kindle?  Well, no.  At the time there was no competition.  At least, not the kind of competition Amazon is likely to get soon in the form of an Apple tablet.

Yes, this is proof that the tablet is coming.  After all, isn't the split between Apple and developers for the App Store also 70% to the developers and Apple gets to keep 30%?

What's also interesting is that Amazon is still trying to control the price with this new scheme.

At the same time, Apple has been holding meetings with publishers.  Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall of these meetings?  As an avid reader, I can't help but wonder what Apple has to offer the publishers - more than just pricing, also what kind of revolutionary technology is Apple offer - videos, blogs, etc. for each book.

More at Techcrunch, 9to5Mac, Bookseller

iPhone 4.0 - Multitasking And iTablet

There's talk that on the 27th, Apple will unveill more than just iTablet. Whatever happens that day, we are potentially looking at what also comes next for the iPhone platform. After the iPod Touch came out, Apple stated that there could be other devices from Apple based on this modified OS X.

So, we come to iPhone 4.0. One of the features some users are hoping for is the ability to run apps in the background. As an Android device owner, I have to say that the ability to have whatever music or podcast stream in the background is something I like to see on the iPod Touch or the iPhone.

How can Apple make this work? More at Onxo Mobile Devices.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Will We Ever See An iPhone Nano?

Will we ever see the iPhone Nano or another iPhone with a different design from the current one?

The iPhone is still at the top of the mobile field of devices.  Droid and Nexus One might be good, even excellent, devices, but when it comes to the package as a whole, Apple is still way ahead of the pack.

Still, public perception is important.  Because of the plethora of hardware developers support Windows Mobile and Android, you will get a pretty good selection of phones to pick from.  You still get:
  • sliders, 
  • ones with keyboards 
  • ones with keyboards in a clam-shell 
  • ones like the iPhone like Nexus One
And then there are devices with forms somewhere in between.

With the current iPhone design, Apple will satisfy a majority of the market but still a large segment that insists on the clam shape or having a physical keyboard will

It's conceivable that Apple will never come out with an iPhone with physical keyboards as patent fights in the past have gotten kind of messy.  So, will we ever see a second iPhone model?  Specifically, the iPhone Nano?

Well, in the past posts, speculations, and rumors that I've read, it's always about the Nano having smaller screens.  I'll be blunt.  That's not going to work.  Imagine the wholesale complaints.  Jobs is not going to for that at all.  So, we can forget about a 2.7" screen right now.

However, it is entirely possible that the iPhone and iPod Touch can go to 4.5" or even 5".  Here's how I think it's possible for Apple to make an iPhone nano.  And that will leave the 3.5" screen size all for the iPhone nano, thereby, not compromising the screen size or resolution.  And having a decent screen size for touch input is more important than any new features Apple can add to the OS.  It won't matter if Apple adds 1,000 new features in iPhone 4.0 if the users have difficulties using the nano.

I don't know how like we'll see a nano as I described it or in another form factor.  It really depends on the market and where things are as through Apple's eyes.  I have no doubt that Apple has experimented with every conceivable technologies, sizes, and shapes to see what the ideal design for such a device can be.

Apple's design team can come up with a game changing design and if Steve Jobs doesn't like it, it may as well not even exist.  Rumors has it that Apple rejected the tablet many times, shelving the project until recently.

I'm pretty confident that Apple will eventually come out with an iPhone with a radically different design than the one we current have on the market.  I can only guess like I'm doing now.  Except great intermittent rumors here and there about it.  I look forward them:  the nano and rumors about it.

Auto-Save On All Apps

I was writing a really long post today on the iPhone. It was about McDonald's free Wi-Fi and how it can be very important in helping the fast food joint maintain its lead over competitors. I was about to post it and then a call came in.

I answered the call, chatted with the caller, and hung up. I went back to the app and guess what? I lost everything.

Here are a couple of things that I like to see Apple require from all of its app developers:
  • During the initiation of the call, the hitting of the home button, or any activity that takes the user away from the app in use, the app will go into a sleep mode or saved mode.  This will make sure any unsaved data is still in the memory somewhere and easily retrievable.
  • After a call, I like to see the iPhone take the user back to the original app unless the home button is pressed.
I'm not a developer so I don't know if these protocols are already available to the programmer.  And it is, it ought to be a requirement.  If not, Apple should make the appropriate changes and add them to the next version of the SDK.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Looking Forward to Apple Mobile in 2010

The iPhone 3GS has been out on the market for about seven months now and it's still going strong.  When Apple report its first quarter earning, I'm expecting more than 10 million units sold.  This number is on the higher end of what the clueless analysts on Wall Street are expecting.  A couple are expecting to see 11 million but I think that's high unlikely.

As for Macbooks, I think we'll be surprised by the number of Macs Apple will sell.

But that's all in the past.  It's 14 or 15 days into the new year.  What can we expect for the rest of the year.  We know Apple will be holding a special event on January 27th, the last Wednesday of the month.  The good bet is that Apple will be unveiling a new mobile devices that, I, along with the rest of the tech blog world, think is the fabled iTablet (or iSlate).

What's more certain is that there will be thirteen or so more days of insane rumors about it until the 27th.

There are a lot of rumors about the expected iPhone update.  The rumors, though I won't get into, are just as plentiful as those about the iTablet.  I have my own speculations and hopes for the 4th gen iPhone, I am trying really hard not to get ahead of myself and the reality of what Apple's past upgrade cycle is like, and the competitive mobile market.

I'm speculating that Apple will ship the new iPhone by mid-year like it always does with a spring update on the forthcoming iPhone OS update.  What kind of throw a wretch into this year's product cycle is the addition of the iTablet into the mix.  There is speculation that the dearth of iPhone OS update is due largely to the iTablet as it shares many of the new features with the upcoming iPhone and Apple simply want to make sure it doesn't tip its hand.

I think we'll see the end of the iPod Classic and a new era of touch-only iPods.  Only the nano and shuffle will survive the product transition.  The Touch will continue to be an phoneless iPhone.  Should the iTablet and iPhone gain a webcam, the Touch's popularity will simply explode among the younger consumers as it is likely to gain the same features as the iPhone.

Of course, Apple can make it more interesting for the mobile market to follow by introducing an iPod Touch with wireless connectivity via 3G networks.  Imagine using a Touch with data access only and communications will take place via voice or video.  Such a device can help usher in the beginning of the end of voice plans.

This is software for the iPhone, Mac, and iTablet comes into play.  I like to see Apple diminish the role of the traditional telephone number.  This can be done in two ways:
  • Video conferencing and voice chat through voice API built into OS X.  With the possibility of the Touch through 3G or Wi-Fi also gaining a webcam (the Touch already possess voice capability via the iPod headset).  Even if iChat doesn't make its way to i-devices, these API will allow app developers to include these features to the apps.  Imagine gaming while being able to talk to others.  
  • Google Voice works by swapping one phone number for another.  An useful feature but literally redundant in the mobile world.  I see Apple allow users to create ID (MobileMe users can use their login) and link it to their telephone numbers.  As more and more users start using their ID to communicate with each other and rely less on traditional phone numbers, we will begin to see the death of the ten-digit phone numbers.  I also see Google Voice adopt a similar ability with Google logins.  Apple will simply skip all the way to the final end.  I also see Apple, Google, and others adopt an industry standard for IM, voice, chat, and video communication.
About the Mac.  Multi-touch will see a greater role.  This is one area where I'm not as certain what Apple has in-stored for us.  Certainly, more multi-touch adoptions.  We might possible see a Tablet Mac but that is as far as I'm willing to speculate.

There can't be anything about mobile unless I talk about battery life.  This has always been Apple's weakness.  As much as I am used having a built-in battery into all my iPods, iPhone, and iPod Touch, I can quickly get used to an iPhone with a removable battery.  But that's not gonna happen.  So?

So, I am hoping Apple will dazzle us with another breakthrough that extends the battery life of its mobile products.  To put things into perspective, Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip (via Macrumors) allows 16 hours of HD video, 140 hours of music, and 1080p video.

I would expect the iTablet and the newest iPhone and Touch to exceed the current models.
  • I am hoping for 10-20% increase in battery life during real world use.  Music playing should be closer to 40 hours while Internet use should be closer to 8 hours on 3G and 12 hours on Wi-Fi.  I don't do much talking on the iPhone but increases in standby and talk time would be cool too.
  • For the iTablet, I would like to see upwards of 15 hours of Internet use, 15-18 hours of HD video, and 150-180 hours of music.  (I don't care much about 1080p display out.  That's what HDTV and Blu-Ray players are for.)
So, that's what I'm looking forward to from Apple in 2010 starting on January 27th.  Meanwhile, we can look forward to the daily spectacular Apple rumors to hold us over until then.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Apple's Newest Mobile Rival, Google, May Leave Search Market Over Censorship

Google may close up shop and leave the Chinese search market after a string of cyberattacks.

Also, Google, my favorite tech giant at this moment, will cease censoring its search engine. It will enter into discussions with Beijing on "the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all".

This is huge news.  This is how you do it, Yahoo, Microsoft, the West!  Very Very proud of Google!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Which iTablet Would You Want?

Over at CES, Dell just unveiled their own slate (I think this will be 2010's most overused word).

It's a 7" iPod Touch lookalike except it runs Android.

So, let me ask you this. Would you be interested in a 5-7" iPod Touch that you can use as a tablet? Personally, I would be very very interested.

Perhaps, this is what some of the rumors is about as far as Apple tablets are concerned. There have been talk about 7" all the way up to 11". I am hoping that Apple will come out with a few models that will satisfy a wider range of customers.

For anything around 7", I think customers would be satisfied with the 7" Touch to be running the regular iPhone OS. However, for the 10-11" model, I like to something more spectacular.

More on Dell's slate at Gizmodo.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Excited About the iTablet? My E-Mail To A Friend About it.

This is my reply to Dave The Mobile Warrior about the excitement building up to the 27th, which is Apple's event that will supposedly unleash the iTablet-iSlate upon the world: Hey, This is the future-Paul. I have pre-preordered this baby. :-) This is the future Paul with the itablet/islate. Let the now-Paul know he's going to be very satified. He is also very happy for future-Dave who listened to the Jan 27th-Paul about preorderig as well. Sent from my iPhone (from a not too distant future)

iPad and WWDC Prediction: Apple Will Upgrade Siri And Users Will Not Be Able to Choose Between ChatGPT or Gemini

At this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple is set to unveil major upgrades to its virtual assistant Siri. These enhanc...