Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Now I would buy an iPhone! If only it had buttons...

Yesterday the lesser of two annual events in the Apple world took place - the Apple WWDC - World Wide Developers Conference keynote (the more significant one being the January Macworld Expo).

Apple are really amazing about being able to create a buzz about every little thing they are doing. They used to broadcast the conference keynote live, but nowadays (apparently not for technical reasons) they keep them for a while but bloggers provide both live text and commentary. The day afterward, the event is available over QuickTime.

Of course, yesterday's event was focused on the iPhone (and is of course in both DN.se and NyTeknik). Some have complained that the keynote provided little juicy news for developers in terms of hardware or development tools, but the biggest thing for me is the new 3G iPhone, with GPS capability and roughly half the price of the old iPhone. The deal is: 8GB 3G iPhone with GPS at $199 * ≈ 1990 EEK ≈ 1190 SEK ≈ 127 € ≈ "Twice as fast, half the price" (with significant coolness added). I am very very tempted at getting one now.

Still, the major hurdle I've learnt of the iPhone remains - it has no buttons... It was the most revolutionary thing with the iPhone, to use as much as possible of the device surface for adaptable buttons and display, great. Though, it also requires way too much attention to input, it gives no feedback to touch so it may be the worst example but - how can you SMS while drivingwalking for example?! I have inherited a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone, and it may be subtle, but it has a lot of features you require of your phone! Finding contacts, forwarding SMSs or texting, it is really fast when you don't have to pay attention to what you're doing and can just let your fingers type away. So Apple, it's great that you have been trying to cater to enterprise users, now please figure out a way to work with the iPhone even with minimal attention, and it will really start selling.

The second most interesting bang from the WWDC is the wealth and variety of applications which seem to be coming for the iPhone. Sure, games are fun, but I am really keeping a keen eye on location aware and social mobile applications like Loopt or for that matter, my friend Peter's social picture messaging application MoYuMe (I recently found him in a video by some Latvian blogger). If you think the GSM phone, IM and SMS have changed the way people live and what they do, the scale of the mobile social revolution is breathtaking. Reactionaries object that who cares about all that social and mobile silliness, but remember they said the same about mobile phones and SMS. You heard it here first (well, unless you heard it somewhere else before), and for a head start of understanding the revolution, head over to our friends CommonCraft explaining Twitter in plain English:

(Update: In Sweden Telia and in Estonia EMT will be selling the iPhone 3G, and at least in Estonia you can pre-sign up already. I think EMT's ad is much cooler than Telia's press release at least)

(Update 2: Teliasonera has released it's price plans for the iPhone 3G:

price plantraffic includedmonthly feeiPhone 3G 8 GB,
tied 24 months
iPhone 3G 16 GB,
tied 18 months
iMini100 minutes,
100 SMS, 100 MB
299 SEK1695+24·299 =
8871 SEK
3295+18·299 =
8677 SEK
iMidi250 minutes,
250 SMS, 250 MB
489 SEK995+24·489 =
12731 SEK
2695+18·489 =
11497 SEK
iMaxi1000 minutes,
1000 SMS, 1000 MB
859 SEK1+24·859 =
20617 SEK
2195+18·859 =
17657 SEK

No surprise really, after the initial pretty useless buzz Apple released, $199* has the asterisk so to say - the subscriptions you this time probably will be tied to in the store are pretty horrendous. I think a "3G-soap" as they are called in Stockholm, a 3G USB modem for the laptop costs roughly 500 SEK per month, and that's still less limited and a lot more versatile than what you can do with an iPhone and 250 MB.

Swedish wireless access prices are generally ridiculous compared to Estonian and I hope to see that EMT will be less scotch. Also, count on me writing a piece on how to forever get rid of the despited "high speed extreme use"-clauses in broadband contracts, also discussed in Swedish here)

(Update 3: Estonian EMT has released the iPhone 3G too now. If I understand the newsletter correctly the contracts are all 24 months, so it's not comparable to the 18 months column above. I was saying that I think traffic should be cheaper in Estonia, but instead it seems they simply do not provide any "maxi" plan, and charge a bit more than Telia does in Sweden.)

price plantraffic includedmonthly feeiPhone 3G 8 GB,
tied 24 months
iPhone 3G 16 GB,
tied 24 months
i550100 minutes,
100 SMS, 100 MB
550 EEK
(= 329 SEK)
2670+24·550 =
15870 EEK
(= 9486 SEK)
3960+24·550 =
17160 EEK
(= 10257 SEK)
i890250 minutes,
250 SMS, 250 MB
890 EEK
(= 532 SEK)
1490+24·890 =
22850 EEK
(= 13658 SEK)
2780+24·890 =
(= 14429 SEK)

1 comment:

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