Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cisco sues Apple over iPhone name

I was wondering how Apple got to use the iPhone name, considering Cisco owns the iPhone trademark. I figured Apple and Cisco may have worked out a last minute deal before the official iPhone announcement, but it turns out that is not the case.

Cisco is now suing Apple for trademark infringement.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apple Computer is no more

Apple Computer, Inc. has ceased to be. They are now officially Apple Inc.

Happy 30th Anniversary Apple!

Apple iPhone: I won't be getting it

Nope. I won't be the first on the block to get the new Apple iPhone. I sure as hell want one though. ;)

The plethora of great features is really astonishing, and the slickness of the integration and the OS is worlds beyond anything ever released before. However, assuming I could even get an unlocked version of this quad-band GSM/EDGE phone (which may be a problem since Apple has an exclusive multi-year deal with Cingular), I'm not sure the phone really suits my needs entirely. My main issues are the price of the phone, cost and speed of net access, storage, and of course battery life:

1) The phone itself is quite expensive. Given that it's US$599 with a 2-year Cingular contract, I'd imagine that it would be upwards of CAD$1000 for an unlocked version of the 8 GB phone (if unlocked phones are actually available).

2) The data costs for this phone are prohibitive in Canada. Many of the features are fairly useless to me, unless I were to get an unlimited data plan. Unfortunately, such plans in Canada are extremely expensive, even if they may be quite reasonably priced in the US. It may be somewhat moot though, considering that this is an EDGE phone, not a 3G UMTS phone. EDGE speeds often are quite slow, which doesn't always make for a fun time when surfing. WiFi support does mitigate this somewhat, but most areas do not have free WiFi support.

3) One of the reasons I really like this phone is because it has a 3:2 480x320 widescreen. This is just what I wanted for an iPod, for movie playback. In fact, it's more, since I was hoping for a 480x272 widescreen. However, it has only 8 GB storage total. With the H.264 files I have encoded, an average movie is roughly 1 GB. Thus, an 8 GB model can only hold a few movies, if there are music, other files, and various applications on the phone at the same time, not to mention OS overhead. Unfortunately, there is no option for user swappable memory cards.

4) Battery life something that is likely to concern a lot of people. Often times when I am on the plane or train, I will drain my iPod battery down to zero playing back movies and music. After I arrive at my destination I can then take the iPod to the hotel and charge it there. However, this is unacceptable for a phone. If my phone runs out of juice, I am in trouble. For this reason, I always carry a second phone battery when I travel. This is impossible with the iPhone, as the battery is not user replaceable.

Other niggling issues include the 2 Megapixel non-autofocus camera, but I suppose I could live with that. I did mention lack of 3G UMTS support, but in truth our Canadian carriers are still relatively behind on that front, and so for now a quad-band GSM with EDGE is in many ways preferable here. Of course, I already have such a phone though, with a 3 Megapixel autofocus camera too. That mates well with my video iPod, which has the added benefit of TV output.

This is an excellent start for Apple. No, "excellent" is not the word. Shockingly impressive is a better description, considering that this first phone for Apple has an OS and features that are light years ahead of phones from companies who have been at this for just about forever. Hopefully they will get this phone out in time for their claimed launch date. They do have a lot of time to prepare though, since Apple has uncharacteristically announced this new iPod 6 months in advance for the summer release, sending AAPL up 8.3% to $92.57, and sending Research In Motion, Motorola, Nokia, and Palm lower.

I personally will await the iPhone 2.0 in 2008 however, with its 12 (or 16?) GB memory, tri-band GSM support with UMTS (and iSight and iChat mobile), extended battery life, and a 3 Megapixel camera. In the meantime, I hope Apple releases that $299 40 GB widescreen video iPod.