Tag: iPhone 4

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iPhone 4S: Worth the Upgrade?

Well, there is always next year for the iPhone 5, right?  Right.  Despite the rumor mill churning up some juicy stuff — some believable, some not so much about an iPhone 5, larger screen, and even Sprint exclusivity the iPhone launch has come and gone and what were we left with this year?  An iPhone 4S.  The release of the iPhone 4S has left some with a bittersweet taste in their mouth, while others are still in disbelief over the release.  Many consumers and investors (including myself) were expecting a newly designed shell and a larger screen to be included with the new iPhone, but instead, both were missing from the release.  Leading me to the question — were our expectations too high?

Apple has been on a roll recently, soaring stock price, sales through the roof, and awesome brand equity.  It is everybody’s favorite consumer products company.  If there’s one thing Apple does well it is selling its products.  It does this so well because Apple knows how to market to everyone, but it is also because the company is so meticulous in its approach to everything.  Everything has to be perfectly crafted and executed.  There are no half-baked releases at Apple.

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Unlocked (Pre-Paid) iPhone: Is It Right for You?

If you follow Apple or mobile industry news developments, you’re probably aware that Apple recently began marketing and selling an unlocked version of their insanely popular iPhone 4.  Just months after consumers gained the freedom to choose Verizon as an alternative to AT&T, the previously exclusive carrier of the Apple iPhone, the company’s latest move has made the phone available for users of any GSM carrier.  While this means that T-Mobile is the only major new network for the iPhone, many people neglect to realize that the unlocked devices also work on smaller and more local GSM-operating mobile carriers with options varying by region.  Perhaps more importantly, though, the availability and sale of unlocked iPhone 4 handsets also means that users can use any GSM carrier without having to necessarily accept a long-term contract that one would typically have to opt into in order to purchase and use the iPhone.

Admittedly, the unlocked iPhone 4 devices start at $649, making it significantly higher in price than the $199 entry-level point that we see with AT&T and Verizon for the 16gb unit.  However, the real savings can be found in the fact that light mobile users can purchase the iPhone 4 and, depending on carriers, pay significantly less in order to use low-allowance or pre-paid mobile packages.  Being a real light mobile user myself, I have personally pondered the unlocked iPhone 4 as my usage would likely be very inexpensive.  However, I soon came to the realization that pre-paid iPhones aren’t as great of a deal as many would think they would be.

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iPhone Developers Get Their Hands on Non-Released Handsets

Irish novelist James Joyce once said that “a man’s errors are his portals of discovery.”  While you can take what you will from that statement, many perceive it as meaning that mistakes and blunders are what give us the knowledge to better pursue the future.  And while the company is highly successful one would be ignorant not to realize that Apple has made a fair amount of mistakes over the last couple of years.  Perhaps one of the largest and most widely known of these mistakes was an incident that took place about this time last year when Apple made the misjudgment of allowing a number of select employees to actively use prototype versions of the yet to be released forth-generation iPhone.  One of these employees, the now infamous Gray Powell, overlooked the then highly secretive device and ultimately ended up misplacing it in a Bay Area bar.

After making its way through the news the story was quickly forgotten by many, and based upon Apple’s tremendous sales of the device later that year we can only infer that their overall business didn’t considerably suffer from the occurrence.  But now as we edge closer to iPhone season last years events have gained a whole new level of importance, raising questions as to what Apple would do this time around.  After all, the company is in a very touch situation.  You see, Apple still needs to have their hardware tested and evaluated by developers and engineers.  But taking into consideration the near blow that the company was dealt last year, it’s probably safe to say that we all expected to see stronger restrictions imposed by Apple for this year’s iPhone prototype.

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Motorola Strikes Back At Apple: No Jacket Required

Motorola released a full page ad in the New York Times today in which they fired back at Apple’s claims that the Droid X also suffered from attenuation when held in a particular way.  The ad which read, “No Jacket Required” is clearly a shot at Apple.  To make it even more apparent, the ad goes on to list additional features which the Droid X has that the iPhone 4 does not citing things such as the 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, HD video capture with a built-in HDMI port, 3G mobile hotspot for up to 5 devices, etc.

At the bottom of the ad, Motorola states: “At Motorola, we believe a customer shouldn’t have to dress up their phone for it to work properly.  That’s why the Droid X comes with a dual antenna design.  The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like to make crystal clear calls without a bulky phone jacket.”  And if that wasn’t harsh enough for you, the ad goes on to say, “For us it’s just one those things that comes as a given when you’ve been making mobile phones for over 30 years.” Ouch.

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iPhone 4: The Antenna Problem Is Real [VIDEO]

Well, it appears we now have evidence that the iPhone 4 “death grip” is not completely software related.  Based on the evidence provided in the video above, it is safe to say – we have a very real problem on our hands (pun intended) which no amount of software updates can fix.

Erica Sadun of TUAW wrote an application which directly measured signal strength on the iPhone 4.  As shown in the video, once she gripped the phone, the signal strength quickly degraded to essentially nothing.  This problem will arise most commonly in areas with poor signal strength, which unfortunately with AT&T is many places.  However, in places with good signal strength, the problem is non-existant (as I’ve pointed out in my iPhone 4 review).

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I Want A Retina Display Monitor

After approximately a week with my iPhone 4 I have truly come to love the Retina Display.  It is such a fantastic display.  As I pointed out in my iPhone 4 review, everything is much crisper, sharper, and just flat out better looking then any previous iPhone or phone I have ever used.  Now, I currently use an Apple 30″ Cinema Display with my Mac Pro and I love it.  However, since getting the iPhone 4, I can’t help but notice the difference when going between the Cinema display and the Retina display.

The smaller Retina display looks so much better then the Cinema display, especially when it comes to text and graphics.  The iPhone 4 displays 326 pixels per inch on a 3.5 inch display at a 960 x 640 screen resolution.  Imagine the possibilities.  Screen resolutions on a 20, 24, 30 inch monitor.  It would be insane (and would look great).  Even being able to build the technology into smaller displays such as 13″ – 17″ on the Macbook Pro line would be awesome.

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iPhone 4 Reception Issue: Case Makers Rejoice

The Internet has been flooded by stories of the iPhone 4 having a reception problem when one holds the phone with their hand covering the antennas in the lower quadrant. There are hundreds of videos and articles showing people gripping the phone, which covers the antennas, and the AT&T bars slowly go down and calls being dropped. The way the grip the iPhone is a normal grip, although you have to squeeze a bit to see the problem. People are obviously upset at this issue and Apple has acknowledged it, by saying putting a case on the phone will solve the immediate problem. That is just what case companies wanted to hear.

The iPhone case market has been a jackpot ever since the first iPhone came out in 2007. With people spending $500-600 on their new investment, they obviously wanted to protect their phones. In came the market of cases. Companies had been making cases before the iPhone for other phones, laptops, and mp3 players/ iPods. These cases did exactly what they were meant to do, which is protect your device and not much else. These cases slowly evolved, and the market boom became what it is today. There are hundreds of case manufacturers, most specialize in Apple products, and the cases today bring nifty features and amazing designs that will let your phone stand out in the crowd as well as add some extra features.

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iPhone 4 Review

This past Thursday, Apple released their latest iteration of the iPhone deemed iPhone 4.  In spectacular launch fashion people all over the United States as well as a couple of other countries lined the parking lots, sidewalks, malls, and streets of Apple stores across the world.  Does the iPhone 4 fulfill the hype?  I’ll be breaking down the features, functionality, and more in this iPhone 4 review.  I will have the full video review up soon. Stay tuned for that too!

Features

Retina Display: The Retina Display is one of my favorite new features of the iPhone 4.  It’s a beautiful display.  You cannot tell the difference without seeing it first hand in person.  The difference is there.  The most noticeable differences in the display occur when viewing text and comparing optimized app icons to non-optimized ones.  However, that being said, the Retina Display’s ability to produce high density pixel output will make everything look better.  The fact that the glass is bonded to the LCD panel also helps as compared to older generation iPhone’s where the glass was not bonded to the LCD panel which led to blurriness.

FaceTime: The iPhone 4 introduced a front facing camera primarily geared towards to the new FaceTime feature which allows you to video conference with other iPhone 4 users.  The only catch is that as of right now both users need to be connected to WiFi to initiate FaceTime.  I will admit that FaceTime seemed like a rather pointless feature (to me), however, after using it with several of my friends I’ve since changed my tune.  FaceTime is perhaps one of the coolest things to come to the iPhone to date.  Granted the idea and concept is not new, I think the execution by Apple is excellent.  It’s seamless to setup (press of a button) and easy to use.  I expect to see other applications like Skype take advantage of the front facing camera and would love to see the ability to video conference with people who are using Skype on desktops or laptops.

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iPhone 4: A Huge Success

Well, the title says it all.  According to a couple of blogs AT&T has completely sold out all of their iPhone 4’s.  Anyone who ordered an iPhone 4 from AT&T after 1:30PM EST can expect their iPhone to be received anytime from June 25th to July 5th. Ouch.  Today has been crazy, its been the equivalent to an online mob scene or mosh pit.  People fighting for the right to get their iPhone 4 on time and before anyone else.  If this is any indication of what it will be like at the Apple store I’m going to, I need to hire a body guard.

I’ve included a video above detailing my iPhone 4 pre-order story.  It’s a tale of epic failure, disappointment, excitement, and hopefully a happy ending (that will happen when I have the iPhone 4 in my hot little hands).

Update: Apple has now sold out of the iPhone 4 as well. Their website now states it will ship by July 2nd.

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