Mobile

Thoughts on iPhone

Some quick notes and thoughts about the new Apple iPhone (and the impact on the mobile industry):

  • The "it’s not 3G" complain — typical 3G UMTS speed is around 300Kbps while EDGE (iPhone) is around 150Kbps. That is "good enough" for basic Web browsing and defiantly enough for email. Beside, there’s always the built-in Wi-Fi. I have plenty of usage in the UMTS land (both Asia and Europe). 3G is not as fast as you think. This also leaves room for HSDPA (3.5G) and iChat video upgrade as a feature in the future.
  • Asian character input would be interesting (especially Chinese) with the lack of stylus.
  • The full touch screen system is a usability concern – especially "blind dialing" while driving. :P
  • Some people dislike Cingular. One has to understand, all wireless providers are "evil", yet Cingualr’s GSM network is much more "open" compare to Verizon / Qualcomm’s CDMA system. Case in point, I can freely use my unlocked 3G (UMTS/HSDPA) Windows Mobile device on the Cingular network — as long as I have a valid data plan with Cingular. I don’t think you can do that on Verizon’s network.
  • Wireless data plan is expensive. Not true. $20 bucks all you can eat from Cingular (Note: this is also the same high speed UMTS plan if your phone supports it. Cingular doesn’t care if your phone is  2G, 2.5G, 3G, or 3.5G. The settings are the same).
  • I feel really sorry for Nokia’s N800 developement team. Orz ; ;
  • J2ME support on iPhone will be very interesting for games and Yahoo! Go 2.0 obviously. No mention in the keynote.
  • The iPhone is a smart phone – which leaves plenty of room for the next, lower price point product in the future. Think "iPhone Nano" or "iPhone Shuffle" (random dialing? ^^). At the same time, "non-smart phones" are getting better and better. Sony Ericsson’s K800i is a great camera phone with tones of well executed features. Would love to see Apple’s take on a K800i
  • Apple rarely does any pre-announcement, but sadly, pre-annoucment is a norm in the handset world. Looks like Apple will follow that in the future.
  • Apple did great with the Safari browser, but it’s still a huge pain to view a regular Web page on the 320×480 screen. I think "browse" is ok, but "interact" with it will be pretty bad. iPhone further highlights the need of "mobile optimized" Web pages that are context driven. I am not talking about the old WML/WAP pages here. I am talking about W3C’s mobileOK type pages. Of course, following the standard is not enough but that’s where we should get started.    
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