June is a fun month for Apple lovers. The company holds its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, thus June is when the company announces some of its sexiest, most high-profile new products.
This year did not disappoint.
The Cupertino-based company announced a new iPhone series, the iPhone 3G S. It also announced a new operating system that will add or upgrade many features for users of the existing iPhone OS. The new phone will offer more storage, the capability to record and
edit videos on the phone, a faster chipset and a compass feature that
will integrate with the native map application. The OS upgrade will
add the ability to copy and paste text, images and video; multimedia
messaging; an improved calendar; the ability to tether an iPhone to a
computer for use as a wireless modem; and the ability to run the next
generation of iPhone applications.
For iPhone ethusiasts, this
is a big step forward. Apple has heeded the call of users and
developers and added or improved many features that they have been
clamoring for since the release of the iPhone 3G last June - or even
since iPhone v1.
What Apple didn't do was address the many
shortcomings of the AT&T service that iPhone users are required to
sign up for in the US. To begin with, most current iPhone 3G owners
won't be able to even buy the new phone for a while. AT&T won't
allow current iPhone 3G owners to upgrade their phones until they have
been with the company for enough time to justify giving them another
discount. Which, I admit, does make sense, but it's annoying and
likely to alienate current owners.
AT&T has also refused to
allow its users to use the tethering feature of the new iPhone OS.
Presumably, this is to prevent further load on its already woefully
inadequate digital network, but this doesn't make much sense to me
since the iPhone version of Safari already downloads full versions of
AT&T is also delaying the rollout of its support for the MMS feature of the new software until late summer.
The "S" in iPhone 3G S stands for "Speed," apparently, and the new
phones don't disappoint. They boast compatibility with 7.2 HSPA, the
updated 3G network. The only problem? AT&T won't complete its
rollout of 7.2 HSPA until 2011.
AT&T's service plan is also more expensive than comparable service plans from other providers.
also get better reception and Internet speeds in Hawaii than I do in
San Francisco, one of the technology capitals of the universe, which
struck me as quite ironic. Nothing against Hawaii, and kudos for
having damn good mobile data speed, but c'mon, it's San Francisco!
Check out this previous post for another ironic example of my ongoing frustration with AT&T's network.
goodwill that AT&T hoped to get from its exclusive right to the
iPhone is rapidly dwindling. Apple might start to lose customers it
would otherwise attract because of AT&T's high prices and poor
performance. Hopefully the parties will end the relationship soon, or at least let Verizon offer a version of the iPhone on its network.