Tag: iphone

This Just In: GPS Tracks Location

On Apr 20, two researchers presenting at the “Where 2.0″ conference disclosed that Apple iPhones (and 3G iPads) were found to contain accessible location tracking histories. The “Apple is tracking you” meme spread like wildfire on the Internet and by nightfall had made its way to the evening news, complete with overly simplified technical hand-waving and obligatory man-on-the-street outrage.

In the clearer light of day, some revelations: (continue reading…)


Has The iPhone Peaked?

Business Insider ran what I thought was a very interesting Android vs iPhone survey asking users why they chose one platform over another. I agree with their “takeaway points” from the resulting data, but I was particularly intrigued by two of their extended conclusions in regard to the Android onslaught:

  1. “It increases the pressure on the iPhone 5 to be a humdinger of an upgrade.”
  2. “App selection is not as important as most people think.”

(continue reading…)

On Openness, Fragmentation, And Other Android Traits

According to the latest Nielsen numbers, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry are nearly neck-and-neck in smartphone OS market share with 29%, 27%, and 27% respectively. When looking at the graph, one thing stands out in comparing new leader Android to its nearest neighbors… (continue reading…)

Android vs iPhone, Fair and Balanced

Nick Saint offers the most unbiased Android vs iPhone comparison that I have seen to date. It is well-balanced and (IMHO) reasonable in its assessment. The comments pre-date the iPhone availability of Google Voice, Google Goggles, or the potential “Verizon iPhone” – which might ameliorate some criticisms – but otherwise it is very fair.

I have hated all other “which is best” articles because they are so black-and-white in stating their personal preferences as fact. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are somehow less intelligent/attractive/moral if you prefer to have a virtual keyboard (iPhone) or removable battery (Android). There is no one right answer, no universal choice. Whatever you prefer is right for you, no matter what anyone else may opine.

AT&T Re-Defines “Limited” and “Unlimited”

Most iPhone users tend to be loyal about their phone, and dare I say, with just a slight air of superiority. But there is one feature on Android phones that Apple people are jealous about. Many Android phones come with software that allows the phones to become a WiFi hotspot. Not only is the feature built-in, but the carriers gladly support it. It is even advertised heavily in “Droid Does” commercials.

But iPhone? (continue reading…)

The Evolution Of Smartphones, By The Numbers [And Why Apple May Dominate The Next Round]

In 2007, Apple energized the smartphone industry with the introduction of the first-gen iPhone. Within a year, they had gone from a non-player in the cellular phone market to an innovative industry leader. Indeed, Apple’s tremendous success in the marketplace is exemplified by their capture of 48% of the Q1 2010 mobile phone revenues, despite being limited to GSM carriers and garnering only an estimated 3% of the total handset market.

If rumors of a CDMA phone in 2011 are correct, Apple is poised to once again make an historic leap, this time not for its innovative technological advances, but in terms of a significant – possibly even dominant – market share increase. In order to explain why this might be, we need to understand how smartphone adoption has evolved (very rapidly) over the past 3 years.

(continue reading…)

Time For The iAttorneys

In the old days, if you didn’t like a product you returned it and got your money back.  These days, I guess you just file a class action lawsuit. Apple is getting both barrels, first for Antennagate and now for the iBook, er um, I mean the iPad.

“Real World” iPhone4 Antenna Experience

An interesting post about the hysteria over the iPhone4 antenna flaw. The author’s real world experiences are actually of better call performance, *despite* the “death grip” problem that has exposed flaws both in Apple’s design and their customer service savvy.

Now that I have upgraded my iPhone, I must concur. East San Diego County residents may be well aware of the dead zone on Highway 52, going over the Mission Trails Summit between Miramar and Santee. It’s not a tall ‘mountain’ (sic) by any stretch of the imagination (only 821 ft), but obviously the carrier antennas are on the downhill sides rather than at the peak, because it has been a long-standing problem area not just for AT&T but for Sprint/Verizon as well.

Going eastbound, you can predict the drops on an iPhone3 with an incredible degree of accuracy – there is a specific spot near the Adopt-A-Highway sign that is as consistent as Old Faithful. Going westbound, calls actually survive over the peak, but usually drop during tower hand-off as you head toward the Santo Rd off-ramp.

It is rare, but the only time that trans-summit calls seem to survive is when there is a thick blanket of fog/clouds. One would assume that the signals are bouncing just perfectly off the atmosphere…

With an iPhone4, no problems whatsoever – even on cloudless days. I can hold eastbound calls all the way into the valley and clear to the El Cajon foothills. Westbound, the transfer to Miramar cell towers has been totally seamless. I can now make a 40min commute from El Cajon to University City with an intact call. The Avocado/Horizon Hills dead zone between El Cajon and Rancho San Diego is also no longer a drop factor (though a bit clippy).

So even with the antenna issue, the performance of the phone still seems superior to previous models. In the “AntennaGate” press conference, Steve Jobs said that there is actually a less than 1 per 100 call drop increase compared to the older models, but I just haven’t seen it. Yes, the seam between antennas can be bridged and cause attenuation for some. But most people I know use protection anyway, and there are plenty of options even for the biggest tightwad (from Apple, StealthArmor, Antenn-aid). Techies swayed by on-paper arguments can forego the iPhone4, but real-world experience seems to say that most people will be happy and the design flaw is nearly a non-issue.

Consumer response does seem to bear that out, as Jobs also said that only 0.55% of the customer complaints were about reception, with the return rate 70% less than the 3GS (so far). Is this a ‘crisis’ only for the media? I’m just not grokking how Consumer Reports can take such a stand against a phone that they readily acknowledged was far superior and seems to have better real-world performance than previous recommendations (despite the flaw). At this point, AntennaGate is less about the technical design and more about marketing. Apple must realize that media opinions like these can sway a public that may not be taking that leap of faith. I heard a sports-radio host say “thank God I didn’t get an iPhone4″ without any clear understanding of what bullet he dodged. And now that opinion was broadcast to his listeners, spreading the (arguably) false perspective.  Apple needs to tone down the hubris and crank up the marketing engine by at least pretending to care rather than blowing off the issue. The free bumpers may not be enough.

All in all, I’d just like the Antennagate problem to fade away. I’m guessing so would Apple.

PS: I actually have bigger concerns elsewhere… Namely, I wonder what future implications this new design holds? As of yet, there has been no link between cellphone use and brain cancers.  But is the iPhone4 radio more ‘powerful’ than others? Is the new antenna alignment more radiative than the conventional cell designs? 10 years from now, are iPhone4 models going to be the first to have a proven link to an increase in brain cancers? I’m not about to give up my iPhone based on paranoid concerns. But that thought did cross my mind. Right before it was zapped by the RF!

Counting Down To The Top 3

Ouch. First Microsoft unceremoniously kills the Kin device, and now the press buries the first Windows Phone 7. If sales will tank as predicted, is MS long for the mobile market?

Lackluster Windows Phone adoption will ultimately reduce the smartphone competition to Apple iOS, Google Android, and the forthcoming BlackBerry 6.0. As for WebOS? HP does not plan to focus on smartphones and will instead push for it as the embedded OS on all their future appliance platforms (particularly tablets).

Soon there will be three. (And quite frankly, I am seeing RIM wilt quickly under the weight of the  iPhone/Droid onslaught. If Corporate America ever concedes their love affair with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server as a means of Draconian IT control, BB is toast.)

Apple Just Gets It

It’s no surprise that Apple is making such huge strides in the consumer market. They follow the Human Factors tenet of providing a tool to get things done rather than an obtrusive device that one must adapt one’s life into. And not just in the products themselves, but in *how* those products are positioned.

Case in point, check out Sprint’s EVO 4G demo. It’s all about specs and “features to make other smartphones jealous”. Now contrast that with the practical, emotion-filled ad for FaceTime and the iPhone 4G. Screw the technical jargon, here’s how we make your life better.


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