My love of the iPhone, it grows stronger

Fred Wilson is not at all impressed by the iPod Touch and thinks more highly of the standard iPod models. Me, I like the idea of the touch and like the idea more of the iPhone. I bought an iPhone in December in Palo Alto and it was a while before I really started to use it*. Since I started using it though, I’ve really started to like it and it is without exception the best way to experience the Internet on a phone or Internet table type device. Safari and touch screen is a total joy. Over Christmas I also played with the new Nokia N81 and in comparison it’s total junk. So is the N95 and it’s 14+ buttons. I’m not the biggest Apple fan but they’ve kicked the ass of the mobile manufaturers with this and it might make them all cop on and use a bit of imagination and stop letting engineers design the outside and interfaces. I too was sceptical at first about it, especially because of the way you input text, but the more you use it, the better it gets. Because of it’s jailbroken too I can put a hell of a lot of applications on it, that Apple would say no to. Sorry Steve. It’s my phone, let me hack it.

The camera isn’t great but it’s not entirely crap either. Yes the N95 and most other phones have better cameras but for what I want, it does the job. Looking at photos and synching it with the computer too are amazingly easy. Shame it can’t be said for their competitors.

Of course the iPhone I got can’t be software unlocked to get it on the networks over here and I wasn’t going to spend 80 quid more on turbosim to do so. So right now I only use it at home and in hotspot areas to surf the net and everywhere else it’s pretty much just an iPod, though video works so well on it. I watched the latest episode of The Wire on it on the train on Friday. But it seems hope is at hand as someone is after hardware unlocking the version of the iPhone I have and I expect a software unlock to become available soon enough. Happy days. I think it would take off a lot more in Europe if it wasn’t for the insane pricing and contracts that you have to lock yourself into, in order to get it officially working over here. Madness.

*Zaniac actually unboxed the phone for me and helped me jailbreak it. Watch the very excited video he made. Warning, extreme Apple loveathon.

30 Responses to “My love of the iPhone, it grows stronger”

  1. Paul McClean says:

    You’re experiencing season 5 of The Wire…. on a fffffffucking telephone?!

  2. roosta says:

    I have an iPod touch and the web browsing experience on it is fantastic. Its easily the handiest gadget ive ever had, and much better than the n95 for surfing the web.

  3. danger says:

    What do you think about text-entry? For example, when you are typing “I drove from Athlone to Dun Laoghaire” how do you find it? Does the prediction help or hinder – did you struggle with it at first, and now find it incredibly good? How often do you have to backtrack/retype?

    Disclosure: I don’t use predictive anything on normal phones, I’m that uncool, kids.

  4. Adam says:

    So you can’t use it as a phone in Ireland at the moment? Does that only apply to certain models or all models?

    That in itself would put me off instantly – if I got an iPhone I’d want it to be fully functional (and then some!).

    The two things that are putting me off besides this are worries over the text input and the storage limitations.

    I’ve a feeling that once the 3G version its it’ll have a slightly bigger SSD to boot so I might wait and see before I jump on anything.

  5. roosta says:

    Disclosure: I don’t use predictive anything on normal phones, I’m that uncool, kids.

    Im the exact same, im slower with predictive thingy majigs.

    I find text entry ok. For short emails and the like its fine. I wouldnt use an IM thingy on it tho, that would wreck my head.

    Ive been using it a month now and i still have to retype some stuff, but im getting much better. At first you think its tough, but you get used to it

  6. mj says:

    I’m a big fan of the iPhone. I think there’s something here for the ALL of the mobile manufacturers to take on board. It’s not again that there’s anything truly innovative here – but there’s some assumptions which have been quashed, i.e. why does web surfing on a small device have to be crap?

    It makes me think that Safari, the whole WebKit thing, the adherence to standards and gaining of Mindshare, was all a ploy to get Safari-compatible websites out there just for the iTouch and iPhone.

  7. Anthony says:

    I’ve heard the camera takes quite dark shots but considering there’s no way to light them, that makes sense. If they add a decent camera, more storage and 3G, I’d get one. Think I’ll be waiting a while though

  8. Ciaran Lee says:

    Actually I think you can now software unlock 1.1.2 phones with the 4.6 bootloader, see here

  9. SK says:

    If you are using the iPhone, but not as a phone, what are you getting that you don’t get with an iTouch other than the camera?

  10. AJ says:

    I have an iTouch, Sorry iPOD Touch… and I love the pleasure it brings me. I won’t get an iPhone till it support full 3G HSDPA or whatever its called these days.

    There is one big disadvantage to the iPhone though. If I enjoy my itouch… Darn iPOD touch too much I may go blind. If I go blind, due to the lack of raised keys (or indeed any keys) how would I type?

    In other words, it is not a blind friendly device, nor a driving along at 60 friendly device.

  11. Alexia says:

    Your tale of falling in love with the iPhone is the reason I stayed away from the Palo Alto store. My head says an iPhone without 3G is not a valuable proposition, my heart would have sprung for one in two secs. Hoping against hope that when it lands here it has 3G, else I’ll have to run past O2 shops.

  12. Matt says:

    I’ve had an iPod Touch for a few months now, and it’s been totally brilliant. Watched 28 weeks later on a plane to Italy in November, have 2000+ of my photos on it all the time, and now with the new update I have mobile and all the other goodies like maps and notes and err… stocks.

    The customizable home screen is long overdue, and also totally awesome. I added an apple-touch-icon.png to my blog almost as soon as I downloaded the update.

    The text input is unbelievable. I don’t know how big the dictionary is, but it seems to always know what word I mean to type, even if I get half the letters wrong. I think it uses the Force or something.

    Plus, at 16GB it’s twice as good as an iPhone, it just doesn’t have a phone. Or a camera.

  13. mj says:

    To be honest, iPhone on 2.5G still beats the pants off any other phone on 3G. I’ll never even look at my ‘3G’ Sony-Ericsson again.

    Will I buy a 3G iPhone?

    You betcha.

  14. frankp says:

    iPod touch is excellent… you get used to the typing very very quickly… mostly I ignore the predictive text options, but on longer words it can be handy, or for auto correcting simple, common mistakes… it does take a while to get used to though.

    The iPhone is bigger and bulkier – ok, not hugely but enough. I like my Nokia 6300 for it’s size and simplicity, and right now I don’t take the iPod touch everywhere so it suits me to have two seperate devices.

    I can see the appeal of the one device, but someday the iPhone will be as slim as the iPod touch perhaps… 🙂

    Besides, until the iPhone is offered in Ireland on a reasonable contract I don’t have to make that decision…!

  15. ben says:

    for all you budding musicians out there with a penchant for all things apple…

    Is there anything the iphone can’t do i ask myself!

    oh yeah … 3G

  16. frankp says:

    I decided not to bother getting a 3G phone last time I upgraded anyway… I had had one for ages and never found it to be of any added benefit. I now have a Nokia 6300 without 3G and I don’t miss it one bit…

  17. Adam says:

    I got an N80 sim-free, which is 3G capable, but I don’t think I’ve ever used any of the 3G features… in fact I’m pretty sure I’d need to set that up with o2, which I’ve never bothered doing… I haven’t even set it up to receive MMS messages properly.

  18. Mark says:

    Yep, I said this months ago – would the lack of 3G bother a potential iPhone buyer – I don’t think so. Browsing on a mobile device on 3/3.5G is far from a pleasant experience, so like me, most people don’t bother. If they have browsing to do they wait for a hotspot or til they get home or to the office.

    This was on silicon republic today:

    “O2 stated that it is continuing to rollout its EDGE network “rapidly”, which will provide access for O2 customers outside its HSDPA (high-speed download packet access) network, which now covers 87pc of the population. The company said there will be full EDGE coverage by April”.

    It was nothing related to the iPhone but it would set the stage nicely for it’s Irish launch. I’ll go cross something – ran out of fingers and toes months ago!

  19. SK says:

    I still don’t see why you should pay stg£521 (€700) for an iPod with a GSM phone.

    And believe me that is what you pay unless you crack it. Apple take 40% of the subscription revenue as well as the initial phone cost.

  20. mj says:

    SK: You’re an ass.

    I dont know where you get £521.

    269 + (24×35) = 1109

    that’s pretty good for a top class communications device and two years of unlimited data as well as free minutes of voice and SMS. Did you forget the network services or would they have devalued your point. Oh yes, software updates too.

  21. monkeyleader says:

    Hang on .n95 crap ? Hmmmm … as for “its a joy to use the internet” hang on your using it at home or in hotspots when its just as easy to whip out a laptop. Go do your internet nonsense in a non wi-fi location and tell me if its still the way the internet is supposed to be.

    I don’t deny its a sexy looking device but already you are showing that its suitable as a mobile information device due to its lack of a high speed mobile network.

    Bring on the 3G iPhone !

  22. frankp says:

    Just as easy to whip out a laptop? Try carrying a laptop in your breast pocket and come back and report! 😀

  23. SK says:

    mj, calling people name is not nice.

    But my calculations are for for the cost of the device – the money that goes to Apple. They get the initial £269 and 40% of the subscription cost. In the UK the cheapest plan is £35 for 18 months and not the 24 you have given.
    269 + (18*35*.4) = £521

    As I said £521 is what Apple are getting. The rest goes to O2.

  24. mj says:

    SK: would ‘troll’ be better?

    The device costs you 800 quid for two years. Your margin calculation make no sense. They’re inane and peculiar in the slightly embarrassing way.

    It doesn’t help that they’re made-up, i.e. Component breakdown margins never take into account details like development, testing, the rent, shipping, marketing, nevermind salaries or profit. And a software development cost of £0. Software which has been improved 3 times since release again at a cost of £0.

    You think you can build an iPhone for £200? I have £200 here that calls you a troll.

    You could just admit you want one.

  25. SK says:

    Well MJ, I do this for a living (I am a Business Consultant for a telco equipment manufacturer) so I am pretty sure about my numbers.

    A contact in Vodafone Germany told me that they turned down the iPhone because of the unprecedented demand from Apple for 40% of service revenues.

    Over at mobile Mag they calculated the manufacturing cost of the phone to be €166, say €200 with R&D and software costs.

    So you pay the purchase price to O2, and then a big chunk of service revenue. The total comes to €800 for a €200 device.

    That is a 600% margin. That is price gouging in any language.

    And you have to be trolling to think that I would want an iPhone

  26. Mark says:

    Has anyone here got a working iPhone? I’m seriously considering taking the plunge and buying one. If I do, can someone tell me, 1. Can it be jailbroken free of charge? 2. Once it is can I use my regular Voda sim in it. 3. Does it have all the functionality of a proper US/UK/German/French iPhone (up to the latest jailbroken firmware?) 4. Will it function as normal with iTunes etc.
    Basically, I am right in saying the only drawback is that you can’t update your firmware ‘officially’ when Apple release an update. That you’ll always be that few weeks/days/hours behind official phones while waiting for the latest updates to be cracked? Can iTunes spot that it’s jailbroken and lock it down? etc etc – Any help greatly appreciated.

  27. mj says:

    SK: a business consultant for a telco equipment mfr? Wow, impressive. Not quite so clever when you’ve no real idea who’s listening. Or whether we now wonder if you’re sore because you work for a mfr who’s failing to compete with the iPhone. And what does a ‘business consultant’ do anyway? Its a handy woolly term.

    The fact remains: you’re an ass. A bit of disclosure would help. Is it in your employer interest to trash talk the iPhone?

    What does it matter who the money is paid to? (unless its not your employer)

    The device costs me £269 to buy. That’s a good price for what I get nomatter how much the components cost. (again ignoring the fact that r&d, marketing, rent, shipping all have to be paid for). Are you sure you know anything about ‘business’? Do you have any evidence that the iPhone is worse value than any comparable device? And pick your comparable device carefully.

    The tariff costs me £45 a month. I was previously paying Orange £70 a month for texts, data, voice. I don’t care if 40% goes to Apple if I’m paying less.

    That’s the real cost. For me the savings outweigh the costs (considering how bad 3G phones were previously – making the utility of 3G wasted). For me, the iPhone is real value and saves me lugging one of my laptops with me which was ultra useful recently when I was wandering around London.

    It REALLY sounds like the iPhone is affecting your bottom line. Sucks2BU!

  28. Damien says:

    Lads, tone it down. SK is right. To get a “legit” iPhone working you have to buy the phone in the UK and then sign up for a contract which takes a lot of money from you each month. They’re tied together and that is the real cost. I would not buy an iPhone in the UK and sign away my wallet for two years. Robbery.

    I bought the iPhone in the states and jailbroke it. As of this week there is also a software hack to get the latest phones to unlock and work on any network.

  29. Mark says:

    Sorry to be think here Damien. This means my own sim, as if I bought any other brand of unlocked phone – no turbosim or anything required?

  30. Damien says:

    @Mark It seems that yes, you can now use your own sim but the process to do it is still messy. A more automated software hack is probably on the way though.