Everything You Wanted to Know About the iPhone 5 But Were Too Afraid to Ask
With the first reviews pouring in today for everyone’s soon to be most bragged about toy, the iPhone 5, it’s time to take a step back and look at everything we know about the new iPhone, to date.
It’s thinner (the thinnest smartphone in the world according to Apple), it’s taller (a half an inch taller to be exact), it comes in black and white (though that doesn’t matter according to the late Michael Jackson), and of course it’s pretty sleek. Apple has had more than enough time in this business to know what works and what doesn’t and they aren’t messing with the formula now. The iPhone 5 looks like an iPhone, just better.
For the most part, all of the usual upgrades apply. The sound is better, the video is clearer, and everything is supposed to be faster. Of particular note, though, are the new 4G capabilities and Siri functions. The 4G is supposedly as quick as you need it to be, Siri is better than ever, and can perform an array of new tricks from pulling up apps on request, to providing sports scores. Also, the camera is supposed to work better in lowlight, and the battery life is cited as working up to 12-14 hours in some cases with normal usage, which would mean a great improvement over the previous models. However, if you’re looking for the real new feature of the iPhone 5, you have to turn to the new iO6.
The biggest upgrade to i06 is the new Apple Maps features which opposes the popular Google Maps program. Reviews aren’t particularly flattering for the new app, as reviewers cite trouble using it practically in urban environments ,along with being generally behind Google Maps, but with things like Yelp integration, and Siri enabled GPS, a few updates could put the system on the right track. Otherwise, the new operating system is offering up increased Facebook functionality, Facetime compatibility, and a great all in one travelling app called Passbook that also works with some of your payment methods to help create a virtual wallet. Nice.
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Tags: accessories, adapter, apple maps, Apps, att, black or white, Blogs, CNET, data plans, ellen degeneres, facebook, features, Gadgets, google maps, headphones, iO6, iPhone 5, john elerick, lightning connector, michael jackson, new york times, News, parodies, passbook, previews, price, Reviews, round up, samsung, siri, sprint, Technology, the chive, The Guardian, verdict, verizon
Verizon abandons new fees
Public pressure can build quickly in the social media age. Verizon tried to push through a new $2 fee and ended up with a PR nightmare.
Verizon Wireless bowed to a torrent of criticism on Friday and reversed a day-old plan to impose a $2 bill-paying fee that would have applied to only some customers.
The consumer vitriol, which cascaded across Twitter and onto blogs and petitions all around the Web, struck a chord with a company that was clearly not expecting it.
“The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions,” Verizon Wireless said in a statement referring to the reversal.
Everything is changing, as consumers have real power now with social media.
Verizon to dump its one year contract option
Roughly one week from today, Verizon will no longer be offering customers the option to sign a one-year contract. “The reason behind the change is the greater majority of customers sign up for a 2 year contract and take advantage of the discounted (promotion) price,” a Verizon Wireless spokesperson told BGR in an email. “Customers will still have the option of choosing month to month, prepaid or service with a two year contract.”
I can’t say this is really a surprise. Few carriers gave such deals and frankly there wasn’t a lot of benefit to the customer. American consumers typically put up with contracts for free or significantly reduced handsets. If they are really averse to contracts, a one year deal probably wouldn’t be any more appealing than two.
Verizon iPhone could cause Android and Blackberry exodus
We’re just three days from the official Verizon iPhone launch. This could be the biggest tech day of the year, but not just because it’s a Verizon iPhone. According to a recent survey, the release could mean millions of users abandoning the Android and Blackberry platforms.
According to uSamp, a research firm in LA, 66 percent of RIM customers labeled themselves either ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to switch to the iPhone. For Android customers, it was 44 percent for either somewhat or very likely. Granted, those aren’t a guaranteed switch, but it’s certainly more people than I expected. Those kind of numbers would mark huge losses for both Google and RIM, though I’d guess RIM would come away in worse shape than Google.
Posted in: Mobile, News
Tags: android, android exodus, Apple, att, Blackberry, iPhone, leaving android for iphone, leaving rim for iphone, Research in Motion, RIM, rim exodus, uSamp, verizon
Verizon officially gets the iPhone – available February 10th
It is finally, really, actually, verifiably true: Verizon will officially offer the iPhone starting February 10th of this year. Lowell McAdam made the announcement from New York this morning, saying, “If the press write something long enough, eventually it comes true. We’re very very excited about our announcement today.”
It is definitely exciting news. People have been waiting a very long time for this kind of announcement, though personally, I won’t be switching. Not yet anyway.
For one thing, Verizon’s network will be slower. More reliable? Sure, but still slower. I live in a small town in North Carolina and I rarely see service congestion on my iPhone. While AT&T is definitely unreliable in other parts of the world, it’s just fine here. My data is snappy and I rarely drop calls. The only reason to switch would be in network calling to the rest of my family, but I have enough rollover minutes saved up to more than accommodate my dialing habits.
At the very earliest, I’d think about switching in June of 2012. By then, the iPhone 6 should be out, and Verizon’s network should be fast enough to warrant the change. I’ll also, god willing, be living in a different part of the country, and I’d like the assurance that I’ll have a reliable network there.
There is one extremely compelling reason to switch, even if you aren’t having network trouble. The Verizon iPhone will allow you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. After traveling near the holidays and getting stuck in airports with $7/hour internet fees, I would love few things more than the ability to use my phone as a hotspot. I would say that AT&T will get this feature soon, but the truth is it probably won’t. AT&T has enough data trouble as it is. Clogging its network with more data means reliability will likely take another hit, something AT&T can’t really afford. We’ll see how Verizon handles the iPhone data load.
Posted in: iPhone, Mobile, News
Tags: big red iphone, cdma iphone, headlines, iphone 3G, iphone 4 verizon, iphone on verizon, lowell mcadam, verizon, verizon iPhone
Verizon won’t be selling Windows Phone 7 at the onset
Hoho, I can already hear Ballmer’s ears spewing steam as the entirety of the tech blogosphere compares Windows Phone 7 to the iPhone. Bloomberg reported today that Verizon would not be carrying Microsoft’s new phone any time this year, though there are plans to support the new platform at some point in 2011.
Of course, the world says “Hey, you don’t need Verizon to be successful. Just look at the iPhone.” Yeah guys, let’s do that. When the iPhone launched, there was nothing like it in the marketplace. Nothing. No one turned to Apple and said, ‘Just look at the…’ There was nothing to look at. Now, there is. There’s the iPhone, but more importantly, there’s Android, which has a far more attractive licensing structure (free) than Microsoft will for Windows Phone 7.
If I were Microsoft, I’d be really worried. I know they aren’t. I know we’ll get to hear about how strong the relationships are with other carriers and how widespread success on those carriers will bleed over into eventual success on Verizon. I doubt it, I really do. Microsoft is late to the party. The best thing Windows Phone 7 could have done was showing up at the door with the hottest chick in school.
iPhone coming to Verizon in January?
Bloomberg is reporting that the iPhone may be breaking onto America’s favorite network in January of next year. The report cites two unnamed sources who are, as always, close to the issue.
There has been a lot of speculation about the end of the AT&T exclusivity arrangement, especially when AT&T started offering up iPhone 4 upgrades to anyone that would take one.
The device will be available to customers in January, according to the people, who declined to be named because the information isn’t public. Natalie Kerris, an Apple spokeswoman, and Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, declined to comment.
The iPhone, which has been the sole domain of rival AT&T in the U.S. since June 2007, will give Verizon a boost in its competition for smartphone customers, UBS AG analyst John Hodulik said in an interview. Verizon customers, who numbered 92.8 million at the end of the first quarter, may buy 3 million iPhones a quarter, he estimates.
For now I’ll remain skeptical, if only because there have been rumors of a Verizon iPhone for years now. Actually, I just don’t want to believe I signed with AT&T when Verizon was just around the corner.
Motorola Devour is like the Droid’s weird cousin
Verizon and Motorola announced a new phone today. Called the Devour, the phone looks like a mini-Droid, or as my title suggests, the Droid’s weird cousin. It’s got a smaller display, a presumably smaller keyboard (yikes) and runs Anroid, albeit through Motoblur, Motorola’s odd Android distro.
I would guess the phone is going to fall somewhere around the Droid Eris in terms of price. It’s not a bad phone for $100, but like the Eris, it seems like a waste for what you’d get if you spent another $99. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Motorola is so obsessed with the physical keyboard, either. The pad on the Droid sucks. It really sucks. Android’s software keyboard is just so much nicer, why not rely on that?
If Motorola is your thing, you can get the Devour in early March.
Verizon will cut 13,000 land-line jobs
Verizon said it would cut 13,000 jobs from its landline unit in a conference call today. The company missed sales estimates by less than one percent, which prompted it to axe approximately 11 percent of the land-line division’s workforce.
The company cuts are really to hedge losses in other divisions. Though the landline division was up almost 10% in sales over last year, enterprise and FiOS TV and Internet sales were down in the face of the poor economy. Most analysts predict that things will improve little in 2010. Verizon’s CFO is optimistic about the Apple tablet, though. “It will attract more and more data customers, more and more usage over the network,” he said. “Devices like that will be, long term, very positive for the wireless industry.”
Guess we’ll know more about whether Verizon is a part of Apple’s plan tomorrow.
Posted in: Mobile, News
Tags: big red, earnings, headlines, job loss, sales, statistics, unemployment, verizon, verizon jobs, wireless
Droid successor or Nexus Two?
This render of what’s been called the Motorola Shadow has been making the rounds over the weekend. You’ll notice it looks a whole lot like a Droid, just in white and with an added wriststrap. By some accounts it’s the successor to the Droid – a thinner, less evil-looking version of Verizon’s flagship Android device. There is another option, though.
Some are calling this the next Google Phone – the Nexus Two, maybe? I’d call that a very remote possibility, judging by the design of the device and the fact that it isn’t made by HTC. It seems odd that Google would abandon the manufacturer so shortly after it turned out a phone with solid critical reviews, despite Google’s retail problems.
If anything, I’m going to bet on a different market. It’s a decent looking phone, but I really wouldn’t want that wriststrap hanging out in my pocket. I guess I should wear it on my wrist?