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Full Review of the iPhone 2 On Launch Day 420

With the launch of Apple's brand-spanking-new 3G iPhone today, Engadget has a great review of the product and many of the prominent features. The review has quite a few good pictures and is not shy about technical details, but I guess they would know a fair bit about it, having ripped one apart yesterday. "The wireless industry is a notoriously tough nut to crack, and it's become pretty clear that the first iPhone wasn't about total domination so much as priming the market and making a good first impression with some very dissatisfied cellphone users. With the iPhone 3G, though, Apple's playing for keeps. Not only is this iPhone's Exchange enterprise support aiming straight for the heart of the business market, but the long-awaited 3rd party application support and App Store means it's no longer just a device, but a viable computing platform. And its 3G network compatibility finally makes the iPhone welcome the world over, especially after Cupertino decided to ditch its non-traditional carrier partnerships in favor of dropping the handset price dramatically. $200? We're still a little stunned." Update 17:17 GMT by SM: The guys over at Engadget also pointed out that Apple is having some severe problems with their iTunes servers and many customer are being sent home without their sync complete for new iPhones.
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Full Review of the iPhone 2 On Launch Day

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  • finally! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @12:28PM (#24154819)
    This thing is catching up to the features already available on my BB.
  • Re:More Expensive (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Palshife (60519) on Friday July 11, 2008 @12:29PM (#24154833) Homepage

    Which, amazingly, includes this thing called "phone service."

  • by ericspinder (146776) on Friday July 11, 2008 @12:31PM (#24154867) Journal
    As an 1st generation iPhone owner, I'm excited about the new Software, which will enable all the new features save for GPS. Staying with edge support only will even save me $15 month (3G is $10 more and doesn't include the 200 messages I can already send). I'll likely upgrade with the next generation.
  • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Friday July 11, 2008 @12:41PM (#24155037)
    "You have to sign up for a contract!"

    I think that's a pretty valid complaint. Being locked into a contract lowers the companies desire to offer decent customer service when compared to how they would want to treat you if you could just switch providers whith a phone call.
  • Re:More Expensive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LandDolphin (1202876) on Friday July 11, 2008 @12:45PM (#24155085)
    You don't have to get a data plan do you? It is possible to get the phone for $200 and then use one of the bacis phone service plans, correct?

    Sure, that would be a waste fo an iPhone, but I could see a lot of people doing that so they can appear to be "hip" or "cool" with their iPhone while. But then again, I live near Scottsdale where a lot of people try to appear to have money when they don't.
  • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Friday July 11, 2008 @12:49PM (#24155131)
    Because they can and people are willing to pay it. Wh
  • by ericspinder (146776) on Friday July 11, 2008 @12:55PM (#24155221) Journal

    Yeah, so why the hell is that? those little 140byte packets, sorry, those are $0.20 each

    What's even worse, when I bought my first cell phone (one of the first digital phones), text messaging was free. Then they heard that people elsewhere were gladly paying 10 cents a message, go figure. I don't know the details for sure, but in terms of network usage it might cost them more for a ten minute phone call than a month of heavy text usage.

  • by Captain Spam (66120) on Friday July 11, 2008 @12:58PM (#24155269) Homepage

    It's not just a plain cell phone!

    Y'know, that used to be one of my complaints about ridiculous phones like these. I always said that the durn thing should make phone calls, and that should be the primary functionality of it. Plain and simple.

    But then I realized that nobody wants to call me anyway, so maybe what I want really IS a portable computing platform that just happens to have a cell phone buried in it somewhere just in case. :-)

  • Re:More Expensive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by svnt (697929) on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:02PM (#24155329)

    He was refering to the raise in the cost of service for the new phone that will end up costing you $160 above what "phone service" used to cost you.

    Ok, 160/24 = $6.67 per month. Or a premium of 12% over your minimum plan with the EDGE iPhone.

    Your data rate increases by (absolute worst case) a factor of three, even while moving at highway speeds (3G [wikipedia.org] > EDGE [att.com]). Standing still it's four to ten times as fast. I fail to see how it's a bad deal.

  • by Otter (3800) on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:04PM (#24155357) Journal
    We're talking about iPhones. The grievance is that things cost **less** than they used to!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:07PM (#24155393)

    As a pro geek, my arsenal of electronic gadgets used to climb in number. In the past year or so, I've gotten down to 4 items I need and use daily: 1. iMate Ultimate 6150 (primary phone, T-Mobile, EDGE) 2. HTC Trinity P3600 (secondary phone, AT&T, 3G) 3. iPod Touch 16GB 4. TomTom GO 910 GPS ...

    Nokia, as many other brands, can reduce all of that to one phone (can even install TomTom)... and have 5MP camera with flash, and 30FPS video camera, and an officially unlocked phone. Apple is not the best thing, since sliced bread - you have other options.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yah o o .com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:07PM (#24155403) Homepage Journal

    what a whiner.

    for example:
    "rip-off price of the original iPhone (reduced shortly after release to really tick off the loyal early adopters),"
    It wasn't "shortly" after release, and all things early adopters buy go down in price.

    I'm not sure why you think upgrades should be free.

  • I just sold my soul and gave $200 to AT&T, I'd really like to play with my iPhone.

    And you're not even allowed to play with it by yourself without activation?

    Try and tell me that the future wouldn't be darker with Apple at the helm than Microsoft... Just try.

  • by ceejayoz (567949) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:10PM (#24155437) Homepage Journal

    I doubt SMS will be around much longer with proper messaging apps popping up all over the iPhone App Store.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:14PM (#24155507) Homepage Journal
    If they were smarter they would have pushed the 2.0 update out to existing iPhone owners already, and been learning things and doing updates so that the 2.0 users would have a closer-to-trouble-free launch. But, you know, they aren't.
  • by Admodieus (918728) <john AT misczak DOT net> on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:23PM (#24155621)
    Two months is a really early time for a price cut of $200.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:25PM (#24155647)

    1. Expose the full minimum costs (including taxes) for the deal over its life
    2. Provide overnight replacement of defective phones, and have remote diagnostics to prove it
    3. Bogus charges of moisture sensors should be grounds for no-fault contract termination
    4. No charge for instant termination if your bill is paid on time
    5. Full backup of user data services at no charge at the carrier on-line
    6. No extra charges for text, data, or voice (they're all the same anyway)
    7. User-selected least-call-cost routing
    8. Users can put any app on their phone they want, so long as they take responsibility for it
    9. No throttling of service by type; all user controlled.
    10. User password-controlled kill switches to brick stolen phones
    11. One single mini-USB jack for charging purposes and sub-mini audio plug standard on all phones
    12. No charges for directly uploading and downloading any media or datafiles to the phone within its capacity
    13. Destroy all 'deals' between phone vendors and carriers; reveal the true cost of using all services on each contract
    14. Allow treble damages for carrier slamming
    15. Mandate unbundled deals, so that true costs can be assessed by consumers

    Cell phones need to leave the telco world and enter the computer world.
    Ok. Whew. I'll get off my soapbox. Now for the barrage.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:27PM (#24155683)

    The whole point of SMS is that you can send to any phone that is why it is hard to get rid of

  • by at_slashdot (674436) on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:29PM (#24155731)

    That's called "stupidity tax".

  • by immcintosh (1089551) <`gro.hsotnicmnai' `ta' `todhsals'> on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:45PM (#24155953) Homepage

    From talking to people in the industry, the innovation with the iPhone isn't so much with the device itself, it's with the kind of deal Apple was able to cut.

    And this, my friends, is exactly why none of the other clueless companies have managed to put out a similar product that can even come CLOSE to competing with the iPhone on its own terms. The innovation was in the software and to a lesser extend the hardware. The deal with AT&T was because AT&T saw the innovation and said to themselves, "Oshit, we best get ourselves in on this shit." Even having something of a dislike for Apple (honestly, I'd rather have Microsoft in a position of power than them), real credit is due to how slick their software on the iPhone is.

  • Re:More Expensive (Score:1, Insightful)

    by dave420 (699308) on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:47PM (#24155979)
    Because it's fucking expensive when you compare it to other handsets and networks. The original iPhone was a *really* bad deal. This one is better value than the original, but still a shitty deal.
  • Re:More Expensive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheLostSamurai (1051736) on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:48PM (#24155987)
    Where are these numbers coming from? In the US, the new iPhone data plan is $10 more per month than the previous and $5 more if you want the same amount of SMS you used to receive. ($10 + $5) * 24 mo = $360 more over the life of the contract. Or am I missing something?
  • by S-100 (1295224) on Friday July 11, 2008 @01:49PM (#24156023)
    Free upgrades? You mean like the rest of the industry? SP1, SP2 for example. Myriad bug and security fixes, along with minor new features. Why pay $10 mainly for the opportunity to buy more software. Only a company like Apple could pull that off.
  • by TheLostSamurai (1051736) on Friday July 11, 2008 @02:03PM (#24156303)

    Add to this the ability to couple it with your computer at home and it really is easy to see why this device is popular.

    And therein lies my biggest complaint with the iPhone. I can use it with my computer at home, or my computer at work, but not both. iTunes is one of the biggest piece of shit software packages I have ever used, second only to RealPlayer, but getting close. The iPod functionality is basically useless for me if I can only sync with one computer. Just let drag and drop things to the phone for fucks sake.

  • But all available evidence has shown that no one can fix Windows.

    The evidence has shown mostly that it will take everyone to fix Windows.

    Microsoft has been making more token displays of Openness because people are demanding that they be more Open.

    If we demonstrate (financially) that it is not sufficient, then they will actually become more Open as have various other companies like IBM and even Apple (although they are going back and forth on their Open Source promises.) IBM sells more Linux than AIX today. Much of the MacOS is Open Source. Back in the day, Apple sold you a computer you couldn't open without a special screwdriver (I've had two MacCaseCrackers stolen from me already, criminy) and if you wrote software on an old IBM mainframe, it became the property of IBM. (Perhaps not at the same time.) Microsoft can be shown the error of their ways as well, if we just decide that it is possible, and don't settle for half-measures.

    But meanwhile, Apple is still half-assing it, and it's still Apple's way or the highway. Why shouldn't an iPhone let you use all the non-phone functionality right out of the box? Why can't you pick it up and start using the WiFi functions and the web browser? Answer: because Apple wants your personal information.

  • Re:More Expensive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheLostSamurai (1051736) on Friday July 11, 2008 @02:09PM (#24156403)
    Or, you could buy an old iPhone for $200 on eBay and you would be saving $360 over the cost of the new iPhone. Or, you could add $200 to the price considering I have to upgrade my current iPhone bringing the total to $560. Or, we could just agree to stop using fuzzy math and realize that the service plan costs $360 more over the life of the contract.
  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Friday July 11, 2008 @02:30PM (#24156737)

    I just sold my soul and gave $200 to AT&T, I'd really like to play with my iPhone.

    And you're not even allowed to play with it by yourself without activation?

    Try and tell me that the future wouldn't be darker with Apple at the helm than Microsoft... Just try.

    Let's see:

    Apple's iPods - no activation
    Apple's computers - no activation
    Apple's other hardware - no activation
    Apple's operating system - no activation
    Apple and AT&T's iPhone - mandatory activation
    AT&T's other mobile phones - mandatory activation

    Blaming Apple for cell phone activation is almost as silly as blaming your sports car manufacturer for speed limit signs.

  • Re:More Expensive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CmdrPorno (115048) on Friday July 11, 2008 @02:51PM (#24157043)

    "Your data rate increases by (absolute worst case) a factor of three..."

    No, the worst case is if you live in a non-3G area, and your data rate increases by nothing, but you still have to pay for the 3G plan.

  • by S-100 (1295224) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:09PM (#24157285)
    The industry is consumer electronics.

    PC operating systems: Free software upgrades.
    Game consoles: Free software upgrades.
    Routers/modems: Free software upgrades.
    Windows OS: Free software upgrades.
    Digital cameras: Free software upgrades.
    DVD and Blu-Ray players: Free software upgrades.

    $399 iPhone: Free software upgrade.
    $399 iTouch: Software upgrade: $10
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:31PM (#24157557) Homepage Journal
    Well, it is a minor hardware update. They could have kept some features back, though.
  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:44PM (#24157761) Homepage Journal

    ... to activate other phones.

    So try again genius.

  • Blaming Apple for cell phone activation is almost as silly as blaming your sports car manufacturer for speed limit signs.

    (-1, StupidCarAnalogyByStupidPerson)

    Guess what? My RAZR V3i lets me play Java games if it has any SIM in it (including a test SIM, which is about $6.) It doesn't have to be activated. The device wasn't locked when I got it (not even a subsidy lock, since I got it from edge wireless, now part of AT&T, god damn it.)

    It's more like having your sports car delivered to your house, then having to contact the manufacturer with your name, address, phone number, current location and VIN before you are able to turn the key and drive even on your own property - and right now, their call center is very, very busy.

    See, in this analogy, WiFi is your own property; at least, it's not the phone company's. And the cellphone network is the phone company's network. Apple is the auto manfacturer; it's not only none of their fucking business where or who you are, but just as it is perfectly legal to purchase a car and not register it and then use it for off-road use only (and I don't mean dirt roads in BLM land, which are considered roads for all purposes of law, but instead dune riding or on-track racing) it is also totally legal and reasonable for you to use such a device on your own network.

    See what I did there? For those at home who missed it, I just took your analogy which bore no resemblance whatsoever to the situation at hand, and made it almost make sense.

    If you had to get permission from GM via onstar before being allowed to pull your car out of your garage and into your driveway, would you be amused? Especially if it didn't work?

  • by petehead (1041740) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:51PM (#24157887)

    I need no frigging computer or software...to activate other phones.

    I'd mod you up if I could. The point is not that you need activation, the point is that Apple isn't letting AT&T do it and is requiring that the consumer get iTunes and do it themselves at home. Add that to the fact that iTunes is required to get 3rd party apps and you can see how Apple is using the iphone to further shoehorn their way onto the desktop.

  • by ptbarnett (159784) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:55PM (#24157923)

    Blaming Apple for cell phone activation is almost as silly as blaming your sports car manufacturer for speed limit signs.

    AT&T's other cell phones require "activation", but AT&T does it with their own system.

    The iPhone must be activated using Apple's servers. Today, that appears to be where the problem lies. That puts the responsibility squarely on Apple's shoulders.

    AT&T is having no problems doing activations for non-iPhone customers today, other than they have to wait in line along with all the people waiting for an iPhone.

  • Re:More Expensive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yah o o .com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @06:38PM (#24159733) Homepage Journal

    Don't buy it. I like the look of the new Lamborghini, but I wouldn't buy one if I had to drive on dirt roads.

  • by replicant108 (690832) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @06:05AM (#24163277) Journal

    The strangest thing of all is that you paid them to treat you like that.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan