Saturday, June 30, 2007

The iPhone Hype Continues: Read This Article And You Too Can Get A FREE (That's right, FREE) iPhone!

Capping literally the most intensely followed product in Apple's history -- and that's saying a lot -- the iPhone was released to the public yesterday. Many marketing and technology experts may disagree over whether the iPhone is overhyped or whether it will deliver, but almost all described Apple's strategy was masterfully executed -- with a lot of help from the press -- and outdoing any previous launch the company has scripted in the past. Yesterday's lines in front of Apple stores and AT&T stores were reminiscent of opening nights for movies such as "Star Wars" or video game launches. So is this phone going to live up to the hype? I think so. Sales were brisk at the Grove here in LA and all over the world. Okay, now that you've read the first paragraph, you'll have to read a bit more of my hype to get your free iPhone! So, read on...

Yesterday not a red letter for anyone but Apple and AT&T in the world of cellphones. At the Grove and elsewhere around the nation, other cell phone stores like Verizon and Sprint were relatively empty due to the excitement and hype of this really cool gadget. And even other bizarre crap was happening. According to TMZ, the hottest item outside the Apple store in New York City was a FOX News Channel Microphone! FOX correspondent Laura Ingle was reporting live outside the store this morning, in front of a long line of nerds who have been waiting outside since Monday to be the first to get an iPhone. (Hello? Get a life. It's a PHONE.) In the middle of an interview, some guy walked up behind Ingle and grabbed her microphone. The man was tackled within seconds by a burly FOX cameraman. But with iPhones going going for as much as $1200 on eBay -- here's the big question: Why didn't the idiot go for the phone??

The iPhone merges mobile telephone, Internet browsing, e-mail, and music and video replay (like Apple's market-dominating iPod) into one device. Unlike any of its competitors, iPhone commands are done by tapping or sliding fingers on 3.5-inch (8.9-centimeter) wide glass touch-screens. The iPhone is not cheap, though: it is priced at $499 or $599, for four or eight gigabytes of memory, respectively. At the national average price per gallon (as of June 25), you could buy just a bit over 200 gallons, enough to drive 4,417 miles in a car that gets 22 miles per gallon. That's enough gas to get you from Los Angeles to Columbia, S.C., and then back again, assuming your car drives as the crow flies and you want to go to Columbia, or even back to Los Angeles. To put it another way, that's 605 tracks on iTunes, 91 showings of Live Free or Die Hard at the U.S. average ticket price, 124 pounds of peanuts...if your a CBS Jericho fan!. Overseas consumers will have to wait a few more months to snap up one of the devices. The iPhone is due to debut in Europe in late 2007 and Asia in 2008.

Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO and guru of all things cool and hyped, had a bit to say on the iPhone and it's debut yesterday. In an interview, Jobs said, "We're about as ready as we're going to be. We've been working for this for many many months now. The phones are ready and the stores are ready. Mobile devices are really important to people. It's not like this is an obscure product category that affects just a small part of the population. People have seen in the demos and our ads something they instantly know they can figure out to use. People throw technology at us constantly, and most of us say "I don't have time to figure that out." Most of us have experiences with our current mobile phones and can't figure them out. As people have read about the iPhone, they've seen amazing capabilities, capabilities they themselves could figure out to use. We've had millions and millions and millions of views of our videos about the iPhone. One is 25 minutes long. We've crossed 5 million views of that video on our site, and it went up less than a week ago—and that's not including the copies on YouTube. There's a lot of interest in the iPhone. We're excited not about the anticipation, but about putting this in people's hands. For the iPhone, we've drawn on the experience of the last decade with the Mac. It uses OS10, the software we've pioneered, and all the computer expertise we've gotten from the iPod — the miniaturization, the durability, the industrial design, the syncing with iTunes — it's got these two parents, from a handset point of view. I think it fits in really well with Apple, and will be great to have the third leg on our chair." When asked about the sales figures he said, "We think 10 million is a realistic goal."

When asked why the 6PM launch, Jobs said, It seemed like a good time. People are off work. It's a time that's democratic. It's still light out. Everybody is available at that time. We didn't want people to have to take time off from work. We wanted everybody to have the same chance. We've made a lot of them. It may not be enough — but we will work as hard as we can to get more into the stores. In a surprise appearance, Jobs waltzed into the Apple Store in Palo Alto to greet buyers Friday night and about 19 miles away, Apple's other co-founder, Steve Wozniak, had gotten in line at 4 a.m., handing out iPhone T-shirts to mark the event. The man known as Woz was given the No. 1 spot in line by earlier arrivals.
"I think this is going to be revolutionary," Wozniak said. Jobs announced that all full-time Apple employees will receive a free iPhone, while part-time employees who have been with the company for more than a year will also receive a free iPhone. The phones are expected to be delivered to employees by the end of July, after initial consumer demand has subsided. Unconfirmed reports suggest that three million iPhones are said to have been manufactured ahead of Friday's launch, Apple will only release about one million into the market this week, staggering product availability availability beyond that to avoid any perceived major shortages.

So, people have been asking me if I've seen one. The answer - Yep! And it shocked me as to the size of this thing. It's about 4.5" tall, 2.5" wide and .5" inches thick. Below is the actual size of the iPhone. It was smaller than I thought and much, much cooler! (Okay, your free iPhone is coming soon...keep reading!)

Now here's a few answers to the questions I heard most about the phone.

Can you buy tracks on the fly through iTunes on my iPhone? No. Tracks can only be loaded into the iPhone via the Windows or Mac version of iTunes. This may change, though. In an interview this week in The Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, "There's a lot of things you can imagine down the road," when asked if direct-to-iPhone music and video purchases were in the future. So, he didn't deny it.

The biggest ding so far is about AT&T and its dog-slow data network. If you want the iPhone, you're stuck with AT&T. And maybe for some time. Apple and AT&T have an exclusive agreement that, depending on what you've read, will last from two to five years. (All AT&T has said is that it's "multiyear.") As for AT&T's enhanced data rates for GSM evolution (EDGE) network, it's definitely the iPhone's weakest link. Reviewers who posted evaluations this week dissed browsing speed while connected to AT&T. Even Steve Jobs wishes it was faster.

The silver lining is that the iPhone also taps into 802.11b/g, so that when you're in a hot spot, surfing should be slick, although I can't imagine anyone wanting to fork over $60 and up a month for a voice/data plan, then even more to use for-fee wireless at, say, at Starbucks or McDonalds!

What about a warranty? Sources have confirmed that Apple will offer an AppleCare for iPhone extended two-year warranty option for $69, but that the plan will not be available at launch. iPhone owners can purchase the AppleCare plan at any time provided their phone is still covered under the original one-year warranty.

Durability? PC World concluded that "There's no need to coddle this sexy little device." First, to simulate how it held up when in a pocket or purse with house and car keys, they stuffed the iPhone into a plastic bag along with several key chains. We then gave the bag a few good shakes to see if the activity would scratch the iPhone's screen. It didn't. Then we rubbed keys against the screen with a fair amount of force, as might happen if the phone was in your jeans pocket and you leaned against a counter. When the iPhone emerged with its screen just as pristine as when it went in, we then attempted to gouge the screen with one of the keys. We were very impressed that even this deliberate attempt to scratch the screen completely failed.

Next, they conducted three drop tests, increasing the severity with each round. They released it from waist height onto a carpeted floor. Then we let it fall from chest height onto a hard linoleum floor. Lastly, they let it fall and bounce onto a concrete sidewalk from head height--as if we had been talking on the phone.The iPhone not only continue to work after each drop test, impressively it still looked good as well. The only obvious damage suffered was a few gouges along its metal edge from the concrete drops. But it came out without a scratch on its glass screen, despite their best efforts to mar it in repeated tests of both types.

When asked about corporate email Jobs replied, "You'll be hearing more about this in the coming weeks. We have some pilots going with companies with names you'll recognize. This won't be a big issue." Sources add that the iPhone supports Microsoft Exchange servers, adding that Apple has likely licensed Microsoft's ActiveSync to accomplish that integration. Much commentary and speculation has surrounded the topic of the iPhone being a viable smart phone for businesses or whether the device will dominate only the consumer ranks.

What about third-party apps? Because it wants non-Apple applications to run through the browser, rather than on the iPhone itself, Apple isn't releasing software development tools for its new phone. From a security perspective, this may actually be good news for iPhone users because without any debugging software to tell them what's really going on inside the computer's memory, it will be hard for hackers to develop malicious exploit code to run on the platform. So most iPhone bugs won't do much more than crash the browser. Though sophisticated hackers could conceivably develop debugging tools for the iPhone it will take more time for real threats to emerge. What hackers would end up having to do is hardware-based debugging which requires physically taking apart the iPhone and using specialized equipment. This raises the bar on being able to successfully execute code and hack an iPhone.

An now, and almost finally, some techo geek specs for all you people like me. The iPhone is 4.5x2.4x0.5", and weighs 4.8 ounces (0.3 pounds). For reference, 18 iPhones weigh the same as 1 MacBook Pro. The display is 3.5" diagonal, 480x320 resolution. That's 153,600 pixels, or 12% as many as a 15" MacBook Pro. The iPhone supports four major different wireless protocols: Quad-band GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 802.11b/g WiFi, EDGE, and Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR. The iPhone has a 2 Megapixel camera. It also has H.264 video decoding, most likely in hardware. Standby time: Up to 250 hours; Internet use: Up to 6 hours; Video playback; Up to 7 hours; Audio playback: Up to 24 hours. And memory? A 4GB or 8GB flash drive. And by the way, the battery is partially charged when you get it. If you really want to see the inside of one of these, look at this Take-Apart Guide or these Take-Apart Pictures!

Okay, now that I've bored you with all the hype and bullsh-- about the iPhone, it's time for your FREE iPhone GIVEAWAY. That's right, by CLICKING HERE ON THIS LINK you can download a form that will give you a free iPhone. You'll have to go to a little effort to get it, but once you jump through the hoops, you too will be sporting the hottest telephone based device on the planet...the brand new Apple iPhone! So folks, glad to be of service and save you money...enjoy!

Well, that's it for today on the iPhone. I'm definitely a Mac freak but I do have one question for Apple. You still make computers, right? I mean, Apple still sells computers, right? cuz I'm in the need for a quad-machine real soon...

By the way, hope you like your new iPhone!