Despite the favorable reviews it’s received in the few weeks since its debut, the policies surrounding the iPhone came under fire yesterday when Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Malden), chairman of a House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, had some choice words about AT&T’s termination fees.
According to The Boston Herald, Markey criticized AT&T’s US$175 early termination fee as well as AT&T acting as the exclusive provider for the iPhone until 2012 in yesterday’s hearings.
During his speech, Markey described the iPhone as akin to the Eagles’ song, “Hotel California”, in which “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave – you’re stuck with your iPhone and you can’t take it anywhere.‚Äù
The comment arose during a hearing to decide whether Congress should grant the cell-phone industry’s wish of being allowed to pre-empt states from regulating wireless phone companies. Individual state public utility commission currently hold the authority to regulate both the terms and conditions of wireless service agreements.
If you have any ideas or thoughts on this, let us know via the forums.
Getting back to the iPhone, the guys at iPhone Atlas and MacFixIt are reporting that a surprisingly high number of iPhone owners have stated that their batteries aren’t charging completely. In these cases, the universal plug icon fails to appear, which brings into question whether the battery itself is fully charging.
The iPhone Atlas article recommends charging the iPhone for at least 10 hours as a means of optimizing the unit’s battery life. If this has taken place, try restoring the device as well as fully draining the battery and recharging.
In some cases, iPhones have been failing to charge unless they were turned off, then plugged into a wall outlet. Should this happen, the article recommends contacting Apple for possible repairs or a warranty replacement.
If any of you have seen this on your iPhone, let us know in the forums.
If it sounded too good to be true, it was.
According to Engadget and several other outlets, yesterday’s optimistic comments from JPMorgan analyst Kevin Chang have been retracted by the company.
The rebuttal took place in the form of a document put forth by the firm’s North America Equity Research division. Here, JPMorgan states that the firm “has not been able to independently confirm” Chang’s comments without a second source and mentions that a “lower-end iPhone appearing in the near-term would be unusual and highly risky.”
Also mentioned in the document are several suggestions that a “high-priced, non-subsidized 3G model” will surface “in the first half of 2008.”
Full images of the retraction can be found here courtesy of The Unofficial Apple Weblog.
Update: An article over at TimesOnline states that a well-placed source at JPMorgan claimed the retraction was “completely erroneous” and that the firm stood by the original comment.
“In no way are we retracting what Mr Chang said,” the source said. “We express our view through research documents, and the way the market reacts to them is a function of the market.”
The disparity has been noted as two analysts’ views differing on the information at hand when analyzing Apple’s stock.
If you have thoughts or comments on this, let us know what you think by way of the forums.
On Tuesday, software company Ecamm Network released iPhoneDrive 1.0, a US$9.95 utility that allows users to use their iPhones as hard drives and drag and drop files to the device, similar to the iPod’s disk use feature.
The software is available as a fully active seven day demo and is available as a 486 kilobyte download.
iPhoneDrive requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 and iTunes 7.3 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the demo version or have any comments, let us know in the forums.
One of the things that stays in every potential or current iPhone customer today is durability! How will my phone handle the everyday abuse I put it through? Well ShieldZone has answered the question by creating a shield that is made from a unique material which was originally created for the military to protect the leading edges of helicopter blades.
Perhaps one of the coolest features of the iPhone is its Wi-Fi capability, which handily trumps its EDGE data speeds provided a nearby Wi-Fi location is accessible.
According to Macworld News, the folks at JiWire (which serves as a mobile broadband advertising network that also provides a search engine pointing to accessible Wi-Fi locations) have released an iPhone-optimized version of their Wi-Fi location search engine.
The engine itself functions passively with no software to download or install but functions as a web site capable of detecting when an iPhone accesses it and includes optimized code specific to the handset. JiWire boasts that its Wi-Fi Finder tool lists 150,000 accessible Wi-Fi networks in 135 countries worldwide.
If you’ve had success with JiWire’s web site or know of a similar tool for finding publicly accessible hot spots, let us know in the forums.
A poster on Howard Forums claims that “a buddy from Apple” told him that a major iPhone firmware update is being prepped for “no later than when Leopard ships in two months.” On the rumored feature list are:
Disk mode support
More REAL applications are coming, including the special version of iWork and iChat
Search for files, a.k.a. mobile Spotlight
Widescreen keyboard in every app, not just Safari
You will be able to add mail accounts without iTunes
Syncing with .Mac accounts
Camera software upgrade to include stabilization feature
The good news: The iPhone is out and people seem to like it.
The bad news: It doesn’t come with its own two bedroom apartment As a result, you’re going to be forming a relationship with your friend’s couch over the next month.
This situation may improve within a few months, as Kevin Chang, an analyst for JPMorgan was recently quoted as claiming that Apple plans to launch a cheaper version of the iPhone in the fourth quarter.
According to Reuters, the revised iPhone would be based on Apple’s current iPod Nano digital music player. Chang cited sources within the supply channel who asked not to be named and pointed towards a patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office dated July 5th. The patent application detailed a multifunctional handheld device with a circular touch pad control similar in appearance to the scroll wheel on the iPod Nano.
To date, Apple has declined to comment on the rumors.
Chang has also stated that Apple would do well to follow up the iPhone with a cheaper version priced around US$300 or lower. The current, first revision iPhone retails for US$500 and US$600 for the four and eight gigabyte models, respectively.
If you have any thoughts or ideas on this, let us know.
The latest iPhone app that has no business model, but a very cool concept, is MockDock.
MockDock is a simple webapp that links to a number of other iPhone ready apps. The clever part? It mimics the look of the iPhone home screen, so you add apps to your ‘Dock’ and go from there.
Get the geeks together and, odds are, they’ll come out with something cool and useful.
This was apparently the result of the first iPhoneDevCamp help by BarCamp.org.
According to the mighty iLounge, the iPhoneDevCamp, which took place over the weekend, produced more than 20 web-based applications for Apple’s recently-released iPhone. The new applications include programs like gOffice for iPhone, which functions as a word processor that allows you to save documents as Microsoft Word-formatted documents and then e-mail them to yourself and others. Other programs, like Gas.app, allow users to find cheap gas prices in a given area.
A complete list, as well as full links, is available here and iLounge’s full list of iPhone applications can be found here.
Take a look and if you know of someone working on something cool for the iPhone, let us know.