AT&T to Impose US$175 Early Cancelation Fee for iPhone

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Date: Monday, June 25th, 2007, 09:20
Category: iPhone

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You’re looking forward to the iPhone‘s release on Friday.
And you’ve given somewhat consideration to naming your first-born child “iPhone”.
According to an article on boston.com, this might be an expensive choice to get out of.
In addition to spending US$50 million to beef up its wireless network, the Boston Globe has discovered that AT&T plans to charge customers who break their two-year iPhone contracts a US$175 early termination fee. While an early termination fee is somewhat common, these are usually put into place to help wireless providers recoup subsidies and discounts offered to customers agreeing to go with the service.
According to JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg, who termed the early termination fee “a little odd”, the fee seems like a bid by AT&T to boost its revenues by providing an obstacle to cancelation and hanging onto more affluent customers for as long as possible.
AT&T has yet to disclose how it will handle or charge customers under existing contracts who want to upgrade to the iPhone early and swap out their current plan in exchange of one offered with the iPhone.

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iPhone Guided Tour Now Online

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Date: Friday, June 22nd, 2007, 13:24
Category: iPhone

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Reader Michael Long just pointed out the following:
A twenty-minute Quicktime guided tour of Apple’s new iPhone is now available online at their web site, illustrating nearly all of the phone’s features and functions. Go and see the tour here.
If you’re curious and can’t get enough of the iPhone between now and the 171 hours until it’s released, take a gander.

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PureMobile Offering Unlocked iPhones

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Date: Friday, June 22nd, 2007, 08:44
Category: iPhone

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The iPhone’s coming out in a week.
You already knew that.
And whether it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread or not, you already have a clear idea as to what you want from the device. For those of you who demanded an unlocked unit, your prayers may be answered.
According to cnet’s news blog, retailer PureMobile looks to be touting unlocked eight gigabyte iPhones on its web site.
If completely kosher, an unlocked iPhone could be used on any GSM carrier as opposed to running exclusively on AT&T’s network.
Currently, the web site only declares that the iPhone is “coming soon” and doesn’t offer a price, but alerts the user that shipping will either be US$19 or US$29 depending on delivery speed selected.
Though an impressive idea, it’s also important to note that an unlocked iPhone will be subject to the same quibbles as all other unlocked phones in that while it will be able to make calls without any problems, data features won’t work out of the box. To date, no alternate carriers have come forth with any plans regarding this issue.
Stay tuned for further details on this developing story.

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iPhone to Integrate YouTube Access

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Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2007, 10:22
Category: iPhone

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While it’s unknown as to whether the iPhone will walk the dog or consistently predict tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers, it will be able to access YouTube content.
According to cnet’s Crave blog, the upcoming cell phone will feature “a special YouTube player that you can launch right from the home screen.” Leaked photos have also shown a specific “YouTube” button in the main menu interface.
The iPhone is slated for release on Friday at June 29th at 6 PM at various AT&T and Apple retail locations. Check your local outlet for additional details.

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iPhone Killer App

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 10:56
Category: iPhone

The killer app for the iPod was iTunes. The killer app for the iPhone is Safari. The iPhone will be first and foremost a web browsing machine.
How can that be? It uses the lame Edge network to connect! OK. What does the iPhone do best? Its the screen baby. The whole face of the thing is a screen and it will orient itself. It will presumably leave the expensive and slow AT&T network in favor of a wifi hotspot as soon as it sniffs out a signal. Lots of fast free and pay hotspots out there including your own home and work. Nobody else had the clout to negotiate this kind of user friendly behavior with a telco. This is where the iPhone will shine. It is first and foremost a computer with an intuitive interface and great graphical display. Everything else is either a vegetable or the spice in the stew. The iPhone relies on Safari in many ways.
Secondly, its an iPod. Like a super graphical nano. It has limited capacity like the nano and its even smaller. Smaller? Presumably you need to carry a phone anyway so it takes up no room on your person.
Its a camera. Not a useless VGA but 2 megapixels. But, with that big screen it is finally the photo album you needed to have in your pocket. It really is the screen that makes the iPhone. iPhoto could become the second killer app for the iPhone. I think iLife needs to come to Windows for lots of reasons.
Apple needs to do something more with iCal, maybe team up with Google to get the calendar function more useful. You can’t hit iPhone buyers with the high price of .mac on top of the purchase price and the two year service contract.
Oh, and it is a phone. Smartphone keyboards are horrid little things. Touch screen text entry is no fun. Pick your poison.
Seems like the battery problem will be the same as with the iPod. People seem to deal with keeping their iPods charged up, but as the device gets older the capacity drops and battery replacement is an expensive hassle. Apple needs to anticipate this and have loaners or a swap available for battery replacement at the stores. This applies equally to potential touch-screen problems.
Memory is the same old, same old. All iPods have fixed amounts and you always want more!

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Palm Hires Former Apple Engineer in Bid to Compete With iPhone

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Date: Friday, March 9th, 2007, 12:52
Category: iPhone

Palm and Apple Sitting in a TreePalm Inc., the maker of hand-held computers, has hired a top Silicon Valley software designer as it seeks to respond to the challenge posed by Apple’s new iPhone.

The designer, Paul Mercer, a former Apple computer engineer, began work three weeks ago at Palm on a line of new products, a company spokeswoman said, but she declined to comment further on the project.

Mr. Mercer, 39, joined Palm with two employees from Iventor, the independent design firm that he headed in Palo Alto, Calif., but Palm did not acquire the company, said the spokeswoman, Marlene Somsak. Palm is based in nearby Sunnyvale.

Palm Responds to the iPhone – New York Times

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Apple Airs iPhone Commercial During Oscars

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Date: Friday, February 23rd, 2007, 17:10
Category: iPhone

Apple justed aired their first television commercial for iPhone on the ABC network during the Oscars.
The iPhone ad can be found here.
PowerPage reader Arthur Greenwald lists all the actors in order.
I’m sure of all but about three of them…. can anyone fill in the blanks for #10, 11 and 16?
1. Lucille Ball (TV)
2. Jackie Gleason (TV)
3. Humphrey Bogart
4. Marlon Brando
5. Jerry Lewis
6. Marilyn Monroe
7. Clark Gable
8. Peter Sellers
9. Steve McQueen
10. Richard Dreyfuss ?
11. Roy Scheider ?
12. Betty Rubble (animated)
13. Robert Redford
14. Michael J. Fox
15. Harrison Ford
16. Man at desk (Keanu Reeves?)
17. Audrey Tatou
18. Kevin Spacey
19. William H. Macy
20. Dustin Hoffman
21. Will Farrell
22. Sarah Jessica Parker
23. Jeff Bridges
24. Billy Crystal
25. Carmen Diaz
26. Samuel L. Jackson
27. John Travolta
28. Robert DeNiro
29. Ben Stiller
30. Michael Douglas
31. Mr. Incredible (animated)

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Japan far Ahead in Reinventing use of Cell Phones

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Date: Sunday, January 21st, 2007, 12:59
Category: iPhone

As stock markets swooned and techies buzzed over Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs’ long-awaited entry into the mobile-phone market, Japanese consumers could be excused for wondering: Why the fuss?

Many Japanese had a hard time buying Jobs’ hype about “reinventing” the phone. The revolution is well under way in Japan, where cell phones are used for everything from navigating home by GPS to buying movie tickets and remotely updating blogs.

Japanese cell phones also download music, surf the Internet and make phone calls.

They’ve been a natural extension of daily life the last few years, spurred by the Japanese decision to be the first country to upgrade to third-generation mobile-phone networks, or 3G, which increased broadband capabilities and allowed for greater, faster transmission of voice and data. Apple’s iPhone, by comparison, will operate on a 2G network.

Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/21/2007 | Japan far ahead in reinventing use of cell phones

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Missing From The iPhone: One More Thing

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Date: Thursday, January 18th, 2007, 11:00
Category: iPhone

Jason wrote his top 13 missing iPhone features in his ZDNet blog, The Apple Core, and he makes good points; the only ones I disagree on are more related to my own work style: I don’t need OTA downloads from iTMS because I shun DRM; I don’t use Office so I don’t need Office support, and I personally like the sealed battery if it cuts down on size (it does) and gives better clean lines (it does). But these are just me, and most people will find those important.
But the one thing Jason missed – the big missing functionality in my world – is handwriting recognition.
I’ve written on a handheld device for years; first it was a series of Palm OS devices, then a Sony Ericsson P800. (OK, fine, there were two Newtons before any of that.) It’s just so much more natural to write than to type with your thumbs on tiny keypads. I know the whole opposable thumbs thing is cool, but just because we have them doesn’t mean we must be reduced to them. Writing is natural, and hey – isn’t the iPhone UI all about natural gestures and movement?
OS X has had Inkwell in there for a couple of years, quietly lurking below the surface, and it still hasn’t been taken advantage of. If you read Lev Grossman’s article in Time about the origin of the iPhone, it’s easy to guess that Inkwell came about because Apple was thinking tablet (and Steve spake, saying unto them, “makest me handwriting recognition software, for lo, I may want to use it!”), but by the time they changed directions, Inkwell was done and released. So maybe now’s the perfect time: Inkwell on an iPhone? Killer.
I’m also holding out hope for the “next” iPhone. So soon, you ask? Well, remember the time in the way back, before the keynote last week? There were rumors going around about how there were going to be two iPhones, one consumer, one smartphone. The iPhone that Steve demo’d wowed everyone so well, and does things so much better than any smartphone does, that we all thought that was it… but what if it’s not? What if (are you sitting down?)… what if that was Apple’s idea of a consumer level phone? What if there’s a higher-end phone, a real smart phone, waiting in the wings?
A lot can happen between now and June. I’m holding out hope.
Contributed by: Steve Abrahamson

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iPhone Compared to Five Other Leading Smartphones

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Date: Thursday, January 11th, 2007, 09:31
Category: iPhone

TNL.net has posted an interested chart comparing the specifications of Apple’s iPhone to the Motorola Q, Nokia E-62, Palm Treo 750, RIM Blackberry Pearl and the Samsung Blackjack… Click through for their chart.

So it’s official: Apple now is a phone manufacturer. With the announcement of the Apple iPhone, we can now finally assess that new product and I have to say, color me impressed. The company has managed to overcome a lot of the problems surrounding existing mobile phones and created a device that is close to what geeks like myself want: 2 megapixel camera, MP3 player, video player, phone with integrated address book, calendar, email, web browser, SMS, notepad, google maps, and support for other widgets, which makes the whole platform more extensible.

It’s a very smart move on the part of Apple, which highlighted the change in the way the company is operating by changing its name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. , reflecting the fact that they are no longer just a computer company.There were a few interesting items of interest, though.

The TNL.net weblog ยป The iPhone is here

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