There is little question iPhone has changed the mobile phone landscape since it’s inception. While anticipating the release of the iPhone 5 Apple released an incremental update , the iPhone 4S. Apple has succeeded in maintaining it’s superior quality and popularity over Android competition by far and is still the most sought after smartphone in the world. I am an Apple “fanbois” ever since my first Apple II. Apple has now released the iPhone 4S, an incremental update to the iPhone line with some neat new features. Number 1 is SIRI a voice activated search program.This software alone has doubled AT&T’s data usage and caused many to use their data allocation far quicker than with earlier versions of iPhone. It sports a faster processor and a higher resolution camera. Comments on the various financial websites seem to favor the idea that iPhone 5 was not quite ready for production, and the release was more to appease shareholders and stave off the onslaught of new Android devices.
Retired for now, I don’t anticipate ever being able to work 12/14 hour days as I used to programming, maintaining computers and networks. Got four or five hours at best of “up” time when I have the most energy to get out and about. So I need my phone to do a lot of what my laptop used to while resting in bed. (started another round of chemo this past week and can’t wander to far from the lavatory).
Being perfectly honest, my first computers were Atari. We all know some history about that company. Little known is that Jobs & Woz took their first design Apple to Atari and were promptly shown out the door. Apple may have never been born had not Atari founder Nolan Bushnell (who wanted to work with Jobs and Wozniak) sold the computer division to Jack TramieI’s Tramel Technology Ltd. In 1984, the original Atari Inc. was split, and the arcade division was turned into Atari Games Inc. Atari Games received the rights to use the logo and brand name with appended text “Games” on arcade games, as well as rights to the original 1972-1984 arcade hardware properties.
The Atari Consumer Electronics Division properties were in turn sold to Jack TramieI’s Tramel Technology Ltd., which then renamed itself to Atari Corporation to build computers. Jack Tramel was the jerk who laughed Steve & Steve out the door. Bet he has regretted that move ever since.
IPhone has some serious competition these days (especially from Samsung – iPhones use a lot of Samsung components) . I think the only really serious competition is from Android OS devices, which like Microsloth before Google, made their OS available to any computer maker willing to pay a license fee. We all also know the history of that move, and it’s impact on Apple and Macintosh. The irony of course was that Google’s CEO sat on the Apple board for the years iPhone was still in the dream stage, then even when it was released. I’m sure he was privy to plenty of inside information, and finally left the board taking a slew of prime Apple employees with him to work for Google’s own OS development team.
Google’s Android OS is the main challenger now to Apple’s IOS without a doubt. Rim is fading, HP bought out Palm OS and is a distant fifth or sixth. Nokia, worlds largest handset maker is stuck on Symbian, another closed circuit OS at least to the average consumer, with few developers concentrating their application development for that singular platform.
Many early purchasers of iPhone, were stuck with a two year contract with ATT, groaned with discomfort as new iPhones have come out every year, forcing them to extend contracts another two years, each time they buy a new iPhone. I jumped ship when ATT raised their 3G data plan $35 when I bought the 3G iPhone. Initially, 3G seemed markedly faster but after one month of use often dropped to 2G around Miami, so why did I have to pay more? ATT would not agree to let me pay for the old 2G service only, so I dumped ATT and went to T-Mobile even though I’d only get 2G data speed on my 3G iPhone.
I found browsing mostly tedious with the Safari browser the main reason for having data plans anyway. Constant mis-clicks on a link, when simply trying to scroll a page jumps you to another website, a complete annoyance (still present on the iPhone 4 with no control to adjust the time a link must be pressed to activate, it just happens instantly). No other free browser (at that time) and as I recall, very few other real apps (web only).
After about a year using iPhone 3G on T-Mobile the phone seemed sluggish, even when using WiFi, so I completely wiped and reloaded it with just the basics, plus the unlocking tools I needed to run on T-Mobile. The FCC passed a “decree” saying it was NOT illegal for end user to unlock or “jailbreak” their iPhones, which is expressly forbidden in the iPhone EULA. A dilemma Apple was not happy with, yet most end users are not adventurous enough to hack their expensive phone and turn it into a doorstop, which is what Apple wants everyone to believe would happen if the phone ran anything but sanctioned Apple software or third party programs. It took them a full year to implement “Copy& Paste”, while I enjoyed that feature through a third party app NOT sanctioned by Apple the entire jail-broke time.
The 3G iPhone eventually seemed very slow, compared to the features now selling on the iPhone 4 (not 4G) comparatively. I wondered if there might even be a built in “obsolescence” to iPhone components causing the slow down, designed intentionally to get users to “buy” new phones every year. That would have been okay by me, hadn’t the service provider (ATT) required a two year agreement, in order to use the phone. What a racket Apple & ATT set up. And yes all of the providers do this in the USA, while in Europe most countries forbid this exclusionary practice.
Even stripped to the bone with no photos, videos or music, the 3G seemed clunky next to my daughters iPhone 4. I wasn’t about to re-sign with ATT, and Verizon had yet to get iPhone, what was my alternative? T-Mobile deployed their HSPA+ network they deemed 4G, unquestionably the fastest network at the time. Concurrently they started selling the Galaxy series phones with “4G” speed. The data speed in my neighborhood is well over 10mbps peaking at 18/19mbps late at night. I can see the cell tower from my bedroom window, so I imagine that’s why I consistently have a fast, secure connection. I can share my phone as an access point for my laptop, and Speed-tests prove it’s by far faster than my cable connection exclusively provided by my landlord (which I rarely get 1.5mbps) which it’s supposed to be 3mbps.
So yes Virginia, I jumped off the iPhone bandwagon! At first I hated the Samsung Galaxy S 4G. I wanted to return the phone, but I thought I had thirty days to decide, which turned out to only be 14 days. So I was stuck. Yes the Galaxy S 4G runs circles around the iPhone 3G, but after a while even it seemed to slow down terribly, getting it loaded up with apps, photos, videos, it started to get clunky as well. Then I lost my phone.
Unlike ATT for iPhone, T-Mobile offers a reasonably priced insurance plan to protect against theft, loss or breakage, so I got a new phone! Boom, lightening fast again. The phone came with a 2GB micro SD card. I bought a new 32 GIG card from NewEgg for $39. An unlocked Android phone can move applications or anything really onto the SD card for use. So I load all third party apps to run from the SD card, leaving the OS and primary apps to the internal memory management.
Firefox is available free from Android Market and is a joy to use. There is a thin “glide” area which allows for screen scrolling to be performed from the extreme right or left, settings in preferences. There is a slide out drawer showing mini views of pages you’ve migrated from, quickly being able to switch pages, and tabs like the desktop versions. I just found a “dock” replacement where you can load anything from Apps to a direct dial phone number accessible from any “home” screen. It’s much faster that the stock Android launcher, and adding Apps or links to the “home screens” is also much faster. An Application called “Speed Boost” keeps the system clean and running at peak performance.
I also love the “Swype” technology on Android, text entry method, which I actually hated at the beginning. It’s much faster and remembers often used words such as “avilearner” which I often use logging into different websites. As I mentioned before, the 4G speed is impressive. It doesn’t seem so great when I get near downtown Indy, but I imagine T-Mobile will fix that soon.
I’m praying that the ATT/T-Mobile deal does NOT go through, I’d have to jump to some other provider, as I never intend to pay ATT another penny for ANY service. I’ve thought with Apple’s cash hoard, they could outright buy the T-Mobile network from Deuche-Telecom and continue to be a leader in the cell phone market. They could still sell universal handsets that work on any network, but then add featured based web and data services unique to their own network to lure customers away from the monster providers ATT & Verizon. There is a legal battle going on to block the merger, and I hope it succeeds. I just hope that Google doesn’t swoop in and scoop up T-Mobile, cause they have the backbone to do it as easily as Apple could. I guess I’d upgrade to the the Galaxy S 4G II, which promises to be the real competitor to an iPhone 5, whenever Apple decides it’s release.
Many pundits feel there will be an iPhone 4S rather than a “5” released sometime this year, to capitalize on the holiday buying season. Apple has already broken the yearly release pattern, so it’s plausible to think this could happen. They are also actively working on an iPAD 3 to compete with all of the new tablets coming online in time for the holiday buying season. Although both iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are selling very strongly, many people are holding off upgrading, waiting for Apple to spill the beans on iPhone 5, which they never seem to do, before they are good and ready.
For now, I’m happy with my Samsung phone. And don’t forget the battle between Apple and Samsung in this mix. Samsung provides many of the key components used in the iPhone. Apple accuses Samsung of stealing proprietary stuff from iPhone and successfully blocked the sales of some Samsung devices in Europe and Austrailia. Only Apple is standing in the doorway trying to keep the products away from wanting consumers, including iPhone users fed up with the wait for new phones.