Monthly Archives: June 2007

The Line, The Gift

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  • And so it begins in earnest. The lines are emerging across the country for the iPhone. At this point (iPhone minus 21 hours or so), there are limited lines at some of the larger and more prominent Apple Stores.

    It sounds like many stores have very small lines at this point, but a few have a lot of excitement, according to AppleInsider.

    It will be a long day of waiting tomorrow, but it should be exciting!

    Good luck to all of the iPhone line-sitters out there!

  • Steve Jobs became every Apple employee’s favorite boss today.

    At a special company-wide communications meeting, Steve Jobs addressed Apple employees nationwide and gave everyone a last-minute pep talk about the importance of the iPhone to the company (and the world).

    But the best part must have been the news that Apple is giving every employee who has been with the company for at least a year a free 8GB iPhone!

    It’s a classy and smart move on Jobs’ and Apple’s part. Lots of goodwill all around. The employees will get their iPhones by the end of July, when Apple anticipates that the initial demand will begin to slow.

    For more, see Ars Technica’s coverage.

iDay Cometh: Availability Chart; RSS Reader On the Way?

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  • Less than 36 hours to go, and Apple has revealed a clever way to avoid answering their phones all weekend (and next week).

    On Apple’s Retail Website, they have established an iPhone availability matrix that will be updated every night at 9PM throughout the summer, to let you know which Apple Stores will have iPhones available when they open the next morning.

    A simple concept, but a welcome feature.

    Apple announced that it will also open all of its stores an hour early (at 9AM local time) for the rest of the summer to handle iPhone purchases. So, you can wait in line all summer, if you’d like. :)

  • Also in the news, Think Secret and others report that Apple is cooking up an RSS reader for the iPhone, using its own (lambasted) AJAX/Web development idea.

    The reader is parked at reader.mac.com, and currently shows only an error page like the one below, or a blank page if spoofing the iPhone’s browser identification.

    Not surprising that Apple is preparing an RSS reader, but it is a nice surprise that they’re ‘eating their own dogfood’ by programming it in the same way that they’ve given the developer community.

    What is really a surprise is that, based on its URL, the app will be offered as a part of the .Mac package. I wonder if this means that Windows-using iPhoners will be invited to join the .Mac party?

    I’m hoping that this means we’ll see the supposed .Mac re-do sooner, rather than later.

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All iPhone, all the time

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Walt Mossberg says in a video review of the iPhone that in his 16 years of reporting, he can’t remember any product having the level of hype and expectations that the iPhone has. Let’s jump in:

  • The (rave) reviews are in. All of the key players published their reviews of the iPhone today, and they are remarkably positive. The main themes seem to be that: the phone is phenomenal, the battery life is much better than expected, the EDGE network is the biggest drawback and makes downloading a chore. Also, learning the keyboard takes time, but really does work well after a few days.

    The reviews are all very detailed, so I will let them do the typing. There are also videos with most of these reviews, and David Pogue provides photos snapped with the iPhone, showing off the camera application on the iPhone for the first time:

  • It’s old news now, but the pricing plans are out. Pleasantly lower than I had expected.

    I was excited to see that my prediction came true — Apple will activate the plans through iTunes. It’s just as slick as I expected.

    But — remember how well the iTunes Store didn’t preform in the Christmas Day rush of unboxed iPods and when the iTunes Plus tracks first became available last month?

    Imagine a million newly purchased iPhones checking in on Friday night. And picture the amusement or lack thereof from the iPhones’ new owners who have waited for a dozen hours in line that same day for the privilege of buying the $500 device that will not even function as an iPod without activation (read the fine print here).

    Hmmm….

  • If you’re thinking of lining up for the iPhone or just like living vicariously (or enjoy a little schadenfreude), take a look at the ongoing blog from line-sitter #3 at the 5th Ave. Apple Store in NYC.

    He is doing it for charity (and to get a gift for his Dad), which is nice. Hopefully, the weather will hold for all of them.

Quick Clicks: Combatting iPhone

  • John Gruber gives a particularly sharp analysis of the latest iPhone doubt-ery: Daring Fireball: Straws, Grasping Thereof

    Enjoy.

  • AT&T isn’t the only ship full of loose lips. AppleInsider clues us in to a leaked internal memo (PDF-124K) that details Sprint’s anti-iPhone talking points sales pitch.

    While the flat-out misinformation in the memo is frustrating (i.e., it’s a 2.0 megapixel camera on the iPhone, not 1.3, the most popular iPods (nanos) are 2, 4, and 8GB, not 40-60GB, and I can’t even type “The iPhone uses Yahoo and Mac email which is not secure” without rolling my eyes), what is perhaps even more striking to me is how the memo shows that the carriers still just don’t get what the iPhone is, or–more importantly–what their customers actually want.

    For example:

    • Who sees extra storage via minidisc as a practical option on their cell phone?
    • Do they really think that “International” is a primary focus of Apple’s feature set design and marketing?
    • And how can you live with statements like “The iP-830 is a slider-style phone which people tend to prefer over the iPhone style” when “people” haven’t yet used an iPhone, and probably don’t yet have a preference?

    iPhone is truly a multimedia digital device, and I don’t think it will take long for the buying public to realize that there are a lot of intangible ‘features’ that make it truly hard to compare the iPhone to a standard smartphone. And, given memos like these, I feel certain that the carriers have no understanding how valuable and desirable these intangibles are.

    The New York Times has an interesting take on this very notion.

Quick Clicks: iPhones arrive stateside, Font Advice

  • Yes, with a little over four days to go until the day that AT&T has dubbed iDay, the iPhone has arrived on American soil.

    According to AppleInsider, the digital device is being shipped under the watchful eyes of armed security that is normally reserved for shipments of diamonds and other extremely valuable cargo.

    AI also reports that Apple Stores are going to extreme lengths to ban all cameras from stock rooms starting today…

  • A subtitle editor by the name of Aegisub gives users a bit of advice if they attempt to choose Comic Sans as their font.

    Now, if only MS Word’s helpful suggestions included, “It looks like you’re making a sign! Might I suggest something other than Times New Roman and All Caps?”

    (Hat tip, Daring Fireball)

Reminder: Initial iTunes Complete My Album Offer Expiring Tuesday

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Just a reminder: the iTunes Complete My Album offer for any partial albums that were purchased before the program went into effect earlier this year expires this Tuesday, June 26.

It’s worth checking your list on iTunes to see if there’s anything worth buying.

The program will continue after June 26 for any songs that you buy (or have bought since the introduction of the Complete My Album program), with each album staying ‘complete-able’ for six months after the first track is purchased.

You’ll see a handy expiration date below any of the appropriate Complete My Album links in iTunes, and they even become highlighted in yellow when the expiration nears.

(Partial CD graphic based on original artwork in iTunes Artwork widget by Sophia Teutschler)

News: iTunes moves up

  • The iTunes Store has jumped to number three on the list of retailers of music in the United States. NPD Group MusicWatch has released its first quarter 2007 numbers, and here are the standings for the largest US music retailers: iTunes

    1. Walmart – 15.8% of music purchases
    2. Best Buy – 13.8%
    3. iTunes Store – 9.8%
    4. Amazon.com – 6.7%
    5. Target – 6.6%

    Congratulations, Apple and iTunes! It should also be noted that fully 13.8% of all sales are now in downloads, rather than physical CDs. Not bad.

    (Thanks, iLounge)

Quick Clicks: iPhone Updates

  • Okay. I’ll just throw all of my objectivity out the window at this point.

    Apple has released an informative 24-minute video that provides the most detailed look at the iPhone that we’ve gotten (apart from Steve Jobs’ January introduction). I’m drooling.

    Highlights include:

    • The first look at driving directions and traffic (at last!)
    • A first-ever look at settings (I love that Airplane Mode puts an orange plane icon in the top bar)
    • You can edit the buttons at the bottom of the iPod area (and possibly others!)
    • To delete items in email, SMS, and other areas, swiping to the right and confirming is a great trick
    • The headphones are included, and there’s even a great demo of the way the button on the cord works. (Nice fitting the track skip in, Apple!)
    • It shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Mac OS X can do it, but the nay-sayers should note: it can read and display MS Word and Excel files.
    • The backside of widgets, setting a contact picture, Yahoo! can be the search agent, and more…

    Now, pop the popcorn and go watch!

  • Apple has redesigned the iPhone site again. Now, it is looking more like the finished, day-to-day site, with a similar look to iPod+iTunes, Mac, and Support.

    Now, they provide links to look up an Apple Store or AT&T Store location, but no information beyond “June 29 at 6pm.”

    One tantalizing tidbit, though: In the upper left, Apple again emphasizes that an iTunes account will be required “to set up your iPhone.”

    Perhaps the iTunes store interface will be used to set up your AT&T account and billing! That would be slick. Just the kind of thing Apple might insist on.

    I like that theory.

  • Pacific Catch is now running an iPhone-themed calamari special. So, now you can get calamari there. :) I like these people. (Thanks, TUAW)