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Darren Waters

iPhone tests Twitter limits

  • Darren Waters
  • 9 Jun 08, 09:46 GMT

The Steve Jobs keynote is not just a big deal for Apple watchers; today's expected launch of the second generation iPhone is also a big deal for Twitter.

The much-hyped tool for micro-blogging/threaded conversations has received a lot of flak in recent weeks due to ongoing outages and reduced functionality.

There has been talk of users abandoning their Twitter accounts and migrating to rival services like Jaiku and Friendfeed.

The former chief architect of Twitter, Blaine Cooke, even threatened to quit using the service because of constant outages.

The Apple conference today in San Francisco is sure to be a test for the Twitter servers and in an attempt to prepare for the load, and to win back user support, Twitter's bosses have posted a blog entry addressing the issues:

During the event, we are expecting approximately 10 times our normal daily traffic so we've made some plans to accommodate this dramatic surge. We've moved much of the load off our database by utilizing more memcache, employing more read-slave servers and by fixing some bugs for improved efficiency.

Given Twitter's decision to publicise these steps, I hope for their sake the service doesn't fall over...

Lots of tech blogs will be covering the keynote word for word. You can follow it at Engadget, Gizmodo and Macworld amongst others.

Our very own Maggie Shiels is also at the conference. She'll be filing colour and reaction to the Technology pages.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    It's also a big deal for the BBC as they indulge in another Apple PR bonanza.

  • Comment number 2.

    @Clickm I think one story today is hardly a PR bonanza!

    Blimey - is the story about next-gen broadband and the piece about the first petaflop supercomputer also a PR bonanza?


  • Comment number 3.

    I'm surprised this blog is still active... Thought it would have melted down what with having Apple and Twitter in the same post!

    Hope you're getting paid enough to constantly advertise these two?

  • Comment number 4.

    'I think one story today is hardly a PR bonanza!'

    That's just you Darren. I won't be surprised to see it on the BBC1 news and plastered anywhere else they can think of.

    I wonder if any other manufacturer could get that kind of coverage across the BBC by launching a 3G phone.

  • Comment number 5.

    clickem, I doubt today's announcements will get BBC One coverage - the only time I recall that happening was with the original iPhone announcement. I think that one of technology's biggest players, the largest seller of music players and music downloads, moving into a new market is significant. Fundamentally, Apple's moves are huge in the technology market, and today's biggest tech story will likely be the WWDC Keynote. Therefore is it wrong for the BBC to report it? I think not. They also report other huge stories such as new releases of Windows, launch of new technologies (MS Surface as just one example) and so on. If BBC One's bulletins announced every upgrade to the iMac's specs or something like that, you'd be right to complain, but with massive tech stories I think the BBC is right to report on them, at least online, no matter what manufacturer is involved.

  • Comment number 6.

    @clickem I don't think TV are even touching this story. I could be wrong. But I doubt they'll do anything.

    I think the 3G nature of the change is probably the least important aspect.

    What Apple has achieved - and we can argue about this - is change the relationship between handset manufacturers and mobile networks, helped transform the mobile web and made phone UI better for everyone - as witnessed by the rash of iPhone 'killers'.

    It's debatable.... but while most new handsets are incremental changes, the iPhone represented a sea change in what we can expect from phones.







  • Comment number 7.

    "I won't be surprised to see it on the BBC1 news and plastered anywhere else they can think of."

    Do you mean like the two 30 minute BBC programmes that covered the launch of Windows Vista in 2007? - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6343943.stm

    Apple are making a major announcement, there is a $100m investment fund to aid developers of iPhone apps. Make no mistake, this is a big announcement today, investment bankers do not put up £100m of their own money lightly.

    Not only will the new iPhone be big news, Apple are also expected to announce the next version of OS X for the iPhone that will be available to all iPhone users and will allow the ability to download Apps onto your phone. Plus Exchange support, better VPN, remote wipe etc.

    I am glad the BBC are covering this event. As an Apple Macintosh user for the last 15 years we have never had it so good.

  • Comment number 8.

    As others have said, Apple is a large player in the computing and consumer electronics market. Why is posting an article about iPhone2 a commercial?

    It's about time alternatives to Microsoft (with their illegally maintained monopoly) are allowed to share the limelight.

  • Comment number 9.

    As long as the coverage is substantive, commensurate with its import and product market share, I don't have a problem with it.

    I don't hold a brief for any company, they make tools which are either appropriate for your needs or not, but to compare the launch of a 2nd generation iPhone with the launch of Vista just highlights the inequity of the significance of the two events for the user base as a whole.

    The iPhone is still a niche market in this country, compared to Windows which is used on a significant majority of desktops.

    Whatever influence the iPhone has had on the UI's of other mobile phones is a result of the initial launch, whether this was more a case of Apple being first to market is debatable.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think running this story is fair enough - I think it's a big deal.

    I'm certainly interested in seeing what Apple announce - and I don't own an iPhone or a Mac. I'd be disappointed if the BBC didn't cover this story.

  • Comment number 11.

    Although I've been critical of the amount of iPhone hype the BBC tech section seems to have produced I think, given that today is actually a pretty big day on the technology front, this piece is more than justified.

    This is a make or break day for Apple's fledgling telecomms business - if the iPhone 2.0 does not deliver on the features front then they are going to lose a lot of stock value and industry kudos and we've all seen just how quickly the industry can turn on its former darlings. Also, if Apple do - as expected - allow subsidisation of the product then we have to ask ourselves how this will cannibalise iPod sales.

    This is real news. Not hype.

  • Comment number 12.

    @ clickem

    To be fair to Darren, his story is mainly about Twitter. You're running at a straw man.

    As for coverage being 'commensurate with market share'? This is a recipe only for monopoly and blinkered journalism. If you're trying to say that the BBC lavishes undue praise and coverage on Apple, you'll have to do better than this blog to prove it. In fact, this blog goes some way to disproving your point, as Darren points out.

    That said, Apple sell more portable music players in Britain than everyone else combined. And portable music is a market in which phones are an increasingly important feature. Ironically the BBC may already be following your rules for perpetuating established brands...

  • Comment number 13.

    @clickem: Most read story on the BBC right now? 'Apple expected to unveil iPhone 2'. Like it or not a lot of people want to know about this so I think we can leave your market share calculations to one side.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'd rather read about the Iphone than who won Big bl**dy Brother and that seems to make the BBC news!

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm not suggesting the story should not be covered. Just tabling a wish that it shouldn't approach the 'second coming' hysteria that the BBC bought into, hook, line and sinker, for the initial launch.

  • Comment number 16.

    Frankly clickem why not level the playing field by having a bigger story about why Vista is a disgrace and the people who buy it a herd of sheep?

  • Comment number 17.

    @ProfessorPepper

    Well mainly because Vista isn't a disgrace. It's actually a pretty good OS. Not perfect and not enough to make most people switch from XP unless they're buying a new machine but not bad at all.

    What is, however, a disgrace is the way that a lot of blogs didn't pick up on the whole 'Leoptard' issue - let's bear in mind that Leopard is currently on its third service pack with a fourth in the pipeline.

    Apple is very good at pointing out its competitor's faults whilst glossing over its own. What bemuses me is that MS let them get away with it.

    Unless, of course, they figure that so few people care about their OS that it's not a real issue anyway, a point which is supported by the relatively small increase in Apple's PC market share despite a lot of brand saturation in the form of the iPod and iPhone.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    @Mark_MWFC

    Mark, I can't help but notice your hatred for Apple, so I guess we will never see eye to eye in that regard. However even you must see the disaster that is Vista. The OS is a joke, it runs super slow on even the latest hardware, it isn't being adopted by business because it has no compelling new features, UAC is just an annoyance and Microsoft have had to do a U turn and continue supporting XP until 2010 when they say Windows 7 will be out. Heck, even Gates and Ballmer have said Windows 7 will 'fix' the problems that are in Vista!

    My company, an international Marine technology company have been making the transition to Leopard for the past 4 months and we have already seen increases in productivity and huge cost savings. Things like iChat AV, iPhoto, iMovie and Time Machine make video conferencing, editing and backup seamless, there is no PC equivalent. Sure, you can buy 3rd party software that does kinda the same thing, but that's the problem - it is normally a cheap imitation that does the job, just about.

    We have also purchased 3 Xserves and they have unlimited client licences so we no longer have to pay a 'seat' licence to Microsoft. We also do not need anti-virus, but we use clamXav which is free, if we need to.

    I'm not wanting to start an argument here, I'm just saying that Vista is, by everyone's standards, a failure. Just because they're the biggest certainly doesn't mean they're the best.

    Oh, and one more thing, I'd rather Apple was pro-active about security and released updates at a timely pace than sit there waiting for

  • Comment number 21.

    @Mark_MWFC

    Mark, I can't help but notice your hatred for Apple, so I guess we will never see eye to eye in that regard. However even you must see the disaster that is Vista. The OS is a joke, it runs super slow on even the latest hardware, it isn't being adopted by business because it has no compelling new features, UAC is just an annoyance and Microsoft have had to do a U turn and continue supporting XP until 2010 when they say Windows 7 will be out. Heck, even Gates and Ballmer have said Windows 7 will 'fix' the problems that are in Vista!

    My company, an international Marine technology company have been making the transition to Leopard for the past 4 months and we have already seen increases in productivity and huge cost savings. Things like iChat AV, iPhoto, iMovie and Time Machine make video conferencing, editing and backup seamless, there is no PC equivalent. Sure, you can buy 3rd party software that does kinda the same thing, but that's the problem - it is normally a cheap imitation that does the job, just about.

    We have also purchased 3 Xserves and they have unlimited client licences so we no longer have to pay a 'seat' licence to Microsoft. We also do not need anti-virus, but we use clamXav which is free, if we need to.

    I'm not wanting to start an argument here, I'm just saying that Vista is, by everyone's standards, a failure. Just because they're the biggest certainly doesn't mean they're the best.

    Oh, and one more thing, I'd rather Apple was pro-active about security and released updates at a timely pace. Unlike Microsoft who have their infamous 'Patch Tuesday's' to patch the patch that broke the last patch that was patching a patch from 2003.

  • Comment number 22.

    @twelveeightyone

    Well, you see, I don't hate Apple - I own a Macbook and an iPod, for example. What I do hate, however, is their promulgation of some blatantly false stereotypes whilst at the same time admiring the sheer brass necked effrontery of their marketing.

    Your comments on Vista are, frankly, nonsense. I have a six month old Quad Core rig and I can assure that Vista doesn't slow at all. Is it faster than Leopard would be? I don't know because, unfortunately, Apple don't allow you to install OSX on non-Apple hardware.

    Your statement about Vista being poorly adopted is, once again, nonsense. If you actually look at the corporate adoption rates for XP when it was released you'll see that they're pretty similar. Large corporations will not switch to a new OS unless they have to because a substantial cost is involved. That's just basic economics. For example, my own corporation (a large financial organisation) only switched to XP about a year and a half ago. I doubt they'll switch to Vista until MS stop supporting XP because there's simply no need to.

    Finally, Vista - which I do find to be a bit of a disappointment, not because it's bad, just because it's not that much better than XP - can hardly be classed as a failure if you look at the sales of new PCs and the lack of appetite for people to switch to, say, OSX or Linux in significant numbers. Yes, they've grabbed some market share but significant? No, not really.

    I'm glad that Apple make a more suitable business partner for your company as quite clearly the software they offer suits you. However this doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of major businesses use Windows for some pretty fundamental reasons.

    I think I've pointed out the errors in your arguments before and I don't see the point in going into them in detail again so I'll leave it there.

  • Comment number 23.

    @ Mark_MWFC,

    OK mate, it's pretty hard to believe your posts, you have to be working for m$, right?

    You contradict yourself between posts, you (audaciously) claim my points are nonsense yet you provide no backup and make wild claims about my comments then say "I don't see the point in going into them in detail again so I'll leave it there."

    Well I'm all ears, Mr Vista lover (must be very lonely, you're the only person I know who actually likes Vista!), provide some PROOF when you dismiss something as 'nonsense', then we can hold an adult debate, OK?

    Have a nice day! Bring on iPhone 2.0!

  • Comment number 24.

    Yeah, sorry Mark, misread the Tag. It was of course, you that I thought was on crack! :-) (Just kidding mate, but Vista good? Seriously?? Dude!!)
    By the way, the specs on the Laptops were very similar, I'm not naive enough to compare apples with oranges (geddit?)
    I've got to agree with Twelveeightyone on every count though. And I think you'll find that Apple's success over the past 12 months (I think PC sales went up by 45 percent or something) is largely due to people HATING Vista in large numbers. As, I have to say, I do.

  • Comment number 25.

    I agree that most people are missing the point. The article headline may be about the iPhone, but the content is about the Beeb's other favourite toy, "twitter".

    I must admit, I cracked a rye smile when I saw Twitter described as a "much-hyped tool", ironic given the sheer column inches the BBC Technology pages have dedicated to this thing. What is, let's face it, a simple but relatively un-innovative social networking tool, that justifies the attention no more than any of the other thousands like it.

    I guess I'm just getting dissapointed at the increasing monotony of this blog. Put the following words into a hat "Apple", "iPhone", "Facebook", "Google", "Twitter", mix them up and throw them on the floor and you have the basis of the technology blogs for the next week. Surely the world of technology has more going on than this??

  • Comment number 26.

    Can anyone explain: if over aged 12, what is the point of Twitter? There's plentiful free IM for those who need it occasionally and plentiful nearly-free VOIP. All easy to use. Why the fuss about this?

  • Comment number 27.

    Yawn, Apple hyped handset finally catches up with the rest of the market. No story here, move along now.

    I'm looking forward to the equal amount of free advertising that the Beeb gives Nokia when the N96 hits the streets.

    Whadda ya mean that'll never happen?

  • Comment number 28.

    I do find it strange that Twitter is considered worthy of so many mentions in these pages.

    From a technological perspective it's hardly groundbreaking and in my opinion is just another app of dubious worth adding to the already high levels of technological clutter that pervade our lives.

    Would any of the tech reporters be so bold as to declutter for a week (a day even) and tell us how they got on?

  • Comment number 29.

    More free advertising from the BBC for Apple,
    must be three or four days since the last one.

    If it's a slow news day, do the tech. 'journalists' at the Beeb just phone Apple to see what is going on?

    Perhaps it just looks that way.

  • Comment number 30.

    Free advertising? Apple products?

    Yes because they are so damn good thats why.

    You create a great product you get talked about, simple. This is what the internet has changed since its inception. Great products live and thrive and mediocre ones die out.

    Vista is successful? Deary me!

    I have had it from launch its ok but vastly undersold and many businesses are staying with XP waiting for the next OS. There is no wow factor and little innovation.

    Im going to invest heavily in MAc over the next few years, yes they cost more but they have style, class and features built in that no one else can compete with. Ok they have sold me, but thats because they are a brand and product that i want to be associated with. Innovation with the user thought about at every stage, sums up Apple, long let this continue.

  • Comment number 31.

    Stigger, why no story everytime Nokia launch their killer new handset?

    They sell more, and their damn good products.

    I'm sure its got nothing to do with the discounted Apple products that the BBC staffers get. (See Eyes passim).

  • Comment number 32.

    Personally iv had over 10 Nokia's and would never go back. Classless, mass produced, technology bred crap.

    Tried the I-Phone, (never even owned an I-Pod before that) and absolutely loved it.

    Im a web designer and just didnt buy into the Mac thing until a few months, until talking to a lot of people from all over the world and trying the products myself.

    However, if the BBC are plugging these news products because they get discounted deals, that is another matter! Iv no idea what goes on behind the scenes but this would surprise me if it was to be the case.

    My experience of opinion I-Phone and more importantly Apple has gone up considerably over the last few months like millions around the world! Why? Because they produce very high quality products! Simple.

  • Comment number 33.

    You've had over 10 Nokia's, and you'd never go back? Surely that's a contradiction?

  • Comment number 34.

    Well 7 of them were under warranty for the same phone! I was almost in the Nokia shop weekly ,swapping them, and all for different faults.

    The usability on a Nokia is very weak compared to say an i-Phone. Nokia products seem to based on technology for the sake of it with little user testing, or so it seems like.

  • Comment number 35.

    That's an unfortunate experience.

    I've always found Nokia's to be superb phones. Having used both, I think the N95 8GB is far superior to the iPhone in almost every way - touch-screen aside.

 

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