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Maggie Shiels

Hands on with iPhone 3G

  • Maggie Shiels
  • 9 Jun 08, 22:19 GMT

Steve Jobs"Amazingly zippy" is how a very gaunt-looking Apple CEO Steve Jobs billed "one of the most amazing products I have ever been associated with."

That product in case you didn't know is the newly announced 3G iPhone which hits stores on 11 July for the knock down price of $199 (£100).

The 3G and GPS element of the device has been much rumoured and expected, and latterly talk of a price reduction began circulating. After all the hoops and hollers at the World Wide Developers' Conference in downtown San Francisco died down, the big talk in the corridors of the Moscone Centre was about the new lower cost of the device.

Among the comments I heard from some of the 5,200 developers who had swarmed here were "incredible price", "unbeatable", "awesome price", "blew me away" and "affordable".

The visuals that Steve Jobs showed off to the faithful were tantalizing. Surprisingly he didn't flash one around on stage and attempts afterwards to persuade the Apple PR bods to let the BBC get their hands on one were met with a kind of stunned surprise.

However at a briefing with iPhone honcho Greg Joswiak, I did get my sweaty mitts all over one, but just for a short period.

Brain PowerThe new model looks the same as the old, though is thinner in part and has a slightly smaller frame around the screen making it appear bigger. The 8 gigabyte version comes in black whereas the 16 gigabyte version also comes in white, and they are both plastic backed as opposed to chrome.

The reason for the new backing is to help with reception because Greg says there are 10 radio bands, bluetooth and wi-fi in there.

During his keynote address, Mr Jobs demonstrated the difference between the 3G version and the 2G version when it comes to download speed.

Opening a rich graphic and text page from the National Geographic website took 59 seconds on Edge which is part of the "old" iPhone architecture, while the 3G version took 21 seconds and wi-fi takes 17 seconds.

My play around with the device was shared with another half a dozen journalists and my try out certainly seemed to live up to the hype. It was quick to download and the page was easy to see and read.

It's hard to comment on the claims about battery life obviously because, surprise surprise, no one would let me take it home and test that out. However Apple state that there is 300 hours of standby time, five hours of 3G talk time, five to six hours of browsing, seven hours of video and 24 hours of audio power.

I think the really interesting part of the new iPhone is the apps store, which will also be available on 11 July. At the conference, a whole slew of new applications were unveiled and I managed to play with some more than others.

I have to confess Sega's Super Monkey Ball had me hooked, much to the chagrin, I fear, of the Apple PR team. But what's a girl to do when she is trying to get her Super Monkey Ball through the hoop? I was total rubbish and kept falling off after about 10 seconds but, hey, I loved it.

The graphics are really clear and bright and the movement of my monkey was dynamic. Tilting the phone to move my character was my downfall. I just wasn't very good at it.

I have to confess a 3D adventure game called Kroll also had me beat. In the time I had I just didn't manage to master very much in the way of getting the characters to move around the screen and actually do something. The images again were really rich.

Steve JobsI was also impressed by the quality of images for a medical application called Modality. It's aimed at medical students and presents graphics of the human body. But what is cool about this is that you can learn on the hoof.

The developer Dr S Mark Williams said that a medical student told him he had learned five new brain terms while simply waiting in line for a latte.

Now that's the kind of learning I am all over.

Another cool app that I got to explore was called Band by Moo Cow Music and allows you to make music on your iPhone. I only tinkled the ivories and that was to Do Rae Me... nevertheless Mr Joswiack said he was impressed! It had undoubtedly been a long day for him.

The brains behind this music app is an English guy called Mark Terry who actually works for an insurance company and developed it in his spare time. This is meant to demonstrate to developers how easy it is to develop for the iPhone because it's the same tools that Apple uses internally.

Super MonkeyThe sound on all the apps I tried was clear and pretty impressive.

The camera is essentially the same as the old iPhone at 2 megapixels and is what it is - but many people will be disappointed because this was one feature of the phone that universally had people clamouring for an upgrade.

Questions to Greg Joswiak about refunds for anyone who has just recently bought the old iPhone were met with little sympathy as he pointed out that news of the 3G version was 'hardly the best kept secret in the world".

However, there may be some solace for those who feel duped into shelling out for an already has been item, because Gizmodo is reporting that AT&T in the States says it will let people swap them out for a new phone and a new two year contract.

Greg did admit that Apple has stopped making the 2G version and is on track to hit its 10 million iPhone sales target for 2008.

At the end of the day weeks and months of speculation have resulted in creating an amazing marketing maelstrom for Apple and ensuring the iPhone is the gadget du jour.

But let's not forget it is just a phone. Something that was met with near gasps of incredulity when I actually voiced such a comment to one of Apple's crack PR team.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    It's nice and the carrier cost from 02 is comparable to other smartphones (£99 for the 8GB, £159 for the 8GB on 18 month contracts at £35pm) so it should do well.

    Don't think it'll set the heather on fire though or dominate particularly because there's a lot of really good units out there or coming out but will certainly help Apple make the 10 million sales needed for 2008's target.

    Nice but not spectacular.

  • Comment number 2.

    I was never a fan of the original iPhone I thought the N95 8GB was a much better product. However now it looks like the iPhone 2.0 will be hard to beat. The one feature I am most glad Apple have finally added is WPA2 Enterprise wireless. It was so annoying that the original didn't have WPA2 Enterprise security. In the networks world we are trying to make using wireless more secure but are working with our hands tied behind our back when manufacturers ignore the fact that these devices will be used by large organisations.

    It is annoying that O2 are still the only network in the UK selling iPhones. Having a monopoly doesn't make for a very competitive market for contracts.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm thinking of releasing a smartphone, what would I need to do to get the amount of free advertising the BBC have given to the iPhone? So far today, I've seen it on the web page, had it mentioned on the news and heard about it on the radio. Are the BBC aware there are other products on the market providing the same or better features, often at a lower cost? Are the BBC reporting on the "hype" surrounding this product, or helping to generate it?

    If there needs to be reporting on this subject, I for one would like to see some objective comparisons of other products. How about it BBC? Maybe mention the HTC Touch, Nokia n95, Samsung Omnia or one of the numerous other smartphones out there?

  • Comment number 4.

    meh you people are funny..
    last year 3g wasn't 'important' for the old iphone.. now its a major selling point.. gee look how fast it is... meanwhile low key outfits like htc have been selling the kaiser for a year .. mind you that is windows based and not on the radar of lifestyle monkeys.. just a quick word in your ear.. apple are a major corporate.. they aren't some alternative lifestyle outfit that are somehow 'different' from the microsoft and ibm's of the world.. wake up.. pfft really..

  • Comment number 5.

    Why does the BBC persist in giving so much coverage to each of Apple's product launches? Does this not amount to free advertising for Apple? Why do you not give the same level of coverage to the likes of HTC, MWg, Sony Ericsson etc, who arguably have better products for users in the UK market? Are the BBC journalists concerned on free back-handers to give Apple this level of coverage? Is it time this was investigated by the BBC trust?

  • Comment number 6.

    Dear BBC,

    Please look at what your readers/viewers are saying about the amazing amount of publicity you keep giving Apple's new iPhone.

    It is totally over the top!

    I agree with all those who posted to Maggie's previous PR piece and those who have posted here - this endless stream of iPhone publicity is getting SILLY!

    Come on BBC - this is in danger of becoming an iPhone-only zone!


    Jim
    www.thetechnewsblog.com

  • Comment number 7.

    Great, the price reduction now means I can afford to get one, and have it professionally unlocked so I can use it with my current PAYG provider.

    I have no interest in O2's overpriced bundle, especially as their network coverage is abysmal for miles around my home.

  • Comment number 8.

    As usual there are the same users chirping on about free Apple publicity without actually taking an unbiased view into how news worthy a story is. Apple are a key technological player in the consumer market with devices which have changed the way we use music and potential our phones.

    I would be very surprised if the BBC didn't cover these stores at one of the key events in the Apple calendar. There are 11 more months of the year to report on Nokia, Google and Microsoft's offerings which the BBC also covers. Quite simply, if people want to know about it, the BBC cover it. It you don't care so much, don't click it! Just stop complaining and stalling constructive discussion.

  • Comment number 9.

    The fact is that better versions of all Apple products are available from other manufacturers. The iPhone will be purchased by people desperate to buy in to the whole Apple marketing bandwagon, desperate to be seen with one and show off to their mates. The same happened with the iPod. It was all about being seen with those white headphones.

    Other manufacturers make supremely better phones and always will, but they won't have the Apple logo on will they, so will not appeal to the overly materialistic fans Apple seems to attract.

  • Comment number 10.

    Starting to think Steve Jobs is the George Lucas of tech i.e. plenty of dedicated hard core fans but it all comes down to a lot of hype and free publicity for something that sounds like it will be really amazing but leaves you feeling disappointed when you finally see it. Is the iphone the tech equivalent of the phantom menace?

    You're all doing very well !!

  • Comment number 11.

    @JimConnolly

    One news story and one blog post is not over the top.

    An iPhone only zone? Have you looked at all the other stories and features on the news index from yesterday and today?

    From bionic hands, to supercomputers, BPI wrangles with Virgin, the great UK broadband debate.

    Today there will be a piece about Yahoo revamping mail, a row over Open Document standards, and a column about an international trade agreement and dangers to privacy.

    Doesn't sound like iPhone only to me Jim.

    I appreciate that you blog here to promote your own blog. And you've been using us as link bait recently.

    But come on - I think it's you who is blinkered.

  • Comment number 12.

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

  • Comment number 13.

    Some interesting comments have been made about the publicity given to Apple and I would have to agree. I doubt the BBC will be giving as much coverage to the N96 launch. It is unusual as well that the BBC had a technology story on the day of launch. Tech news has usually been on the register for at least a week before the BBC pick up on it ;-)

    As for the iPhone 2, I think Apple have finally caught up (featurewise) with what other phones have been offering for over a year. I've been happily using the GPS, 3G, 5 Mega Pixel camera, Enterprise wireless and a whole host of other things on my N95 8GB for months.

  • Comment number 14.

    WookieCookie88, I have no problem with the BBC covering Apple PR events, so long as it is in an unbiased way. I can't seen the BBC mentioning other competitive products in the article above, hence my previous comment. With regards Apple being a "key technological player", I'd say Nokia, Samsung, HTC are all pretty key too, along with a hundred others releasing revolutionary products all year round, but they don't get the same kind of coverage.

    I do think Apple release some great products, and have very slick PR and marketing. However, I would have thought any journalist worth their salt would cover the story objectively, rather than saying how much they enjoyed playing Monkey Ball.

  • Comment number 15.

    The point I think some of us are trying to make, is that the BBC's are giving far too much iPhone coverage and it has been pretty one-sided too.

    Of course the WWDC should have been covered!
    That's NOT what people are unhappy about. It's the totally over-the-top volume of publicity iPhone has been given by the BBC.

    The BBC has been dedicating acres of space to iPhone over the past week or so. Articles hyping the iPhone have appeared, to my knowledge; here in the blog, on the main BBC website and in the BBC news programs - even though iPhone has a small percentage of the European mobile phone market!

    I own an iPhone, which I bought months ago because I LOVE Apple products - I am NOT anti-Apple - I am just amazed that the BBC are giving iPhone so much coverage!

    For the non-UK based readers of this blog; the BBC are not allowed to advertise products here on their UK website.



    Jim
    www.thetechnewsblog.com

  • Comment number 16.

    twelveightyone, There are far more developers for the S60 and windows mobile platforms.

  • Comment number 17.

    @hyperpatch

    Round up of mobile phone competitors challenging Apple in the smartphone space:

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/technology/newsid_7445000/7445578.stm

  • Comment number 18.

    Still no more talk about ActiveSync on the iPhone, even though Apple have purchased the license for it.

    I would have thought that it would have been a big money spinner for them in terms of Big Company uptake.

  • Comment number 19.

    The irony here is that whilst the BBC is sucked into the Apple hype, this device will not play any of the BBC radio streams. No realplayer = no listen again/live radio. The N95, which I have (I also have a mac laptop so am in no way anti Apple), most certainly does - as well as FM radio.

    Whist the UI on the iPhone is certainly way more advanced than most, and I accept that this is the "point" of the iPhone, the phone hardware itself is definitely not.

    Now an N96 with the iPhone interface, that would be interesting...

  • Comment number 20.

    @boganza I too would like to see the N96 hardware with the UI of the iPhone!



  • Comment number 21.

    Those winging about BBC coverage of the iPhone should try one.

    Having owned Windows Mobile (which is horribly outdated now) and Symbian devices (which has an ugly interface and lacks progress) the iPhone gets hype for a reason, it's usable and fast!

    While HTC and others churn out 20 different handsets, Apple releases one. They love the product and it shows. HTC doesn't care about it's products, hence why they don't even exploit the accelerated GPU in their phones (much to the annoyance of HTC phone owners).

    iPhone gets hyped because it is different, it's just better than the average phone. Not in terms of feature set but in terms of user experience and it is the experience of using a device which makes you want to use it. Not want to throw it at the wall like most Windows Mobile devices.

  • Comment number 22.

    @armitasp,

    More does not always equal 'better' McDonalds have the most restaurants in the World, but they're hardly gourment, are they?

    Again, another comment from someone who obviously hasn't watched the Keynote.

    "It's the software, stupid."

  • Comment number 23.

    @darrenwaters, thanks for the link, good old Radio1 newsbeat eh? Let me get it straight that I have no problem with the iPhone, but more the way the BBC report product release stories. I get the impression they sometimes repeat a press release ad-verbatim, without addressing the real issues raised.

  • Comment number 24.

    Darren, the news has been excessive for just one device which changes little to its predecessors:

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/technology/newsid_7379000/7379995.stm

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7435825.stm
    (What on earth is this story's merit, beyond providing Apple with some more free publicity?)

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/technology/newsid_7322000/7322327.stm

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7443543.stm

    The BBC has also completely missed the pricing requirements of this new phone in the UK, which involve paying an up front fee and then after that paying £30+ per month for a minimum of 18 months.

  • Comment number 25.

    That 3G was coming this year to the iPhone was inevitable, it's not really that big news. Yes, the phone appears to marry Apples leading industrial design with intuitive integrated software - it's basically a highly desirable product. But, the launch of MobileMe seems to be far more a great development, syncing of differing products is possibly of more real use.

    The big concern for me, which sems very rarely to get a mention, is that in the UK we're still stuck with O2. Literally, any other network would have been better, Apple was quite criticised first time round for choosing O2, when they had this oppurtunity to broaden the choice of networks astounds me that they haven't.

  • Comment number 26.

    @NeilTC13 The pricing requirements are not news. They stand from the original launch. Upfront payment plus contract.

    So the links you've provided - 2 stories each across two different news outlets.

    And both stories make clear the deficiencies of the device, the market share, competitors etc.

  • Comment number 27.

    @twelveeightyone

    "It's the software, stupid."

    wheres the revolutionary software that isn't available on other platforms.

    Email, Web Browsing, Music Playing, Google Maps, GPS, Calendar, You Tube, Photos, Stocks, Calculator. Facebook. All available on other platforms

    So it has an SDK which loads of people have downloaded. So has the S60 platform, in fact on my N95 I have loads of apps written by third parties e.g. rotate me, truphone, you tube, shut up, putty, Sky Anytime, Kaspersky, Location Tagger, sports tracker.
    In fact many of the best ones are by a single guy working in his spare time (google for bysamir).

    the iPhone 2 looks like a good product and the price will make it hard to beat. However the iPhone 1 was style over substance. We have to break our secruity model just so iPhone 1 users could use the wifi because it can't do Enterprise wireless, something the Nokia and Windows Mobile phones have no problems with.

    The BBC do devote too much time to it. Given the relatively low number of owners the BBC used development time to create an iPlayer just for iPhone users.

  • Comment number 28.

    @Darrenwaters

    That was a bit harsh Darren?

    Read you own blog mate! It was NOT one blog post and one news story about the iPhone - Maggie alone has blogged HUGE articles today and last week.

    Here's the one you seem to have missed - it's really very good!
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/technology/2008/06/dont_believe_the_ihype.html

    That's not taking into account all the BBC's iPhone pre-launch coverage on TV and radio - OR - The coverage you gave yesterday's event!

    So, clearly not one article and one post as you claimed!

    However, there's no need for you to say sorry. I know you are a warm, lovely human being and your Eurovision Tweets have won you a special place in my affection. Group hug?

    My 'iPhone only zone' comment was clearly a reference to Maggies recent 'iPhone only' smartphone coverage. This has been commented on my a number of your readers. Surely that was clear?

    I mean, obviously, the tech section of one of the world's biggest websites will have more than one story! To suggest otherwise would be daft.

    My blog Darren, as I think you might already know, is just a hobby. It makes NO money, carries NO paid advertising, you can't buy anything from it and is NOT a business! Link bait? Come on Darren!

    I write about tech news as a hobby because I love technology; just like the other readers here.



    Jim

  • Comment number 29.

    I think alot of the complaints are unwarnated, i am a unix/linux nut and love apple products especially the iPhone. I am not saying ther are not phones with X more gb of space or other specific item which is more or less than the iPhone. The iPhone is a great new platform, which has shaken up an industry which was more about churning out sub par units for upgrade every 12 months. For a first generation phone the iPhone is incredible in terms of its usability and reliability, nokia etc have been in the game along time, and a new entrant to the market has been completely disruptive in a positive way. The iPhone is doing for the mobile industry what the iPod did for the mp3 market.

  • Comment number 30.

    @Jim Maggie has done two blog posts.

    One, a look at the hype around the iPhone - the buzz in San Francisco, where she is based.

    The other is a hands on with the device.

    The blog is designed for colour, for on the ground analysis and viewpoints - and that's exactly what she has done.

    And there's been one news story, and a preview feature, which very much looks at the wider market implications of the device.

    Newsbeat, and radio - which did tiny summaries - are not part of my empire, I'm afraid!

    I am certain the amount of coverage is justified.

    It's also proved enormously popular with readers.





  • Comment number 31.

    I have been waiting for iPhone 2.0 hoping that I could then trade in my Nokia N95, but after reading this I think I will be trading in my Nokia N95 for the Nokia N95 8G. With a 5megapixal camera up against a 2megapixal camera and the iPhone still having no video it’s a no brainer.

    I have a G4 at home with about 3 clamshells and 4 different iPods, and work on a G5 at work, I would never touch a PC or windows and advocate Apple to all my family and friends, to say I am gutted is an understatement.

  • Comment number 32.

    @darrenwaters

    So, that's 'just':

    2 blog posts
    1 article
    1 preview
    and various radio shows and TV coverage.

    Oh good, I thought I was imagining things!


    Jim Connolly





  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

    Presumably the people complaining about the amount of coverage given to the iphone are the same whose response to the launching of the original ipod was "its only a little bit better than the competition, it's not going to change the world"??

    Like it or not, Apple have a history of producing devices which change the way people live/work. The BBC should therefore be giving as much coverage as possible to any new product launch that takes place; its readers want to know what everyone is going to be using (either in Apple version or a product made by another company but strongly influenced by Apple) in five years time.

    Incidentally, from 7pm last night to 5am this morning, the most read story on the ENTIRE BBC news website was the one on the launch of the iphone, which suggests that readers are actually interested and want to know about it.

  • Comment number 35.

    @ masonlondon

    I'd wait for the N96 if you are thinking about an N95 8GB. Should be out in July.

  • Comment number 36.

    Apple's products are rubbish, there have been better phones available for years. Yawn. The BBC are advertising Apple products. Yawn.

    How anyone can argue that the iPhone hasn't been a groundbreaking device causing other manufacturers to hurl themselves forward, I don't know. All of a sudden, almost every phone has some poor implimentation of a touch screen.

    And that the BBC shouldn't report on it because it amounts to advertising is another boring argument that is bearly worth addressing. Not one complaint about the reporting of Microsoft's weird 'Surface' that looks like a coffee table they have in a 1980s theme bar near me. Strange that.

  • Comment number 37.

    @katyrouth

    No, it suggests the exposure is MASSIVE.

  • Comment number 38.

    I'd like to add my voice to those saying that the BBC has given too much publicity to Apple.

    Now I'm a self-confessed Apple fan (not fanatic!)... I use a Mac, I follow coverage of Apple events with great interest. I'm certainly no Mac hater.

    But even I cringed when I saw the 3G iPhone in layout position 3 on the BBC news homepage yesterday (and even getting the 'Breaking News' graphic there at one point!) Good grief!!

    Yes the WWDC should be covered, yes the 3G iPhone is newsworthy given the remarkable cultural and technological impact of Apple. But it's not THAT important! For the BBC to award it the prominence it did just made you look foolish and biased.

    I realise it was the most read and emailed story, but I would counter that, had you stuck a story in that same prominent spot on your homepage saying "Dyson releases cheaper more advanced vaccum cleaner" then that would have become similarly the most read and most emailed story.

    Sorry BBC, I like you and I like Apple, but I think you're wrong to give this kind of prominence to NEWS stories about Apple products. Sure, I expect the odd blog and feature at these times, but at most, the news story should have got no further than the links in the top right of the homepage.

  • Comment number 39.

    I don't understand the problem with hyping this product nor the amount of coverage.


    I guess most people on here are technophiles so they read more than just the BBC website? Good! Now go to stuff.tv or T3 or any other technology website and you'll see much more hype regarding the iPhone.


    It's big news everywhere, get over it or don't click on it.

  • Comment number 40.

    "Apple's crack PR team"

    I'm sure that's not the only thing they're on...

  • Comment number 41.

    Guys Guys Guys (and Gals sorry),

    Lets keep some perspective here. The BBC's coverage of an HTC launch or a Nokia launch is proportionate to the size of the launch. Apple gets more coverage because Mr Jobs is a showman. He grabs headlines and could sell even (i)sand to the Arabs. Just remember the 'reality distortion field' when watching his keynotes and reading Apple info.

    I don’t remember seeing HTC launch a phone in the same way as Apple so lets cut the nice folk at the BBC some slack. If they didn't cover it the Apple fans would be saying the Beeb is anti Apple, so enough already.......

    Saying that the new iPhone look (finally) likes a device worth having. The interface was (just in my opinion) the only selling point for the first device. It was missing too much. This new ones features appear to be much more up to date. However, the camera is still a disappointment. I know MP size is less of an issue, but it is in lower resolution (as someone pointed out earlier) so as the standard MP for a phone is now got to be about 3 MP (I hear reports of a 7 coming out) 2 MP is a bit of a let down.

  • Comment number 42.

    The launch of the Apple iphone 3G is in itself NEWS, albeit technological news and the BBC has simply done its job and broadcast the NEWS. Why is it that people are getting so worked up about something which they obviously feel is so trivial. People are making it sound as if the BBC are trying to force the iphone upon people, either that or they sound like disgruntled executives at Nokia who only make any money if the N95 sells.
    Apple always make the headlines because they are such an exciting company and turn out beautiful and revolutionary products.
    I don't remember anyone complaining about the amount of coverage the final Harry Potter book received...
    Lets stop moaning and buy the phone that we want to buy...

  • Comment number 43.

    2 Mega Pixels only? That sux. Hasn't 3G been around forever with other iPhone alternatives like HTC,Nokia,Sony Ericsson,Samsung,LG,etc.?

    The kool and unique qualities abt the iPhone is it's Web friendly Touch Screen, OS and apps,8GB+ capacity and that it's Apple. Might as well add the cheap cost to that list.

    It wasn't worth the hype before, but because of the reduced price,yea it's worth it now.It's not BBC's fault following the hype. Every1's guilty. You should credit Apple's innovative marketing staff for all the hype.

  • Comment number 44.

    BBC writes about the hype, generating more hype, and round and round we go. Is "hype" news? Perhaps it is. I just hoped that this section of the news site would become more than a technological version of "Heat" magazine.

    I'm Mac \ PC agnostic, therefore have no particular special interest. But I've read the reviews, read Maggie's blogs, watched the keynote... and I have one question: what's new? 3G? GPS? An accelerometer? Been there, done that. The "pinch" touchscreen and UI of the original iPhone were groundbreaking, the iPhone2 is a catch-up to fill the gaps of the first one, something they still haven't done with the measly 2MP camera. There is virtually nothing exciting and innovative on this incarnation, and an impartial review would surmise as such. Did the 8GB relaunch of the Nokia N95 manage a headline story on the BBC technology pages? Despite the fact it will outsell the iPhone, I suspect the Nokia PR team have not quite managed to do a number on the BBC journalists like the slicker Apple team.

    The BBC do report on hyped launches. Halo 3, GTA 4, Vista, etc. So I would have beeen really suprised if there wasn't an article today. But I get the distinct impression the BBC writers would be lauding the device regardless of how good (or bad) it was. Monkey Ball? C'mon... please! There is an undertone of impartiality... a hint that the BBC writers, those bastions of neutrality, are as much wrapped up in the hype than their commerical peers.



  • Comment number 45.

    for the knock down price of $199 (£100)

    Since when did a straight currency conversion apply to goods like this?

  • Comment number 46.

    I just read on the design week website ( https://www.designweek.co.uk//Articles/138712/Article.html ) that Apple have just filed for a patent to place solar panels under the screen of the iphone as a potential way for it to be charged by the sun!

    I guess if the patent has just been applied for, then it won’t be a feature of this iphone, but another model in the pipe-line?

    While the iphone sounds great at the moment, the lack of hotmail/windows live mail, and the bad value for money of the O2 contracts, and the decidedly old fashioned 2 mega pixel camera, means I’m going to have to sit this one out I’m afraid!

  • Comment number 47.

    so... it's the same as the previous iphone but with 3G and comes in white!.. is that it?

    kind of a "damp squib" re news item.

    Look at the things it doesn't have.

    AD2P bluetooth - so despite pretending to also be an ipod, you still can't stream music to your bluetooth headset.

    Still only a 2Meg camera... laughable! and still doesn't record video. I had a middle range phone 5+ years ago that did video!

    What about MMS support -sure no one really uses MMS, but it's kind of a missing feature don't you think?

    3rd Party app support... err wow... isn't that why people jailbreak their iphones/ipod touchs.. so they can install useful applications on them. Also... pretty much every other phone around has been able to do that for years - initially thanks to Java, but latterly Symbian S60 and S90 has a huge range of add on software.

    What about the much maligned caller id recognition, has that been fixed? (many people complain that it can't recognise contact numbers properly)

    Can you search through your contacts yet? (no, not yet in fact)

    good at some things it does - sure, but missing lots of functionality in other areas!

  • Comment number 48.

    Maggie, let's not forget, the iPhone is really a PDA. Making a ridiculous comment saying 'it's just a phone' makes one wonder why you're writing a tech column? The iPhone combines 3 appliances I no longer have to cram into my pockets - with the new software due out next month, it makes the iPhone look like it's light years ahead of anything resembling a phone.

  • Comment number 49.

    markbriton #36

    So the iPhone caused everyone else in the market to "imitate" it? How long do you think it takes to research and develop new technology like this? The other mobile manufacturers would have been working on touch screen technology for years but the iPhone gave them the kick up the backside they needed to push it out. I am glad some people on here are smart enough to see that the only unique selling point of the iPhone is the Apple logo.

  • Comment number 50.

    "Since when did a straight currency conversion apply to goods like this?"

    Since yesterday, it seems, given that O2 are indeed pricing the iPhone 3G at £99.

  • Comment number 51.

    @scran72

    "it makes the iPhone look like it's light years ahead of anything resembling a phone."

    lol, the iPhone has nothing that other phones don't have. It's only USP is the touch screen and UI. Everything else it does is available in other smartphones, and was available before the iPhone arrived on the scence.

  • Comment number 52.

    armitasp, yes development time was used to develop iPlayer for the iPhone - but there are hundreds of thousands of iphone users and it's a small enough bone to throw given how utterly useless most BBC services are on the Mac platform even now.

  • Comment number 53.

    Maggie said :"But let's not forget it is just a phone."

    Maggie, maybe you've not read much about the iphone, here's an extract from the Apple web site for you :

    "And just like the original iPhone, it combines three products in one —a revolutionary phone, a widescreen iPod, and a breakthrough Internet device."

    It is all those things and it is not 'just a phone'. Just like the Nokia N95 or Blackberry offer more than 'just a phone'.

    No wonder Apple didn't want to let you have the iphone for long, not only do you not 'get it', but you spent half the time playing games!

  • Comment number 54.

    LG and Samsung make competitive products that got there first or may be better. Fueling the hype looks a little suspect. More to the point, why isn't there a British designed, built, and marketed initiative?

  • Comment number 55.

    @exnihilo fair point

  • Comment number 56.

    It's interesting to read claims about Apple's "PR team" being the reason for the iPhone's coverage.

    Apple's PR team is the least communicative I've ever dealt with. No one outside the top level of the company knows anything about new product launches. Try calling Apple PR (Bite PR) and asking them anything. And, interestingly, you don't see lots of adverts for the iPhone.

    What "crack PR" effort is being referred to?

    Would it be crazy to suggest the coverage is the result of the iPhone being a trend-setter for the whole industry, fun and easy to use?

  • Comment number 57.

    There is a phone coming soon that many believe will truly bring smart phone devices to the masses, and it ain't the iPhone.

    Step forward the Nokia 6220 classic.

    (Can't wait to upgrade my 6120c)

  • Comment number 58.

    Everyone going on about the hype: THIS IS A BLOG.

    The definition of a blog:
    https://www.answers.com/blog?cat=technology

    A diary. A personal account. Not the actual news.

    For christ sake, there's one news article on the iPhone, there's hundreds on Vista. Oh and do you remember the blog postings on that "Concept" technology Nokia are working on, not the actual product?

    ANYWAY I hope that'll shut everyone up about advertising and what not.

    The iPhone 2 does look generally good. I don't know if I'd use it as my work option, but for a personal phone it does everything I'd expect and more. The key thing about the iPhone though is it just works. You ask it to do something and it does it. No questions asked. Even 3rd party apps work in the same way. If you can even say this about a phone's interface: It's beautiful.

    Whereas you have Symbian phones, LIKE my Nokia N95 which doesn't feel as integrated and just seems to always be flitting about.

    Just my swing on it.

    -Rory "Dexter"

  • Comment number 59.

    In response to

    9. At 10:23 am on 10 Jun 2008, aehartley wrote:

    "The fact is that better versions of all Apple products are available from other manufacturers."

    This does not appear to real world data. In my experience people are endlessly frustrated by computer hardware, the microsoft os, and the integration of the above with peripherals such as cameras and printers. They just can't get the things to work. I have yet to see anyone swap to an Apple system who has not been utterly amazed by how easy this stuff can be.


    "The iPhone will be purchased by people desperate to buy in to the whole Apple marketing bandwagon, desperate to be seen with one and show off to their mates."

    Again, I'm not sure this is true. Around these parts people tend to keep shiny gadgets out of view in case they're killed and eaten by a gang of feral tracksuit wearing hoodies.

    "The same happened with the iPod. It was all about being seen with those white headphones."

    Is it? Are you sure about this? For instance, a good proportion of the people I know with iPods are 60+. They listen to BBC podcasts while doing the gardening. Who 's looking at their headphones? The starlings?


    "Other manufacturers make supremely better phones and always will, but they won't have the Apple logo on will they, so will not appeal to the overly materialistic fans Apple seems to attract."

    Now, overly materialistic is not an appropriate term. Some people like aesthetically pleasing gadgets. I do. They're nice to use. And the simple fact is that iPhones are just very, very nice to use. People pick 'em up and start playing with them and find they're intuitive pieces of technology, unlike many devices which people own for years and never get the hang of, and then they go and buy one themselves. Then they're astonished by the fact that yes, they really can use all this new technology, it's not complicated, and they can have fun with it. This is the pattern I see, anyway. The flipside is, of course, you pay a premium for quality, and a lot of people who can't afford it comfort themselves by labeling those who can as overly materialistic attention seekers. But that's life.

  • Comment number 60.

    Trust me mate, I can afford it! I do not appreciate being told that I must be poor and jealous just because I have not jumped on the bandwagon like all the other 'sheep' and bought an iPod / iPhone. I just have enough sense to spend my money more wisely and look at the actual product spec of an item and its cost relative to teh market, rather than who made it.

  • Comment number 61.

    My concern is with the lack of analysis in the blog.

    The negatives from a more knowledgeable source...

    - It IS fatter 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm verses the original's 115 x 61 x 11.6mm
    - The sleek metal back is now plastic. It may be less slippy to hold but what about durability and build quality?
    - GPS is rudimentary working from a top down view, no 3D mapping
    - Screen resolution remains unchanged at 480 x 320 when many rivals have adopted VGA
    - Incredibly Bluetooth A2DP is still left off so no wireless music enjoyment
    - Video recording unbelievably remains absent
    - No front mounted video camera, no 3G video calling
    - Camera unchanged at two megapixels and no mention of any upgrades (flash, autofocus, etc) this one is a huge let down.
    - No details of offline mapping. It's likely to cost a pretty penny it seems
    - 8GB and 16GB capacities remain, no 32GB edition for now
    - Steve didn't define the 3G (7.2Mbit had been rumoured) and it isn't specified even now
    - No wider codec support (AVI/DivX/Xvid remain a distant dream)
    - The dock has been removed from the bundle as Apple strips out costs just as it did when the iPod evolved (it seems unlikely the old dock will fit the curvier profile too)
    - No announcement of Flash for the web browser

    (Trustedreviews)

    It may not be the fault of Maggie, but the link which brought me here said "Cutting the hype: Is the new iPhone any good?" All this does is repeat the hype and show me the BBC is unable to provide meaningful analysis.

  • Comment number 62.

    Well maybe by the time Apple are releasing the iphone v4.0 they might actually have a product that can rival the HTC Touch Cruise.

    Of course though this phone will never get the kind of hype that the BBC loves to give Apple and their totally over-the-top releases of the 'next big' totally average piece of hardware.

    Apple are good at design, but still behind many others in their fields of 'expertise'.

  • Comment number 63.

    Dearie me! - as Andy from Little Britain would say: "What a kerfluffle!" If Apple's PR people are shocked at the notion that it's "just a phone" doesn't that ring alarm bells in the perpetually gullible who pay wildly over the odds to retain their place amongst "the faithful"??

    How many people will now put their hands up and tell us that buying the vastly over-hyped 'old' i-Phone, superseded at breakneck speed, was a wise buying decision?? Don't any of them realise that, out here in the real world, most of the population has started to laugh openly at their stupidity and gullibility?

    That's what will finally pop the ridiculous Apple bubble, when these brain-washed 'disciples' see others giggling and smirking at them as they try to look 'cool'....

  • Comment number 64.

    I wonder how much of the barely critical promotion given by the BBC to Apple is related to the discount that Apple gives to journalists on its products?

    Equally, I wonder whether any of the journalists writing these puff pieces are prepared to declare whether they have ever taken advantage of this discount?

  • Comment number 65.

    This "IMPRESSIVE UPGRADE" to the I-phone is highly over rated...
    When you consider that 3G coverage on O2 which is the only network that this phone is available, cover's around 25% of the UK. Also the unlimited Data, offered free with the origionla plans seem to have been removed, the cost to run is 3 pounds per MB. This Upgrade is more of a downgrade!!

    Laughable how the hype on this device is attracting so much attention, when it really does not compare to other phones available.
    Simple features such as picture messaging, message forwarding, and only a 2 Megapixel Camera...is it any wonder they are now giving them away!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    Not convinced BBC! You (and others) set Apple on a pedestal. iphone ahead in form - no - see Samsung, HTC and LG. Ahead in some usability - yes, particularly the browser. But what about corporate connectivity, security The inability to forward a simple SMS! Only a 2Mp camera. No aGPS. and no full roaming. 3g is so 3+ years ago.

    Personally I'm all for competition from Apple as hopefully it will encourage the worlds largest camera company to reduce it's prices and raise its game - bring on the n96 with a decent browser

    PS
    Also the Newsbeat piece was funny - everyone is a 'rival' to Apple.... :D

  • Comment number 67.

    @65 (trickypt): https://www.o2.co.uk/iphone/paymonthly Unlimited Data is still available.

  • Comment number 68.

    I think @Notafanboi hit the nail on the head for me. What I would expect from the BBC is to cut through hype and tell us if the iPhone is really worth it. The TrustedReviews article is a far more objective piece and the kind of reporting I'd hoped the BBC would have given us.

    Should the BBC be covering the new iPhone? Undoubtedly. Are the BBC justified in giving this release the coverage they have? Probably not. Should they be giving more than one side of the story? Definitely. I'd rather the BBC told us about the new iPhone's limitations (no Bluetooth A2DP, no video, no DivX support etc.) as well as it's features. The fact you can play Monkey Ball is NOT news.

  • Comment number 69.

    (thomasf1) wait until July 11th and you will see!

  • Comment number 70.

    @hyperpatch

    See my post, #58.

    THIS IS A BLOG.
    For christ sake, if you're going to try and play the "big boys game" and try and sound intelligent, at least get the basics covered: a blog is a personal take on news not factual. Maggie can quite easily say that the iPhone is the best phone on the market - it's her opinion not actual fact.

    And can I just say to all those people saying the iPhone is crap and all the rest of it, I bet if Nokia had come up with the iPhone you'd have all been like "ZOMG THIS IS LYK TEH ULTIM8 FONE".

    Apple can create an "it" device and make it successful - that's all that really matters at the end of the day, how much profit they can make and I can say if the iPhone wasn't seeing enough return for Apple then they wouldn't have made a second version.

  • Comment number 71.

    @Dexter, you can use whatever definition of "blog" you like, it doesn't change the fact that the above report (- noun; an account or statement describing in detail an event, situation, or the like) is written by a BBC employee, published on a BBC news web site, paid for by television license payers (myself included). The author has been paid to comment on a product release by a major corporation and my hope was that it would be a balanced, objective article. Sadly it did not meet my expectations and I believe I am in my rights to express that opinion.

    I'm not quite sure what this "big boys (sp) game" you speak of involves, keep posting your well structured, informative comments and I'm sure I'll pick it up eventually.

  • Comment number 72.

    Amazing the plug the BBC gives to Apple.

    Can the BBC please explain their policy and why they are doing this.

    Jobs looks ill.

  • Comment number 73.

    I am a phone freak...and had no interest in the original iphone. but when i heard of the iphone 2.0 my eyes lit up. Since the last iphone release, i've had the N95 which everyone loves, why i don't know, bcz the software is slow and phone to bulky that i gave it back and took out the Sony P1i, which was a far better choice. But you see, the iphone is a total fun phone. It genuinley is an internet phone, there have been hardly any software complaints about it...and the best thing is that you can hook up your itunes.
    i hope apple will hit there target 10million target, because they have created a phone that nokia, HTC, LG everyone is trying to copy......well done!
    i have just spoken to o2, and made sure i will get my phone on release date.

  • Comment number 74.

    As with most Apple launches, this one just leaves me with a "so what" feeling, although I can see the benefits in having their products appeal to the non-technophile, which is where (like the Nintendo Wii) I think Apple scores most.

    I have been using an HTC Kaiser for a while and have never "felt like throwing it at the wall". OK ... unlike the iPhone I have had to seek out a couple of additional software items to replace those that come as standard in order to ease my work on it, but it not only does everything I need, it also does quite a few things that my best friend's iPhone just doesn't do ... connecting to my wireless network for one (now apparently addressed on iPhone 2), connecting to high speed mobile internet for another (ditto) and synchronising with my company e-mail and PC for a third.

    The camera is also higher resolution (3MP) and better quality and records video.

    The iPhone looks cool, and is (admittedly) very easy to use, but the only iPhone feature I envy is the screen size (the Kaiser is only 240x320). In every other important respect I would take my phone over the iPhone any time. Even the iPhone 2.

    Like the other "revolutionary" products before it, the iPhone is a triumph of form over function ... but I think Apple knows that, and is able to exploit that in the way that it markets itself and its products.

    Fair enough, and good luck to them. I just wish the mainstream tech media, such as the BBC, wouldn't mistake that design and marketing muscle for something truly revolutionary.

  • Comment number 75.

    @proud 2 b pakistani

    " i hope apple will hit there target 10million target, because they have created a phone that nokia, HTC, LG everyone is trying to copy......well done! "

    What phone are they trying to copy exactly? Please don't forget that HTC released a fully touch screen phone with their "Touch-Flo" interface before the iphone was released.
    There is no copying, only the fact that several manufacturers were developing touch screen handsets and Apple managed to produce the best Operating System / User Interface.
    The phone itself is worse than those who you quoted as trying to copy (LG, Nokia and HTC all have better handsets) and also HTC released theirs before Apple. I still love my Touch Cruise and the fact that it is totally customisable and if I want I can run it like an iphone makes my handset far superior as far as I'm concerned.

  • Comment number 76.

    News does not equal publicity; look it up. It is undeniable that the release of the new 3G iPhone is a news event, and it is undeniable that it is made a news event, at least in part, by Apple's marketing wizards. Don't fault BBC for reporting a story that millions of people (including YOU) thought interesting enough to seek out on the Internet.

    As a US citizen, I am thrilled that a US product garners such worldwide attention, so maybe I am a bit biased.

    However, I am also biased because, as a cellular consumer, I am finally, truly, interesting in Apple's offering. Sadly, BBS did not have enough time with the new iPhone to make a throrough review, but elsewhere I have seen specs that answer all of my [enterprise] concerns over the first iPhone; the price is even more astounding. Apple is clearly aiming at Canada's RIM Blackberry (of which I am a repeat customer), and producing something that business people can justify on many levels.

    If you have never had a few moments with an iPhone, find a way to do so. You will be more impressed than you were the first time you played with a laptop computer. I have had only a few minutes with one (1st generation) and was duly impressed except for the slow data speed (fixed), lack of VPN support (fixed), Microsoft Exchnage synchronization (US spelling, I know) (fixed), concerns over battery life (fixed), lack of GPS (fixed), and lack of a keyboard (see YouTube for a demonstration of how fast and accurate Apple's is). The iPhone 3G screams "Don't hate me because I am beautiful," which it is, "Love me for my brains." This is a square aim at Blackberry, and a very true on at that.

  • Comment number 77.

    I'm always amused by the number of people who say that Nokia/HTC is better in every way, and then add 'except the interface' or 'besides the touchscreen'. Not only does this step over (rather than address) the one reason why the iPhone is arguably the superior product, it also explains why these people can't understand how it is that Apple gets so much coverage for the iPhone. Here's why it does:

    1. Touch screens have been around for years - but since the iPhone's implementation of this technology, its importance is no longer speculative. Nokia produce impressive and powerful mobile devices, but they are only different in degree from everything else.

    2. The iPhone is different in kind - the user interface is the most important thing about any piece of computer technology. Apple can keep adding software and hardware features, but the 'USP' was there from the outset. The rest of the industry continues to acknowledge this in the products it produces. I would go so far as to say that HTC wouldn't be a player if it wasn't for the iPhone.

    3. If we view iPhone 1 as a proof of concept (but only a moderate commercial proposition), the iPhone 3G is what should really excite or worry us all. If it succeeds, Safari will become the No.1 mobile browser, iTunes will be cemented as the No.1 portable music and video store, unlimited 3G data plans could become the norm, and iPhone/iPod Touch could be a fairly significant development platform for productivity software and casual games.

    This all warrants the attention the BBC are (scarcely) lavishing on it.

  • Comment number 78.

    @Dexter #70

    So if Nick Robinson posted in his BBC blog that Dave Cameron (or Gordon Brown) had met and told him that... you'd expect him to endorse and pass on all those party political opinions without question?

    If this blog was on myspace I'd agree it's not important what the content is. But its on the BBC website. IMO when opinions are offered on the BBC they have a duty to be balanced and informed. If they offer insight then that would be nice too.

    Perhaps this piece should be on a junior newsround section which has less demanding standards. If this is it for "technology insight" then there isn't much point in the BBC having a "technology" section IMO.

  • Comment number 79.

    @clankylad Nope. No discount for us I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 80.

    @jimconnolly What TV coverage? There was none.
    So yes - you are imagining things. And there was, I believe, 30 seconds on Radio 5 at about 6.30 in the morning.

  • Comment number 81.

    The 'excessive' news coverage comes down to one thing - Apple's clever way of announcing new toys. Personally I've never heard of a yearly Nokia keynote (they produce too many different phones - both good and bad - every year to do this.)

    HTC make good kit but they don't market well. That's what Apple do!

    Yes they are a major corporate (and a major pain in the behind) but you know that they'll make a very good job of marketing their new toys, and as such news companies like the BBC are pretty much duty bound to cover them.

  • Comment number 82.

    PS I work for a media company

    PPS I haven't got an iPhone (and probably won't get one either!)

 

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