Category Archives: telco news

Next iPhone killer? again…

http://apple20.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2009/02/21/a-taxonomy-of-iphone-competitors/

The always fantastic Apple2.0 blog by Philip Elmer-DeWitt has a great piece on a Taxonomy of iPhone competitors.

Well worth the look, but in the end, if you want one fine, but it’s still not an iPhone (and that’s fine if you don’t get it).

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Filed under Design, iPhone News, telco news

It had to happen

With all respect to my many American buddies, but it could only happen (well first) in America.

A woman in Alabama has filed a law suit against Apple the maker of the iPhone, claiming that it doesn’t perform as well as claimed. WTF, are you joking? Of course it doesn’t perform as well as we all wish it would, but do you really need to go and sue?

My last car was well below par, should I be sending Subaru a letter? Dropped calls, isn’t that a telco issue?

Full story at ArtsTechnica

{NB this is a Kiwi perspective of the iPhone experience. I’ve never dropped a call, well that was till I went to the states, and we don’t sue people in NZ).

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Vodafone NZ reacts to outrage

News this morning is that Vodadone NZ has reacted to the considerable outrage against their plans, which infamously gave them the dubious honour of the most expensive iPhone Telco provider in the world.

Today Vodafone NZ announced plans that are quite radically cheaper (up to half price) than what was previously available. The new plans still provide a subsidy on the handsets, with the biggest difference being in data and voice allocation. Vodafone claim they have listened to customer demand, which (like me) people use the device as a mobile web and data gadget with txt and talk time the least consideration.

“Vodafone spokesman Paul Brislen says the plans have been put in place after customers called for a lower monthly cost but were happy with less talktime and lower text message limits, but similar levels of data.”

Now there’s a surprise, just what we were asking for right from the very start, less talk and more data. I am amazed though at how little data I am using, and how often I use the phone in a wi-fi zone (thus not using up data allocation). When I first got my phone, none of the plans met what I thought would be my needs, so I went on two Vodafone plans costing my $90 a month (more data). As it turns out (well how was one to know when everyone warned me that data would be gobbled up in a flash) that despite my heavy web and email use, I wasn’t even anywhere near 10% of the data I put myself on for 24 months. So I’m going to be one of the first this afternoon to change that’s for sure.

The new plans start at $40 for 20minutes talk time, 100txt and 250mb data.

Current usres are able to switch plans but will need to pay Vodafone for the difference on the cost of the handsets.

So while this us a great move, and I imagine a lot of people will be switching plans asap, people like me will be out of pocket to Vodafone by several hundred dollars over the last 6 weeks and that stinks. At the moment, Vodafone stores are showing the sold out sign for all iPhones, showing that it’s still selling extrememly well, and has obviously been a money boost for Vodafone.

New Plans

Old Plans

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Filed under iPhone News, Money, telco news, Vodafone

iPhone 2.0.2 software update

Apple has released the latest update of the iPhone software 2.0.2

While some rumour sites and other iPhone sites suggested that this software patch probably wouldn’t be the 3G patch people were waiting for, it seems it is.

Reported by AP in the New Zealand Herald, and Apple representative Jennifer Bowcock said this software patch “improved communication with 3G networks.”

The software update is available via iTunes and is about 250mb.

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Funny that, we surf with the iPhone

According to nma.co.uk 80% of iPhone users are using the new iPhone to surf the web,compared to just 32% of other smart users. Now why doesn’t this surprise me?

I bought the iPhone because it’s a mobile web browser without compare. Others claim to surf the web, but none actually offer the ‘real’ web experience. When some pretty basic web standards (like flash) are added to the functionality, there will be no stopping the iPhone.

I’ve made a total of 8 calls on my iPhone, but surf the web and use google maps several times a day. It’s so good, of course we use it to surf the web. Now if only Vodafone wasn’t the most expensive data plans in the world (some countries offer unlimited data), I’d use it more often.

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Where’s the free wi-fi NZ?

If you were lucky enough to buy your iPhone in North America, chances are you not only pay less for the privellage of owning one, you’ll be able to access free wi-fi in a lot of places.

AT&T announced that over 17,000 free wireless hotspots have been activated for iPhone users. They have a tool that allows you to find there free wi-fi spots. Admittedly many of them are in Starbucks or McDonalds, there are a number of airports that offer it too. I could handle sitting in Starbucks with a cup of joe for free wi-fi (remember it’s free and faster than 3G), but McDonalds, I think not.

Our biggest Telco, Telecom, provides wireless hotspots, only thing is you have to pay for them. How blimmin archaic. Other places you can buy and hours access – yippie (not).

But this is also the official AT&T offering. In Vancouver where I lived for a while last year, nearly every cafe I could find had a sign offering free wi-fi, or if there wasn’t a sign it was still there for you to use. How lucky was I that the best coffee shop in Vancouver Agro Cafe offered free wi-fi. Not only was the coffee spectacular, the wi-fi free but the atmosphere was awesome to just sit, enjoy the coffee and surf the web. Now with iPhone I wouldn’t have even bothered taking the laptop down, full Safari browser over wi-fi is just great.

Fast forward to here and now in New Zealand, and I just don’t understand why cafe’s don’t offer free wi-fi. I mean I spent a lot of time in cafes doing my work and of course eating their food and chugging down their cups of joe. I mean how many cafes would be open at midnight sunday with at least 20 people in all eating and drinking? Well this was common at Waves in Vancouver, as many overseas students were all on free wi-fi catching up with folk across the world. Me, well I was listening to Super 14 or something equally silly.

So why no wi-fi in New Zealand

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They’re calling it “iPocalypse” now.

So it seems that Vodafone aren’t the only ones having a nighmere with the introduction of the iPhone, AT&T, the US carrier has undergone all manner of crashes and hick-ups in activating people’s iPhones.

Gizmodo published an article outlining the troubles that bestowed the roll out of the new iphone globally.

Also covered by Apple2.0, the strain on services of the release of the new iPhone, combined with the thousands of customers all wanting activation, the previous 6 million iPhone owners potentially wanting to upgrade to the iPhone Firmware 2.0 (giving the first gen iPhone many of the features and functionality of the new iPhone), and the introduction of the AppStore and MobileMe.

If Gizmodo is calling it iPocalypse, then I’ll happily go along with it. You do the Math.

iPhone introduced 12:01 11-07-08 New Zealand time, I buy my iPhone mid morning that Friday, now it’s late Sunday night and I still don’t have my iPhone. I have been told that Vodafone has crashed it’s system for activating new accounts. I filled out the paper work, and was even contacted by a Vodafone rep requesting a password verification late friday afternoon, but since then, it’s been total silence. Hounding the local Apple reseller whom I bought the phone off, Magnum Mac (whom have been nothing but brilliant as ever) all Saturday, and they informed me that they hadn’t been able to activate or process any new accounts at all on Saturday.

Those whom were already on accounts, were able to walk in and out of the shop with new iPhones while I was sitting in the store waiting. There were no reports of the iTunes activation troubles as reported at Gizmodo, only happy faces.

If I was Vodafone, I’d be hanging my head in shame and looking for heads to roll, as this is a bloody disgrace. I parted with over $750 Friday, and it won’t be Monday at the earliest I will get to use my new phone (on the most expensive plans in the world supposedly). Of course I will be contacting Vodafone to complain, but will they listen. Their marketing manager all late last week was on TV in damage mode with a silly grin on his face claiming this and that, in the face of massive public outrage.

Shame Vodafone, Shame. Sort your bloody act out. Seriously how many other companies would allow such a shambolic launch of one of the best products they’ll ever get their hands on?

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Filed under iPhone News, telco news, Vodafone