Government vs. iPhone, More iPhone Apps, Touchscreen iPod Rumors

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Government vs. iPhone, More iPhone Apps, Touchscreen iPod Rumors

iPhone Blues: The House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet held a hearing to examine the practice of locking wireless devices to a single carrier, using the iPhone as an example (although the practice is much, much older than Apple's newest gadget). But it's still very early, and no laws have yet been proposed. BusinessWeek fills in the blanks by explaining why Apple chose AT&T and its EDGE network for the iPhone in the first place (hint: It speaks to the generally crappy condition of wireless networks in this country, as compared to networks around the globe). And IT Wire explains why Apple and AT&T want the iPhone to remain locked for as long as possible.

 

Elsewhere in iPhone land: An iPhone software update is rumored to be coming down the pike soon, with possible new features (cut and paste, iWork integration, who knows). But iPhone users are already enjoying increased functionality thanks to third-party developers. NetSuite has launched SuitePhone, a set of business apps for the iPhone, free for current NetSuite users. The list of apps spawned at iPhoneDevCamp last weekend has grown to 60 titles and counting. And a complex hack can even allow iPhone users to make calls via Skype, although a computer is required as an intermediary. Still, it's pretty cool. In fact, there's a chance that the iPhone could surpass Windows Mobile smartphones in installed base by the end of 2008.

 

And in non-iPhone news (yes, some exists): Apple has updated iTunes to version 7.3.1 to fix some library-access issues from 7.3. And the updated version of QuickTime out today, QuickTime 7.2, includes a new QuickTime Player that lets you watch full-screen vidoes without having to upgrade to QuickTime Pro (which costs $30). Apple has purchased CUPS, the Common Unix Printing System, and hired its author to further develop the system, which will still be released under its existing GPL2 license.

 

Finally, a couple of rumors: Now that the "iPhone nano" rumor's been (mostly) quashed, we're hearing that a report in DigiTimes has pegged the the touchscreen (phone-less) iPod for release this August. (Wow, if it's true, that's...soon!) We'll see whether or not it beats the other hot rumor, the redesigned iMacs. And a new patent filing hints at Zune-like wireless connectivity functions in future-generation iPods and iPhones. They just better not use the term "squirting," right?

 

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Anonymous

Yeah, south dakota doesn't have any AT&T stores and very bad coverage. Lame.

I'd also like to add that the unemployment rate in America is very, very low. The staff should have picked on healthcare.

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ScreaminNorwegian

I am an American who moved to Norway 6 years ago with my Norwegian wife (yippee!) and am amazed at the mobile phone system over here. Eveything basically runs off the same system. Different providers have different payment plans, offers etc. but they run off the same network. Basically I can use my mobile phone over the entire country without problem. I even called my wife once when I was standing on a mountaintop!!! It´s a very cool and effective system. Plus when I travel to other countries it is no problem to use my cell phone. Norway has deals with carriers in almost every country that i wish to travel.

One more interesting development that i recently found. There is a startup company that is offering wireless internett over the entire country. They bought up an old G3 450mhz bandwith that wasn´t being used. When you sign up they send you a small wireless usb modem that you hook up to your computer. The modem runs off the computers own power so you can run it off a laptop without an external power source. Basically you can use the system anywhere anytime as long as you have the modem with you. It´s like having WiFi over the entire country. Cool stuff.

Makes me kind of glad I moved here. I think the U.S. could learn a lot from the European system. Albeit the powers that be would lose a lot of control so it will probably never happen.

my $.02

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Jim H

It was about the crummy way we've allowed our wireless networks to exist, particularly since some very, very valuable bandwidth -- analog TV -- is going up for auction very soon. What they were saying was, why do we allow any phone to be subsidize if you lock yourself in to a network? Is this good for the competition between phones? No, it's not. The real center of the wireless network is the phone/PDA/wireless device, and the power that that gives us. The networks -- feh. We should have been more like the Europeans: tell all the networks to use one protocol, and then all the networks have complete coverage. Make the wireless net work more like the Internet. Why not? Then we would have much better phones, and they would work the same throughout the country.

It's not regulation, it's allowing competition, and setting the groundwork for the market to really flourish.

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Ed

This story seems to contradict this USA Today article from January of this year.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/telecom/2007-01-28-verizon-iphone_x.htm?POE=MONISVA

This article states that Apple originally wanted Verizon but Verizon balked at Apple's demands.

Ed

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Anonymous

I think that they should at least allow it to be used with other carriers in places like here in North Dakota, where many of us want an iPhone, but there is no AT&T coverage.

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