On, off, on, off. AT&T's wireless website announced its free Wi-Fi for iPhone plan this morning. AT&T has changed, started, and stopped the service numerous times. The new Wi-Fi service is supposed to grant iPhone users free Wi-Fi at over 17,000 locations including over 8,000 restaurants, if you consider Starbucks a restaurant.
The number of hotspots starts to dwindle when you exclude Starbucks, according to AT&T new routers have been placed in over 700 bookstores, 50 groceries, 31 hotels and 23 universities.
While that sounds great, AT&T once again pulled the site this morning. The link announcing the Wi-Fi plan, died several minutes after we loaded the site. The link now takes us AT&T’s wireless site map.
According to MacNN.com, AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom, said the webpage was posted in error, and AT&T hopes to offer free Wi-Fi in the future.
iPhone users, AT&T is toying with us like a cat playing with a very trapped mouse.
It’s been approximately 175 hours since opening day and the iPhone craze is still going strong. At the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco, eager patrons have lined up every morning this week, with long lines continuing to scale Stockton Street regardless of the store’s closing hours. (Above, a cell phone quality photo of the store’s front, taken by a discreet salonista on her way to work.)
We called several of the other high traffic Apple Stores here in the Bay Area to find out if they were experiencing the same kind of morning rush. At the Apple Stores in Burlingame, Santa Clara, and Stonestown Mall, no one answered the phone. At the Chestnut Street location in the Marina, a female employee answered the phone on the sixth ring and exasperatingly declared the line was up to two hours long. The Stanford Shopping Center location managed to keep their cool after all this time; A levelheaded Mac Genius informed us that the line was only half an hour long and added that only the 16GB model was available.
This presents quite a problem for existing customers who show up prepared to do the quick switcheroo between OG and 3G. Not to mention, new customers hoping to jump on the iPhone bandwagon. The long lines only emphasize the fact that AT&T didn't get the stock they needed and that the Apple Retail Stores are still getting hammered as demand for the iPhone doesn't seem to show signs of subsiding. The official page for iPhone availability nationwide also shows that stock is sold out at numerous retail locations. As a result, those anticipating a quick trip to the Apple Store for their iPhone will be faced with long lines, a number of overworked employees and may still walk away iPhone free.
Long lines, incompetent sales people, and unpredictable weather make acquiring the iPhone an almost impossible feat. Don’t do things the hard way; By the time you’re finished with the whole activation process, you’ll feel too exhausted to even enjoy the new features of your iPhone 3G. Instead, you can spend a little extra money and save yourself the hassle of waiting in line by purchasing an unlocked iPhone 3G directly from the Red Party Crew themselves, China.
So those awesomely unstoppable bags of wacky known as the iPhone Dev Team, who roam through the countryside jailbreaking iPhone and iPod touch firmware, are getting set to release the first PwnageTool for jailbreaking the iPhone 2.0 firmware update that was only unleashed, oh, five days ago.
But the team announced on its blog today that the PwnageTool won't be able to unlock the iPhone 3G to run on other wireless carriers. If you have an iPhone 3G, the tool will jailbreak the handset to run unsupported apps while still maintaining App Store support.
And the team is still working on a "baseband unlock" of the iPhone 3G, as well, so I guess someone should start a pool to see how quickly they get that accomplished. (Those cats are wicked smart, yo.) Read more about it on their bloggy blog.
Apple is still pretty far behind the two leaders, though; Dell enjoys a 31.9 percent slice of the pie, and HP's chowing down another 25.3 percent. Acer, in fourth place, slipped to an 8.1 percent market share. So Apple isn't in a position to pass HP anytime too soon. (Unless everyone reading this goes and buys 100 or so new Macs. Bookmark this page; we can wait.)
But the Cupertino company is also enjoying the largest growth in shipments—Apple moved nearly 1.4 million Macs in the second quarter of 2008, which is up 38.1 percent over the same quarter in 2007. Dell's growth in the same period was 11.9 percent, and HP's just 5.6 percent. (Poor Acer's shipments were down more than 20 percent -- AppleInsider has a handy chart.) Apple is outpacing the computer market as a whole, too, which saw a 4.2 percent boost over last year.
Apple enthusiasts, who are also Star Wars fans, will now be able to take the saga with them on the go. Lucas Arts is releasing a version of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for the iPhone 3G. Exciting? You bet, because the game will take advantage of the iPhone’s amazing touch screen features and will be one of the first full-length game titles released for the iPhone.
The game will be a scaled down version of its console counterparts, including the Wii and Xbox 360. The iPhone version won’t follow the third-person perspective, but instead players will travel through a series of static environments similar to that of the Resident Evil franchise. The phone’s accelerometer only changes the aspect ratio, while the touch screen will be used to control the main character (an apprentice of Darth Vader’s, set out to rid the galaxy of Jedis), including his lightsaber swings.
Lucas Arts has a trailer up (console versions only) for those interested in the whole plotline. Gizmodo also has some screen-shots of the iPhone in action. Star Wars Unleashed should provide about 2 to 3 ½ hours of gameplay. It’ll be available through the App Store on September 16, 2008.
Yesterday, Apple made a big fuss over Psystar’s Mac OS clones. Today, they insist Psystar do a mass recall of all units running the hacked Mac OX system. That means that the Mac cloners days could be numbered. A recall of all Psystar units will undeniably bankrupt them. Apple also wants whatever profits the company has gained, in addition to, any dollars that may flow once the judge bangs the gavel.
According to Yahoo! News, a product recall is an “unusual step”. Mandated recalls are usually ordered by government agencies to rid the market of products that are potentially harmful.
Both Apple and Psystar’s legal team declined comment.
Apple is acknowledging the difficulties involved in the transfer between the .Mac and MobileMe services and are compensating members. “We will be extending subscriptions by 30 days to customers free of charge to express our appreciation for their patience during the transition period,” said Apple Inc., in a statement.
You camped out in front of your favorite Apple store the night before the iPhone 3G went on sale. You waited in the store as your patience was tested because of a global problem with iTunes that prevented phones from being fully activated. In the end, your endurance was rewarded with a shiny new iPhone. After your new toy joy subsided, perhaps you noticed a glitch or hiccup with your iPhone, well, apparently Apple is already aware of bugs in the iPhones v2.0 firmware and may be currently testing v2.0.1. In fact, version 2.0.1 may have been in development before the current 3G even went on sale.
Web traffic analyzed from server logs by The Boy Genius Report, shows references to iPhones running firmware titled v2.0.1 from the San Francisco and Atlanta areas. Apple HQ is near San Francisco and AT&T is located in Atlanta.
Today's bugs could be replaced by tomorrow's new features.
That's a savings of roughly $53 over the estimated iSuppli price of $227 for the OG iPhone. iSuppli estimates that Apple makes a per-unit gross profit of 55%. Apple's ability to buy in bulk, and its savvy bargain-shopping powers are cited as reasons for the drop in price.
See kids, that's what happens when you use your store's club card and clip coupons.