Cons of iPhone and Apple TV

idhk

Registered
IMHO

iPhone - from EU perspective:

1. No 3G model? Why says "we may have 3G model sometimes later"?
I don't know how is there in America but here in Europe almost all GSM operators have 3G support for a year now and people (including me and my friends) are using it for Internet surfing and for watching TV.
I won't buy iPhone if there isn't 3G model offered.
I had numerous 2.9G Smartphones with all of the sexy features, BUT missing the high-speed internet and the TV.
EDGE sucks period!

2. Cingular? Does this mean operator lockdown? I was in the States for the whole summer. I had terrible exp. with Cingular and Verizon and thus I got T-Mobile the very first month of my stay.
In Europe each country has like four GSM-3G operators and locking down the iPhone to single operator will most definetely cause me not buying iPhone. I can't imagine buying something that costs $600 (here would be most prorably around 650 EUR at least for the 8G model) and being locked to single operator.
Here companies do the locking with the GSM-3G phones but you can get one for like $50-$100 (50-80 EUR) the most - this is different than $600 ;)

3. Price could have been lower but that is not a major issue IF they do not lock the operator down and since buying fancy phone and mp3 player would cost almost like iPhone - even more.

4. I can't write software? Although I haven't wrote for the Symbian/Win CE phones I had, a friend of mine wrote me nice app for converting former currency to new EUR. This you may say ain't big but I still don't want to be locked down at this too. Besides almost all 2.9G Smartphones though not having fancy scrolling, sensors and beautilful GUI, they can have third party apps developed.
I don't agree with this Apple policy, but it won't effect my buy or not buy decision. This is just bad for long term.

5. I don't know, but I did not heard that sync will be available via WIFI. Correct me if I am wrong. If I am not, this would be major drowback.

6. Even with 8GB model (not to mention 4GB) uploading 3-4 movies would almost completely fill up the memory combined with some mp3-s and contacts email etc. Thus not having extendable memory option is again a drowback.
You, almost, can't see 2.9G smartphone missing the extendable memory option, though they don't support iPhone video capablities.

7. I don't like be get locked and again, like in the iPod, I personaly don't like that I'm not being able to play DivX, Xvid

8. Battery life sounds good, but combining playing music and browsing the web may set serious drawbacks. I personaly don't know how this problem could be solved besides inventing new, more energy holding batteries.

Apple TV:

1. Divx, Xvid ..... I don't know what is the Apple's iTunes Store share in Europe on movies and TV shows purchases, but almost nobody takes time buying movies and TV shows, besides Mac hard core fans, from Apple here since they are not in native languages. People do buy (like me) music, though.
This drawback for most sure sets Apple TV on my "not buying" list.
Although I agree it offers very good stuff and the price is good, this is just the thing I can't go without.

2. What about Video_TS? Haven't heard nothing about this...

Well can't think of more now. Please add you own though about iPhone and Apple TV cons.

Besides all I said above, I think we all agree that Apple has always offered very nice, revolutionary products and I hope they continue doing that for the future being and I particulary wish iPhone good luck!!!
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
1. No 3G model? Why says "we may have 3G model sometimes later"?
3G chipsets are still too large, power hungry and expensive for most applications. Perhaps, in a year from now, this will change. For now, though, Apple had to choose what to put into the iPhone, and what to leave out; had they included everything that people have been asking for then yesterday they would have released the only mobile phone on wheels.

EDGE sucks period!
In the midst of all this chatter, it would be nice to see some sort of hard data on how EDGE stacks up. I know that a lot of people in the telecomms industry are very excited about EDGE.

Does this mean operator lockdown?
Probably for the first year that the iPhone is on the market, it will only be a few operators that support it and they will lock it down to maintain exclusivity.

I can't imagine buying something that costs $600 (here would be most prorably around 650 EUR at least for the 8G model) and being locked to single operator.
Welcome to 1994! :D

3. Price could have been lower but that is not a major issue IF they do not lock the operator down and since buying fancy phone and mp3 player would cost almost like iPhone - even more.
I agree. The price was higher than most people would have wished, but not unreasonable.

I can't write software? ... I don't agree with this Apple policy, but it won't effect my buy or not buy decision. This is just bad for long term.
What Apple policy? Apple haven't said anything developer-wise for the iPhone yet, except that it runs a version of OSX, and that it supports Cocoa and Core Image, which I'd take to mean that they *are* releasing an API for it.

5. I don't know, but I did not heard that sync will be available via WIFI. Correct me if I am wrong. If I am not, this would be major drowback.
Steve made a point of showing off the sync/charging cradle. Also, it has BlueTooth, and most phones sync over BlueTooth already - I'd be very surprised if Apple chose not to include BlueTooth syncing.

7. I don't like be get locked and again, like in the iPod, I personaly don't like that I'm not being able to play DivX, Xvid
I figure it will be almost identical to the iPod in its video codec support. People fail to remember that each codec adds significantly to the cost of the device. The MP3 codec costs around $5US per device alone to licence, plus the cost of developing the codec, testing it, and perfecting it.

The fact is, implementing any codec that isn't either open (MPEG) or owned by Apple (QuickTime) is a waste of time. It is better, from Apple's point of view, to put out a video player that doesn't do DivX at all, than to put out one that only plays 95% of DivX movies.

This is how Apple have managed to get such a high customer satisfaction rating for so many products. If its a choice between making a player that supports only three formats and works flawlessly, or a player that supports 20 formats but has the occassional problem, Apple always choose the first option. A product that only halfway does what it claims to do is of no use to anyone.

2. What about Video_TS? Haven't heard nothing about this...
While it would be nice, I can't really see it happening, because that would mean that the AppleTV would need to licence DVD decryption and region coding algorithms, just for one format that it really wasn't designed for.
 

mdnky

[Bobs/Prog/Design:~] mod%
Staff member
Mod
2. What about Video_TS? Haven't heard nothing about this...
I doubt that'll happen. I would almost bet money that the movie studios and other powers-that-be have something in their contracts with Apple which prevent this kind of usability. That opens the door to piracy way too easily.
 

monktus

Registered
The fact is, implementing any codec that isn't either open (MPEG) or owned by Apple (QuickTime) is a waste of time. It is better, from Apple's point of view, to put out a video player that doesn't do DivX at all, than to put out one that only plays 95% of DivX movies.
Assuming Apple will allow 3rd party development, presumably VLC or something similar will be ported to the iPhone. I've got a WM5 PDA/phone, which does all the things that iPhone does (and more as it supports 3G and video calling), however it doesn't do them very well. However I have TCPMP on my PDA which is open source and lets me play DivX, xVid and MP4 video (and audio), as well as WMA/WMV if for some reason I would ever have any. The only thing is that I can't play back m4p files but I have an iPod, and I've also got RealOne player on it for playing back my highly squashed South Park episodes.

Given that iPhone runs OSX in some sort of fashion, surely that provides great potential for development of applications such as this.

EDIT: I just noticed that the above point was in relation to AppleTV, but I think it's still relevant. AppleTV on the other hand is a disappointment.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Do the _negative_ points really warrant a separate thread? *chuckle* It's like you ask us not to post _anything_ positive into _this_ thread. ;) s'not how discussions work, sorry...
 

Tommo

Registered
Many, really , could you make Fryke happy and list them because I'm struggling to find more than a couple.

Bottom line you have a hard disk based video system with wi-fi capabilities to link to your computer so you still need 2 devices not one and a mobile phone linked exclusively to one network with a few bells and whistles. Not excatly what I would define as mind blowing products.

Apple make some very good products, though a phone larger than an iPod doesn't seem one of their better ideas. They would have been better making it a type of PDA which would have been great.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
They would have been better making it a type of PDA which would have been great.
And what extra features would it need to qualify as a PDA? I thought it was a PDA. And a great one, at that.

Of course, there's still the big question mark about programmability. If third parties cannot write software for it, then it's not worth much as a PDA. I'm assuming and hoping this is not the case, though, and the developer tools will be released along with Leopard (since it seems like it's based more on Leopard than Tiger, since Core Animation does not exist in Tiger).

My biggest complaint is the small storage space. It makes it more like an iPod Nano on crack than a true successor to the iPod. I guess putting an HD in there would just be impractical.
 

Tommo

Registered
Sorry, bad choice of words. I meant marketing it as a type of PDA rather than a sophistcated mobile phone/media player. As you say programability for third party apps will be the key to its success.
 

g/re/p

I can haz cigar?
The price is a bit too high IMO, but when i bought my unbranded/unlocked
TREO 600 directly from PALM, i paid just under $700 including 2nd day shipping
rates - at the time i thought it was well worth the price, and still do.

I got an ubranded/unlocked/still new and sealed in the box TREO 650 from ebay - $478 including 2nd day shipping - and that was a damn good deal at the time!

If user-reveiws reveal that this new iPhone works as well as expected, i will gladly pay as much as $700 for one that is unlocked/unbranded.

It will most probably work on other carriers that use a SIM card - it just will not be optimised for those networks, but i do not want the broadband feature anyway because cingular will charge at least 3 times what such service is actually worth.

*I would chew ground glass and drink motor oil before i would sign up with cingular - they SUCK.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
The things I _really_ find negative about it right now:

1.) Onscreen keyboard. I have yet to use one that actually works fine. If it does, that's good, but I don't believe it just yet.

2.) 3rd party apps. It's a must, in my opinion - unless Apple provides _everything_ you'll ever need.

3.) Messaging is split into SMS and E-Mail. I like how the Nokia Communicator has a combined messaging application. Plus: No MMS? Pity.

4.) iChat. So it's Mac OS X with "full desktop applications" and WiFi? It should at the very *least* have an iChat client, shouldn't it. Or they should integrate it with SMS and E-Mail. Yes, there's no front-cam, but iChat's much more than just videoconferencing - in fact *i* rarely ever use it for that, most of the time it's just text-messages.

Then again: Let's all take a deep breath. Obviously, if this thing runs OS X, it *has* the basics for many things I want. It's up to Apple to make good use of what features the iPhone _could_ offer.
 

lbj

Registered
And what extra features would it need to qualify as a PDA? I thought it was a PDA. And a great one, at that.
Bingo. I think Apple snuck back into the PDA world via the backdoor.

"Yes we remember the Newton, but this is not a PDA, it's a phone!"

Also, I can't help but think we are looking at the next iPod. Rip out the phone guts and you've got tons of space to put in memory storage. Maybe even shrink the size a bit.

And the multi-touch touch-screen lends itself perfectly to playing full body video and allowing for virtual controls.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
"tons of space", nah. :) The phone parts don't take up that much space, really.
 

chevy

Marvelous Da Vinci
Staff member
Mod
...

DivX, Video_TS, ...

While it would be nice, I can't really see it happening, because that would mean that the AppleTV would need to licence DVD decryption and region coding algorithms, just for one format that it really wasn't designed for.
Will not be required. Your Mac or PC will do it (read the DVD or other media) and prepare it to be sent wireless (probably encodeed) to the Apple TV that will decrypt it and push it to your TV screen. You will not put a DVD in the Apple TV directly.
 

mindbend

Registered
I think this is a great thread, FWIW.

In addition to the other excellent points, here's mine:

AppleTV

1. No HDMI 1.3 AFAICT
2. No 1080P

iPhone

1. No speech recognition for dialing?

Random thought:

I can't imagine that the iPhone won't support third party apps (whether Apple likes it or not!)

But to be clear, I think both of these products are excellent. I already ordered my AppleTV. Personally I think the AppleTV will be more influential than people think.
 

chevy

Marvelous Da Vinci
Staff member
Mod
The worst thing in the iPhone is its name. "iPhone"... bleark. iPod would be much better !
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
1.) Onscreen keyboard. I have yet to use one that actually works fine. If it does, that's good, but I don't believe it just yet.
Did you see a demonstration of the on-screen keyboard? It seems quite clever, and uses an error-correction system that automatically turns "siunds prwtty cpol" into "sounds pretty cool" by looking at the keys surrounding where you pressed. I don't think anybody has tried it quite like that before.

Compared to the methods millions of people use every single hour to send SMS messages (tap tap tap tap S tap tap U tap tap tap C tap tap K ...), or the tiny keyboards on existing smart-phones, I'd expect Apple's method to be quite an imporvement.
 

andychrist

devil's plaything
And as Steve Jobs pointed out, the problem with devices that rely on buttons for input is that they can't be altered or added to after manufacture. Obviously the iPhone was designed to accommodate the installation of new apps by way of Widgets, whether written by Apple or authorized third parties. But really I think the potential of the new technology here is even more important and exciting than the phone itself: "The first thirty years were only the beginning." Just imagine the possibilities of multi-touch and predictive computing on full-sized, high resolution displays, with auto-orientation via the accelerometer. Suddenly you can manipulate your computer desktop as intuitively as if it existed in real space, never having to go back and forth between keyboard and mouse. If Apple incorporates MT into its whole line, and optimizes Leopard for it, that will really change computing as we know it. And hasta la Vista, baby.
 

Qion

Uber Nothing
I fully understand the complaint of being tied to Cingular. I wouldn't want to be tied to Cingular either, they suck. However, somebody will inexorably figure out how to unlock the iPhone (just like every other phone that has come out in the past couple years) and start selling it on eBay. At that point, the carrier argument becomes unarguable.

I share Fryke's skepticism about the on-screen keyboard. I really can't imagine typing with one finger being that good, error correction or not. You're still pecking a character for each letter you intend. I can't wait to actually use one of these things in person, for I have many aesthetic things I would like to find out in the flesh.

The iPhone name was a stupid move; it's been in use (and trademark) since -AFIAK- 1997. I don't understand what Apple was thinking... they're more talented than using someone else's name, whether or not it goes along with their concurrent scheme.

As far as the TV goes, how the hell are PC users going to type that name? :p But seriously, I wish that it could output *at least* 1080i. Also, three hundred USD is just a bit pricey for what it does. I would rather use my (coming) MacBook to do what it does. (As we all know, their current laptops can output through an HDMI cable.)
 
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