Aug 31

att_logo According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, Apple’s next iPhone could debut on wireless networks other than AT&T’s next year.  In the report (which was sent to clients today), Mr. Munster pegs the summer of 2010 as the possible end to AT&T’s exclusive iPhone carrier status in the U.S:

“We believe Apple is slowly transitioning each country … to a multi-carrier model. In other words, we expect Apple to add new iPhone carriers in the U.S. within the next year (likely with a new product launch next summer) … In France, the company now enjoys dramatically higher market share (in the 40% range vs. about 15% in ROW) than in countries with exclusive carrier agreements (such as AT&T in the U.S. where the iPhone has market share in the mid-teens).”

It has always been known that the iPhone would be available from other wireless carriers in the States sooner or later, but with complaints concerning AT&T’s service (or lack thereof) increasing with each passing months, Apple and perspective iPhone owners are surely looking forward to other service providers getting in on the iPhone game. 

Many have speculated that Verizon Wireless would be the most likely candidate in the U.S. to first add iPhone to its product line when AT&T’s exclusivity agreement ends.  The carrier is reportedly hurrying to deploy its 4G wireless data network in 30 markets by the end of next year, with projected nationwide 4G service to be completed by the end of 2013.

Having multiple carriers offer the iPhone here in the U.S. is a very good thing for consumers.  In addition to the obvious benefit of customers being able to get the iPhone from more than one carrier, competition among carriers will force service innovation, plan price competition and improving data options.

Source: Fortune Brainstorm Tech

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Aug 30

Snow Leopard and iPhone There’s been a lot of Web chatter (and slavish bootlicking)  this week regarding Apple’s latest version of its perennial Mac OS X, Snow Leopard.  I’ve been using v10.6 since Friday morning and, while there are back-end improvements, code rewrites and menu color changes galore, the upgrade hasn’t exactly blown my iPod’s socks off.  In fact, if it weren’t for changes to Stacks, Exposé and QuickTime, I wouldn’t know the difference.  Still, at $29 ($25 at Amazon.com), it’s worth the upgrade if for no other reason than it frees up drive space and speeds up some applications’ start times by a second or two.

Aside from not being able to resist upgrading to any new OS, I was also interested in seeing what impact, if any, Snow Leopard would have on the iPhone.  Would syncs be faster?  Would iTunes be less buggy during syncing and file transfers?  Would my iPhone 3GS backups take less time?  Would Apple include the $200 credit I’m still waiting on for ordering the iPhone 3GS before AT&T changed its upgrade price policy?

As you’ve likely guessed, the answer to each if these questions is: NO.

As far as I can tell, Snow Leopard makes absolutely no difference when it comes to using the iPhone with a Mac.  In fairness, no such claims were made, but I thought this might be a point of interest for some iPhone users pondering the upgrade.

Its lack of improvements for existing iPhone models (and the latest version of iTunes) doesn’t mean that some of the technologies in Snow Leopard have no bearing on future iPhone models or functionality.  For some information on what Snow Leopard could mean for the future of the iPhone, check out this interesting post at The iPhone Blog.

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Aug 30

Move Your iPhone to a New Computer

If you’ve ever tried syncing your iPhone with a different computer, you already know Apple only permits the iPhone to sync with one computer at a time; to sync with a different computer, you have to wipe your iPhone and begin again.  This is mostly an aggravation during normal use, but what if you’re moving to a new PC or Mac, or need to format (erase) your hard drive and re-install the OS?  How do you keep from having to erase your iPhone and create a new iTunes partnership?

The answer is to move your iTunes configuration files from your old computer to your new computer.  This works on both Windows PCs and Macs, and with just a few simple steps, you can backup your iTunes configuration files (and even your entire iTunes music and video library), and then restore the files on a new computer for uninterrupted syncing.

In our latest tutorial series, we’ll show you how to backup and restore your iTunes library so that your iPhone will place nice with the new system or OS installation.

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Aug 26

We’ve added new accessories to the iPhone 3GS Accessories Center

The following pages have been updated:

 

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Aug 18

GPush for iPhone

One of the most talked about iPhone apps this week is GPush [iTunes Link], a recently approved application that alerts you when new email arrives in your Gmail inbox.  GPush is designed to placate users who want Push Gmail, but are still waiting for Google to offer this seemingly no-brainer service to its iPhone users.  Seriously, Google – why are third-party companies having to do the heavy lifting here?

The app is fairly straight-forward; input your login username and password, authenticate, and GPush will send you alerts via iPhone OS 3.0’s push-notification system when new mail arrives.  New messages show up just like text messages in a small, semi-transparent window in the middle of your screen, with the sender and the subject line.  So far, so good.

But the application is limited to this function only; once you’ve been notified that new mail is waiting, you still have to use standard methods (web interface, iPhone’s built-in Mail app) to view your email.  And in our two days of testing, the application failed to alert when new mail arrived about 20% of the time, which could be a real problem if you are a heavy Gmail user.  The badge showing the number of Gmail messages waiting to be viewed also remains too long after mail has been viewed.

Irrespective of its limitations and intermittently lackluster performance, this is a v1.0 release, and will likely improve over time.  At $0.99, it’s also a very small investment, and is easily worth the price if you spend too much time manually checking your GMail inbox for new messages.

Download GPush [iTunes Link]

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