Tag Archive for ‘3G’

Apple Holding Media Event September 1

Jim Dalrymple reports for The Loop that Apple will be holding a special media event on September 1 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California.

Historically Apple has held events in September to announce new iPods and other music-related products. And make no mistake, there has been no lack of rumors since invitations went out just a few days ago.

Although the guitar image in the invitation implies that music will be the focus of the event, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a “one more thing” announcement at the end of the event unveiling a new Apple TV. This seems even more likely when you consider the numerous reports of a new $1-per-episode price point in iTunes for TV shows.

Cult of Mac’s Leander Kahney claims that someone with connections inside Apple has told them that Apple will be announcing $1 TV shows soon, likely at this upcoming event. But instead of $1 per episode, that fee would give you access to the entire catalog of a given TV show. E.g. pay $1 per month for the Office and have access to all of the shows episodes as long as you continue to pay the fee.

Cult of Mac’s information doesn’t jibe with Bloomberg’s reports of $0.99 TV show rentals with 48 hour viewing windows. I suppose we’ll have to wait until Wednesday for more information, unless somebody leaks it early.

Apple’s iPod announcements haven’t been left out of the rumor mill, though. Jeremy Horowitz reports in iLounge that The fourth-generation iPod touch will lose the dome shaped back and go back to one that looks more like the first-generation iPod touch’s back. He has heard that the rear-facing camera will be there and that the iPod touch will likely have a microphone and not a camera flash.

There have also been rumors of a much smaller iPod nano that would use that 1.7-inch touchscreen that was floating around last month. iLounge has published images of, what are claimed to be, cases for the next-generation iPod touch and iPod nano. Adding more credence to the rumor, Neil Hughes and Kasper Jade report on AppleInsider that the iPod nano will be shrunken to a size more similar to the iPod shuffle’s size but will retain its 30-pin dock connector.

In the aforementioned AppleInsider piece they also mention the possibility of a new iLife suite the the potential for a 3G-capable iPod touch. Like I said, there is no lack of rumors. There’s even rumors of an iTunes update that will add more social features.

But just like most other Apple events, it is highly unlikely that all of the rumors will be incorporated at this event. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on an iPod touch with FaceTime, a new iPod nano that will use that 1.7-inch touchscreen, some sort of $1 price point for TV shows, a new iOS based Apple TV, and iOS 4.1 for iPhone and iPod touch (not iPad).

Unfortunately, I have to work on the day of the event so I won’t be able to follow along at home as I usually do. But if a $99 Apple TV is announced, I’ll come home with credit card in-hand to place my order.

The iPad Pre-Order

There has been some discussion about which version of the iPad is the best to purchase. Shortly after the pre-order page showed up on Apple’s website the question heard ’round the world was “which model did you get?”

I’m not here to persuade you to change your mind about what iPad to pre-order, instead I’d rather talk you through my decision making process.

I chose to pre-order the 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G iPad. Why 64GB? In short it’s because of future proofing. I’ve bought a slew of gadgets and computers in my time and there is one thing that always needs upgrading before everything else, storage.

My first generation 8GB iPhone made it two years but not without having to make decisions about what apps, music, TV shows, and movies I wanted to take with me. Luckily the decision wasn’t too difficult but since I’ve upgraded to a 32GB iPhone 3GS my music library alone has nearly tripled in size. Just last year I was fine with 8GB of storage — I even made it up until about 6 months ago without breaking the 8GB barrier on my iPhone — but as of this writing I only have about 16GB of free storage on my iPhone.

My iPhone is the best comparison I have for what the storage situation is going to be like on the iPad, but clearly there are different use cases that I have to account for. I don’t watch a lot of TV shows and movies on my iPhone but I expect to watch quite a bit on the iPad. I can just see myself propping it up next to my iMac so I can watch the latest episode of Lost while I’m trying to get some work done. I also expect to keep more applications installed on my iPad at any given time. I only have 13 applications installed on my iPhone but that number will likely double on my iPad. And, all those apps designed specifically for the iPad will take up more space as well. More pixels means more megabytes, especially in games. 64GB is my best bet at keeping myself from feeling storage claustrophobia over the next few years.

So, why 3G? The odd part about this decision is that I’m not 100% certain that I’ll ever use the 3G data connection. A few times a year I travel to Pittsburgh to visit family and knowing that the iPads 3G connection is around will give me peace of mind. I already have my iPhone but the flexibility is what really drew me towards it. Yes, $100 more is a lot of money but I’d rather have it and never use it then not have it and realize in 6 months that I wish I had did. Remember, there’s no way to upgrade to 3G without buying a whole new iPad.

The 3G model is also the only model with GPS built in. Back when I was using my first generation iPhone I didn’t think I would really use GPS, but I’m surprised at how often it makes things easier for me. Google Maps on this thing is going to be amazing.

The most disappointing thing about pre-ordering the 3G model is the extra wait time. The Wi-Fi only version ships on April 3, but all of us who decided to get the 3G model are going to have to wait until “late April” to get theirs.

But, regardless of when my iPad ships, I’m truly excited and happy to be getting my hands on one. And, without a doubt, I’ll be on Twitter, Flickr, and all the popular Apple weblogs to see everyone’s reaction to the iPad when it ships on April 3. There has been rumors of an Apple tablet for years, and we’re just 22 days away from it actually shipping.

AT&T Lifts Restriction on VoIP Over 3G ➝

Just a day after Vonage announced the availability of their VoIP application for iPhone and BlackBerry, Ars Technica reports that AT&T has announced that their VoIP over 3G policy has changed.

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega:

iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago. Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.

This is a smart move for AT&T and may show signs that the network wants to win back loyalty of their customers. This announcement may also affect the FCC investigation over Google Voice. Although AT&T was not involved in the decision to not approve Google Voice, this announcement will surely be taken into consideration by the FCC.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris spoke with the Associate Press about the announcement.

We are very happy that AT&T is now supporting VOIP applications. We will be amending our developer agreements to get VOIP apps on the App Store and in customers’ hands as soon as possible.

Josh Silverman of Skype also reacted positively to the news on the companies weblog.

All of us at Skype applaud today’s announcement by AT&T […] that it’ll open up its 3G network to Internet calling applications such as Skype. It’s the right step for AT&T, Apple, millions of mobile Skype users and the Internet itself.

This truly is the right move for AT&T, with this and the recent enabling of MMS, AT&T seems to be on the right track. You can be upset with them for not making these decisions and policy changes earlier but they clearly didn’t understood the impact that the iPhone was going to have on their network. I wish these changes were made sooner, but I’m just glad they’ve finally come.

Previously:
9/19/09:
Google Un-Redacts Its FCC Filing
8/22/09: Apple, AT&T, and Google Respond to the FCC
8/4/09: Apple, AT&T, and Google Voice

Update 8/14/09: FCC May Investigate Google Voice