Editorial

Why you shouldn't expect early upgrade eligibility for the iPhone 5

If you're itching to grab the the iPhone 5 on release day, probably the first thing you checked was your upgrade eligibility. Odds are, if you purchased the iPhone 4S last year, you aren't eligible this to upgrade yet this year, and so you'll have to pay a higher price to snag the latest and greatest from Apple.

In the past, AT&T and many other U.S. carriers have made exceptions when it came to upgrades for iPhone, but they're not anymore. And despite our expectations, they're not obligated to.

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Bored now.

There's a sentiment -- part genuine, part manufactured -- running through the technology community that, following the iPhone 5 event, Apple has become boring. That the iPhone looks pretty much the same this year as it did last. Of course, this meme is unburied, reanimated, and set to lurch following every new device announcement. Apple leaves themselves open to it because, for the last 3 releases, they've been iterating on essentially the same hardware design. They're not rolling dice. They're not spinning chaos. They're relentlessly working towards something they've had in mind since 2005. Something inevitable. Something unmolested by the whims, vagaries, and expectations of kitsch and trendiness.

In that regard, Apple is boring. Especially when compared to...

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AT&T clearly doesn't want to keep me as a customer

Until now, AT&T has always made exceptions for early iPhone adopters by qualifying these customers for full upgrade prices before their contract technically allowed it. I took advantage of this when upgrading from the iPhone 3G to iPhone 3GS, from iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4, and from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S. Not this year. Those glorious days are now over.

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Why the iPhone 5 is exactly what Apple and investors need it to be

The financial markets are usually right. Not always, but usually. Today Apple stock is trading higher, following the iPhone 5 launch. It’s only 2 percent higher, but it tells you that most people were quite happy with what Apple announced, from a financial perspective.

Apple already revolutionized the smartphone market. They’ve revolutionized a few markets in their time on this planet. First they brought us the GUI and mouse. Then they created the iPod. Now they’ve brought multi-touch mobile computing to the masses. Let’s not debate who invented each particular item. In the end, execution is what matters. Apple is creative, smart, and executes well.

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Inevitable

Good design is inevitable. It's determined. It's relentless. Each iteration builds on the one before, becoming better and better each time. The work of Jonathan Ive, Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, is a near-perfect example of this. So is the iPhone 5.

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Jimmy Kimmel demonstrates that the average person doesn't know smartphones that well

Bust out the haterade, dust off your iSheep macro keys, and wind up for some general hating of Apple fans, it's video time! Last night, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the late night variety show took to the streets of Hollywood to ask people about the iPhone 5. The new iPhone isn't out yet, and your average Angelenos likely hasn't seen one yet, let alone read all of the news about the iPhone 5 (especially just the hours after it was announced, when this segment was filmed).

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iPhone 5: What we didn't get!

It's like on your birthday when you sneak a peak at your presidents but secretly hope your mom or dad managed to keep just one small surprise for you. Or when you read the spoilers but still somehow hope there'll be a killer twist at the end.

So it was with Apple's 2012 iPhone event. Anyone who's read anything over the last few days and months new pretty much what to expect, even as they desperately wanted the unexpected. That's on us. Not Apple. But still, there are things Apple didn't do this time that rumors suggested they might, and things they're not doing that the competition are. Here are 10 examples.

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Could Apple offer iTunes affiliate revenue to carriers as a subsidy for LTE data plans?

Last week we saw Amazon drop a bit of a bomb on the competition by offering a $50 per year data plan. At 250MB a month, it isn’t a very good data plan, but people will buy it. I wondered how Amazon could have negotiated such a good deal with AT&T. Perhaps they’re cutting them in on revenue from users who shop on Amazon while using a Kindle Fire HD via the LTE data network? It was purely speculation, but it intrigued me enough that I spent a bit more time thinking about this whole topic. And I quickly realized that Apple actually has a pretty well-established iTunes affiliate program.

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Editor's desk: Jeff Bezos vs. Steve Jobs, ultimate copy loop, and 4 years, 7000 posts, and 2 million words later...

Less. Than. Three. That's how many days remain until Apple holds their September 12 event and we almost certainly get our first, official look at the iPhone 5. I just put up a fancy new iPhone super page to keep track of all the action, and we have lots more coming this week.

Starting tonight as I talk geek-to-geek with Fox New's Clayton Morris about what we can expect at the big event. You don't want to miss that. But before we get too caught up on the week ahead, here are some final thoughts on the week that was, including Amazon vs. Apple, the ultimate copy loop, and a sentimental moment for yours truly...

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Nokia gets caught faking Lumia 920 image stabilization

Normally I wouldn't be writing about something like Nokia getting caught faking the camera work in their Lumia 920 PureView, but Nokia has been making some pretty bad marketing choices lately. They made those "smartphone beta test" commercials where they tried to brand the iPhone as a beta phone, and then launched the Lumia 900 with embarrassing bugs all it's own. Then, yesterday, Nokia took a swipe at Apple during their press event, once again making fun of the iPhone antenna. And now Nokia is embroiled in controversy over their new flagship phone.

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