Quel surprise: Google's Android will be delayed. It looks like Google and their hefty consortium of partners are struggling a little with getting a new mobile OS deployed across a wide array of hardware connected to all sorts of different networks. Who coulda predicted it? (Yeah, okay, basic high school chaos theory, given complexity growth and propensity for system break down and all, but other than that...)
Originally slated for second half 2008, its now looking more like fourth quarter, if not 2009. Seems like the T-Mobile launch is so Google-tention intensive, it's pushing Sprint's launch further back. Also -- wait for it -- Sprint doesn't want to just deploy a clean Android build, they want to wall it off brand it up all personal like (couldn't see that one coming?). Meanwhile, mega-carrier China Mobile is "running into issues" pushing its launch back as well.
To top it off, Android is more challenging to develop for, which is also a startling revelation, given the alpha/beta status of the SDK. Hitting deadlines is one thing. Hitting them through an asteroid storm of OS changes is another entirely.
Counting down to its July 11 multi-national debut, Japan's Softbank has announced (in Japanese, 'natch) their official iPhone 3G prices and plans. The hardware itself will cost ¥23,040 for 8GB and ¥34,560 for 16GB, a roughly 7% premium over Steve Jobs' US$199 maximum, amortized over the length of the pre-requisite 2 year contract.
Plans will be color coded, primarily in white, but rumor has it also in orange and blue. Based on the linked-to details, this color system is impenetrable enough I can't believe North American carriers haven't rushed to adopt it!
Nokia dominates the planet when it comes not only to cellphones, but also to Smartphones. But the upcoming iPhone Risk-style onslaught (not to mention the pending release of Android, though delayed) looks to have them a little worried. So they're finally getting their Symbian ducks in a row: enough of trying to work together with other companies like Sony and Motorola, they've purchased the entire OS shootin' match and are unifying the platform. Simple explanation: Symbian is the base OS, then there are different interfaces on top of that: S60 and UIQ. We're not fond of either, but between the two of them S60 seems to be the one with more legs (and more support, it's Nokia's interface of choice).
Update: we've got more to say here, so make the jump for the analysis.
AT&T customer? iPhone user? Eligible for an upgrade to the brand-spanking new iPhone 3G?
Yeah, we have no idea either, but in an unexpected and appreciated step towards being slightly less confusing than usual, AT&T has gone and created some website goodness to help everyone find out in three easy steps:
Newsflash: There's porn on the internet. The iPhone brings you just the internet. Now, with tortoise-like speed, the rocket scientists over at Time seem to have put 1 and 1 together and come up with ZOMGiPR0nZ!!11 Mobile erotica. The pornet in your pocket. Seems people are even -- gasp! -- Googletubing for it!
Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, because, frankly, I'm not a sociologist, and I can't tell you if North American faux-puritanism, divided by ultra-conservatives perpetually getting their hands caught in the proverbial cookie jar, multiplied by institutionalized madonna/whore complexes, all equals a continental multiple-personality disorder so confusing it makes the average episode of Lost seem like a linear 1970s serial drama.
How so? Read on while I rant on... after the break.
The iMac case went from white plastic to aluminum and glass, and the iPhone went from aluminum and glass to black plastic. Or white plastic to show off you got a premium 16GB version, just like the high-end MacBook is only in black.
None of that is coincidence. As technical advances slow and feature creep becomes more of a crawl, electronics is shifting from being all about the speeds and feeds and becoming more about the fashions and faux-pas.
Apple knows this and a new study shows consumers are driving it:
Not evil twin to theiPhoneBlog.com Week in Review, not an invasion by Fake Steve, This Week in Smart Phone Schadenfreude brings you all the feel-better news you need about the smartphone world outside Apple’s current media dominator. (Who knew there was such a world? We were just as surprised! Inelegant, interface challenged, keyboardy, crashy, single-touchy place — best not to linger…). Join us as we mock review the big news from last week at our sister sites. Everybody loves sibling rivalry!
In this week's edition: Blackberry iClone's visual voice mail -- but don't make them angry! Windows Mobile 6.0 ready to crash already frozen Treo 800wx's, and can Centro has future?
Ah, the loss of innocence. From Nerf football to Nerf rocket launcher. From lego robot to military mecha. From humble revolutionary phone to... the next Skynet?
Well, the first tiny step at least, as architects of the impending Matrix enterprising developers Rodrigo Guiterrez and Jeff Craighead have gotten full Pakbot control via the iPhone over WiFi, including live streaming video.
Speaking of video, check theirs out after the break! (Before John Conner gets to them 'natch).
China might just be getting itself some iPhones! Oh, sure, there are already tons of iPhones in China -- almost a cottage industry of them -- but this time we're talking official from Apple, no unlock needed, spiffy new iPhone 3Gs. In China.
Not from China Mobile, who's off again, off again relationship with Apple is well documented, but from competitor China Unicom. Maybe even by August!
The original iPhone 8GB launched with a hefty $599 price tag, though it dropped to $399 a short time later. Though contract details were never disclosed, some pundits and analysts have estimated that AT&T paid Apple up to $15 per month, per customer, in revenue sharing. Over the life of a 24 month contract that would be an additional $360 for a grand total of $959 (later $759) per iPhone!
First came the iPod, then came the iPod Nano. Well, okay, there was the intermediary Mini, but that's neither here nor there. Eventually -- and currently -- there was -- and is -- the Nano. So it should come as no surprise that ever since Steve Jobs dropped the iPhone bomb back at Macworld 2007, people (and analysts, who may still technically be people?) have been predicting an iPhone Nano.
And now some Apple patents have been revealed which may just bring it a few technical hurdles closer to being!
Is there an iPhone on Mars? No, not exactly. Nor have we found little green men on Mars, either. Although if we did, would they be toting iPhone 3Gs? If it were up to Jobs they would (how 'bout a game of Interstellar Risk, Rene?). Unless you've been living in a cave (a la Bin Laden), you've likely heard of NASA's recent success landing the Phoenix Mars lander. The lander is equipped with shovel and soil analysis equipment to seek out ice, water, life, etc.
Even though iPhones aren't on Mars (yet!), you can use your iPhone to get the latest news and mission status of the Phoenix Mars lander. Toughturtle.com, a developer of several other iPhone web apps, has given to us the Phoenix Mars Mission web app for the iPhone. Keep reading to learn more about this week's Tip!
The status of the TomTom GPS app may still be up in the air, but we'll still have Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions (albeit not in 3D and without voice prompts). Looks like we may to have another option, too, an AT&T-Branded "gps enabled application." So says an AT&T insider who adds that in addition to the GPS app, AT&T is also developing a "yellowpages.com mobile" app as well.
Non-flex plan: $15 for 2MB (hitting the YouTube button once?), $25 for 4MB, $30 for 300MB, $60 for 1GB, $80 for 3GB, and $100 for 6GB?!
Flex plan: $50 for 500MB, $65 for 1GB, $85 for 3GB, and $100 for 5GB?!
(Remembering the US in $30 for UNLIMITED!)
A 5GB cap, similar to caps some European countries have put in place for the iPhone 2G is annoying enough, but charging 3.33x more money along with the cap? Outrageous.
Kevin points out that Rogers currently charges $60 for 25MB, and this is better. But being slightly less @#$%-up is not really better. Sadly, unlike Vader or the Hulk, my hatred renders me no more powerful.
I hope these aren't the iPhone rates. I hope we get something better. But this stinks to high heaven of Rogers historical behavior, and there's no better indicator of future behavior than that.
Engadget Mobile is saying there will be exclusive plans for the iPhone on Rogers.
X1Zero over on the iPhone in Canada forum has posted the following under "tasty" news, based on what he claims is new Rogers training material:
Here were the prices listed for [iPhone] plans [including voice and data]:
"$60, $65, $70, $75, $80, $85".
What I gather from this is as long as you have at least a $30 voiceplan, you then pick your poison of either $30 or $45 iphone data, and youre golden.
Gander at the original Rogers slide in question (after the break)...