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Why the iPhone 6 will be a game changer September 7, 2014

Posted by ronannarbor in Gizmos.
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So, this week Apple will announce their new iPhone 6 and iOS 8 software. They’ll also announce an iWatch, and maybe some other odds and ends — but the world’s focus is on the new iPhone 6 — and anticipation is so great that Apple has ordered over 70 million units for shipment this fall (the biggest ever) and FedEx has cancelled other deliveries from China to focus on Apple for the next couple of months (the biggest launch in history).

Its the perfect storm for Apple, and will be a Samsung killer in the United States. There will always be Android fan boys, and Apple fan boys, and very rarely do the two meet. But the statistics don’t lie:

-The large majority of iPhone owners are due an upgrade, and they will…

-The vast majority of iPhone users who switched to Android phones did so for the larger screen, and in poll after poll indicate they will come back to Apple and abandon their Androids once they have larger screens available…

-Apple finally has found a way to capture the over-40 market — with its vision friendly larger screens, you can bet those Android phones will stagnate on the shelf at phone stores…just anecdotally, I haven’t heard a single college kid in Ann Arbor complain that the iPhone 5 is too small…while almost every single one of my over-40 (and many of us over-50) folks have complained about the small size for years. Internationally, 51% of the asian market is anticipating buying the larger 5.5″ screen, while abut 37% of the US market is leaning toward the larger of the two screens.

-iOS 8 will finally incorporate all those things that Samsung has had bragging rights to — widgets, etc — and will do them better, faster, and more reliably…

Current scuttlebutt has it that the iPhone 6 4.7 inch will be released on or about the 19th of September, while the iPhone 6  5.5 inch (plus) model will release a while down the road (though there is some indication it might also release on the 19th in limited quanitites). Expect the vast majority of under-40’s to upgrade to the iPhone 4.7 while the vast majority of over-40’s change to the iPhone 5.5.  Its a sheer vision thing.

Speaking of the Vision Thing…there is another game changer afoot — expect iPad sales to stagnate, especially for the iPad Mini, as the 5.5″ iPhone screen arrives — finally a size comfortable enough to read a book, watch a video comfortably, look at photos at almost real-size (for those of us who grew up with 4×6 photos as “real size”), and enough real estate to take notes reasonably — I expect iPad sales will decrease exponentially as users realize that they no longer need them. But if you are going to cut into the market, you might as well make it your own.

Finally — the other complaint I’ve heard about the larger size is that “they don’t fit in a pocket” — well they sure do — at least for the vast majority of users who don’t wear skinny jeans. The iPhone 5.5 will be small enough to fit easily into a purse or men’s pants pocket. For all intents and purposes, I’ve been carrying around all my phones since the old mid-naughts HTC Tilts and Blackberries in my cargo pants pocket, and its never been an issue. In fact, Blackberries were always larger than their iPhone equivalents.

Apple knows that it currently holds all the cards in its hands. This weeks remarkably clumsy Samsung announcement for a variety of new phones and circumspect tech gear proved that much.  How many people actually remember what they announced last week, and when its being released?…(the Note 4, a new watch, and some odd virtual reality helmet)…but there won’t be a single person in America, and most of the world for that matter, who won’t know what Apple announces this Tuesday afternoon — and much of that will covert to real sales a week later.

Personally, having become acclimated to the Samsung Galaxy 4 and now the Galaxy 5 with its 5.1 inch screen, (and falling firmly into that target market of Apple’s who switched to Android to get the larger screen for our aging eyes), I will be up at the crack of 2 or 3 am whatever morning they announce online sales will begin for the iPhone 5.5″ — and I know many others will be doing the same thing — I can’t imagine switching back to a tinier screen, but I can’t wait to get rid of my quirky and unreliable Samsung phone.

For the record, plenty of websites have already shown size comparisons…the iPhone 4.7″ is marginally larger than the current 4″ iPhone 5/5S, but only marginally so…including its larger bezel and frame it will be about the size of the current Galaxy S5 but with a smaller screen…the iPhone 5.5″ model will be about the size of the current Galaxy Note 3 (though thinner and taller).

No matter what people’s personal thoughts are on the affair, Apple will have the happiest Christmas of any corporation in America, and Samsung will find that despite some of its advances over the past couple years, they are again looking up at Apple as its sales set records internationally.

 

Blackberry Bold 9000 vs iPhone 3Gs…a Love Hate relationship September 25, 2009

Posted by ronannarbor in Gizmos.
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In the past month I have switched from my iPhone 3Gs to the Blackberry Bold and back again to the iPhone 3Gs….and frankly, I love them both and hate them both…but the iPhone won out…Here’s why, and what do you think?

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My number one gripe about the iPhone has always been the touch keyboard. I just plain old hate it. I more than hate it, I abhor it with every ounce of my being. I’m not new to iPhones — I’ve used them since the first incarnation two years ago — I can get 50 wpm out of my blackberry keyboard — even after years of using the iPhone, I still get only 17 wpm at best, and that filled with typing errors and spelling problems.

During a recent trip to Paris, the iPhone 3GS battery didn’t even last the 8 hour flight — listening to 2 albums and playing Boggle for 15 minutes ran the battery down from 98% to 14%. Unacceptable. The problems started with the 3.1 update, and are driving me insane with how bad the battery life is. Apple is apparently aware of it, so let’s hope for a patch soon : http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2009/09/20/apple-seeking-info-iphone-31-users-reporting-poor-battery-li

I’ve always been a Blackberry lover, and the Bold is just so amazing…it’s like the Cadillac of phones…so after the iPhone problems, I had decided that was enough — it would be my iPod and game machine, and I would go back to a “real phone”…

OOH, that keyboard — instantly in love, and back to 50 wpm typing texts and e-mails…but then the problems just become glaring: limited applications; not enough memory on the Bold to store even a handful of those apps anyway; the lockups long familiar to BB users…

So there I was…back to the iPhone, despite the awful battery and touchscreen typing problems.

Blackberry Bold Pros and Cons:

Pros–

  • Far superior keyboard, real qwerty depress-the-keys, great feel and response
  • Great size and “feel” in the hands — overall the best Blackberry ever made
  • Good trackball and homepage layout
  • Better phone features overall
  • Easier texting and e-mail
  • Built-in office features to read and edit word, excel, powerpoint
  • Ability to store files natively on BB rather than web servers
  • Better graphics/screen (no kidding — really — look at them side by side)
  • Removable microSD card slot means you can have several of them and carry lots of data
  • Removable battery so that you can have a spare
  • Can stream Slingmedia tv from home over 3G or wireless

Cons–

  • Have to remove battery to reset
  • Insufficient built-in memory — four downloads and you are scraping bottom
  • Limited applications, and those are not as elegant as the iPhone’s
  • Terrible sync with mac — there is a leaked version of the blackberry sync for mac if you search for it, but it’s still not up to snuff
  • neither PocketMac nor Missing Sync works correctly for mac syncing
  • crashes occasionally , especially when accessing files or programs on the memory card
  • Unreliable overnight — sometimes freezes up and alarms don’t go off in the morning (this is an ongoing problem with all blackberries, not just the Bold)
  • idiosyncratic menus and many clicks necessary to achieve simple features

iPhone Pros and Cons:

Pros–

  • Sleek build, built like a tank
  • Myriad applications
  • Excellent sync with Mac through iTunes
  • Much better for media – movies, music, games
  • Threaded texting
  • Just added MMS
  • The excellent ability to use Bento II databases and quickly share and edit on desktop or iPhone (no equivalent on BB)
  • Visual voicemail
  • Larger screen for watching movies or playing games

Cons–

  • That terrible touchscreen keyboard — hate it, hate it, hate it
  • Much slower for texting, e-mailing
  • Can not use SlingMedia without WiFi connection making it worthless — this is a huge bone of contention for me, since I want to be able to see the tv broadcast while at football or baseball games
  • Apple/ATT have far too much control over what you can/can not do with the iPhone — lately, this looks to be more of an ATT problem than an Apple problem
  • No ability to natively store word, excel files on the iPhone — although you can now access the to some degree using programs like QuickOffice — but it is a very poor substitute
  • Terrible battery life — and I mean terrible — perhaps an update will fix this down the road, since Apple is aware of the problem following the 3.1 update — does not last the night on an overnight flight
  • Battery can not be consumer replaced; i.e. can’t carry a spare in the messenger bag: add-on external chargers are very expensive ($299 plus)
  • Multiple taps necessary to access texting and e-mail rather than BB’s easier interface for communications features
  • MMS, though now activated, is already overloaded and basically doesn’t work

In general?….If you are looking for the best business/enterprise phone available, go for the Blackberry Bold. If you want any ability to use decent media and applications, get the iPhone….If you need a bit of both, you are really screwed since neither fully meets the needs…

I’m not the only one with the BB/iPhone dilemma — so thought I would post my frustrations and see what others have to say. For now I’m back to the iPhone 3GS, but I’m certainly not wedded to it. I do refuse to try anything but BB or Apple, so don’t comment on windows mobile phones, Android, or the rest….if you comment, keep this to the iPhone vs Blackberry debate only please. I won’t approve the others.