No 2nd Generation iPhone For Me

Never say never so I would say that it is 95% unlikely that I will be ordering the new iPhone when it is released on the 11th July.

I have been trying to figure out how best to describe the next generation iPhone and I think the best way to sum it up is as a iceberg. The 80% that you don’t see is simply incredible. The foundation that the iPhone is built on from the OS, to the Accelerator, to the Touch Screen is certainly leading edge, and without doubt the way to go.

In life though we vary rarely worry about how something does something, but concentrate on what it does and specifically what it does in relation to what we need it to do. A quick anecdote ……

Back in the 80’s ‘Total Quality Management’ was the trend. I recall a training session where we were shown a expensive, well made, highly desirable leather briefcase, and alongside it a standard supermarket plastic bag. We were asked which we thought was the quality bag – the leather case naturally we all said. Ah said the instructor, but I want a bag that will expand to take my groceries, that wont get ruined if something leaks ….. Ah we thought!!!

The plastic bag was the quality bag in this instance as it had a better ‘fitness for purpose’ that the leather briefcase.

I have been reminded of this story throughout the week as I have watched the tweets of unadulterated admiration for the new iPhone, the rush of ‘Can’t wait for 11th July’ comments, and the numerous IM and emails asking me if I would be backing down and changing my current views on the iPhone.

Well the answer is no. Well it is a 95% no, as I am not 100% sure about some of the features of the iPhone and guess it is prudent to wait and see what the early adopters have to say.

3G is without doubt great. Add in the push technology, mobileme, and the web interface and you really do have an excellent improvement. Unfortunately the main reason that I want 3G (and am looking into a data service contract at the moment) is so that I can stream video to the Almerimar Life site via QIK. Without any video capability the iPhone does not offer a significant feature that I require. The Nokia N95 does. There is a hack for QIK on the iPhone so that is progress of sorts I accept!

Another reason for 3G for me is that we don’t have great WiFi access throughout the marina, and the DSL at home can be sporadic at times. I have used the N95 as a back up Bluetooth Modem on many occasion, and this is a significant feature for me that is lacking on the iPhone. As about 80% of my mobile access in the marina relates to blog posting rather than surfing or emails this is a must have for me. I could carry the iPhone and the USB modem I guess BUT a) that would require a second SIM card (either Pay As You Go or Contract) or b) a cloned SIM card (which is becoming much more appealing by the day). BUT as the whole point of a convergent device is to reduce the amount of devices you have to carry that defeats the point.

On the same vein, the lack of a basic video capture is a huge none starter for me, and the (still) crap camera on the iPhone makes it a non starter as well. Again the N95 camera and video capture capability are more than adequate for the times when I am not carrying the N80 or JVC.

I have had an issue from day one with the iPhone with its inability to sync Notes and To Do and as far as I can tell it still doesn’t do this? This is the 5% for me. IF it does, or an application comes out that means it can then I may well get tempted.

In fact it the applications that could be the decider in the long run. I am sure a simple hack will enable the camera for video at some stage (my early Motorola V3 didn’t capture video but it was possible to hack it).

So for now, for me, the Nokia N95 remains the quality device – remember ‘Fitness For Purpose!’. I am going to look into a ‘always on’ unlimited data package with Movistar as I now have enough of a reason to justify it. I will certainly wait until the iPhone is launched for this though as a) I tried to talk to Movistar about the options and didn’t get very far (I think the iPhone tariff will be a ‘first’ for Spain), and b) the rumour is that you get the iPhone free if you sign up to an 18 month contract which would be really cool and very ironic!!! Not only would I end up with an iPhone that I didn’t want, but in effect it would be free!!!!

To conclude, if they take the current iPhone and add the following I would be buying for sure:

  • 5 Megapixel Camera
  • Video Capture Capability
  • 32GB
  • Sync Notes and To Do
  • MMS
  • Skype – I can use it on the N95

Until then I look forward to all the reviews and comments from the happy iPhone owners on the 11th. I do not envy you, and I do know that if it meets your ‘Fitness For Purpose’ as well as the N95 fits mine then you will be a happy bunny.

14 thoughts on “No 2nd Generation iPhone For Me

  1. John

    [quote post=”1506″]To conclude, if they take the current iPhone and add the following I would be buying for sure:

    5 Megapixel Camera
    Video Capture Capability
    32GB
    Sync Notes and To Do
    MMS
    Skype – I can use it on the N95[/quote]

    1. I’ve got my Lumix, very pocketable, which will give me far better photos than my N95 any day. Any situation where I desperately need a snap (eg a recent car accident) the iPhone would have done fine.
    2. Video – see above got HD video capture with the Lumix, and there will be apps for video capture for the iPhone I am pretty sure.
    3. Yeah with you on that. Need more memory or an expansion slot.
    4. Yep this too defies all logic. I hope Apple listen and fix this with MobileMe. But I’ll live without for the mo.
    5. MMS – hardly ever use it so not a biggy. Email and social web apps are better ways of sending/posting media content.
    6. Yes this would be nice, but again I am pretty sure iPhone + VOIP will come.

    The iPhone UI and usability means that even though it lags behind on a feature-matching basis against the N95 and ilk, the sum of all the parts means it still wins for me. I’ll still keep my N95 but it might gather some dust after July 11th.

  2. Kenny Lee

    Your collection of thoughts re the new iPhone was spot on. Speaking personally, I am underwhelmed by the new iPhone, and was disappointed that the WWDC was SO MUCH about iPhones and so little about the company’s “bread and butter” — the Mac. Maybe they feel its not their “bread and butter” any more.

    Oh well. Needing a new device — with corporate IT capabilities — I think I’m writing off the n95 and waiting for the new Blackberry 9100 (bold) series.

    Cheers
    Kenny

  3. Chris Marshall Post author

    @John. I have a P&S as well, but the main benefit that the iPhone tries to get over is that you only need to carry the one device. On that basis if I had to carry either an iPhone or the N95 the N95 wins easily.

    On the subject of the N95 have you (or Kenny) got it to send emails ok? For some reason mine wont 🙁 If so what you using for outgoing server – a regular ISP or the phone network?

  4. John

    There will not be one all-in-one device that can match the capabilities of separate dedicated devices for quite some time. More than technological restraints, it’s a cost, size and power issue.

    Let’s take the camera as an example – no slim phone device can pack a battery big enough with today’s power technology that would run the electronics of a “real” P&S camera for very long, AND still have enough juice to make the odd phone call. Again, this is today. The N95 won’t last beyond a day if you are taking snaps and maybe less, and although it’s a great camera-phone it’s no match still for a P&S.

    So if you use all the extras of the N95, ie as a camera, the primary functionality is crippled (ie the battery dies and you won’t be making any calls). If you do really fun stuff like use the GPS to tag your photos the battery goes even quicker.

    Despite some great results on flickr for N95 photos I have been less than satisfied with the quality and so, despite this being the best camera-phone SO FAR it’s still not really an option beyond quick snaps posted to a blog for which the iPhone’s 2mp job will also do fine.

    Function N95 iPhone
    Phone OK Great GUI
    SMS OK QWERTY, even if software, thumps the N95 here.
    Email Average Excellent (I’ve tried every mobile mail device, app, and protocol out there) + QWERTY.
    MMS Great WTF is what most people say. Plus carriers must be going bananas.
    Music Great Ummm…iPod so unrivalled + iTMS so this is a spanking.
    Video Ish A serious rival for a dedicated PMP and the screen size, so another spanking here.
    GPS Superb Yet to be properly tested but pretty sure it’s going to work as expected.
    Sync Excellent The only thing that works better than Nokia’s iSync plugins is an actual Apple device.
    Build Ish If the iPhone is made like my touch it’s pretty solid.
    GUI Oldskool Welcome to the future.
    Buttons Fiddly Touch screen with big finger friendly buttons. Could maybe do with a few more real ones.
    Camera Excellent Wonder if they found a big pile of cheap 2mp sensors? See above.
    Video Excellent Software will give you something back here I’m sure.

  5. John

    [quote post=”1506″]On the subject of the N95 have you (or Kenny) got it to send emails ok? For some reason mine wont If so what you using for outgoing server – a regular ISP or the phone network?[/quote]

    Mine works fine. I use my email service’s authenticated SMTP servers. Which email service are you using? What port have you set – if you are using 25 then try 26 as many networks block port 25.

    For mobile users I heartily recommend fastmail.fm over IMAP – just set your other mail to be forwarded there.

  6. Chris Marshall Post author

    It looks like the outgoing servers are set to default, which looks like 425. Are you using SSL for sending on your N95?

    I assume you are!!!

    And do you manage to send ok using WiFi or just the 3G network?

    Everything that I try just results in the phone hanging at Connecting to mailbox ….

  7. John

    Wifi/3G/GPRS is all OK.

    425 is an unusual port for SMTP. Are you using gmail?

    Usual ports for SSL SMTP are 465 or 587. Try changing to one of these.

    I gave up using SSL on my N95 due to an authentication/certificate bug between the app and my mailserver, so that could be your problem. You may have to fall back to an unencrypted connection.

    If you are using gmail then honestly I find the Java client much better than Nokia’s mail app.

  8. Chris Marshall Post author

    I have three accounts set up:

    1. My .mac account, which has a load of accounts forwarded to it
    2. A gmail account, which has all my gmail accounts forwraded to it
    3. A specific client account that is POP only.

    They all receive emails just fine.

    I can’t send email from any of them. I have tried SSL on and off, numerous ports etc 🙁

  9. John

    Even over wifi? Have you got the latest firmware on your N95?

    Very strange. Apart from the SSL/certificate issues with me it works fine.

    Does your service make you go through a proxy?

  10. jeremy

    I’m underwhelmed too, though the price is at last what it should be, no more ripping us off. I’d be tempted to get one as an ipod, but I think it won’t work unless it’s set up with a phone contract.

  11. Chris Marshall Post author

    [quote comment=”61748″]Even over wifi? Have you got the latest firmware on your N95?

    Very strange. Apart from the SSL/certificate issues with me it works fine.

    Does your service make you go through a proxy?[/quote]

    Yep even over WiFi. I have the latest firmware, and have tried with SSL off. A not going through a proxy.

    [quote comment=”61778″]I’m underwhelmed too, though the price is at last what it should be, no more ripping us off. I’d be tempted to get one as an ipod, but I think it won’t work unless it’s set up with a phone contract.[/quote]

    I think that will be the case, especially as we are going to see the more ‘usual’ subsidised hand set model that we get in Europe – Tim will be pleased as I kept on about that on his shows when the first handset came out!!!!

  12. Wayne LeFevre

    Ah!! Just when I switch over to the Almerimar site for daily monitoring, you post some articles! Fiend! 😉

    Me, I still like my iPod Touch, as it looks like we are now the only “country” in the entire world that still will be iPhone-less for the foreseeable future! Having said that, I still would like one if it became available. For a couple of reasons.

    Price! It’s now at least a hundred dollars less than the equivalent iPod Touch, with more features. (Although there is still that whole monthly thing…)

    Usability. I have not used a N95. I have “heard”, though, that the Windows Mobile is just plain crap, and that the Palm software has a lot to be desired. You have to admit that the things that the iPhone does do, well, it’s just plain slick. Yes, there are a lot of things that the iPhone is lacking, but does that make it an inferior product?

    To go back to the 80’s, the question which was the quality bag was asked. Not which bag would be better served for groceries. Because a bag can get ruined does not make the quality any less. Because a bag is not designed, nor marketed for one specific purpose does not make the craftsmanship any less. So, there is a standard for quality versus usability.

    So really, do as Chris has done. He has a specific purpose for his smart phone and has purchased accordingly. Of course, if it doesn’t measure up, look elsewhere. If the iPhone doesn’t suite your particular use, of course look at others. At least it is not being advertised as doing something it won’t. Everyone knows exactly what the current iPhone will and will not do, so they can make their decision intelligently and not by emotion, simply because it’s from Apple.

    In conclusion, no one should be able to say they got iPwnd. 🙂

  13. Chris Marshall Post author

    [quote comment=”61748″]Even over wifi? Have you got the latest firmware on your N95?

    Very strange. Apart from the SSL/certificate issues with me it works fine.

    Does your service make you go through a proxy?[/quote]

    Have made some progress!!! I have had IMAP issues with my server, that at last seem to be resolved. As a work around I had all my email accounts forwarded to my .mac account. That is no longer the case and I set up two AL accounts on the N95 today and managed to reply to an email from one of them.

    At the moment Mail is whirling away on the CM account, one AL account and .mac so I am hoping that is why I was unable to send a reply from my .mac account.

  14. Chris Marshall Post author

    [quote comment=”62037″]Ah!! Just when I switch over to the Almerimar site for daily monitoring, you post some articles! Fiend! ;)[/quote]

    Sorry – Not!!!

    I agree with what you say, but as you were agreeing with me that is no surprise!! I confess that on the few occasions that I pick up the iPhone these days I do like it. I want to be able to use it, it just doesn’t do enough of what I need (yet)

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