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Showing posts from June, 2008

Life Without Links

Wondering where the posts have been for the last three weeks? Well at the last moment I decided to make my trip to rural France a completely disconnected one.
Why? Well having arranged some time off from my day job I wanted to make sure that I got to enjoy that time with my young family. To do this whilst constantly being pestered by emails, texts and calls wouldn't have been possible.
My kit bag was somewhat lighter than normal as a consequence, with all my tech fitting into a relatively small messenger bag.
Most used item in the kitbag was my PSP, which filled the hours when the rest of the family was asleep with games and music. Alongside that was my trusty Nokia N810, which performed primarily as an in-car GPS. My OQO came along to store and review the rather extended number of pictures taken on the Canon IXUS 950IS which served camera duties. Finally my Vario II served trusty duty as phone, secondary camera and MP3 player as well as alarm clock and flashlight for those early mor…

Free iPhone 3G - Apple Gets Serious In Europe

Apple's original iPhone posted a disappointing performance in Europe, given its steep pricing and contract that's not surprising.
The minimum cost of an iPhone an O2's original contract ran to £900, by contrast the new 3G contract runs to just £640. That's a better than 25% saving, for a much better phone.
Shame that video calling isn't on the menu.

3G iPhone Arrives In July

As widely expected, Steve Jobs announced Apple's new 3G iPhone at Applications WWDC today.
There were no real surprises as many websites had published details of the new phone. Briefly the new device adds HSDPA 3G data speeds, GPS and better enterprise support. Surprisingly there appears to be no update to the camera and no video calling support at all, certainly there appears to be no front facing camera which seems an odd omission.
Price is $199 or £100 (although I fancy that when it arrives in O2's shops that exchange rate based price will seem fanciful) although no hint of whether it will be available on the same price plans as the current model.
The iPhone has moved on to be a serious contender on the hardware front, however if the iPhone is to take the next step and become a serious player (and in a market this big annual sales of 6 million don't make a big player) then there will need to be an avalanche of quality applications in July to support the new phone.
I don…

What Happens To All Those iPhone Contracts

Its a near certainty that Steve Jobs will pull a 3G iPhone out of the hat tomorrow at the Apple WWDC, which raises some interesting questions for those people who own first-generation Jesus Phones.O2 enforced an 18 month contract on those who placed form over function enough to splash out the exorbitant price for Apple's star performer. Which leaves them with between a year and fifteen months remaining. So if the new, all-singing, all-dancing iPhone arrives and makes that formerly trendy device look passe, what will its owners do? Second contract, exorbitant upgrade fee or some warranty scam which involves a toilet bowl and a nasty swimming accident?Whatever else, I don't believe that people who were vain enough to queue up for the original will be able to maintain their relationship with it when a sleeker, more usable and better specified version arrives tomorrow.

Microsoft Issues Pre-iPhone Rallying Call

Just day before the expected iPhone launch Microsoft published a letter to its partners praising their efforts in growing the Windows Mobile platform.

And it gives us a good idea of what Microsoft are expecting to be the main features of the 3G iPhone, pointing out that Windows Mobile phones already feature GPS, 3G, 3Mpixel cameras and voice control, something other (unspecified) platforms lack.

How Close Did Palm Come To Trumping The Eee?

Palm's disastrous flirtation with the Foleo cost the company plenty of credibility last year. But did the company come within an ace of trumping the Eee?
Its more than possible, the Foleo wasn't far off the Eee spec-wise, even beating it in some areas, whilst the price wasn't a million miles away either. The size would have been a small problem, but otherwise everything else was close to the mark.
Where Palm got it wrong was in placing the Foleo as a Smartphone companion. Its the wrong way round, cart before the horse if you like... which says much of Palm in recent years - unfortunately.
Ed Colligan hasn't given up on the Foleo, but by the time Palm are in a position to re-launch it I'm pretty sure that ship will have sailed.

The Price Is Right... Or Is It?

Asus made a big splash in the notebook market with the EeePC last year, primarily for three reasons: its size, ease of use and its price. The 700 could be had for under £200 if you knew where to look, whilst even the top of the range model only tipped the scales at £235.

Unfortunately it looks like the 900 is going to be in a different league when it come to pricing, with the likely mark being around £350. Now that's deep into the territory of 'real' notebooks from big names like Acer, Dell and HP/Compaq. Will it sell at this price level? Probably, but nothing like the volumes of the 700.

The argument against the 900 is one of compromise: a full-size notebook will be heavier and bulkier to carry, but will sport an optical drive; larger screen, keyboard and trackpad and will probably add some additional ports and slots.

Making the 900 an expensively compromised device.

Common-sense says that £299 is the most they can get awa with charging for this, with a £249 entry level prive…

Some Good News For Palm - Or Not

Palm had some good news from IDC yesterday, with US Smartphone market sales for the last quarter showing a massive increase in market share for Palm. Except I haven't seen the numbers backing these figures, but what I think has actually happened is that the market as a whole has decreased in size (credit crunch, people waiting for the 3G iPhone, etc.) and Palm's sales have seen a small increase. This statistical blip will probably be reversed when the 3G iPhone goes on sale. Worse still for Palm their sales mix has been seriously diluted by the cheaper Centro which is likely to be less profitable than its more expensive cousins. Palm needs its new 800w to arrive soon and be a big success if it is to survive the coming year. Fortunately it seems that this will have the full 128Mb of Ram, as discussed last week and not the ridiculously small 32Mb some sites were reporting.

Ooops, Safari... Don't Download That File

Microsoft and Apple have warned of a security vulnerability in the Safari browser for Windows. A properly crafted website can initiate downloads without user intervention - not in itself dangerous, but paired with a other security holes, or perhaps a less than dried up user and things could get messy. I'm not sure what Apple have got planned for Safari but whatever it is will be set back an awful long way by errors like this. Plus it gives Microsoft a rare chance to gloat at Apple's expense. And there's no doubt they'll take it.