At the Apple Music Keynote today in San Francisco, Steve Jobs took the stage to announced the holiday line up of iPods. So any way lets get into it.
The iPod Shuffle was first to receive an update. The iPod shuffle has been a strange device. Many say it is pointless because of the lack of a screen, while others say (mainly people who exercise) say it is an essential part of the iPod line up. This year it got back the buttons but also has the same voice features of last years buttonless model. Not much else to say except it has a clip so you can clip it on clothes, it comes in 5 colours and it has 2GB of storage, all for $49.
Next, iPod Nano. Earlier this year, we saw a very small touchscreen leaked out into the world with apparently Apple branding all over it. Well it seems like this one has come true. The new nano has ditched the click wheel for a touch screen, a very small touch screen at that, but it is still a touch screen and seems to have some sort of version of iOS running on it. All the usual stuff is on there in the form of icons on different screens and yes you can make it do the jiggly dance so you can move the icons around. Reports from places like Engadget are saying that the touchscreen is very responsive and great to look at. Also, seeing as it has a clock app, if you strap it to a wrist strap, you can turn it into an iWatch! And that is the only reason I'm getting one.
At Apple's press conference on Friday, Steve Jobs showed 3 phones that had the same antenna problems as the iPhone 4. This made Nokia and RIM retaliate to what Steve Jobs said about their phones. (Read here) But the third phone showed was the Droid Eris, and this had the most drastic drop of signal. It went straight from 4 bars all the way down to 0 bars.
HTC have not acted like Nokia and RIM to Apple's claims, but they have given a percentage of the people calling technical suport about the Droid Eris's antenna problem. Apple claimed that 0.55% of customers called AppleCare about the antenna issue but HTC is claiming that the Droid Eris technical support line received only 0.016% of people calling about the antenna issue. About thirty-four times lower than Apple's claim.
At yesterday's press conference, Steve Jobs defended it's iPhone 4 antenna issue by saying that all smartphones had this problem and by showing several devices from Nokia, HTC and RIM having the same problem. Now as you can expect, you wouldn't be very happy if Steve Jobs bashes your device on stage, so RIM and Nokia have retaliated to what Steve said yesterday and they are not happy.
Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.
Antenna design is a complex subject and has been a core competence at Nokia for decades, across hundreds of phone models. Nokia was the pioneer in internal antennas; the Nokia 8810, launched in 1998, was the first commercial phone with this feature. Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying human behavior, including how people hold their phones for calls, music playing, web browsing and so on. As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.
In general, antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip, depending on how the device is held. That’s why Nokia designs our phones to ensure acceptable performance in all real life cases, for example when the phone is held in either hand. Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying how people hold their phones and allows for this in designs, for example by having antennas both at the top and bottom of the phone and by careful selection of materials and their use in the mechanical design.
Overall, Steve did his best to be kind, but the fact remains, he did bash the other companies and they're not pleased with the outcome. Phil Nickinson from Android Central got it right when he said "any new phones from any company now is going to be under increased, and in some cases ridiculous antenna scrutiny."
Today, at Apple's press conference about the iPhone 4 antenna problem, Steve Jobs explained everything that was wrong with the iPhone 4.
Steve began the keynote by saying that their phones aren't perfect. But then continued saying that the iPhone 4 was the biggest phone launch ever and that the iPhone 4 has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any any smartphone.
Then Steve went on to show some pictures of other smartphones dropping bars and saying that the problem occurs in all phones.
Then there stats about the complaints. Apparently, 0.55% of customers have complained about the antenna problem and that in the same time period, the iPhone 4 had has a 1/3 less returns than what the 3GS had in the same amount of time. Also, the iPhone 4 drops less than one additional call per 100 than the 3GS and that "the problem of affects a small percentage of our users."
So what is apple going to do about it? Well firstly they are going to offer free bumpers to all iPhone 4 customers and a refund if you already bought a bumper. They also said, as they can't make enough bumpers, they will also offer free third-party cases. This will run until the September 30th. Next, they are going to give a full refund to all unsatisfactory customers and a contract refund as well. All you need to do is return an undamaged iPhone 4 within 30 days of purchase.
In other Apple news, the white iPhone 4 will be available at the end of July, along with Canada and 16 other countries getting the iPhone 4 (See them here). Also that the proximity sensor problem will be fixed by a software update.
Tomorrow, Steve Jobs will get up on stage at the keynote of WWDC and announce all the new products from Apple. Even though this year's WWDC has been sort of spoiled by the Gizmodo iPhone leak, it should be interesting to see what he will announce.
1) iPhone 4G/HD: If this doesn't get announced I'll eat my hat! This is almost certain to be announced. With the Gizmodo and vietnam leak this is going to be a sure bet that it will look like this. The main features supposed to be on the new iPhone is a front-facing camera, a higher resolution display, longer battery life, 1Ghz A4 processor, thinner profile and bigger storage.
2) Apple TV: This has goon a while with out an update so WWDC is a prime time for it. This also has had some leaks but this time from engadget. According to their source "think of an iPhone but without a screen." Also their source says that it will have the same internals as a the new iPhone, i.e the 1GHz processor, but only 16Gb of flash storage. However, it supposed to have cloud storage and streaming capabilities. Other features include 1080p output and an impressive price tag of only $99!
3) Mac Pro: Similar to the Apple TV, the Mac Pro has gone almost a year without an update. However this could be because Apple was waiting for the new 6-Core intel processors to put in the flagship model. This would mean that the Mac Pro could have up to 12-Cores!
4) Mac Mini: Alike the Apple TV and Mac Pro, the Mac mini has gone a while without an update. Not much to expect, except faster intel core 2 duo chips, more RAM, bigger hard drive and might be a little cheaper.
5) iTunes Music Streaming: Ever since Apple bought the music streaming service, Lala, there has been much speculation about a music streaming service from Apple. And with Apple shutting down the Lala servers on May 31st, WWDC would be the place it would be announced.
Even though there isn't a live video stream of the event, there are many places where you can get live text feeds. Here are some places you can find them.