iPhone 3G: Great news and yet another delay

| Ted Landau's User Friendly View
It's official. The iPhone 3G is here. Sort of here. Almost here.

It's a dizzying and exciting time for iPhone users. Heck, it's a great day for all Mac users, indeed for all computer and mobile phone users.

But there was more to today's announcements than just the iPhone 3G. Much more. The information overload at the WWDC Keynote today was so great that it will be days before I can absorb it all.

The biggest news was, as everyone expected, the iPhone 3G -- with 3G network support, GPS built-in for Maps, improved audio and a price as low as $199!

On the heels of this news, there was the announcement of a new me.com service (replacing Apple's .mac service), offering enterprise-like capabilities for the "rest of us."

Apple also revealed, in almost a throw-away comment, that it would be showing a sneak peak of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) later today -- but just for developers attending the WWDC.

Added to all of this news were further details about the variety of new programs coming to the iPhone's App Store, the newly announced ways to privately distribute iPhone applications (in particular an Ad Hoc option, useful for situations such as a professor who wants to distribute something just to his/her class), the new server-based notifications, the ability to view iWork and Office documents on your iPhone, and the previously-announced enterprise "push" features.

Whew! My head is still spinning.

Yet, there was one definite downer amidst all the excitement. The new iPhone 2.0 software and iPhone 3G will not be available until July 11.

Now, I am usually one to defend Apple when it comes to "unexpected delays." My general position is...a year from now...what will we remember more...how great the iPhone 3G is or that it shipped a month later than we thought? The former. In the end, the delay won't matter much. And I still believe this to be so.

But for today... I have to gripe just a little.

Come on, Apple! How long must we wait for your third-party iPhone software support? How many delays must we endure?

There were hints that Apple would be announcing such support back in September. When the big announcement finally came in October, all we got was a promise that the support was indeed coming. We would have to wait until February to find out the details. In February, we were disappointed to receive only a "road map" and an SDK from Apple. No software for end users was released. No real details were provided. The actual software, we were told, would not be available until June. Well, June is finally here. And now we are told to wait yet again. It will be July 11 before we can get our hands on iPhone 2.0.

It's starting to feel like a "bait-and-switch" except that the switch is to just keep waiting instead of switching to some other more expensive product.

I'm sure this mild irritation will quickly wear off once July 11 rolls around. But for now, I am more than a bit bummed.

There were also a few new iPhone features I was hoping to see that are apparently not coming in July — features such as voice-activated dialing, MMS support, expanded Bluetooth options, and a better camera.

Regardless, there's more than enough news and new stuff to sift through for now. I won't be needing to look for things to keep me busy, while I wait for July 11 to arrive.

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10 Comments Leave Your Own

Jody Woodcock

I think it only bait and switch if they announce a specific date and then change it. I have not heard of any specific date mentioned so it can only be delayed if you know that it was supposed to be out on a certain date and it wasn’t.
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Rodney

I’m right there with you.  I’m always ready to run to my local Apple Store everytime one of these big events comes around and every time, I’m disappointed that I have to wait.

You’d think I would know better by now.

Dogzilla

There’s a bigger issue here - Apple clearly wants to be able to release this. The ongoing delays - reaching all the way back to the misguided and ludicrous “Ajax is our SDK” announcement of a year ago - speak to a real internal development problem in getting third-party apps squared away. Jobs is a great magician - he is unparalleled at the sleight-of-hand misdirection to draw our attention away from the fact that there *still* isn’t a legitimate way to get 3rd-party apps onto the iPhone.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that expected a concurrent 2.0 firmware, iPhone app store and iPhone 3G release today. That didn’t happen speaks volumes about the internal problems Apple is experiencing getting their hardware, 3rd party devs and carriers in line. Obviously this is a big job, but each delay makes it more believable that Apple may have bitten off more than it can chew this time.

Falkirk

I knew this would happen. Apple says nothing. Everyone speculates. Then everyone is disappointed that Apple doesn’t “deliver” upon mere idle gossip. The iPhone will be one year old at the end of June 2008. That’s it. One year. It only SEEMS like we’ve been waiting a lifetime. Think of all they’ve accomplished in that year.

The only thing Apple promised was to have the App Store ready by June. Looks like it will take until July 11. Woop de doo. And somehow that gets extrapolated into “Apple may have bitten off more than it can chew”. Puhleeze. We’re talking 11 days. Most every company - Microsoft especially comes to mind - would like to be biting off the chunks of market share, mind share and most importantly profit that Apple is taking right now. By June of 2009 there will be nothing out there but iPhones and iPHone wanna be imitators.

BurmaYank

STILL no iPhone cut/copy & paste clipboard???

A SmartPhone is a PDA telephone, right?

And all true PDAs have (and always have had) cut/copy & paste capability.

Therefore, the iPhone G3 is STILL not even a SmartPhone, yet!!!  WTF

Jody Woodcock

It appears the “delay” is fcc certification. The iPhone was submitted today to the fcc for testing. Obviously as before Steve wanted to be the one to announce it and not have it “announced” by the fcc.

spudgeek

Apple have accomplished a lot in one year and I’m annoyed that I have to wait another month for the updates… but that’s just temporary and I’m confident as I’m sure you are that come July 11 we’ll have few complaints. 
Mine are the omission of some basics, Cut & Paste is one, Bluetooth A2DP is another. The missing A2DP baffles me in that the leading portable music player “iPod” that’s within the iPod Touch & iPhone, both of which are BT enabled, is missing the capability to use wireless stereo headsets… astonishing!
I imagine this would just require a software upgrade so I can only assume the reason for the omission is to avoid battery drain… that leads me to the lack of replaceable battery annoyance ;-

Eugenio

With all the rumors of 2 models I am still wondering if there will be a second phone to be launched at the Macworld Expo maybe also a tablet (but that may be going too far) as there has not been any word about this year’s Macworld Expo so far (am I missing something!) but also with the level of enterprise integration, Apple would be doing itself disservice if it were not to release a model without a camera. Many large firms these days with prototype kind of products (including Apple) would not want phones in their midst with cameras . i know GM is one company that does not allow camera phones, and just in their Australian HQ, thats over 2000 potential iPhones. If all Apple’s employees have iPhones it will be increasingly difficult not to sneak photos of prototypes out and yet it would be better if they had iPhones without cameras instead of the competition’s. This may also allow a smaller form factor and increased battery life and storage for other stuff. I do believe that SJ did not mention the camera in his keynote which I wonder if is a sign for more options. its just a hunch. Does anyone know what will happen to the hompage, iCards and Groups features of .Mac? will these make the move to MobileMe? I had a prediction last year of the convergence of iPhoto and .Mac witht he iPhone as well as iWeb. I wonder if iWeb is making the transition as well into a mobile app. It would be great to take photos and upload to blogs and even capture movies for podcasts wihout using a computer for rough and ready snippets. Imagine the use by rumour sites at the next keynote or Macworld as the reporters rush to send through to the minute updates!

Marmotton

Who cares about Bluetooth standard XYZ? Most people will not care. What we needed is a better camera and at least some video support. Neither is in this new version.

There are no stepwise feature improvement in this new version, just slight incremental improvements in performance.

This is very disappointing.

Partners in Grime

I’d bet there are features that will be announced when the iPhone launches.

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