Friday, 22 August 2008

iPhone(y)

What do you call a bunch of guys who spend the night of 21st August 2008 at a consumer electronics outlet trying to get their hands on a 3G 'smart' device for over INR 31,000 that does not let you so much as

  • Forward a text message
  • Single button speed dial
  • Copy-paste a line of text
  • Send an SMS to multiple recipients
  • Listen to FM Radio
  • Record video
  • Send MMS
  • Set an mp3 track as your ringtone
  • Share files over bluetooth
  • Support Java or Flash
  • Support voice dialing
  • Change your cell phone operator
  • Use it as a wireless modem (when you are shelling out by the thousands every month)
I don't care what you call them. But I call them JERKS.

For all the hype and hoopla surrounding it, the apple iPhone is nothing short of a white elephant. Over priced and over hyped, its just not what the Indian market wants. If you're gonna tell me to look at the initial sales figures that should be out in a weeks time, let me tell you. All the initial sales that it is raking in are from the media hype and the popularity of it being an Apple phone. If one were to consider the functionality keeping value for money in prespective, a Nokia 1200 would fare much much better. Its reported that over 2 lakh consumers have registered for the iPhone already. But what they don't tell you was the figures are from the registrations that began way before the prices were announced.


Imagine having to turn to i-tunes for even trivial things like a petty currency converter. Isn't that just outrageous, when there are thousands of wonderful free java applications out there? What is even worse is you cannot connect to iTunes through your iPhone. You need a mac or a PC to do that. God! Thanks to Google, iPhone now has atleast has an IM client. And in the worst case, (if were still using it for the sole reason of having spent a fortune on it) if you had to change the battery after a year, you can't just do it by yourself. Yet again, get down on your knees and ask Apple to do it for you. And if you are still convinced that you want to get one, go surrender yourself into servility. God help you.

So Ms. Swathi, in case you're thinking that you've just made an achievement of a lifetime by buying the first iPhone, well... I'm sorry. I think you're just a nitwit.

Getting ripped off has never been this easy*...


PS: There can be no better personification of the saying ಜನ ಮರುಳೋ ಜಾತ್ರೆ ಮರುಳೋ

*Conditions Apply

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

One billion iphone 3G reviews are floating around the net.
It is not bad to reproduce information, especially reviews, But not before fully understanding the product you wish to review.

1. "Send an SMS to multiple recipients"
This was the problem with the first iphone firmware, all releases till 1.1.4. 2.0 onwards this facilities are available.

As for the remaining features:
They are all quite very accessible with a simple "jailbreak" which takes a mere 45 sec (http://www.ziphone.org/)

# Copy-paste a line of text
(http://www.openclip.org/main.php)

# Send an SMS to multiple recipients
(Already there)

# Listen to FM Radio
(Its an add-on)

# Record video
(http://www.iphonevideorecorder.com/)

# Send MMS
(http://www.swirlyspace.com/iphone/apps/mms/)

# Set an mp3 track as your ringtone
(sendsong available on installer.app)

# Support bluetooth headsets
(Very conveniently available, you could try google)

# Use it as a wireless modem
(Its called 'tethering' and quite simple to do it on an iphone.
NetShare is available on AppStore as well as installer.app and cydia as well)

As for the few points I didn't give a citation to they are already available out there. Google is a good way to find them.

"Thanks to Google, iPhone now has at least has an IM client." ?!?!?
Google has not released any IM client for iPhone till date.
The only product they have available on an iphone is the Google Maps which is just simply beautiful!.
Google has released a iphone customized google talk gadget. Which is quite easy to use and handy. And runs on Safari(The web browser.)
But there are marvelous IM clients out there(Palringo is one of them)

Almost every app I mentioned above is easily available in AppStore and if don't want to shell out that extra moolah for all the hard work those developers out there put in to feed their kids you can always turn to installer.app they are all available for free made by, hopefully, well fed developers.

Its by far one of the most marvelous piece of technology I have ever seen. Mind you, I don’t say this as an Apple Fan boy, but as a techno-scribe.
Its a mini-convergence-device That’s what I call it. I run a Unix terminal (FreeBSD subsystem) and run scripts on it, to suite my needs.
But of course this makes sense if you are planning to "Use" the devise like me, exploit its technological potential, and not use it as a flashy..."ooo weee lookie...iphone...weee" devise.
If your paying 31k INR for that use, then suggest you go take a hike in the Kalahari and drown in the first oasis you find.

Having said all this, I am a humble user of an Ipod Touch, does everything but call and message.
It is exactly what I want it to be.
A convergence devise. Well if I could "call" it would be good, but I am a poor man, and 31k is still outta my league, but if its not outta yours, go get one. now.

Buy the phone if you think it useful.
Else I suggest waiting for the Android's(http://code.google.com/android/) big release year end with HTC dream(http://htcdream.com/).

Amen

Rakesh Babu G R said...

Well, the reason I wouldn't buy this would be that "You can't forward messages". Ya, my Nokia 1200 is better.

evilsense said...

@Anonymous: Ofcourse, you indeed can do whatever you want on iPhone.

But it is really STUPID to shell out 31k!! WTF!!! I was having 9k in my pocket to buy it ( that is really stupid considering the fact that it is priced soo less in other countries like US)

It is not worth even 12k.

Your argument that shell out 31k to run a terminal, scripts is total bullshit. NeoFreerunner ( which is defintely not as good as iPhone), fully hackable is priced at approx 19k - 20k in India, and it can Debian Linux. :P

Oh, yea, you can always run PuTTY in many nokia phones, and by the way, touch shit sucks.
[ http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=iphone ]

Yea, I am waiting for Android and HTC dream, let me see...

P.S. The only thing that sucks is the price..., everything else is really not a *great* problem... I am bored looking for a truly hackable phone, it simply doesnt exist in the present market, not even iPhone. Neo has a bad battery life and even 19k is very costly for something that doesnt have a camera. Some motorola phones which run linux are locked, crap.

Logik said...

@vk- I agree with anon on the multiple apps feature, that weren't there in the earlier iphone releases. Since they'v released most of their API's, SDK platform [ i guess], there are a host of apps that are available on the Iphone Apps store[ Not Itunes].

The iPhone is indeed a marvel in technology, for one simple reason. The Usability, and the interface has been the works of people who had designed the Mac, and that is a time-tested phenomenon.
[ humbly copied by Compiz fusion, and Aero, both just flashy gimmicks, with not even half the usability].

As to running scripts, and a terminal, iPhone is quite lacking in this. And as the market suggests Linux will be the key-OS for Mobile Internet Devices [ MID's]. Hope to see that in the newer releases. [ India is a huge market, and they will make sure they respect that].

Cost/Features will most necessarily be high for a low-end phone, because once you have a cheap hardware platform, packing arbit software features is not much of a struggle.

Consider putting all of you graphics related functions on a dedicated GPU, having the phone's main functions working on a dedicated processor. The graphics being powered by OpenGL, as the Mac interface is usually done. so on and so forth...Thats iPhone.

The touch screen is good for music, internet navigation, and images etc... bad for typing as the keyboard comes on the screen itself. But from what I've heard, the keyboard is intelligent [ something like T9], say you type a letter, it visually enlarges the next predicted letters relative to other infrequent letters...

Its a matter of choice.


-----------
Now, coming to the pricing model [ sorry the comment is longer than your post].

The U.S pricing model, from what I saw on a news channel is
1. $199 for the hardware.[the phone]
2. $150 for activation[ to tie up in a can't-come-out-of-it situation with a single operator AT&T].
3. Part of your monthly tariff[ to AT & T] goes to Apple as some sort of maintenance fees.

In India, the charges are not split like this, but are taken upfront as INR 31000, which still is almost double of what it is in U.S [ not thrice, as you'd measure by the hardware price].

This is still not a fair value market price, but a initial hype price. Remember that in U.S after a month of release, Steve Jobs slashed the prices of the hardware by nearly $100. That will happen in India as well.
It is a simple market tactic, make as much money in the first wave of market-hype. Then roll over the benefits to the subsequent consumers.

This pissed off a lot of people in the U.S, and will be more damaging in India.
But the new people will continue to buy the iPhone.

People speculated to the success of the iPod in India. It is doing fairly well. Jobs is one major marketing genius. He can sweet-sell anything...

vk said...

@anonymous
Thank you. It was very insightful. I had in fact overseen quite a few things. But there are some clarifications that I'd want to make...

* Video recording, copy-paste, tethering and MMS - all require jailbreaking the iphone. Jailbreaking not only restricts you from using 2.x, needless to say its a breach of the license agreement, rendering the much needed Apple service inaccessible. I don't know abt you but this doesn't really sound good to me. Above all, it simply brings me back to the point I made.. that Apple is trying to fetter you. And you're just suggesting me a way out!
So I either jailbreak or yeah.. rake out more moolah (as if 31k was not sufficient)

Ditto for unlocking

"Support bluetooth headsets
(Very conveniently available, you could try google)"
Bluetooth headset - Corrected. But the price is "a bit" too steep. [Should not have surpised me]

"Set an mp3 track as your ringtone
(sendsong available on installer.app)"
Sendsong...? Since when did it start supporting mp3? http://ericasadun.com/?p=29#comment-11

"Almost every app I mentioned above is easily available in AppStore and if don't want to shell out that extra moolah for all the hard work those developers out there put in to feed their kids you can always turn to installer.app they are all available for free made by, hopefully, well fed developers."
I definitely don't mind paying for developers bread and butter... But it sure bothers me when they rip me off to buy diamond tiaras for their terriers. I'd rather keep my money in that case..

"Its by far one of the most marvelous piece of technology I have ever seen. Mind you, I don’t say this as an Apple Fan boy, but as a techno-scribe.
Its a mini-convergence-device That’s what I call it. I run a Unix terminal (FreeBSD subsystem) and run scripts on it, to suite my needs...."
Evilsense has answered that one for me i guess

As you can see, I'm still not convinced to shell out 31k for this piece of glamour.. Maybe steve can help me there...

Anonymous said...

A few more clarification and I am gone with the wind.

"Jailbreaking not only restricts you from using 2.x"
(Please refer to http://www.appleiphoneschool.com/2008/08/21/quickpwn-gui-for-202-firmware/)
Its quite conveniently jailbreakable.
Peace for that.

"needless to say its a breach of the license agreement, rendering the much needed Apple service inaccessible. I don't know abt you but this doesn't really sound good to me."
(There is one year replacement guarantee on the hardware, just reinstall the original firmware and send, its all legit and they wont even know it was Jailbroken, reinstalling takes around 10 min...fine with me
And Apple will "replace" your devise, and any data you have will anyway vanish...poof!...replacement or not you get it back with a clean wipe of data. So, just load the legit firmware and off it goes.)

As for the other points, if you don't like one of the software available , just use an alternative, Now that I hope that I have caused you to Not fear Jailbreaking.
Its just no big deal.
Peace to that as well.

@Rakesh Babu G R : I am with you all the way. Thats what I require from a phone as well, I am just on the lookout for the best convergence devise and this is quite close I must say.

@ logic: Really Informed reply. Nice.

@ evilsense
Sir, Please don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting anyone to shell out 31k to run scripts on a phone by skipping 2 meals a day.
I said, if you don't mind looking back, please do buy if that kind of cash doesn't require you to reduce your monthly food intake. Because it truly is a marvelous devise.
My sole purpose for mentioning that is to show its capabilities, if you plan to exploit it.

As I said, I am happy hacking my iPod Touch 16gb which I purchased for a mere 15k and I would definitely go for an iphone if I could afford one. But I can’t.
And Sir, if you are really looking for a truly hackable phone I suggest waiting for android
The latest SDK release is amazing. http://code.google.com/android/index.html
The entire stack with no masked API's unlike like Apple(The have a few hidden API's which are proprietary and inaccessible by developers )
But until then Steve had the best device in the market. No denying that.
For a hefty price. Pity.

If price is the main motive to buy: I accept defeat. Just speaking for the Indians that is.
Price/functionality: Good to go, because you have nothing better out there, with that kind of developer support. Else just pick up an ipod touch like me and use your nokia to forward messages.
Functionality: I need say no more.

Rest assured, I will be on the midnight queue to pick up the first android.

Amen.

vk said...

@Logik
Pl dont expect Indians to go to go the Apps store.. When it comes to issues of piracy, DRM and legality of softwares, its frankly the least of our botheration.. And as anonymous now tells me that even 2.x can be jailbroken, i think that is the way the tide's gonna go.

As for running scripts, that would apply only to a handful of geeks. It would be a purely personal choice.

Cost/Feature would actually be low on a low end phone, if that is what you meant to actually say

As for the pricing model, that was a real eye opener. It all makes sense, coz in India lack of internet penetration is a major concern and employees have been specially trained on activation. So I think they're activating the phone on-site and hence no seperate activation cost. But unless the cost comes anywhere below 25k atleast, only some Stevie magic can market it!

There are reports saying that the inital response was in fact damped... Lets wait and watch

http://infotech.indiatimes.com/News/Pricey_iPhone_turns_off_buyers_/articleshow/3396167.cms

evilsense said...

HAHAHA, ok. Damn, I am a stupid consumer who does not want to make Apple rich, I have lot of other marvelous things to buy at 31k.

Yeah, iPod is really a good device. [ 15k is pretty decent] also the fact that you can run iPodlinux on it ;)

I consider a netbook to be more marvelous. As for hackable phones, I will wait not just for Android powered phones, but for the mobil market to become stable, lot of innovation, graphics is supposed to change the way mobil devices are integrated to life, that will happen in less than 2 years.

Till then, my phone is just a device to make calls, play mp3s for me. I prefer a hackable router / netbook with the money I have right now, to have fun in the time I get.

May be I should buy a cycle and plan for cycle treks, weekends have become boring :/

evilsense said...

Oh yea, and PS3 is just freaking awesome for 26k. And by the way, I hate to put my entire salary on a device which gets f88ked, if I drop it.

dude: Hey I heard something getting smashed !

evilsense: Shit, I just dropped my salary!

F88k it, If I somehow manage to get 31k, I would rather buy something else.
[top on my list, linksys hackable router, build a mini-ITX box?, nintendo? best case a PS3? ]

Nithin "Kitta" Shenoy said...

Whoa! Lots of info..