Archives for posts with tag: iphone 5

Before I begin, this is not an Elton John tribute. I hate his toupé, and his stumpy arms…

This last week has seen my church give birth to the next iteration of the iPhone. Not being an ‘S’ model I had mine on pre-order within 20 minutes of going on sale, but, having chose to have it delivered to the UPS deemed “remote” town of Westhill, I had to wait until Monday before I got my hands on it. Raging…

I love it; as you would all expect. It’s tall, slim, dark, sexy (not to mention chipped at the top having already dropped it a mere 24 hours after getting it). It’s everything I’d want in a woman but have to suffice with in a phone instead, until such time as my career makes me attractive enough to them; some time in my early 30’s.

So, clearly I have some waiting to do.

As always, it’s sparked controversy among the many Apple haters out there. I was asked if it was genuinely worth it, or if I had only bought it out of being such an “acolyte.”

Firstly, and even I have to admit this: between this and the last iteration, not all that much has changed. I came from an iPhone 4, so the dual core chip is a more than welcome addition. The taller screen is good also, but I am somewhat irritated by the fact it has UK support for LTE…provided you’re on 3 or Everything Everywhere (read Orange or T-Mobile). As I said before however, in this LTE game, it’s pretty tough to make one phone work on all the radio bands being used globally. The antenna configurations alone would occupy more space than this size zero really allows for. Let’s also remember that this is technically a “world phone”; it’s capable of communicating on both GSM and CDMA networks, and it will also roam between them, so if you buy a Verizon iPhone 5 in The States, you can stick an AT&T SIM in it and change your provider. (According to an article I read on Engadget earlier this week.)

Samsung are yet to do this… In fact, buy an S III on Verizon in The States, and you’re stuck with them. No interchangeable SIM card either. Sucks to be you…

Apple came under fire this last week however, regarding their announcement that they were ousting Google as their iOS Maps provider in favour of their own creation. People upgrading their phones to iOS 6 have noticed that locations do not come up correctly when searching; for instance when searching for the Washington Monument, the pin drops some 200 yards away from where it’s actually created; Westminster Abbey shows up as Westminister; and football stadiums show up in the most random locations at opposing ends of the country from where they’re supposed to be.

I tried to get photographic evidence of this but it appears they are already hard at work rectifying things.

Naturally, due to the size of Apple, this is hilarious. Just as we did with Microsoft in the nineties, the hecklers have dived on this in an attempt to demonstrate to the public that Apple has grown to be too big for its boots; that this marks the end of their success; that one day Android will take over.

What people fail to realise is that, as with any significant undertaking, some of the cracks simply don’t show until it’s out there, operating under business as usual.

What people have also failed to recognise is that Apple are capable of admitting to their mistakes, apologising, and listening to their customers feedback. Just over two years ago, Steve Jobs called a second press conference shortly after the launch of the iPhone 4, following the discovery on launch day of the issue with the antenna when gripped in a certain manner. He presented a case, indicating the relevant testing which had been performed on the handset, in-house; he demonstrated the effect the same handling of several other, similar handsets on the market produced the same effect, and he also explained what the company was going to do about it.

Tim Cook got up on stage this week, and did exactly the same thing. He admitted that Apple had failed, in its bid to deliver a product which gave its customers what they wanted:

“We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations of Apple.”

No other company, particularly one as large or globally renowned as Apple, does this. I was told by a colleague once that the golden rule was never to apologise for mistakes; to gloss over them and carry on, because they’d eat you alive! It’s a sign of weakness, of acknowledgement of ones imperfections.

The full letter of apology can be found on Apple’s website, here  

I disagree with this. I think it takes a far bigger set of balls to apologise and admit failure, than it takes to side step it and act as though nothing happened. The same goes for the wronged party; it’s easy to bear a grudge and ignore the other persons efforts to rectify the issue.

Apple has apologised for many of the things which have inconvenienced their customers. For instance, last year when the iPhone 4S went on pre-order, the Apple Store crashed, and many were forced to abandon their attempts to grab one for launch day. The same happened when Apple launched the 27-inch iMac; supplier delays pushed waiting times for each unit up by several weeks.

Mistakes happen; we need to accept that. As clichéd as this sounds, it is what makes us human, after all. I apologise too often, and take responsibility for far too much, causing me far more stress than I should really endure in a day.

So, in answer to the question: Yes, it’s worth it. I needed a new phone, as my 16GB iPhone 4 was at full capacity. It does everything I want it to: impromptu night out photo’s; posting said impromptu photo’s to various social media locations; texting and email; music… I don’t need a phone where I can fanny about and screw up, I spend enough time during my day job fixing stuff; the last thing I need is for it to encroach on my personal life. Sure, the battery in this thing doesn’t last long enough to keep up with me (there were no other connotations meant by that statement), but at the end of the day, all I need it to do is keep me in contact with my best mate while she’s gallivanting abroad; doing her Masters, stumbling (lost) into Brussels on her way home from a night out. Granted, I use it for a lot more than that, but that is a basic requirement for any communications device I invest in. #fact


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So, it’s almost that time folks, and about time I spouted another load of techno-babble. Below, we have what looks suspiciously like a new iPhone, and you’d be right.

Output from the latest cycle of the rumour mill

These images surfaced a few weeks ago, following leaked parts of the device indicating a smaller ‘nano’ SIM tray; smaller dock connector; taller display and a slightly differently positioned FaceTime camera. However, the same images have appeared from various locations now, some comparing this new device to the current 4S model and displaying the size decrease of the new handset.

So it would seem, having had it confirmed by so many people, that we are in fact looking at the new iPhone 5.

Other details have confirmed some of the rumours. Developers who have been given beta versions of iOS 6 have noted that the new operating system automatically scales itself to a different resolution depending on the size of the display.

Pretty big giveaway, if you ask me. The quad-core processor found in the iPad 3 was discovered in the same way, a year ago.

Of course, because none of this has came from Apple, and we can only tell so much from images, there is still no telling exactly what this handset will feature when we see it. Legend has it however, that we’re going to be seeing it on September 12th, with a release date some 9 days later… The more astute among you realising that this is less than a year since the launch of the iPhone 4S!

Going on from the launch of the iPad 3, we can be sure of a few things however. Like the iPhone 4s, the new model will be both IS-95 and GSM compliant, so there will be one handset compatible with networks from all providers in the states – more or less. LTE compatibility is a given, but if you’re not reading this from across the pond I’m afraid you’re going to be missing out there, as it’s unlikely that the device will be tuned to function on the LTE bands which are being implemented in the likes of Europe. It will be DC-HSDPA compatible though, so you will see faster 3G speeds with this device than you would using an iPhone 4; a good enough reason to upgrade in itself, really.

That is a real gripe for me, with this handset, however.

Previously, I posted about this whole LTE thing; what does and what doesn’t technically class as 4G, if you’re going to be pedantic about it, and I have a correction to make.

DC-HSDPA, Dual Carrier-High Speed Download Packet Access, is what is being branded as 4G as a marketing scam in some countries. *cough* USA *cough* With DC-HSDPA, two streams of downstream data are amalgamated, increasing throughput with Multiple-Input Multiple-Output.

Both LTE-Advanced (true 4G) and DC-HSDPA+ use multiple antennae to send and receive data, and for this reason the ITU-R has permitted networks to brand their networks as 4G, despite not being capable of the throughput which they defined the 4G standard should be capable of.

I digress…

The real purpose of this post, is to discuss something else: fragmentation.

In the 80’s, we Europeans got together to form a new digital cellular telephony standard because the systems we currently had in place were incompatible with each other, and in violation of two treaties of the European Union; namely:

  • Free Movement of Goods and Services
  • Free Movement of People

Thanks to my sister for that useful byte of information there!

Due to high volumes of population movement around Europe, it was decided that mobile communication should be unified across all countries on the continent, to allow for things like business growth in new territories and for those of us with camera phones to be able to send photo’s of our view of the hotel pool back home to our (ever jealous) mates.

Granted, photo messaging wasn’t a part of the original GSM specification.

This all came about, because we saw a need for unified communications, at least across a whole continent.

Now let’s fast-forward 30 years. GSM is now at the bottom of the food chain, superseded by standards which offer high-speed internet access, video calling, video streaming, and any other ‘ing’ that you happen to think of. The world is an ever more connected, smaller place, and international travel for business and pleasure is now going a lot further than just the south of France!

In the United States, LTE networks operate on the 700MHz and 2.1GHz band. In Europe, the plan is to place them on the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, meaning that devices bought in one country will not be compatible with the devices from another, and vice versa.

LTE is therefor, simultaneously, a massive step both forward and back. 4G was specified by the ITU-R as a way of implementing further, high speed, wireless telephony, internet and mobile broadband access. The possibilities for change which come about with LTE, particularly for impoverished countries and areas where landline internet access would be a costly activity to rollout, are literally endless. Since spending some time in a communications department I’ve learned the advantages of using wireless comms in places like West Africa, for the simple reason that copper is so valuable down there, you can lay as many cables as you like, but there will always be someone waiting behind you to lift it again and sell it!

What we are now seeing, is analogue Europe on a global scale. This needs to be addressed. Granted, this is going to be massive undertaking to bring everything into line, and it will be done at the expense of the consumer. The ironic part of this situation is the name, LTE.

It stands for Long Term Evolution.

How long term a solution can it really be, if we can’t all make use of it’s capabilities when we’re looking for a pizza-by-the-slice joint in New York City; to share a photo of you and your girlfriend in front of the Colosseum; to conduct a video conference with a home based colleague?

Sort it out, lads.

Fair enough, the idea actually refers to the 15th, not the 7th, but those of you who read my previous entry will know that I made a prediction, based on evidence I’ve gathered from the Apple rumour mill, that we could expect to see the new iPad for the first time on the 7th of March.

I was right.


From that alone, it’s obvious what this is about, although unlike last years ‘Let’s talk iPhone’ Keynote there has been no official announcement regarding the content it. There is no mistaking, however that this is to be a Keynote, if the iPhone 4S event last year is anything to go by. And here’s why…


That is a sample from the invite Cupertino sent out prior to the unveiling of the iPhone 4S, on October 4th last year. From that alone, we knew the event was going to centre around the iPhone. However, take a look at the four graphics included on it.

Firstly, they are all icons we are familiar with, as they come straight from the home screen of a lesser iPhone device. But they all point to something. The first is the calendar icon, which gives the date of the event. The second gives the (U.S. Pacific) time of the event. The third is the Maps app icon, which coincidentally shows 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA. Aka Apple Headquarters. The final icon is obvious, the phone app from the iPhone also. Looking back I think that the badge containing a ‘1’ indicated that we were only going to see one device; the rumour mill was showing signs of potentially seeing an iPhone 5 and a 4S, which was potentially being marketed at budget and pre-paid consumers.

So, bearing that in mind, let’s look again at the invitation for next Wednesday. Going along the same lines as the iPhone 4S event last year, we can see that there is to be an event, in Cupertino, on March 7th. If that’s the case, it’s a presentation. But look closer.

The icons are being displayed on a device this time, not a white background. The first thing we can see is the clarity of the display. Ergo, it is almost a certainty that the third iteration of this market defining device is to finally be given a retina display! The most worthy addition of any of the new features this tablet is going to have.

To go along with this, it is expected that the iPad 3 may have dimensions that go against the grain of the usual Apple product progression. I.e. To facilitate the addition of the retina display, it looks as if the iPad 3 is going to be slightly thicker than its predecessor. From what has been seen anyway, and of course we won’t know for definite until the dust sheets are taken off next week, it looks as if the iPad 3 will be 0.81mm thicker than the iPad 2. For what exactly, still remains a mystery. The retina display requires more power than previous models, hence the reason (or one of them anyway) that the iPad 2 never had one. To maintain the 10 hour battery life benchmark set by the original model, and provide dual-core processing power, the retina display was skipped for the second iteration. To my mind, it cannot be missed out for a third time, and if I’m honest the iPad 2 was about as thin as I’d like a device like this to go. Any more so, and it will retain the structural rigidity of a communion wafer…

Of course, a new product launch wouldn’t be complete without an upgrade of the innards of the device. Rumours have been circulating regarding both the processing power and mobile networking components that the iPad 3 will include, leaked through developer preview access of the upcoming iOS 5.1 release, which will no doubt accompany the iPad 3.

Firstly, it would appear the number of cores the device is “packin'” is set to double. Again. Evidence of this was seen in the source code for the new OS version, and images have been leaked of an apparent Apple ‘A5X’ chip; the ‘A’ chips being the processors which have been used to power iOS devices since the release of the original iPad in 2010.


Usually, the iPad has been used to unveil the new chip, as it is always released before the iPhone; the iPhone being a vehicle for the new iOS version and usually most of the ‘revolutionary’ technology we’ll see in the subsequent products that follow. The iPhone is and always will be, Apples flagship product now, as much as it pains me that this is no longer the Mac. That being the case, there will be nothing in Apple’s product portfolio that will better it. If you’ll remember, the 1GHz A4 was first seen in the original iPad 2 years ago, the only differentiation between the iPad and the iPhone 4 being the amount of RAM it’s equipped with. (The iPad has 256MB vs the iPhone 4’s 512MB, something iPad users are made increasingly aware of as the iOS version running on their slates is upgraded.)

Nothing has been said about this, but I would imagine that this is the brain of what we’re going to see next week. If we see the A6 this year, it will be in October with the iPhone 5. A lot of people were disappointed with the release of the iPhone 4S, and Apple will need to step up it’s game and make the iPhone 5 a real crowd pleaser if it is regain its foot hold as the drive behind the smartphone market. Be that as it may, sales of the iPhone 4S have not been impeded as a result.

I could be completely wrong with that. We may see the A5X in the iPhone 5, to keep in line with the device and processor numbering convention. The A6 may be the first ARM developed chip we see being used to power a Mac, as there have been whispers of Apples intentions to drop Intel and return to manufacturing their own chips.

iOS 5.1 will undoubtedly be unveiled with the new iPad, bringing with it a whole host of new features. Again, we wont see iOS 6 until the new iPhone, although I think we’ll be given a sneak preview of it when Mountain Lion is released this summer; most likely at the WWDC developers conference, held in San Franciso every year.There is also a possibility that we will finally find Apple adopting LTE this year, for the 3G model of the iPad and the iPhone 5. LTE is the new 3G, (commonly referred to as 4G, although the current LTE systems in place do not meet the standards defined for 4G mobile networking, as outlined by the ITU-R) and stands for Long Term Evolution. Apple has always refused to adopt the standard for previous iterations of the handset, preferring to wait on the sidelines for the emergence of a common standard and then adopting it. The attitude to the introduction of previous cellular standards in the US has always taken a ‘hands off’ approach, allowing multiple standards to develop and letting the consumers decide with the brainwashing assistance of service providers marketing campaigns to form their decisions. By leaving the standards to form before adoption, Apple ensure that their devices will always remain popular, rather than taking a gamble and ending up with a failed generation. Something it cannot afford to happen, if it wants to retain market share.

There are other so-called wild card rumours out there also, such as the introduction of a smaller iPad aimed at students. Apple has always denied this, and a prototype of such a device has never been seen. Then again, they said they would never develop a CDMA iPhone, before unveiling the Verizon (CDMA network compliant) iPhone 4 a year ago! I imagine the 8MP camera found in the iPhone 4S will also have worked its way into the iPad 3, providing it with 1080p video recording. This would go along with the potential release of an Apple TV 3, which is guaranteed to offer up 1080p resolution video capabilities. Undoubtedly, the airplay mirroring feature of the iPad 3 will require an Apple TV 3 in order to stream the retina display resolution to an HDTV. It may also be worth considering the potential for Apple to unveil the iPad 3 with new storage capacities and perhaps even further price reductions on the iPad 2, although I think that’s unlikely. The iPhone 4S saw a 64GB model iPhone for the first time, and with the inclusion of a 1080p camera on the rear, and potentially a 720p front-mounted FaceTime camera (the same as what can currently be found in current MacBook Pro and Air models) we will require more storage for the video footage and wacky PhotoBooth picture’s we’ll be taking with the device. Bearing in mind the flash chips used within the iPad are mounted on the logic unit in the same was as the MacBook Air, we could see a 128GB model being made available following this launch. This is pure speculation on my behalf, as nothing has been announced regarding this previously. However, the inclusion of a 64GB spec. iPhone was never rumoured and only realised on the launch day, so only time will tell.

Finally, it would also appear that Apple are intending on releasing the device fairly soon after it’s unveiling. That being the case, we may see it as soon as the 9th of March, or perhaps the following week, meaning the Ides is a rather fitting title for this entry. Again…the only person who knows is going to be standing before us next Wednesday (all be it, for me, through the medium of the Engadget Live blog, which I will be glued to all night next Wednesday.)

Can’t wait for it folks. I’m probably not going to invest in one, because I’m skint and my original vintage iPad still works. Just. Still, it gives me something to watch when I get home from uni!


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