Last September, I had my first taste of the Apple kool-aid with my iPod touch 4G. In August of this year, I jumped at the chance to buy my first Apple computer, a fantastic MacBook Air. On Tuesday, Apple is going to host their “Let’s talk iPhone” event. There are definitely things I want to see happen and here they are.
No More 3GS
That model needs to go. I’m sick of seeing people buy a two year old phone thinking that because it’s an iPhone, it’s all that and a bag of chips. The 3GS in my opinion was a stop gap measure to give Apple time to finish designing the iPhone and the watch the Android market. The iPhone 4 was designed with its own chip, but it wasn’t ready. Until the A4, Apple was using regular ARM Cortex chips. Yes, there was a speed bump, but the original chip in the first generation iPhone was underclocked anyway, and the 3GS’ chip was too. That sounds very stop gap to me. It’s old and there is no reason to keep it around.
If anyone asks me, I love the glass front and back of the iPhone 4. It’s absolutely the most beautiful phone I’ve ever seen. It’s monolithic. But glass breaks. I’ve been at University for four weeks. In that time, three of my friends have destroyed the rear glass on their iPhone 4s. Beauty is something to achieve, but integrity and strength might be more important factors.
So maybe you can’t have a glass back. How about a smooth aluminum back like the surface of a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro? Nothing shiny either. Something with a matte finish, and maybe a nice glass Apple logo in the middle. Maybe a teardrop design is a possibility. In fact, I had to check a friend’s iPod touch to make sure it wasn’t already teardrop, because I thought for sure that it was.
I have a 3.2-inch touchscreen right now on my phone. It’s too small to type well on with its virtual keyboard. The iPod touch I had last year was better. I could type on that accurately and pretty fast. My dad recently purchased a 4” touchscreen phone and I tried to type on it. The amount of effort was lower than on any device I’ve ever used. It’s really a fantastic size for typing. Granted, it was only a few moments.
The problem, everyone says, it the rentia display. The current iPhone 4 has a 3.5” display with a 960 by 640 display at 326ppi. If the display grew to 4-inches, things change a little. According to my calculations:
sqrt( 960^2 + 640^2 ) / 4 = 288.44 ppi The iPhone 4 rentia display was touted as such because at a foot away, it would be hard or nearly impossibly to see the pixels. If the next iPhone has a larger screen, I’m betting people will hold it a little farther away and perhaps then 288 would be acceptable. Though a 12% drop in density may be too much.
Is an 8% a better drop? Well, doing some clever algebra, you can figure a 3.8-inch screen will easily get to the 300ppi mark. That could be fair.
Oh, and for the record, it would not make sense to use a regular non-rentia display screen for a low end iPhone. Why? Because the 3GS needs to go, it already meets that criteria, and the iPod touch already has a cheaper version of the iPhone 4 rentia display, without all that extra glass coating. Instead of downgrading the iPhone 4 to make it cheaper, make the iPod touch more expensive.
Actually, this matters less than everything else.
Oh, battery life. In the old days, back when I was in high school, this wouldn’t have mattered. The day was short and I could get through the day easily on my current phone with a 60% charge. I was always in quality Wifi range and half way decent cell phone coverage.
Now, at college, I’m not so lucky. The Wifi networks are spread across campus, indeed, but the coverage and quality is sparse. There might be a signal, but it’s weak so the phone has to reconnect frequently and search all the time. My carrier may not provide the best coverage, so the radio has to search all the time, but this is a smaller problem than the Wifi battery life drain.
I can’t afford a monthly fee of $70 to use my phone. I can manage anything nearby $40. I suspect that would include a lot of people. I’m sure Apple loves its top cut from the absurd pricing AT&T and Verizon places on top of the iPhone currently. Apple could profit just as well if they made cheaper iPhones that I would be very likely to repurchase again in a year, rather than in two years.
I want an iPhone among all other phones, but I can’t get one because I’m poor? Actually, Tim Cook apparently said something about prepaid markets once.
Apple was working hard to “figure out” the prepaid market and that Apple didn’t want its products to be “just for the rich,” but “for everyone”; he also stated that Apple “understood price is big factor in the prepaid market”
I don’t know of anything that’s better than the offering from Virgin Mobile and its parent, Sprint. Currently, it’s $35/month for unlimited data, texting, and 300 minutes. That’s insane, right? Well, aside from being limited to just about five smartphones, it’s insane. On Friday, Virgin Mobile revealed their hand for the remaining fall season: two new phones. However, Virgin Mobile stated earlier this year that they were going to begin throttling on the network. That was changed from now to sometime in 2012. Why? Perhaps Virgin Mobile anticipated the iPhone going prepaid previously but since it was so late this time around, they changed their minds. Or their deal fell through.
If not Virgin Mobile, then what other choice is there? GoPhone seems unlikely as the brand is not setup to handle actual smartphones. I hear T-Mobile has a prepaid offering, but they aren’t getting the iPhone.
If needing to skimp on updates is a requirement for a reasonably priced unsubsidized iPhone that could hit a prepaid carrier, I’ll live with that. An iPhone 4, an iPod touch 4G is better than the phone I have right now.
And one more thing…
After tasting the Apple juice in both the form factors of a mobile device and a main system, I’ve realized the point. To do things that you need to do, and then get done, and finally, get back to what you’re really supposed to be doing. Sure, the iPod and iPhone are labeled as gaming devices, but that’s the point. They’re good at gaming because they’re already good at a lot of other things. The next frontier that the iPhone needs to conquer, for me, and probably for a lot of others, is that prepaid or low monthly cost market.
So, Apple. Let’s talk iPhone.