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Sunday, November 25, 2007

No Signal Bars on iPhone in UK?

"UK 02 (poor signal strength/reception problems) is a title of one of the threads that has recently appeared on Apple's discussion forum.

It turns out that many customers in UK experience severe problem with poor signal / reception on their iPhones.

The first complain appeared on November 11, 2007. That is two days after the device was officially launched in UK.

A customer nicknamed Darkzoo writes:

Yes, my signal is mostly 'No Service', with the occasional one bar, despite
showing coverage on the O2 site - gutted.
In the past, visiting friends with
O2 have had a poor signal here, but better than I am getting.

Yet another user writes:

Same here. Been on Orange for 15 years and bought iPhone on Saturday with O2.
Never been unable to get a signal here with Orange but have only managed one bar
on rare occassons on the iPhone in 48 hrs. Is this a fault with the phone or do
O2 simply not have as good a coverage as Orange?

You can view the forum thread here. By the way, it is very active, which means that there are increasingly more people experiencing the problem.
Thursday, November 22, 2007

T-Mobile Offers iPhone Without Contract

T-Mobile remains the exclusive provider of Apple iPhones. Following a legal decision, the Bonn-based mobile operator is currently required with immediate effect to offer the iPhone without an obligatory T-Mobile contract as well. The legal conditions are attributable to an injunction submitted by competitor Vodafone D2, who was behind T-Mobile in the race to sell the Apple iPhone in Germany. T-Mobile will meet this requirement until the legal aspects have been clarified.

T-Mobile will start selling the phone for 999 euros ($1,477) immediately as well as continuing to offer it for the discounted 399 euros ($590) in combination with a two-year contract, the company said in a press release.

The legal conditions also require that all devices sold from November 19, 2007 be unlocked free of charge at the customer's request. This is attributable to the fact that the injunction submitted by Vodafone D2 was received on November 19. While unlocking the SIM allows calls to be made in other networks using the iPhone, numerous functions remain exclusively available to T-Mobile customers with a Complete rate plan.

The biggest advantages for T-Mobile customers continue to be the EDGE network, which will offer almost 100 % coverage in the entire T-Mobile network by the end of the year, and access to over 8,000 HotSpots for rapid data traffic via WLAN, covered by the Complete contract. As before, the Apple iPhone is available to purchase for EUR 399 in connection with a Complete M, L or XL contract.

By the same token, the innovative visual voicemail box only functions in the German T-Mobile network. This allows the customer to call up voice messages as well as select and directly access those to be listened to, without having to listen to the previous messages. Just like e-mails, visual voicemail allows the customer to access messages according to personal preferences.

This service is not only the more attractive option in technical terms. Costs are also remarkably low: With the Complete rate plans, exclusively developed for the iPhone, customers save up to 40 percent or EUR 54 per month compared with the individual rate components required for comparative use of another mobile device at T-Mobile. Each Complete rate plan includes a flat rate for free-of-charge data traffic via EDGE or WLAN using the iPhone, and free visual voicemail access within Germany. The smallest rate plan, Complete M, includes 100 minutes and 40 free SMS messages per month.

T-Mobile International is one of the world’s leading companies in mobile communications. As one of Deutsche Telekom’s three strategic business units, T-Mobile concentrates on the most dynamic markets in Europe and the United States. By the end of 2006, more than 106 million customers are served in the twelve T-Mobile markets. T-Mobile is a partner of FreeMove, an alliance formed by four of Europe’s leading mobile companies - Orange, TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile), TeliaSonera, and T-Mobile - to help their customers communicate as easily while travelling abroad as they do at home.
Originally featured on
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Apple's Marketing Strategy is Ruined in Europe

Vodafone may ruin Apple's well thought-out marketing plan. Giving exclusive rights on iPhone to a single operator is a simple and fantastic idea and there is no doubt that this simple strategy has worked for Apple perfectly in the USA.

However, as we have assumed, it would not be as easy in Europe as in the States. Moreover, Vodafone has won an injunction preventing T-Mobile from selling the iPhone in Germany. This fact is a failure of Apple's strategy in Europe's largest market.

Interestingly, as of now, there's some confusion about the extent of the injunction and it seems that even experts are not fully aware whether it is a total ban or SIM-free iPhones can still be sold.

I don't think German's will be left without iPhones. Most likely sales of the device will be resumed shortly and it is expected that German consumers will be able to purchase SIM-free iPhones. If this happens in other European markets (UK, France, etc), it is very interesting to see how this will be reflected on Apple.

As I have mentioned in of the previous posts, the exclusive marketing plan is totally out of question in the Asian markets.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

From iPhone to iSecurityRisk

Soon after launching iPhone, I remember Steve explaining why Apple did not put Flash or Java support into the wonder device. If I'm not mistaken, stability and security were the factors why the Cupertino company said no to these extremely widespread technologies.

iPhone is a really cool device but how secure is it? It turns out that iPhone is a huge security risk. FastCompany has made an experiment in collaboration with a security expert Rik Farrow and unfortunately Mr. Farrow was able to do "amazing" (to be short, the attacker can take a full control on the device by accessing messages, emails, even conversations and much more) things with the wonder device. If you are "lucky" owner of iPhone you may wish to at least turn off your WLAN functionality and watch this video.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How Many iPhones Can You Sell in China?

A lot. Frankly, I don't know. But I think it will be really a lot. Is it realistic that iPhone will be coming to China soon? Probably. At least that's what China Mobile CEO said today.

However, in my opinion it won't be that easy for Apple to make the already trusted business model get working in China (and in Asia generally). China Mobile's position puts this assumption even closer to reality. Wang Jianzhou, China Mobile's CEO has stated that he doesn't like some of the new business models emerging in the mobile phone industry. Of course he has been implying the revenue sharing model between the handset manufacturers and the mobile operators in the first turn.

Apple plans to roll out iPhones in Asia next year and of course China Mobile, the world's largest mobile phone operator with its 350 million customer base would be the best choice for the Cupertino-based company.
Monday, November 12, 2007

iPhone's European Debut - Day 1

Apple has made a fantastic European debut. UK's O2 is reporting 8,000 activations and Germany's T-Mobile is doing even better with 10,000 activations on the very first date. Not the same as on June 29th, however, European figures are still very good for the Cupertino company. For example, O2 was planning 3,000 activations on the first day.

You can read more detailed reports on ars technica both about O2 and about T-Mobile sales.
Friday, November 09, 2007

iPhone Changes Mobile Industry

iPhone is not only the next cool gadget but it's a device affecting the whole mobile industry. The effect the device has on the industry will be more visible in Europe. Let's bring a couple of examples.

The lack of 3G is a serious disadvantage in Europe. No 3G means that many Europeans will find iPhone's Internet access quite slow. But Apple would not have been Apple if the company did not know how to eliminate disadvantages. The company has already made agreements with hot spot providers in the U.K. and Germany. So, iPhone owners can use the speedy wireless Internet networks for free. Being able to use WiFi for free is even better than using 3G. Well done Steven.

Even with free WiFi access, there will be moments when consumers in Europe will have to resort to GPRS accees. However, Apple has done a great job in this respect as well. U.K. operator O2, which begins selling the iPhone today, has created its first unlimited data plan for iPhone owners. Now iPhone starts to be more and more impressive for European users.

To sum up, Apple is pursuing even more aggressive marketing campaign in Europe. This was expected because the competition it faces in Europe is tough. Will these actions make iPhone the best selling device in Europe? Frankly, I don't know. Selling 125 units per minute, which Apple enjoyed in the USA in the first 36 hours of iPhone availability, runs on a verge of miracle. But we'll soon witness if the Cupertino company makes a bis in year.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007

iPhone - The Wonder of the Year

You may like iPhone or you may hate it but let's agree that Steven has done a great job in the marketing department. With that level of marketing you would easily sell garbage and no wonder that this great gadget has been doing so well. It would not be an exaggeration mentioning that when the Time Magazine names a device the invention of the year, that's something.

Difficult not to agree. iPhone is pretty and easy to use. The touch thing is sooo cool, damn cool. If the first statement is subjective (I know people who find iPhone ugly) no arguing is necessary with the later. iPhone is more than a phone. It is a well thought out platform based on a desktop OS and finally, iPhone is not that expensive anymore.

What will be the iPhone's future? Difficult to predict. But iPhone has really deserved to be the gadget number one of the year. Yes, it's a wonder of the year.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hard Work for Hackers - iPhone Firmware Update Is Coming

A new firmware update for the iPhone is expected to be released by this Friday. Apple will update the devices firmware to version 1.1.2 when the company starts selling the phone in the UK and Germany. It is expected that the firmware update will break recently released hacks.

Some of the enhancements in this update include support for additional language character sets and a fix in the TIFF image-rendering library, which is common for the Safari browser, the e-mail client and the iTunes.

Naturally, the 1.1.2 firmware update will be released via iTunes.