The blogs are hot with chatter about upgrading to the new iphone 3G. To be honest I’m not exempt from the thought. After having used the iphone since November ’07 I’m more than pleased. (Sigh I’m already speaking past tense) It has truly been the best mobile device I’ve EVER had. But there is something about the iphone 3G that is tugging at the hem of my pants.  Just brining up the conversation with my wife I get a coast to coast eye roll. 
I’ll be the first to admit that it has only been a few months since I’ve purchased the iPhone. In my right mind, I would never have considered an upgrade just after an 8 month purchase. I’m not one to keep up with the Jones’ either. I really don’t need to upgrade my hardware every 6-10 months to feel I’m with the “in crowd”. So all that said and in an effort to placate my conscience i’ll do my best to analyze the situation from a purely fact based approach. Here is my best shot:

  • 3G
  • GPS
  • Upgraded Design – Speakers and such
  • The iphone can be a “hand-me down” (It’s a glorified ipod touch if you want it for $100. I’ll take the first bidder)

So should “i” iphone 3G?

Yes, there has been quite a bit of lag between posts. I started to suffer from the Fallen Tree in Forest syndrome. I’m trying to make a melody with this blog but I’m not sure if it is even making a sound. That said, I’m posting again. I’m doing this not to force a noise in a plethora of internet data.  I feel the need to share my lessons learned with Objective-C and the iphone SDK. 
Here is where I am so far (in order):
  • Downloaded the newest SDK – Duh
  • Downloaded the core documentation for the SDK via xcode workspace guide – Getting Warmed up
  • Ran through iphone Fundamental Documents – Shallow Waters
  • Started the “Your First iphone Application” document in the workspace guide – Where’s the boat?!?!
I’ll pause there. There were really no issues following the documentation and getting a working application.  It was way more than an echo “Hello World”. As a total laymen in Objective-C and lacking a solid C++ background, I needed something a little easier to make the connection. 
Of course you could find plenty of other places to go, but I found this one as I was searching for something familiar to grab hold of. I’ve been doing plenty of php scripting and this was a useful transition site. 
After getting aquatinted with my first application and reading some basics on Objective-C, I downloaded all the sample programs on the Apple Developers website. I’ll say that I’m making some progress.
The goal of all of this? Besides being part of a technical tsunami, I’ve been avoiding non-scripting languages. Now was as good as any time to start tinkering again. I’ll let you know how long I last.

The iphone SDK has been installed!

For a neophyte with little objective-c skills, I’m still highly attracted to the possibilities open to developing for the iphone. Business users all over are constantly in demand for rich presentation in a small package. I’m convinced that the iphone will pave the way for that to happen. 
But here-in lays the uncharted territory. How far will CIO’s and their organizations go to develop custom applications to bring their executives into the new wave? Most executives travel light but require the information at their fingertips. I foresee a new demand for companies to step to the plate and provide rich media in that custom package. The iphone may not be the device of choice, but it is certainly moving the mobile community and enterprises to build the right custom application. 

Who would think that unlocked iphones would be such an issue to Apple? Don’t other companies deal with unlocked phones and get over it?


When 1 million are “missing in action” according to  the Reuters.com article “Quarter of Apple iPhones “unlocked”: Analyst” anyone would take notice. Being an iPhone user (one of the best company policies we’ve enforced so far) I’m pretty glad that I have a “virgin” phone.


The reason I’m so glad for having a virgin phone is that Apple is going to have to make some interesting decisions concerning the future of the iphone. Those decisions I feel will make it harder to have the iphone on any other network unless Apple says so. Here is the conversation that pSw (fellow blogger and LightCube Solution Associate) and I were having on the issue. I’ve decided to take it to the blog so that others can chime in.


Conversation to date:


pSw: Should Apple [if they could] block all those phones that are missing? 


Let’s loosely define “block” as jailing the phone so badly that the iphone elite team, Installer.app team, geohot and others would have no other recourse but to raise the white flag. (I personally think someone will always have the ability to jailbreak the phone but thats another blog entirely)


fhagard: It’s amazing that they could sell so many phones yet suffer financially because of it.


pSw: The loss will only be for AT&T if that were to happen. 


fhagard: Apple would also lose on the deal because they make their money on the AT&T activation of the phone and not the phone sale alone. As stated in the article: 


“If Apple cracks down on unlocked phones it could preserve its high margins but miss its sales target, whereas allowing them could erode profitability and make it tough to sign more carriers to similar revenue-sharing deals.”


pSw: Sign other carriers! Unlock the phones, or make a version for each carrier…that strategy cuts into profit margins on the phones themselves. But the returns are better in the long-term.


fhagard: Apple is all about the immediate returns for the hardware traditionally. If they focus on long-term returns they will never please their investors because they are coming out with something bigger in the next Macworld.


pSw: The problem with that is they already make a tidy profit from all their other hardware sales. If Apple were more like, say, Research-In-Motion, then that focus would make more sense. RIM makes the functionality possible; Qualcomm makes the phones. Their joint venture remains profitable only by making multiple versions of the same phone(s) for different carriers. Who’s to say that Apple can’t adapt to this and become bigger than Motorola, Samsung, and LG combined?


In response to pSw’s last comment I feel that Apple wont adapt to become bigger than Motorola and the rest. Why should they focus on making several different phones for different users/wireless companies when they can make THE best phone? They have always defined their game by being separate from the pack. They keep it simple and separate making the statement, ‘we play well in the sandbox when we own the sand’.


So in the long run I’m very glad for my AT&T branded iphone playing in the sandbox the way Apple wants. More power to the dev teams who are able to unlock the phone, but I think the battle is on.


Thoughts Anyone?