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Apple iPhone Rumors Resurface

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the shiny-things-to-hold-and-talk-to dept.

Handhelds 227

donkeyDevil writes: "Following the rule of 'i before e except before P,' rumors of an iPhone resurface in the New York Times (registration required). The evidence: OS features, foiled acquisition attempts, PIXO relations, and the genius of Steven P. Jobs. Unmentioned, Apple's tried phones before. PIE produced a nifty desktop phone design, Apple Europe produced some nice telephone-computer integration software."

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testing... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096739)

is this thing on?

KMFB (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096746)

Kiss my fur burger.

Contents of article (-1, Redundant)

furballphat (514726) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096747)

The question is particularly engrossing as Apple Computer prepares to introduce the new version of its Macintosh OS X software operating system.

There are signs that, with the new version of the Macintosh OS, Mr. Jobs, Apple's founder, chairman and chief executive, may be approaching a precipice like the one that led to the downfall seven years ago of the man who was then Apple's chief executive, John Sculley.

Mr. Sculley's great tumble came after he staked his and Apple's reputation on the ill-fated Newton hand-held computer -- an ambitious product based on handwriting-recognition technology that was ahead of its time. And now come signs that Mr. Jobs means to take Apple back to the land of the handhelds, but this time with a device that would combine elements of a cellphone and a Palm-like personal digital assistant.

Mr. Jobs and Apple decline to confirm those plans. But industry analysts see evidence that Apple is contemplating what inside the company is being called an "iPhone."

Among the evidence, they say, is recent behind-the-scenes wrangling between Palm and Apple over linking Palm's own devices to Apple's new operating system -- apparently with little cooperation on Apple's part.

Analysts also cite Apple's deal with Pixo, the tiny company that designed the software for Apple's popular iPod MP3 music player; that deal includes a license for Apple to use Pixo's software with a second product.

And analysts note that the presence of a variety of features in the new Macintosh OS software that would make more sense in a hand-held device than a desktop computer.

"When you connect the dots, you end up at a phone," said Charles Wolf, a financial analyst who follows Apple for Needham & Company.

Compared with the Newton, which was delivered prematurely in 1993 to a market not yet ready for such products, Apple's new device would reach a field in which other companies have already plowed the ground -- including giants like Microsoft, Nokia and Motorola, as well as start-ups like Handspring and Danger. This crowded field could pose risks for Apple, if its product were seen to fall short of the competition.

And yet, entering an already established market could give Mr. Jobs the opportunity to show off his and Apple's vaunted innovation and marketing skills.

Certainly, Apple's push into the market for a hand-held communicator would be an abrupt departure for Mr. Jobs, who continues publicly to disavow talk of such a move. But analysts and people close to the company say that the plan is under way and that the evidence is manifest in the features and elements of the new version of the Macintosh operating system.

Mr. Jobs -- who was a co-founder of Apple and handpicked Mr. Sculley as its president, only to be forced out by him in 1985 -- returned five years ago when the company was on the brink of collapse.

In a remarkable turnaround effort, Mr. Jobs has taken pains to distance Apple from the Sculley-Newton legacy. He canceled the Newton soon after returning and has pooh-poohed the industry's personal digital assistants as "junk" and worse.

Behind the scenes, though, Mr. Jobs has been actively exploring the computing world beyond the desktop. Soon after he arrived back at Apple, for example, he attempted to buy Palm for $1 billion, according to a Silicon Valley executive familiar with the offer. Palm rejected the idea, this executive said.

Now, with the release of the newest version of the Macintosh operating system, Mr. Jobs appears intent on taking Apple itself into the hand-held market. The move would play into Apple's so-called digital hub strategy, in which the Macintosh desktop computer is the center of a web of peripheral devices.

The highly anticipated Macintosh OS X, Version 10.2, which began shipping on the company's newest computers last week, will go on sale for existing Macintosh users on Saturday. While the software is being marketed as an improvement for desktop computer users, it could have just as big a future in powering a yet-to-be announced Apple hand-held computer-phone.

Mr. Jobs continues to be coy. He insists that he still dislikes the idea of the conventional personal digital assistant, saying that the devices are too hard to use and offer little real utility. But a telephone with personal digital assistant features is another matter.

"We decided that between now and next year, the P.D.A. is going to be subsumed by the telephone," he said last week in an interview. "We think the P.D.A. is going away."

And even while protesting that the company had no plans to introduce such a device, he grudgingly acknowledged that combining some of Apple's industrial design and user-interface innovations would be a good idea in a device that performed both phone and computing functions.

A look at the laundry list of features in the company's new version of OS X indicates that a computer-phone is much more than a vague idea for Apple.

Of the 12 new OS X features the company has been emphasizing on its Web site, most would be desirable for a hand-held phone, including chat capabilities, mail, an address book, calendar features, automatic networking and a synchronization feature that will become available in September.

And several of the features, including the company's handwriting-recognition technology and Sherlock information-retrieval program, would be much more relevant to a small, portable device than to a desktop computer.

Sherlock in particular has been repositioned in a way that would make it a perfect counterpart for a portable phone. Its original purpose, which was finding files and content on the computer's local disk, has been transformed into a more general "find" utility program. Now, Sherlock is being extended to search for types of information like airline and movie schedules and restaurant locations. The software can display maps and driving directions.

But details of the plan are unlikely to emerge from Mr. Jobs or his team before Apple is ready to introduce a new product. The company, which in the 1980's and 90's was known among reporters as "a ship that leaks from the top," is now obsessive about guarding the secrecy of its future products.

All Mr. Jobs would say on the matter was that the cellphone computers already on the market fall far short, and that some of the user-interface and industrial design touches already evident in the iPod would be perfect for an improved, consumer-friendly version of such a product.

An Apple phone could be a particularly tempting product for Mr. Jobs, giving him the opportunity to overcome Mr. Sculley's largest failure. He could also rectify the Newton's single biggest shortcoming: the device's inability to communicate easily with the Macintosh desktop computer. Apple has already begun offering Bluetooth local wireless networking technology for peripheral devices, a feature that would make it simple to share information between a phone and a computer.

Furthermore, the cost of adding phone capabilities to palmtop computers is falling rapidly.

"It's easier and easier for a company like Apple to go to a Taiwanese manufacturer for wireless telephone components," said David Carey, chief executive of Portelligent, a technical market research company based in Austin, Tex. He said the parts required for adding advanced cellular capabilities to a device now cost as little as $50.

Of course, that is why Mr. Jobs's greatest challenge with an iPhone might be elbowing his way into a crowded marketplace, where other companies already have supplier and manufacturing relationships in place.

"There's no question that Apple could design a cool phone," said Andy Neff, a Bear, Stearns analyst in New York. "The key is being able to build an infrastructure."

Everyone's Desk (2, Insightful)

MikeOttawa (551441) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096751)


The thing is, a phone and a Computer are the two things that everyone has on their desk. Judging by their past successes (keyboards, mice) maybe Microsoft should start making phones as well.

If these companies want to compete in the future of VoIP, then they need to start building up their knowledge base now. Even if they start by building regular POTS phones, they will gain the expertise and experience of phone ergonomics and production.

Re:Everyone's Desk (3, Informative)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096770)

The thing is, a phone and a Computer are the two things that everyone has on their desk. Judging by their past successes (keyboards, mice) maybe Microsoft should start making phones as well.



They did - it failed in the marketplace because it was expensive and offered no must-have features.

Re:Everyone's Desk (3, Informative)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096775)

MS has made a phone. link [technofile.com]

Granted it's old, and not sold anymore, but you hooked it up to your serial port, and when there was an incomming call, it could screen it for you and give different answering machine messages to different people. Pretty cool.

Re:Everyone's Desk (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096803)

shut the fuck up, you mindless twit. would you please just go out and cut your genitals off in public as a big favor to the entire human race? would you, please?
ac, aka a true patriot and /. avenger

Re:Everyone's Desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096825)

Who wants a phone that is as unreliable as Microsoft Windows, more user unfriendly than a plain old phone and Microsoft expensive on top of all that!

It even got panned by reviews in the press, which was Microsoft friendly at that time.

Re:Everyone's Desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096973)

Shut up... wait.. because it's microsoft it must suck Get a life.. I bet you refuse to use a wheel mouse because Microsoft popularized it..

Re:Everyone's Desk (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097210)

I refuse to use a wheel mouse because a mouse needs a wheel like a fish needs a bicycle. I fucking hate mice anyway, I use a Wacom pad instead.

Why not? (1)

jukal (523582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096755)

Nowadays, you can just walk to another company, give them your brand, and say: "Produce xxxxxx" of these. The risk is much smaller nowadays. If you go to a fair related to mobiles, you will meet a dozen of these companies. Same stuff, with different logo and package. If it works, they might take the risk to themselves.

Re:Why not? (5, Informative)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096997)

I'll tell you why not. Because Apple doesn't produce cookie-cutter products. Steve Jobs can't just go to the company that builds Nokias and say, "Produce XXXXXX of these, but oh yeah -- make the case white and silver."

For Apple, it doesn't work like that. Not anymore. Apple has come the conclusion -- rightly -- that the ergonomics and user-interface are just as important as functionality. No, they are integral to the functionality of the device.

For most people this is so obvious that it usually gets overlooked. A great book that demonstrates this is The Design of Everyday Things [amazon.com] -- if you haven't read it and are in product engineering/design, I highly recommend it.

The point is, what truly sets Apple apart, is its attention to detail. The small details can make or break a product, and they know that. It's particularly well-evidenced in their laptop designs and the iPod. If you haven't had a chance to play with either of these, find someone who owns one and spend 30 minutes of your life with it, and you'll see what I'm saying...

Interesting discussion on the register. (5, Informative)

Matthias Wiesmann (221411) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096756)

There is an intersting discussion [theregister.co.uk] about this in the register. To summarise, it makes little sense for Apple to design and build its own phone - a partnership with Sony and Ericson would be more reasonable. Designing and builind a portable phone is much more expensive that building a MP3 player. All Apple wants is to integrate the phone into their digital hub.

Re:Interesting discussion on the register. (2)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096800)

To summarise, it makes little sense for Apple to design and build its own phone - a partnership with Sony and Ericson would be more reasonable.

Just so long as neither Sony nor Ericsson have any input what-so-ever when it comes to the user interface.

I've used plenty of their phones (including the joint venture T68i) and without sounding rude, their interface has been designed by the technical for the technical. Slashdot readers may have no problem with it - but it's not particulary nice, structured or clean compared to Nokia's.

Mind you, to be honest, I'd rather Apple work on a PDA over a phone since I find Palm woefully slow and behind the times (still no built in bluetooth, limited OS means a requirement to install 20 odd "hacks" and a tonne of replacement apps to get something a bit more flexible) and PPC overkill, buggy, complex and horribly unstable.

Re:Interesting discussion on the register. (3, Interesting)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096883)

Just so long as neither Sony nor Ericsson have any input what-so-ever when it comes to the user interface.

Read the referenced article. It says that the most likely candidate for cross licensing is one of the phones based on the Symbian platform, such as the P800 which is a pleasant piece of eye-candy. It's also the phone that Jobs invited Sony to demo at MacWorld Expo and the WWDC.

Re:Interesting discussion on the register. (2, Informative)

faichai (166763) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097678)

Too true. This fits in well with Apple's digital hub theme.

Through Symbian and through the use of standards such as SyncML (that allow syncing of contacts and lots more besides over normal TCP/IP) Apple has a more or less a single partner to work with that enables compatibility with a whole raft of manufacturers including Sony Ericson, Nokia, Panasonic, Siemens and Samsung, who co-own or partner with Symbian.

Furthermore, if they really do not see current phones offering what they expect (and for apple these are mostly UI related shortfalls), then the Symbian OS is the perfect platform for building a Mobile UI on as all the telecoms and networking functionality is already present, and is in fact how Symbian OS is marketed. Partners license the core parts of the OS, then slap a UI on to allow for product differentiation and boom they have a product.

Re:Interesting discussion on the register. (3, Interesting)

imperator_mundi (527413) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096938)

But a cell phone with a little Mac look and feel could be a massive hit. Til now only Nokia developed its prouct line with a little coherence in what is design and interface, the others changed radically all the ui paradigms and the look many, many times.

Re:Interesting discussion on the register. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4097203)

It is ALL about the user experience, otherwise we would all be using Windows CE. Rememeber the original CE-experience, a "mini-desktop"? Yikes!

That is the reason why there's UI designers, not just GUI designers. Ever tried an iPod? It is outstanding, a mini-GUI AND a new input device, the thumbwheel. This is the reason why it is marketed as a special-purpose device for music browsing (wheel) and playing (click). You cannot simply "fold" these functions into a PDA, where you need a keyboard or pen.

I want to see Apple (or anyone) give a try to a new user experience for phones and PDAs. Everything else out there sucks.

I highly recommend reading The Humane Interface by Jeff Raskin, http://www.jefraskin.com

Apple Europe? (0, Offtopic)

pudge (3605) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096767)

I don't know what Apple Europe produced, but Apple produced the GeoPort telephony stuff. It didn't work great, but some people used it. Some people probably still do.

Re:Apple Europe? (1)

cplater (155482) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096781)

I used to use one of these, but not for long. They were analogous to the WinModems available for wintel PCs. Basically an A-D/D-A converter, and you CPU did the modem functions. They were slow as hell, but they did work. Basically, just a box that hung of the back of the CPU with two phone jacks.

I sort of doubt that they are working on something of this sort. The bluetooth integration with the current crop of SonyEricsson phones looks great. They would be better off with a partnership, than creating their own products.

Re:Apple Europe? (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096861)

Yeah, I see no reason for Apple to make their own, rather than partnering.

Yeah, and the price would be.... (5, Insightful)

Brento (26177) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096771)

Mobile phones are an extremely competitive market: if you bring out an overpriced phone (relative to the other phones on the market), it just plain doesn't matter how cool it is - you won't sell enough volume to make a profit. Makers like Nokia can afford to make uber-cool super-phones, because they enhance the company image and make you want to buy a cheaper Nokia phone. Apple doesn't have that kind of market model, so how are they going to succeed on their own?

Re:Yeah, and the price would be.... (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096838)

First: Nokia are toy phones. I wouldn't want to be catched with one alive. I'm a Siemens fan, plain (not "uber-cool") phones with a clean interfaces and no fancy-schmancy stuff.

Personally I'd love to have a phone that integrates completely with my PDA (I have a Psion Revo+, and compared to any palmlike machine, the Psion really *is* superior...too bad they don't make PDA's anymore). So imagine a sleek (think TiBook metal looks, or iBook...I love the white), with running a NetBSD-trimmed-down-but-Mac-friendly OS and integrating iPod functionalities...all that within a phone! Hey, I'd pay 500 for such a thing. Good cellphones start at 400 anyway..so why bother?
And don't star the crap about: "I get a cellphone for 99 when I take a two year service with a certain provider". I don't care... Cellphones cost a lot of money, you are just subsidised by the phone company. Most people just do not realise that. I prefer to choose the phone I like, instead of taking a crappy Nokia that is "given away" for 99.

Re:Yeah, and the price would be.... (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096892)

First: Nokia are toy phones. I wouldn't want to be catched with one alive. I'm a Siemens fan, plain (not "uber-cool") phones with a clean interfaces and no fancy-schmancy stuff.

My Nokia has just gone in for repair following an encounter with the floor. By way of replacement I've been loaned some crappy little Siemens thing... okay it looks nice but the menu system is not brilliant, too much nesting and hiding of options behind other options....

I think with mobiles, PDA's and a certain extent laptop/notebooks personal choice and tastes play a big part and what one person likes another with loath.

As for mobiles... I want a telephone that lets me make calls, receive calls and send the odd text message, the latest features, gprs etc aren't important and add more clutter. As for the trend to smaller and smaller phones I prefer a reasonable size phone that is easy to hold and not easy to bury under a mound of paperwork ;>

Re:Yeah, and the price would be.... (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096993)

My Nokia has just gone in for repair following an encounter with the floor.

That is one of the things I mean with "toy". My Siemens S35i has encountered the floor numerous times and it even fell once in a toilet (don't ask). It still works as the first day. Now try that with a Nokia.
The menu system is actually very precise and organised. It has nice categories for each functionality. Things that are important are not deep nested and stuff that your really just need to setup once is way down there in the menu-tree. Sometimes it's better for newbies that they don't meddle with the Network setup of the phone (for example). And I like the fact that I nearly reprogram any button I like.
Besides, ask your Nokia friends to send you an picture to your Siemens phone and see what mess it makes (receiving 3 to 5 SMSes full of junk). See, that is toy stuff...Nobody needs to send images (besides that is why I think that MMS will fail).
Besides, I'm not the kind of guy that buys a new cell each 3 months because now cells have MMS or GPRS or whatever is funky nowadays. I buy a phone and it is supposed to last at least 3 years. My last cellphone lasted 5 years, and I only replaced it because it was impossible to get a replacement battery.

Re:Yeah, and the price would be.... (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097567)

Nokia make excellent 'phones. My girlfriend has a Samsung which has an abysmal menu structure (although an excellent screen). I use an Ericsson T-39m which is brilliant - Motorola's phones are the worst I'VE ever used. They CREAK and just up and die for no particular reason. Awful.

Re:Yeah, and the price would be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4097047)

I wouldn't be caught using "catched" in a sentence.

Re:Yeah, and the price would be.... (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097078)

Not everyone is a native english speaker. So excuse me for not catching the subtilities in your language.

Re:Yeah, and the price would be.... (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097273)

Don't worry about it. The past tense of catch is caught. There are a lot of native English speakers who get stuck on that word. Some people just can't understand that this is the WORLD-wide web...

Re:Yeah, and the price would be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4097659)

The past tense of catch is caught. There are a lot of native English speakers who get stuck on that word.

Are you sure about that? Maybe 5 year olds... and Cletus on the Simpsons. It's an understandable mistake for a non-native speaker because it's irregular, however I wouldn't say it's a common mistake for native speakers.

...not a lot. (2)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097401)

In most countries, handset prices for contract mobiles are subsidised heavily by the networks. Even prepay phones are subsidised to some extent. This means that a phone will always be cheaper than an equivalent PDA. As an example, I just got a newly released T68i, off-net price ~300GBP. I got it for free on an Orange contract.

Re:...not a lot. (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097586)

Are you another idiot who thinks that £17 a month for at LEAST 12 months is "FREE" then? And the 'phone is LOCKED so you can't use it on another network. Not too bright, is it?

Clueless (5, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096772)

The "evidence" in the article is insubstantial. Hey, Apple and Palm have had their moments of differing opinion: must mean Apple's developing its own PDA again. Anyone who looked at OS X and said not "This is a modern OS GUI over Unix" but "Hey, there are lots of features here that would make more sense in a cell phone," please raise your hand. We need to cull you from the herd.

The reductionism of the history of Apple to "Wasn't that Newton a bad proposition?" is especially obvious and seems like the sort of journalistic conceit that pushes faked-up drama in a story. I mean:

In a remarkable turnaround effort, Mr. Jobs has taken pains to distance Apple from the Sculley-Newton legacy. He canceled the Newton soon after returning and has pooh-poohed the industry's personal digital assistants as "junk" and worse.

The Newton might have lost Apple money, okay. But it lost Apple money for a variety of reasons -- among them the problem Apple's always had with supply chain on its products, and the way Apple collapsed in the laptop market for years before releasing the first shoddy Power PC powerbooks. To lump Apple's entire fortune as a company into that one product just to create a false sort of journalistic flow in the story is just lame.

Real story: There are some indirect signs that Apple may enter the PDA market again. They did once before, but they were a little ahead of the market and they eventually cut bait. Wait and see.

Re:Clueless (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096823)

boy, you sure are clueless. why don't you just stuff that nice fat dildo you have on your bedstand in your ass and keep you fucking fingers off the keyboard, eh? it's motherfuckers like you that give this pos site a bad name, asswipe. go eat you mother's used tampon.


ac, aka the true /. avenger

Re:Clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4097692)

He has a dildo on a bedstand in his ass? How did it fit all that in there?

Apple's "swish" campaign (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096778)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

iphone (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096780)

well if its called the iphone one thing is for sure, it better look cool as hell.

amf (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096782)

adios muther fuckers! y'all eat shit and drink the diseased piss of 60-year-old crack whores. hee, heh, heh.

Phones vs. OS's for Apple (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096786)

With the release of the newest version of the Macintosh operating system, Mr. Jobs appears intent on taking Apple itself into the hand-held market. The move would play into Apple's so-called digital hub strategy, in which the Macintosh desktop computer is the center of a web of peripheral devices.

The highly anticipated Macintosh OS X, Version 10.2, which began shipping on the company's newest computers last week, will go on sale for existing Macintosh users on Saturday. While the software is being marketed as an improvement for desktop computer users, it could have just as big a future.

Fanny rash (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096796)

Sounds like beaver-lickin', ring-splittin' good fun to me.

iPhone quality... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096810)

Of course the quality of the iPhone, as with most Apple products, can only really be measured by how far up your arsehole you can fit it. From what I've read, this would be appear to be of significantly higher quality than the Apple Studio Displays, which tear the sphincter after only a centimetre or two.

Re:iPhone quality... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096840)

You're not, by any chance, subtly referring to the qualities of the iBrator, are you?

iPod and Palm (4, Interesting)

jaoswald (63789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096816)

I'll tell you what *I* think needs to be done: integration of iPod with a full Palm OS capability.

One thing that keeps me from getting an iPod is that I already have too many damn gadgets that I need to function. Pager (work), cell phone (personal), Palm pilot, wallet, and keys. If I add a iPod to this mix, I run out of pocket space. And I don't want to clip three or four things to my belt.

I know that Apple is moving to include calendar and contact information on the iPod, but read-only access is not enough, and entering data through the five buttons + wheel on the iPod would be tedious.

iPod + Palm + phone *might* someday be even better, but a hard drive in a cell phone seems a bit much. I've never really liked the idea of being hooked to my cell phone through a headset.

Re:iPod and Palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096837)

I've never really liked the idea of being hooked to my cell phone through a headset.

Mmm...brain cancer.

Re:iPod and Palm (1)

jaoswald (63789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096856)

Well, I've always been skeptical of the link between RF at cell phone power levels and long-term biological damage.

The main problem with a headset is that you either have to keep the headset on whenever you expect a call and look like a goofball or fumble to put the headset on before losing the call to voicemail and look like a klutz.

Without a headset, I can just keep the phone within arm's reach, and grab it.

Re:iPod and Palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4097033)

I wear a full sized headset at all times in case I receive a call (about 4 or 5 times a day!) and people stopped asking me why I wear it around. I think they just got used to me wearing it all the time. They say that I am special.

Re:iPod and Palm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096848)

I know that Apple is moving to include calendar and contact information on the iPod, but read-only access is not enough, and entering data through the five buttons + wheel on the iPod would be tedious


However, the resemblance of the iPod's wheel to a telephone dial indicates that integration of iPod and mobile phone could be a great success, especially for those a little backward in their ways...

Re:iPod and Palm (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096947)

I'll tell you what *I* think needs to be done: integration of iPod with a full Palm OS capability.
Look at what they've done by adding iCal and iDirectory (or whatever it's called) to the iPod. Looks like all they are really missing is a good input interface on the iPod.

I'll be getting an iPod to replace my elderly PalmPilot (says USRobotics on it, if that gives you an idea), because all I need is to reference my calendar and look up the occasional phone number.

Palm and the future... (3, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096952)

Palm is currently the OS of choice in a grand total of zero of the major phone producers. Symbian however is the OS of choice in pretty much the whole raft of them.

Partnering with Palm for phones would be akin to partnering with Suse for the Mainframe market. Apple are much more likely to partner with the companies of the future like SonyEricsion, or to develop standard extensions to Symbian to make all Symbian phones interoperate seemlessly with the Mac.

Palm needs to change, it not a reliable OS for phones to run on. Symbian is, and it has the backing.

Re:iPod and Palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4097034)

Well, I can't afford an iPod, however much I might want one. I would have never gotten a Palm Pilot, until I picked up my cellphone PalmPilot for $110. I figured, what a deal! I mean, a PalmPilot for $110 is a good deal, but a phone included? Yeaah..

Well, the other thing was, I agree with you in that I wouldn't want to carry around a million gadgets. A PalmPilot/Phone/iPod device would definitely rule.. But only if I could get it for under $200. See, that's the thing...

Sincerely,
Durandal

Re:iPod and Palm (1)

Pyrometer (106089) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097087)

Get yourself a ScotteVest [scottevest.com]

I have had one for about 2 months now and I love it (v 2.0). Typically I have my phone, access card, keys, wallet, PocketPC and my mini-disc man all happily in the jacket and without the devices showing to much on the outside.

As for the iPod ... I am going to stick with my Mini-disc man for now. My iPaq should see me right for a while ... now I just have to kill a few people so I can buy myself a Powerbook :)

total speculation (2)

GutBomb (541585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096827)

Of the 12 new OS X features the company has been emphasizing on its Web site, most would be desirable for a hand-held phone, including chat capabilities, mail, an address book, calendar features, automatic networking and a synchronization feature that will become available in September.

Um, as far as I know, most computers come with address books, chat capabilities, calendar features, automatic networking and synchrinization features. Does that mean MS is coming out with a portable phone just because outlook has all these features? This guy is TOTALLY grasping at straws here. iPhone my ass.

Re:total speculation (1)

Nutcase (86887) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096929)

Just thought you should know.. Microsoft IS coming out with a portable phone. Well.. sorta. They design it and put WinCE on it, and others sell it. But same basic idea.

Course, you may have already known this and the sarcasm was completely missed. But whatever.

Re:total speculation (2)

GutBomb (541585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097171)

actually i didn't know that, but really, ms outlook has had all of these features for many years. the phone is coming now. with apple, these features could mean alot of things. why does it mean that a phone is coming? it could just mean thier os is trying to be better at keeping people in touch via email besides, the article paints the picture that OS X is being ported to a phone. Riiiiiiiight

Another piece of evidence: iPhone.org (5, Informative)

mTor (18585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096841)

Check this: www.iPhone.org [iphone.org]

This, of course, doesn't prove anything but it is interesting nonetheless.

Registrant:
Apple Computer, Inc. (IPHONE11-DOM)
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
US

Domain Name: IPHONE.ORG

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Eddings, Kenneth (KE557) eddingsk@APPLE.COM
Apple Computer, Inc.
1 Infinite Loop
M/SAti 60-DR
Cupertino, CA 95014
408 974-4286 (FAX) 408 974-1560

Record expires on 15-Dec-2003.
Record created on 15-Dec-1999.
Database last updated on 18-Aug-2002 05:26:24 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

NSERVER.APPLE.COM 17.254.0.50
NSERVER2.APPLE.COM 17.254.0.59

the iPhone brand is already taken... (3, Informative)

i_am_nitrogen (524475) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097054)

I already own a $400 POS desk phone called by the name of iPhone [cisco.com] . It has a 640x480 monochrome touch screen. It was bundled with a bigplanet [bigplanet.com] multi-level marketing scheme my parents bought into a few years ago. I doubt Apple would want to be associated with such a butt-ugly piece of hardware.

They'd have to come up with a better name if they released a phone of any kind.

They don't care (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097116)

Strangely, Apple seems to somehow just 'not deal' with pre-existing trademarks.

Witness http://www.ibook.com

Re:They don't care (2)

demaria (122790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097615)

According to the whois
Record created: 1997-03-19 00:00:00 UTC by NSI

ibooks came out after 1998. Considering how that site and the laptop are quite different things, there should be no trademark overlap issues, but also Apple would have no rightful ownership over the domain.

Re:Another piece of evidence: iPhone.org (1)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097080)

Okay, but does this mean that Apple is going into phone hardware (something like the iPod line) or phone software (something like iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, etc)? I would tend to agree with what others have stated. The cell phone market is a tough nut to crack. While I can see Apple creating a cell phone with some nice design ideas, how are they going to make it cheap enough to cover their costs? I bought an iPod cause it blew away all the other mp3 players I looked at. What is Apple gonna do with a cell phone other than the blue tooth integration I saw at MacWorld: New York?

Re:Another piece of evidence: iPhone.org (2)

mTor (18585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097159)

"What is Apple gonna do with a cell phone other than the blue tooth integration I saw at MacWorld: New York?"

Steve Jobs has repeatedly said that he doesn't believe that PDAs (as we know them) will remain viable (as a market) that long. He believes that PDAs will merge with cell phones.

That said, I'd speculate that iPhone will be three devices in one: cell phone, PDA and an MP3 player.

Apple needs to combine their Newton tech (some of which, handwriting recognition, was reborn in Jaguar as Ink), the cell phone tech (as the article mentions, you can buy a chipset for around $50 that will do all of the advanced cell phone functions) and their iPod MP3 playing tech.

Combine that with Apple's UI, Apple's design and MacOS integration (iSync is just a start) and Apple will have another hit on their hands.

Cheers.

Disclaimer: This is all just a speculation and extrapolation... I have absolutely no inside Apple info.

Re:Another piece of evidence: iPhone.org (1)

King (50010) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097288)

That does bring you straight to apple.com...

Intresting, Very Intresting

Take a crack at it, why not... (1, Interesting)

Launch (66938) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096845)

Apple recently has proved their masterism of the UI in portible devices with the iPod.

Now many people have tried making PDA/Cell combinations, but few have stood out among the crowd (who know's how Nokia's new phone will play out).

Apple is a company that if everything went right and they developed a good product then they might have a real shot at being that de facto Cell/PDA combo that people are looking for.

A few things they'll need to do to succeed. Don't make the iPod mistake, make this thing Win compatible... Open up to the open source comunity, this is the perfect product for the open source community to have a crack at. Think hard about "can this product make it if it doesn't use the Palm OS?".... If you use the Palm OS how much does that take away from your ablity to develope a UI.... Could it be a Apple front end on a PALM OS?...

Hey I know what every geek needs, multiplayer PDA games that we do via cell phone... that would be a hell of an improvement on IR pong.

Re:Take a crack at it, why not... (5, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096882)

Don't make the iPod mistake, make this thing Win compatible...

Err....mistake? From whose viewpoint? Apple got to service their customers first, got a cool product to entice the OS-agnostic to their machines for a while, and then once demand had died down a bit they added Win compatibility and now have access to that market too.

I don't see much in the way of a mistake being made there.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Take a crack at it, why not... (1)

Launch (66938) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096908)

A mistake from Apples POV.

IMHO I think they could have sold more units by offering it to the windows market.

I'm all for costomer loyality... and I'm sure mac users appericated it being a 'mac product'... but in the cell phone market it's a war... I don't have a mac box, and I wouldn't buy one to use a PDA/Cell phone... In the fight for customers a company needs to accomidate.

Cheers,
Jon

Re:Take a crack at it, why not... (2)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096942)

IMHO I think they could have sold more units by offering it to the windows market.

I agree, but in the beginning they didn't have more units to sell. Production was soaked up entirely by demand from Mac users. Well, Mac users and me that is - I went the XPlay [mediafour.com] beta route in order to use it on Windows.

When demand slackened a little, they introduced the Windows compatibility to expand the number of people they could sell to.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Take an apple to it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096910)

Most people seem unaware of the origins of the name Apple, and your post 'Take a crack at it...' is at the "bottom" of it all.

The two Steves (Wozniak and Jobs) were horsing around one day when Wozniak (the screwball one) challenged Jobs (a raving poofter even then) to an anal apple shooting contest. I'll take a crack at it, said Jobs. The idea was to shove one, two or three Granny Smiths ups their arses and to try and force them out at hide speed against the wall. The winner was judged on the quality of the explosion. Obviously the fact that Jobs' ringpiece had been repeatedly stretched in the past gave him an advantage as he could blow far more apples at a time than Wozniak. Jobs won, and that's why he's still at apple today.

In the words of the immortal troll:

Here I sit broken hearted,
Tried to shit, but only farted.
Later on I took a chance,
Tried to fart and shit my pants.

Re:Take a crack at it, why not... (1)

sjlutz (540312) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096996)

Another important criteria for their success in this? Do not make it cost 3 to 4 times an equivalent device.

Tired Anti-Apple Exaggerations (2)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097195)

There was no "equivalent device." And if you mean costing somewhat more than a "less-than-inspirational-but-pretty-similar device" then don't say "3 to 4 times more." It's those kind of tired exaggerations that keep folks stuck in the (well-earned) early 90's Anti-Apple mindset.

And if you're going to insist that it isn't an exaggeration show me a device which was on sale within 3 months of the introduction of the iPod, in the same size/weight class, same capacity, same transfer speeds, which also doubled as a hard drive....at less than the iPod price.

No? Thanks for playing our little game. Next!

I.P.Freely (5, Funny)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096873)



News Flash: After the iPod, iMac, iTunes, etc. etc., Steve Jobs today announced that from today he will be officially refering to himself as iI.

Re:I.P.Freely (2, Offtopic)

gaudior (113467) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096954)

THANKS A LOT!

I just spewed coffee all over myself. I did manage to miss my iBook, but that's the only thing that's still clean.

iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096887)

Does anyone know how much audio can fit on an iPod. I just got a 12 hour book from an audio book store [listenupaudiobooks.com] in Raleigh, and I was wondering if it would fit on the iPod.

Re:iPod (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096907)

How much can be stored in total depends on the model, but you will definitely be able to fit your book on there.

I have a 5Gig model, and compressed the BBC's Lord of the Rings series (13 hours) using 96 bit rate MP3 - the whole thing fitted fine. Mind you, I eventually chose to just keep three episodes on at a time - after all I was unlikely to listen to the whole thing straight through without pause.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:iPod (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096911)

troll troll troll

Re:iPod...hours? Try days...weeks, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4096992)

Try ten days [kentidwell.com] straight, approx. (for the 20gb model) at the higher bit rates...supposedly the audio books will take less space than a premium (sic) MP3.

OS X on a Phone, Ha Ha Ha (1)

NajmAdDin (118328) | more than 11 years ago | (#4096965)

I like how the article contradicts itself by saying that Apple would use a third party OS for the phone, but then saying that the features of OS X would be great for a phone. Which is it? Its not like they could actually USE any of their OS X software on the phone, and they certainly wouldn't be able to run OS X itself. I get the feeling the author doesn't have a clue.

Re:OS X on a Phone, Ha Ha Ha (2)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097017)

I get the feeling you didn't read very carefully. The article specified new features to the OS that would interface well with a Bluetooth-enabled phone.

The thing is, right now, there aren't a lot of Bluetooth-enabled phones on the market. I don't know a single person that has one. I know I am in the market for one, personally, and if Apple releases one, I'll be in line for it.

Right now, it behooves Apple to release one, too, because the market for the specific product is wide open...and if they have a bunch of Mac users out there, looking at Bluetooth-enabled phones, they're going to want to be a player in that market.

Re:OS X on a Phone, Ha Ha Ha (1)

NajmAdDin (118328) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097322)

Read the article again:

------------
While the software is being marketed as an improvement for desktop computer users, it could have just as big a future in powering a yet-to-be announced Apple hand-held computer-phone
------------

Re:OS X on a Phone, Ha Ha Ha (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097040)

The features of OS X would be great for INTERFACING to a phone. We don't need to assume the author is a dweeb.

I heard Nokia (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097007)

I heard that Apple and Nokia were in discussions about this combination phone/pda....

But please remeber the companies that help out Apple before anemly , the software handwriting recognition company are now owned and controlled by MS..

Where is the software coming from, not APPLe they are not known fro doing high quality CE software with the exception of iPhoto

Interested in the design (2, Funny)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097072)

I for one would be very interested in a design Apple would come up with for a phone. Say what you will about them as a company and their computers, but you have to admit their designs are pretty original. People are pretty polar about whether they're original in a good way or a bad way, but oh well.

I wonder if they'll have Ellen Feiss doing Switch commercials. "My old Nokia phone went BEEPBEEPBEEPBEPPBEEP! It ate my voicemail. Bummer."

"the genius of Steven P. Jobs"??? (0, Offtopic)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097125)

Jesus christ, people. Get off this guy's dick.

Repeat after me:
"Steve Jobs is not the messiah."

- A.P.

Yes the genius (2)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097580)

After all that Steve has done for the age of the Personal Computer...and all he continues to do... you go ballistic over a little "genius" hyperbole? Switch to decaf already, sheesh. The guy has some pretty serious accomplishments/credentials and merits a comment or two of that nature.

Apple and VoIP (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4097162)

Apple's certainly got something up its sleeve when it comes to telephony, but everyone's hung up on the hardware aspects - why not think about software for a second?

With QuickTime 6 (especially) the potential for clear, bandwidth-adaptable communications is right in the OS. Anyone who's seen streaming QT6 broadcasts knows that it's a quantum leap in quality over previous incarnations. There is a strong likelihood that some form of realtime video conferencing will be built into future versions of iChat - using Rendezvous and the Address Book to locate people across LANs and WANs, for instance. Now, eliminate the video component, and imagine those algorithms being brought to bear on multiple audio streams. You could pack quite a lot of conversations on a Gigabit Ethernet connection...and with the appropriate gateways, iChat becomes a softphone. I presume Apple is already up to speed on H.323 and its rapidly rising successor, SIP.

Furthermore, with the emergence of T.38 Fax-over-IP, Apple could integrate a T.38 client into the OS (as part of Print Center or a Telephony Center) to work with FoIP servers like XMediusFAX.
I've even heard that Apple might integrate IP faxing into .mac or OS X Server as some sort of add-on.

Future versions of Xserve might be used as VoIP gateways and softswitches - combined with the usual hardware from Cisco, Alcatel, Avaya etc.

If there is a hardware "phone" it might not come from Apple. Most likely it will just be a 3rd-party phone or PDA loaded with a combo of Bluetooth and 802.11g to allow synchronization and wireless "roaming" in-office, respectively. I've seen solutions like this (minus Bluetooth) running on Compaq iPaq PDAs, so there's no reason Apple can't do it.

But what network would it work with? (2, Insightful)

patiwat (126496) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097176)

The problem with phones is that there are significant issues of network compatability.

The US, Apple's core market, has too many incompatible cellular phone networks. Having multiple versions of the iPhone that support PCS, GSM, and god-knows-how-many-analog versions would be a pain in the ass in the logistics and product development perspective. Making a phone available only on one network would limit the market significantly.

Even worse, an iPhone would have to compete with phones given away for free from the network operators. The Nokia 3390 phone that Voicestream gave me for free is extremely well designed and easy to use - I don't see how Apple could improve on it, besides maybe Bluetooth PC-phone integration. But I would certainly never pay hundreds of dollars for that.

Re:But what network would it work with? (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097219)

The US, Apple's core market, has too many incompatible cellular phone networks. Having multiple versions of the iPhone that support PCS, GSM, and god-knows-how-many-analog versions would be a pain in the ass in the logistics and product development perspective. Making a phone available only on one network would limit the market significantly.

Maybe that's the hook right there. Maybe Apple's going to make the one phone for all network, complete with software upgradable protocols? Is that even possible? *shrug* At any rate, that would be sweet if they could pull it off.

Re:But what network would it work with? (1)

patiwat (126496) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097593)

Maybe Apple's going to make the one phone for all network, complete with software upgradable protocols? Is that even possible?

Nokia and pals would have the most to gain from network interoperability. They deal with interoperability issues on a world-wide scale, in markets besides the US.

Besides, Apple's largest markets are the US, Europe and Japan. Europe is GSM land, Japan uses a whole slew of network technologies that interoperates with nobody else, and the US uses an equally diverse slew but a generation or two behind. Develop a phone for one market, and it wouldn't work in the other markets.

If Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorolla could develop network/operator-independant phones, they would, and would invest much more money than Apple could possibly invest alone. If I were Apple, I wouldn't even try to get into that market.

if they do do it (4, Interesting)

banky (9941) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097201)

Did anyone read the article about the design of the iPod? Apple basically bought all the parts off the shelf, with the exception of the case. They didn't build it all from scratch, and used existing parts wherever possible. So given the relative success of the iPod, the logical choice for the design of the iPhone would be to partner with Sony or Ericsson, let them provide the guts, and let Ivo dream up the nifty case.

Then consider all the new stuff in Jaguar. Some posters have said, "Like including chat and address books in the OS is anything unusual". Well, it's not... except that Apple is all about the "Digital Hub". What do you wanna bet the iPhone will have the ability to sync with .mac, downloading all your contacts and stuff? That's assuming you don't spring for the Bluetooth adapter.

The biggest problem with phones is they aren't like MP3 players, in that phone services are localized. You can't use your bitching Sony with Nextel, or whatever. If they want the phone to work, they'll need to have the best penetration possible in terms of phone use.

I think there's at least a decent chance.

misinformed (0, Offtopic)

evil superstar (449136) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097218)

obviously you guys are misinformed. The product you are talking about is phone.mac ... it's one of those devices that used to come for free but for which soon you will have to pay hard cash. Other similar upcoming products are : bottleOfWater.mac, coffeeCup.mac and boxOfCookies.mac

Just the facts, Ma'am (5, Insightful)

freerangegeek (451133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097437)

1) Palm is tanking, badly.
2) Handspring has yet to support OS X native despite platitudes for over a year.
3) Windows CE devices are not Mac compatible.
4) Sony doesn't support Mac OS directly.

Apple's PDA section of the digital hub is about to get very sparse and remain unsupported if it doesn't do something fairly soon. Options are:

1) Kick Handspring in the nuts. (Please do!)
2) Buy Palm outright.
3) Convince Sony to play nice.
4) Live with outdated PDAs.

Or, in my not so humble opionion, dump the whole problem by making the right move and producing (either on their own or in cahoots with a mobile phone manufacturer) a combined PDA/phone.

Think about it, it doesn't make sense to spend time and effort syncing your PDA, your Phone, your iPod, and your desktop. It makes a lot more sense to start putting them into one device, and syncing that to your desktop.

Battery life is now reasonable to support it, Apple has repeatedly proved that the can put out UI that makes a device world class. (See the iPod). And nobody else out there wants to support Apple's hub strategy, they all want a share of the Bill Gates' market.

While I don't agree that Apple will likely produce a proprietary phone. They don't have to. All they have to do is work their interface magic on the front end of one.

Who care's who's 'talk to the network guts' live inside the phone, at that level, there is no differentiation from Nokia, to Erricson to Kyocera. What's going to make thing killer is a new 'front end' that makes your phone a better tool. And who's produced the most innovative tools in the last 15 years?

Demo'ed at MacWorld NY (1)

bedmison (534357) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097588)

Sir Steve demo'ed something like this at MacWorld NY a few weeks ago. He took a Sony/Ericson T68i phone, running with Cingular service, and sync'ed the phone's calendar and contact list with iCal (coming in Sept) and the Jaguar address book using a widget called iSync ( which also talked to PalmOS PDAs ), all via BlueTooth.

I think Steve and Co. are not about to make the same mistake the sugar water saleman made. They know full well that they can't build EVERY "entire widget".

I think the article's author was not paying attention.

Maybe the I-Phone takes the next big step (1)

niall2 (192734) | more than 11 years ago | (#4097643)

The one thing I would really love to have from my PDA is access to my files/information at home/work. Sure syncing info to the PDA is fine...but what about being able to browse your home desktop from anywhere on the network in the world without having to call someone and have them mail it to my PDA (sort of like runing X on a PDA with 3G networking)! Then I could have a networked workstation on my phone to boot!!!

Sure seems to a better application than Sprints currnet "killer app" of I can see pictures on my phone.
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