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Sun Debuts Java 'iPhone'

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the monkey-see-monkey-do dept.

Sun Microsystems 195

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that this week at the JavaOne Conference, Sun debuted it's answer to the iPhone. While it is still months away from being a reality this phone is set to put them in direct competition with some of the top cellphone vendors. "Java Mobile FX is "a complete desktop-scale environment that puts the network in your hand," said Richard Green, executive vice president of Sun's software group, announcing the product in his keynote address. Sun ported the Savaje code to a Linux kernel and is expanding the applications programming interfaces and set of developer tools that will ship with it. It plans to make the code available on other platforms in the future. Sun has no licensees for Java Mobile FX yet. However, it is in conversations with carriers and handset makers now and hopes to see cellphones using the software ship in early 2008. "

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195 comments

j-phone, for Java, not i-Phone (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054473)

Guess Daddypants didn't read his email.

Looks like the FIC OpenMoko (1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054795)

They seem to have the same case, which would make a lot of sense, it being a Linux based reference model.

Re:j-phone, for Java, not i-Phone (2, Interesting)

eneville (745111) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055169)

Java itself is ok using the J2SE, what I found when working with J2ME was that there are so many things that would be useful when working in limited memory that just are not available that it makes developing for this platform a real strain. I think that this 'FX' series will be much of the same and make it difficult to do anything useful. I seriously hope that this is not the case and that FX can do most of what is available in the SE editions.

Re:j-phone, for Java, not i-Phone (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056349)

I've been studying FX since the announcement yesterday, and I think that Sun is overhyping it to the extreme. As it turns out, all JavaFX is is a new scripting language [wikipedia.org] formerly known as F3. The purpose of this language was to offer control over the Java2D and Swing APIs in a manner that is easy to use and fast to develop. Because of the control provided, developers are able to create richer GUIs.

Somewhere along the way, the concept got derailed. Sun must have seen the iPhone and started worrying about what would happen to J2ME should it take off. So they yanked F3 off the shelf to show how similarly impressive GUIs could be created for cell phones. But before they could announce it, Microsoft jumped in the fray with their Silverlight announcement. (Silverlight being a powerful multimedia technology solution in search of a problem.) Not to be outdone, Sun somehow managed to convince the press that if you throw F3 (nay, JavaFX!) scripts into an Applet, you have a strong competitor to Silverlight. A rather incredible claim, IMHO, as JavaFX is lacking in the streaming video department. Even more telling is the fact that none of the JavaFX examples [java.net] are actually applets!

Thankfully, Sun seems to be hedging their bets. None of the pages on the JavaFX site even mention Silverlight, almost making it look like the entire idea was a press invention. Sun's pages make a few passing references about running the technology in an Applet, but nothing firm.

My verdict? I think that F3/JavaFX is the GUI layout technology that Swing developers have been waiting for. With any luck, the technology will create a new market for Java Desktop Applications. The rest of Sun's claims can be safely ignored.

but (5, Funny)

mekane8 (729358) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054541)

does it run Lin- errr... Does it run jav- errr... Will it let me see pr0n?

Like that's a good idea? (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055005)

Driving and talking is bad enough.

Re:Like that's a good idea? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19055843)

I would just like to mention that I have achieved climax via onanism at least twice while driving.

Re:Like that's a good idea? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19056347)

But how about those of us who take Public Transportation?

more than a replacement (3, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054557)

While most people just want something that works, there is no 'good' reason why the iPhone needs to be a totally closed platform. If Sun's new product is based on open standards and not locked and still gives a good customer experience, it will be far more than an iPhone.

Maybe people should just wait (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054699)

The iPhone has been declared dead so many times already that I am starting to think it's a Jesus phone for the amount of times it must have been resurrected. And there are so many iPhone killers running around loose that I don't dare step a foot out the door.

Maybe everyone should just hold there horses and see what Apple actually comes out with. I know one thing, this product is hyped beyond belief and Apple didn't have to pay a red cent for that advertising (have you ever heard of a Zune killer before or after that thing came out?)

Re:Maybe people should just wait (1, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054933)

have you ever heard of a Zune killer before or after that thing came out?

Really, what's to kill?

It's gotten lukewarm treatment in the press. It's hardly touted as the must-have-thing or anything like that.

It's kind of like saying "We need to compete with broccoli for the hearts and minds of 5 year olds if we want our turnip/brussel sprouts hybrid to become popular". :-P

I agree with you, I'll be curious to see what the phone actually offers. I know someone who spent around $500 for a Sony/Erickson phone because it had a whole raft of features. Apple might actually make some headway on this -- their track record for putting out products people actually like of late is not to be completely discounted. Not everyone is gonna want one, but I bet it's got more of a potential market than we might think.

Cheers

Re:Maybe people should just wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19056031)

And there are so many iPhone killers running around loose that I don't dare step a foot out the door.

Hey, Mr. iPhone, that's quite a feat - not even launched yet and already having more than 1k posts on /. You're sure to make a splash whenever it will be time for you to take that step out the door :-)

Re:Maybe people should just wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19056039)

The iPhone has been declared dead so many times already that I am starting to think it's a Jesus phone for the amount of times it must have been resurrected.

Wasn't that only once?

Re:more than a replacement (-1, Troll)

alexj33 (968322) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054747)

What if you need to call 911, and some strange app crashes your phone? I think that's at least part of the reason Apple has closed off the iPhone.

Now, picture a Java phone. You are in trouble and need to call 911. Man, it's so slow from that bloated framework that the buttons respond 1 second after I press them. Then- *crash!*

Re:more than a replacement (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055425)

What if you need to call 911, and some strange app crashes your phone?

Then your phone is defective and you should return it for a working one that uses a real OS. Strange apps don't crash OS X; why would they crash OS X Lite?

Re:more than a replacement (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055539)

I don't know about strange apps crashing OSX, but normal ones crash on it all the time. What's to say that normal apps (say, I don't know, the DIALER!) wouldn't crash all the time on OSX Lite, too?

Re:more than a replacement (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055841)

There a difference between an app crashing and an app crashing the entire system. If Delicious Disco goes up in smoke, then you can still call 911. Of course, we are talking about third-party apps. If something that comes with the phone (like the dialer) doesn't work then the phone is just defective and banning third-party apps won't help.

Re:more than a feeling (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055719)

What if you need to call 911, and some strange app crashes your phone?
See, that's Apple's excuse - the reason they give so that customers will feel the decision makes sense for them. The actual reason they don't want the platform to be open is because they want to retain control. They don't want, for instance, users to install some video player that would reduce iPhone users' dependence on iTunes video service.

And, you know what, I have a Treo. I don't need "some strange app" to crash my phone, the built-in Treo software does a pretty good job of that already. It sucks how that happens. But you know what the answer is? When your phone crashes, you wait for it to reboot (about 15-20 seconds) and you call again. Sure, you don't want that happening in a real emergency situation, but if it did, there are effective ways of dealing with the problem.

Re:more than a replacement (3, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055733)

What if you need to call 911, and some strange app crashes your phone? I think that's at least part of the reason Apple has closed off the iPhone.

Now, picture a Java phone. You are in trouble and need to call 911. Man, it's so slow from that bloated framework that the buttons respond 1 second after I press them. Then- *crash!*
There are 2 BILLION phones having sort of Java and the Java apps in phones are very strictly watched by the device itself. There hasn't been a single java related system freeze on phones since they are coded exactly that way, considering the emergency device nature of the platform.

Java applications never run at background or the system itself could never get effected by Java. Java runs on a seperate subsystem. All phones you see are regulated by very very strict organisations before they hit the market.

Here are some stats for Java:

over 800 million PCs
over 1.5 billion mobile phones and other handheld devices (source: Ovum)
2.2 billion smart cards
plus set-top boxes, printers, web cams, games, car navigation systems, lottery terminals, medical devices, parking payment stations, etc.

  If you like iPhone, buy it. I personally won't because my bank requires J2ME for password generation. Just don't excuse for Steve Jobs.

As owner of 3 Macs, let me tell you something: Apple HATES Java, always hated and that is why we are stuck on Java 5 while the people using platform which tried to kill Java are enjoying Java 6 final release.

If you put Java to a device, you lose control of end user. That is why. Nobody dieing, nobody falling from roof, no device exploding, no network downing because of J2ME, a platform which is used on 1.5 billion devices.

You know iTunes interface? It will have "Apple iPhone Software" tab, that is why Apple doesn't put Java in it.

Re:more than a replacement (0, Troll)

alexj33 (968322) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056203)

"over 800 million PCs" (On which Java still does not run fast; weighed down by a slow, hulking framework, all with who knows what version of the runtime, which works with who know which apps, on which the Java graphics *still* do not refresh correctly in desktop windows, even after 10 years of Java.)

There, fixed that for ya.

And no, I'm no fan of Apple, but Apple's stuff just works.

Re:more than a replacement (2, Insightful)

mustafap (452510) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056501)

>What if you need to call 911, and some strange app crashes your phone?

Oh for God sake, we did live ok without bloody mobiles you know.

Re:more than a replacement (5, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054809)

If it's anything like my experience with Java, you'll have to use version 7.4.2-6 of the cell phone communication protocol, because 7.4.2-7 has some changes that break the phone in confusing ways, and 7.5.0 is right-out. The phone will default everything to a hideous grey interface that ignores the styles that you set for all of your other devices, and will insist on making you do the most basic phone operations in the "Java" manner. It will ignore half of the capabilities of the underlying phone hardware in a failed attempt to be cross-platform, and your calls will run at a tenth the speed that they do on other phones. For makers of add-on modules, there will be half a million libraries, and you'll have to dedicate years of your life to be able to get past being a novice developer.

There will be 86 editions of the Java iPhone. For your particular uses, you want Enterprise J2Mobile3EE JCC, release 3. Don't use release 2 of the phone; it's deprecated.

The Java iPhone will become an immediate success in that businesses, after reading ads about it, will mandate that their employees all use them at work.

Re:more than a replacement (1)

alexj33 (968322) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055283)

I don't understand... regular Java is nothing like that. (..begin masking hysterical laughter..)

Re:more than a replacement (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055601)

I've been writing Java on the server since the 1.0.2 days. Java on the server is a pleasure for large enterprise applications. Now, Java on the client? What a hellish, insecure, ugly monstrosity. Keep it on the server for large enterprise apps only, where it belongs!

Re:more than a replacement (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055039)

How can you consider a phone with a fully-functional web browser in an era where people can write fully-fuctional web applications a "totally closed platform." Write a web app. Browse to said web app. Presto. I might agree with "more or less closed platform", but "totally" is FUD.

Re:more than a replacement (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056479)

I call that a work-around at best.

What will happen to your "app" if you step into a dead zone? Can it possibly be as responsive as a native, local app? It will do the job, but I don't think that the user experience would be up to snuff.

I like a lot about the iPhone idea, what I'm waiting for is an actual launch and an actual announcement on how they will handle third party apps. I'm pretty sure the January Newsweek article covered the fact that Apple plans to allow third party apps, but the question was about how much control they will exert in the process.

Re:more than a replacement (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056765)

How can you consider a phone with a fully-functional web browser in an era where people can write fully-fuctional web applications a "totally closed platform." Write a web app. Browse to said web app. Presto. I might agree with "more or less closed platform", but "totally" is FUD.
You are commenting like Safari is some state of the art webservice optimised browser. It is not. I am posting this comment using it and my licensed browser is based on its core engine, I am not a Safari hater, I just say it is sadly behind in web services.

Anything serious requires Firefox or Camino. Just go to Google Docs for example. There is Thinkfree.com which allows Safari thanks to Java/Ajax mixed nature of it. Java won't be included in iPhone because it will cause argameddon (!).

A fully functional mobile browser which people even pay for it is: Opera. Heard anything about iPhone from them recently? If they dare to speak about possibility of porting Opera to iPhone Steve Jobs will claim that poor thing can bring down entire west coast because of 404 error. :)

Re:more than a replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19055243)

.While most people just want something that works, there is no 'good' reason why the iPhone needs to be a totally closed platform. If Sun's new product is based on open standards and not locked and still gives a good customer experience, it will be far more than an iPhone.
Huh. That's the same reasoning I used when I married my wife.

Re:more than a replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19056637)

While most people just want something that works, there is no 'good' reason why the iPhone needs to be a totally closed platform. If Sun's new product is based on open standards and not locked and still gives a good customer experience, it will be far more than an iPhone.
It is not Sun's phone, it is "openmoko" which I never heard before this article. It is pure open source phone which will ship in months time for a very good price ($350) http://openmoko.com/press/index.html [openmoko.com]

I got a Nokia 9300 here right now which I will give to service tomorrow just to get its horrible outdated firmware (OS) updated. Mix with "Apple says Java can kill you, glad they don't put it in" comments, I started to consider that pure Linux phone/pda very seriously as Mac only user.

Let me tell, I have never ever liked the idea of Linux Desktop but for mobile device, it is a very serious choice, not just some nerd alternative.

From TFA (1)

Vasco Bardo (931460) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054561)

"Sun will sell the software only in a binary version to ensure compatibility across different systems. "

Can anybody explain this to me?

Re:From TFA (4, Funny)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055275)

Can anybody explain this to me?

They tried to make trinary version of the software, but they found it was hard to make it compatible with various systems.

Re:From TFA (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055509)

Sun used to give JVM source code to phone vendors, who would each add their own incompatible bugs. But now all JavaFX phones are supposed to run exactly the same firmware so they will all have the same bugs.

This is NOT a phone (4, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054563)

It's an operating system for phones, so it's a competitor to the likes of the Symbian OS, not Apple's iPhone.

mod up (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055279)

I was wondering about this.

Why buy a sun phone? And if Sun is ready for an ajax and flash killer with javaFX then it needs to be ported to other operating systems for phones. It makes sense to develop an OS.

However it would be nicest to just develop JavaFX for multiple operating systems so it can become a standard. Otherwise it will be usless like .net mobile. .Net mobile kicks ass but market share is way too limited to develop on it as it requires windows.

Re:mod up (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056149)

Sun claims to have new innovations every week. Remember the java-oriented special processor that Sun wanted to release but never saw the light of day.

Re:This is NOT a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19055463)

It's an operating system for phones, so it's a competitor to the likes of the Symbian OS, not Apple's iPhone.
If Symbian likes it, they can adopt in new generation. Symbian phones have great java stacks already. Some Symbian based phones are having "most complete J2ME implementation" (actual J2ME developers).

The issue is always the screen and j2me developers are afraid of the "pure C" competition and endless possibilities of OS specific programming. For the record, I already use a paid J2ME based RSS service on Series 80 (awfully incompatible brother of S60) phone (!).

It is only Microsoft and Apple who stays away from Java claiming some real funny reasons such as network going down or something. They just don't want average developer to independently code/ship their own freeware/shareware outside their channels. They want average developer at least download some huge SDK which will only work on their OS in their own terms with attached evil NDA/License. As Apple user, I am bit more understanding to Apple since it is their style of "common hardware/install/user interface" but Microsoft's reason is exactly "Java didn't die so we better torture anyone who needs it". Nothing else.

As Article submitter somehow tries to troll using Apple phone reference, I better get trolled and state some facts which even end user like me can see.

I really hope Sun makes sure NO enterprise, big iron guys get involved in a end user oriented platform this time. Please Sun, hire some desktop oriented people.

Re:This is NOT a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19055609)

It's an operating system for phones, so it's a competitor to the likes of the Symbian OS, not Apple's iPhone.

True, but the only good thing about the iPhone is the OS. Well, and maybe the touchscreen. Oh, and the snazzy Apple logo.

But if this OS is any good all it takes is a touchscreen and a good brand to be the "iPhone killer".

Re:This is NOT a phone (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056055)

I believe that, more accurately, it's a platform consisting of an OS, a Java VM, and a software "stack" implementing the UI functionality of a cell phone. All the code for implementing a cell phone UI is written in Java: Dialing, contacts, profiles, skins, etc.

So why? (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056103)

Which changes the question from "Why does Sun think it can compete with Apple" to "Why does Sun think there's room in the market for another Phone OS?" Carriers are already complaining [iht.com] that there are too many.

can anyone say... (1)

KiLLa_TK (1030038) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054567)

cell phone market saturation anyone? Seriously while it is nice have 10k competitors all trying to sell you a cellphone, why are companies still trying to put their foot in there. Is there really that much incentive to do the same thing a ton of other companies are doing?

Re:can anyone say... (1)

Vasco Bardo (931460) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054661)

Sun makes OS software, so this is pretty close to their core. Doesn't look like a bad bet on the face of it.

Re:can anyone say... (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054799)

cell phone market saturation anyone
Gee, now if someone would only compete on (service plan) price it might actually be good for consumers.

Frosty Twofo GNAA Urine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19054571)

University of Warwick file sharing faggots. [twofo.co.uk]

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Pics (2, Interesting)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054577)

If Sun "debuted" it, where are all the good photos? We want to see it!

Re:Pics (2, Informative)

escay (923320) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054925)

here's the webcast of the session [sun.com] the phone introduction starts at ~22.00 minutes into the video. It's a complete touchscreen interface, fits into the palm nicely (looks smaller than iPhone?) and has an icon-driven GUI that looks suspiciously similar to the iPhone.

Reality distortion field (1, Redundant)

geek (5680) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054593)

Why bother competing with the iPhone? 99% of it's features are useless to the average user. It's doomed to fail like the Mac Cube did. It targets an extremely small group of people, made smaller by vendor lock-in (via AT&T), you can't replace the battery which is a massive problem with something that needs to be charged as often as a color screened handheld device running a near full blown version of OSX. Don't get me wrong here, the idea is neat but with a 500-600$ price tag it's utterly pointless.

So why would Sun, or anyone for that matter, wish to compete in this market? There was an article recently, I believe on the NYT, I can't find it presently, that said cell use was declining. The novelty has dropped off. I know people will buy these devices but not nearly enough to make the market profitable.

Maybe it's just me. I personally hate cell phones and use mine only to talk to my girlfriend and parents or for roadside emergencies. Everyone else can wait till I get home. My 10 years of being on-call in the IT business probably biased me also. Regardless, I don't see the point to these devices.

Re:Reality distortion field (1)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054855)

99% of it's features are useless to the average user.

Care to list any of those features that fall into the 99%? Personally, the thing that I find attractive about the iPhone is that I probably would use most of its features, and the UI looks very slick.

Re:Reality distortion field (1)

furball (2853) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055061)

I don't care what other features iPhone has. The ability to listen to voicemail in random access beats everything else that exists today.

Re:Reality distortion field (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056771)

If that's the case, then you might want to check out CallWave's offering [callwave.com] that allows the fetching of voicemail straight to e-mail (or SMS) in WAV files. To me, that beats Visual Voicemail hands down, since it is compatible with ANY carrier (VV only works on Cingular[?]) and allows you to check and save messages without even having to touch the phone. It even e-mails missed calls!

I never went back to regular voicemail after using this.

DISCLAIMER: I have NO affiliation with Callwave or its subsidiaries.

Re:Reality distortion field (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055233)

Before I begin I would like to state for the record that I dislike the iPhone and the concept behind it simply because of the problems which persist with the iPods. With that out of the way...

The reason the iPhone is worth the bother of competing against is it will most likely do decently despite a lot of the doomsday warnings I tend to find on here. The iPod initially sold for about the same price ($500-$600) and was only an MP3 player. Over the past few years the iPod has played a VERY critical role in the success of Apple. the iPod itself is a very easy to use device with pretty colors and lots of fluffy add ons that the trendy crowd loves (even though I have seen countless iPods break (battery, motherboard, hard drive, etc.) After their introduction the price will come down and there is a market push to create devices with multiple uses into a single, small device.

Sun (I would like to note) is not directly competing in this market. Their response is only an operating system which phones may later utilize. The appeal to this new phone is the open source aspect (depending on how sun implements the final design) This type of phone I find intriguing and I feel that most techies will.

Re:Reality distortion field (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055527)

It's doomed to fail like the Mac Cube did.
while the cube didn't do too well thats understandable it was apples first attempt at small form factor (and indeed one of the first small form factor desktops arround). Its main downfall was that it was overpriced.

the similar but cheaper, smaller and more powerfull mini otoh has been a huge sucesss

i can see something similar happening with the iphone, the first generation probablly won't be all that popular but watch out for the second gen.

Dude, I'll write this down somewhere, and (1)

melted (227442) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055537)

Dude, I'll write this down somewhere, and post it on Slashdot by the end of the year. My prediction is, iPhone will sell like wildfire all over the world, easily outpacing the iPod sales. In fact, I'm so sure of this, I've put all my dough into Apple stock.

Re:Reality distortion field (1, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055619)

The i-Phone, like many current Apple products, a fashion accessory as much as a functional device. That's as much of a reason as any why someone will pay $600 for a cellphone.

The distorted reality is ... (1)

surrealestate (993302) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056145)

... that you are looking at this device as a phone, rather than as a very advanced iPod that just happens to also have phone features.

The original iPods were very expensive, the first iPod with a color screen, the photo iPod, sold for $599. The video iPods also debuted at that high a price.

This device has 4 times the screen real estate, which will make iTunes video look great, and a novel UI. Not only that, but the photo features put the original photo iPods to shame. Having a photo iPod with a camera included is a big win. Add on top of that the normal iPod functionality of playing music, and the integration with iTunes to access video and audio podCasts.

It's a pretty compelling device right there, but it's also a wireless iPod that will let you browse the Internet.

And, it's a phone with a couple of fairly novel features, like visual voice mail.

Put all these things together with sufficient miniturization and build quality, and it's not that expensive a device. The current video iPods have gone down in price to $249 or $349, but started out more expensive. You're getting a lot of iPod for your money, and the phone for free. The build quality of the iPod and form factor made it inexplicably compelling for the price, so thinking about this device in that fashion will help explain why it's likely to be a big hit. It's the first iPod device that really justifies a $499 price tag, in my book.

Re:Reality distortion field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19056269)

When was the last time you replaced your phone battery or better still, do you normally carry spares around?
For my existing phone I have a wall charger and a car charger. I'd imagine the iPhone will have both.

Just like say, the iPod?

Good move, but in the wrong direction (1)

Magneon (1067470) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054617)

Great, Java the platform of interoperability and cross platform compatibility is fragmenting once more... They really need to try- to the best of their ability- to simply have a Java cell phone. Not Java XLG, or whatever they're coming up with this year. Java 1.3 anyone?

JavaFX Mobile - Free Software? (1)

thomas.galvin (551471) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054679)

What concerns me is that the JavaFX Mobile platform itself appears to be a proprietary code base. Sun has made a lot of noise about JavaFX Script being available under the GPL, but is says that the JavaFX Mobile platform will be available with an OEM license. If that's true, this isn't really all that better than Flash, License-wise. I'd love to have the Java libraries available in a RIA, but if I have to kow-tow to Sun to get them...

Re:JavaFX Mobile - Free Software? (1)

FreeSpirit (119353) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056139)

After reading Jonathon's Blog (http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/entry/when_not_wher e/ [sun.com]) it would appear that the all of JavaFX/mobile will be released under GPL in the future. I would have to assume that this will be
like the GPL versions of Java SE which not completely GPL yet but are missing a number of pieces of licensed code that is yet to be opensourced or replaced with opensource alternatives. Hence the need for an OEM licensed version to get a supported version with all the non-opensourced components present.

Re:JavaFX Mobile - Free Software? (1)

cching (179312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056821)

According to this, if you want to get involved in JavaFX/Mobile, you should join OpenJFX and wait apparently:

http://www.sun.com/software/javafx/mobile/getstart ed.jsp [sun.com]

"Join the Java community so you can participate in forums and discussions regarding the future direction of the JavaFX Mobile software system:"

Hard to tell for sure, but seems like it will be open at some point.

But can it still slice a tomato? (1, Offtopic)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054705)

So if Apple released the iPhone, will Sun, in keeping with their idiotic naming scheme for all things java, name it the jPhone? Will the next one run a KDE and be called the kPhone, or will they want to give it more character and name it the cPhone? Or will a Hungarian include a leather-strap handle and call it the hPhone?

Thanks, I'll be here all week. Try the veal, it's fantastic.

Hungarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19055761)

"Or will a Hungarian include a leather-strap handle and call it the hPhone?"

You mean the hStrLPtrPhone* dont you? (far pointer to a handle to a leader strap)

Anyway, the Hungarian variant should obviously be called the sarkoPhône.

Much like pornography... (5, Funny)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054713)

I can't get excited about it without pictures.

Re:Much like pornography... (2, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054785)

I can't get excited about it without pictures.

Think of it as more of a Penthous Letters scenario ....

The glistening, sleek case glinted in the moonlight, inviting me to reach out and caress it's luscious buttons. I longed to place a phone call, but decided to prolong my desire just a little longer and drink in it's plasticky smoothness ...

Or ... not. :-P

Cheers

Re:Much like pornography... (2, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055013)

Beyond whether it looks pretty or not, the interface is what's going to make or break the JPhone. There are hundreds of models on the market right now that run BREW; I don't really care about the technology of this phone so much as I care whether they actually had some smart interface designers and human factors people work on the UI.

Behind the shininess and bouncy animation of the iPhone are, from the looks of it, some solid usability principles sorely lacking in the mobile device market today. If this new phone can get that right, it'll be a contender. If all it gets right are shininess and animation, it's dead already.

Grammar, grammar, grammar. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19054763)

"Sun debuted it's answer to the iPhone."

Let's go ahead and remove that apostrophe, please. This isn't even tricky grammar.

Re:Grammar, grammar, grammar. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19055051)

At least it wasn't "its'."

I see... (3, Insightful)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054781)

Sun will sell the software only in a binary version to ensure compatibility across different systems.

Evidently, the new Sun is like the old Microsoft.

Re:I see... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055049)

"Sun will sell the software only in a binary version to ensure compatibility across different systems."

Evidently, the new Sun is like the old Microsoft.

You mean, the phone we buy the software for will be proven to be nowhere near powerful enough to run the software and we will need to go out and get a new phone -- then we'll find out the license isn't transferable to another device?

Oh wait, that's still the current Microsoft. :-P

Cheers

How does this compare to OpenMoko? (3, Interesting)

quixote9 (999874) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054793)

The OpenMoko [openmoko.com] folks have a prototype Linux phone out to developers in some kind of alpha testing phase. They're planning a release to the rest of us some time in November(?) Be nice if someone with Sun's resources worked *with* the rest of the open source crowd. Or is this Sun thing so much better there was no point? Anyone know how they compare?

Re:How does this compare to OpenMoko? (1)

fdawg (22521) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056333)

It looks like the same phone and the article mentioned it was running linux. Chances are they are the same.

Re:How does this compare to OpenMoko? (3, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056603)

How do they compare? Sun's system is running on the OpenMoko hardware (FIC Neo 1973), i.e., they are one and the same. You can see it clearly from the pictures: OpenMoko Neo 1973 [openmoko.com] vs. new Sun offering [sun.com]. Plainly this is the exact same hardware.

I wonder why that wasn't in the Summary.

An early call: (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 6 years ago | (#19054915)

i have this funny feeling that Sun is the new Apple.

Re:An early call: (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055443)

Sun and Apple are two of the companies that are seriously positioning themselves to be competitive in the ubicomp era. Samsung are as well, although to a lesser degree, and HP are trying to (although I am not convinced that they will succeed). None of the other major players seems to have yet acknowledged that we have passed the peak of the desktop era.

New Toy - Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19054981)

Yet another new toy consumer appliance that is designed litterly to last from 12 until noon.

Now my phone can prompt me to download critical java updates, and can run no doubt useless java crapplets.

Better yet, the phone will have a 5 minute boot time, and any dialing will take 2 seconds per digit, unless it can't find the classpath of course, or some useless library is missing

Read my Lips... It's the interface... (2, Informative)

ahg (134088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055007)

Until users get the devices in their hands and can evaluate the "feel" of the device there's no way of knowing if either phone will be a flop or success. Apple has consistently performed in this area in the past few years. In terms of interface experience they are probably years ahead of Sun, who is used to making computers for a more elite "geek" crowd. No one can say yet if the iPhone will be a success, but if I were a betting man... my money would be on Apple topping Sun's sales by 2 to 1. Sun's more "open" device may be a geek's dream, but IMHO, unlikley to have mass consumer appeal.

My $0.02

Re:Read my Lips... It's the interface... (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055329)

And considering how utterly hideous Java interfaces are, I'm not going to hold my breath on this one.

How is jPhone like iPhone? (4, Insightful)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055053)

TFA says Sun has "debuted software for a high-end cellphone that looked very similar to the Apple iPhone" but there are no pictures. In fact, I combed the web for more stories about this and none seem to have any pictures.

Does it have a touchscreen or not? What kind of media playback? Visual voicemail? This story [builderau.com.au] says they want to produce phones that can be sold for $30-$50, which pretty much means they'd be unlike the iPhone at all.

I guess what we have here is an iPhone name-drop with no meat to it. Which just adds to the iPhone buzz, really. Meanwhile, Sun's product (whether it's software or a specific phone) grabs a little attention, but goes back to being boring as soon as you're finished reading the article.

Re:How is jPhone like iPhone? (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055319)

> How is jPhone like iPhone?

Well, maybe it will feature crappy talk time, a non-replaceable battery, and a useless, locked down OS?

I love this... (1, Insightful)

Jasin Natael (14968) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055071)

This is the same kind of hype that surrounded Java itself at its inception. We were all going to have Java Thin Clients, and Java programming would be so universal and so compatible, that it wouldn't matter what kind of computer you chose to run -- the free OS could run Java, too, so there would never be a need to pay for Windows just so you could run the same amazing Java Apps! Scott McNealy and Larry Ellison were each talking about how Java would change the distribution model of software, so that you never "installed" software again, you just had client libraries that were synced into a cache on disk when you first used a particular feature in some software you obtained, and as necessary thereafter.

Java is slow. Java has had over 10 years to become what it claimed to be. Unless this phone is running compiled Java, either performance or battery life are going to suffer. And if it *is* running on compiled Java, then I just have to ask how that's any better than the iPhone's objective-C, no matter how optimal Sun's compiler settings are?

I love how everything is an 'iPhone killer', too. As if Apple doesn't have skilled engineers and designers, the pundits think that every new product announced to compete with it is already better, while Apple (who have been working on the thing for 2 1/2 years!) aren't yet satisfied with the phone's quality. Everybody remember "The Mythical Man-Month"? Just because Sun, or Oracle, or Microsoft, or any company has 12,000% more developers than the competition, doesn't necessarily mean they can produce a better product. Actually, it's almost invariably the opposite. So calm down. The absolute first moment when there can be an 'iPhone killer' is when there is an iPhone in consumers' hands to be killed. Until then, it's only a battle of proposed specifications.

Re:I love this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19055409)

"Java is slow."
Completely worthless statement. Slow compared to what? Slow to do what? FUD. FUD. FUD.

I understand that you may not like Java but back it up with a real argument.

Re:I love this... (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055411)

I've recently started programming web apps in Java for work and I have to say I'm unimpressed. In the time it's taken me to read instructions on how to get a development environment up and running on either Windows or OS X, I could have started doing actual work with PHP, Ruby on Rails, TurboGears or *shudder* ASP.NET.

I look at it and think "Jeez, does it really need to be this freaking complicated?"

Indeed (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056359)

I look at the 'solutions' that people use, and most of them look like an engineer's pet project that got a bit out of hand and needs to be frozen two versions back. It is always the same nonsense: six XML config files controlling some overly generic engine that uses reflection to automagically do something that only took a couple of lines of code. And don't forget you need to distribute four megs of JAR files with your app to save you those ten lines of code!

Unfortunately the Java community is enamored with this sort of thing, citing it as 'elegant.' There's nothing elegant about something that doesn't Just Work.

Re:I love this... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056541)

"Jeez, does it really need to be this freaking complicated?"

That's a perfectly valid question that you should ask when picking a language/framework to use. If your webapp is simple enough to significantly benefit from what RoR provides, then anything from the Java stack is likely to be overkill. In other words, yeah, if the time to install your environment is noticeable compared to the total time you will spend on the project, then by all means go with the simplest thing possible.

When it's appropriate, J2EE can provide some damn nice tools, though.

Re:I love this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19056041)

Getting paychecks working in .Net much...

Java not compiled :-D

BTW...how come I don't see stories on /. about the TUX 500 effort.

Re:I love this... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056439)

Java is slow. Java has had over 10 years to become what it claimed to be. Unless this phone is running compiled Java, either performance or battery life are going to suffer.

Who doesn't run compiled Java?

It's not exactly an interpreted language.

It's a real question, I'm not trying to be difficult. I've just never seen Java deployed in such a way that it wasn't compiled first.

Cheers

Re:I love this... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056577)

I think he must've meant natively compiled (ie JIT), though I don't see why Sun would disable that functionality in the phone VM either.

Killer app (4, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#19055633)

A phone.

I just want a phone.

I just want to make/take calls.

Get the little things right.

Make it trivial - I mean easy like breathing - to place a call by numbers, voice, contact list, repeat/callback, etc., all mode-less.

Incoming calls should just happen. Dorking around with finding the phone and/or earpiece and determining which one is activated ... please just make that nonsense stop. Again, mode-less.

Get the order of things right. Don't show me "do you want to access voicemail?" before "these people called" - I don't want to waste time dorking around with voicemail when it could have showed me that the calls I missed are ones I don't want to deal with now. Don't display "you missed one call", show me who called.

Memory is cheap. There's no reason for the call history list to end, much less end at just 25 calls. Put that info to work - data-mine it! When scrolling thru contacts, show me the most common contacts first; alphabetical order means I see that entry every time even though I haven't called that number in two years. Help me get to the numbers I want; there's enough processing power, use it smartly. Keep every number incoming and outgoing, and go fetch related data ASAP to tell me more.

Stop teasing me with demo functions. I bought an appliance; don't treat it like the fourth toaster slot only works for 30 days, then I have to pay extra monthly for it.

Stretch that battery life. Cut the cuteness; give me something that works for a long time between charges.

It's not a TV, GPS, IM, etc. - just give me totally smooth PHONE functionality.

And for Pete's sake: show the current time while I'm talking! Why do phones suddenly lose the pocketwatch function right when I'm most likely to need it to make arrangements with someone? I finally had to go back to wearing a watch precisely because the phone wouldn't show the time when most needed, even though it shows time 99.99% of the time?

Screw the phone (1)

us7892 (655683) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056073)

Excellent. I could not agree more. Exactly what I've been saying for a long time. There are so many usability issues. The same "mistakes" are made over and over and over again. And don't get me started on the actual "quality" of the call. And STOP nickle-and-diming me on everything!

Ya know, give me a cheap handheld web browser, that's what I want...screw the phone.

Re:Killer app (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19056559)

"I just want a phone."

This was the most important point in Jobs' Macworld premiere of the iPhone - he said that the killer app for this was the ability to make phone calls.

Come back when you have Nokia in board (1)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056137)

I won't buy any hype about Sun's Java Mobile FX nor any hype about Apple's iPhone nor newest offering from Microsoft. The reality in the mobile phone market is that to make any everlasting impact in mobile phone industry, especially when we are talking handsets and software, is that you either have to have Nokias's support or Samsung, Motorola and Sony-Ericsson hoping in board of your technology. Yes the technology itself might be interesting and even working as it should be, but if you are only offering it via few manufacturers or have only few handsets, even if you can make it a hit product, Nokia and others will just come and copy and lower prices and offer 30+ different handsets and kill you.

I also don't see so much business sense in Sun's move in here. I could understand if Sun would make Java Mobile FX mobile stack free as shared source or industry specification and use it's leverage as server and application server manufacturer to sell it's own servers and software to mobile phone vendors and to mobile carries: i.e. "all the killer applications use Java Mobile FX, would you be interested on our Java Mobile FX optimized solutions for your enterprise stack".

Savaje (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056629)

"Sun Microsystems is here to talk about it's code, `savage'."

"That's not it's name!"

"I'm sorry, its code, `sah-vah-hey'."

"No, no, no! It's spelt `sah-vah-hey' but it's pronounced `Throatwarbler Mangrove'."

Smartphone Surfin'... (1)

LEX LETHAL (859141) | more than 6 years ago | (#19056767)

Is there a smartphone version of Slashdot? Where can I get a list of WM5 smartphone-friendly websites?
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