Between a Rock and Verizon
The iPhone finally comes to Verizon, after many years of speculation. Here's just a handful of the acres of commentary the move generated, and a few guides on what you can do if you're considering the move yourself.
You may have heard that Apple and Verizon finally have a deal on the iPhone. Or maybe you live under a rock…on Mars. In a long thread of links to come, Dan Moren looks back at the long courtship between Apple and Verizon. Imagine what could’ve been.
How Verizon Can Learn From AT&T, Survive the iPhone Onslaught
Stephen Lawson of IDG offers some lessons from AT&T for Verizon to try to survive the iPhone onslaught.
The guys at Network World take a good look at what the differences between AT&T’s GSM network and Verizon’s CDMA network mean for users. We all know about the lack of simultaneous voice and data, but it turns out that (a) its 3G coverage is much better, and (b) Verizon’s network is slower for large files. So if you want consistent speed, choose Verizon, and if you want high peak speed, go with AT&T.
Turns out the Verizon iPhone 4 Won’t Fit Many Current Cases
Apparently there are internal differences between the CDMA and GSM iPhone 4 model that result in certain cases designed for the AT&T iPhone not being compatible with Verizon’s. The button placement on the left hand side is just slightly different. Ugh.
PC World speculates that after Verizon, Sprint might next get the iPhone. After all, both networks are CDMA networks—although, unlike GSM, there are often significant differences between CDMA implementations. That just leaves T-Mobile out in the cold. (I suspect T-Mobile wouldn’t be willing to pay the hefty carrier subsidies for the iPhone.)
WalletPop takes a look at Verizon’s trade-in offer on AT&T iPhones and concludes that it’s probably not worth doing yet: AT&T’s hefty early termination fee is actually more than the $280 Verizon is offering in trade-in credit; the break-even point is currently at buying your AT&T iPhone 4 in July. Plus, you’d have to pay AT&T in your own cash, since Verizon is just offering credit.
Glenn Derene of Popular Mechanics (where I was once an intern) takes a good look at what you need to know about switching from AT&T to Verizon with your iPhone. He points out that you can get a 3GS from AT&T for $49 right now, which is so astonishingly cheap it might be enough to dissuade a 3G user from switching at all.
Elsewhere in the Mobileverse…
Counter Notions has a really interesting take on the “inevitability” of Android’s victory over Apple in 2011. We’ve heard a lot of talk about this, but I haven’t heard a better encapsulation of the difference between iOS and Android than this:
As business models go, there are currently two dominant ones: either people like your product enough to purchase it or they don’t care enough to buy it but will overlook its deficiencies if it’s “free” in exchange for their personal browsing and purchasing info sold to advertisers.
In that regard, the only way Google makes money is by scale, because, like TV or billboards, they’re not selling stuff, they’re selling reach. So, the suggestion goes, Android is “inevitable” because its backers have to make it seem “inevitable.” Without that air of inevitability, it might not succeed in its core mission of selling eyeballs.
Tim Bray’s Year-End Review of the Mobile Marketplace
Tim Bray notes a few important trends in the mobile marketplace that he thinks will continue in 2011: low-end phones are going to be increasingly “smart”; Apple will make an inexpensive iPhone; and text input on mobile devices is still too hard for them to become primary work tools. (Counter-argument: iPhone Thumb still isn’t as scary as Keyboard Wrist.) He also points out an observation I haven’t heard about RIM and Nokia from anyone else: they’re so far behind on building the developer ecosystem that they’re at very real risk of falling out of the game.
The Future of the Internet Is in Your Hands
Sun-Times über-columnist Andy Ihnatko takes a good look at what it takes to compete with Apple’s iPad. The answer: 7″ devices need to do a few things exceptionally well, but a 10″ device can be more of a do-it-all device; past the $400 price point you have to have an answer to the “Why shouldn’t I just buy an iPad?” question; and manufacturers can’t afford to run stock Android, because then their hardware becomes increasingly commoditized. (Look who has all the power in the Microsoft-PC manufacturer relationship.)
Gizmodo on BlackBerry PlayBook: Weird But Great
Since we’ve been talking so much about tablets, here’s an interesting review from Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan: the BlackBerry PlayBook (hello, CamelCase!) has to be tethered to a BlackBerry phone to get your e-mail and calendar, but it has some really interesting user interface decisions, like making the bezel a touch surface for gestures. Also of note, it supports Adobe’s AIR and HTML5 Web apps. I’m curious to see if the user interface elements are consistent between AIR and HTML5 apps…if they aren’t, I predict a lot of Windows-style UI confusion.
Odds and Ends
What’s the Right Way to Do Text Find and Replace?
Mark Aldritt, of Script Debugger and Affrus, has been experimenting with different ways to handle Find and Replace dialogs. For some reason, he felt the need to get rid of the old-fashioned modal dialog in exchange for a panel integrated into the main window. It’s an interesting investigation, but I find the whole thing very jarring. These days I use TextMate mostly, but personally BBEdit’s Find and Replace dialog is the gold standard. Why reinvent what’s worked for basically 25 years of Mac history?
Windows 7 Up to 20% of Windows Install Base, While IE Falls to 58%
So this is interesting news. Analysis firm Net Applications says that, based on their analysis, Windows 7 now accounts for 20% of the Windows install base. That’s already more than Vista, and it only took a year. Windows XP still accounts for 57%, which is remarkable. Also of interest: Internet Explorer is slowly trending downward toward 50% of market share, at 57% in December (vs. 59% in November). At the current pace, IE should be at 50% around the end of 2011. (If anything, the decline may be accelerating. Over the last 12 months IE has lost roughly 5%.) Breaking it down further, of those IE users, more than half are using IE8, and about a quarter using IE6 or IE7. Chrome, Firefox and Safari all gained slightly…looks to me like most of the drop in Microsoft’s install base was thanks to Chrome, which went up three-quarters of a point to 10%.
Following on the heels of yesterday’s study from Net Applications about Windows 7 and IE use, StatCounter reports that, in Europe, more users now use Firefox than IE. Just like in that Net Applications study, what appears to be going on is that Chrome is further cannibalizing IE’s statistics. Added to that is the fact that in Europe regulators have required a clearer presentation of choice over the default Web browser from Microsoft. In the US, IE is still on top, very likely thanks to the extremely confusing and mostly hidden way Windows ordinarily handles this behavior.