• WWDC 2008: New iPhone, No Native Exchange Support Yet

    Plenty of other sites have gone over what happened in WWDC today, so I will just summarize my feelings on it.

    iPhone 3G
    The original iPhone, while very cool, had a few major flaws.

    1) Too damn expensive, even at $399

    2) What? No 3G?

    The latest offering at $199 seems very reasonable to me, and they finally have 3G support (which IMO they should have had from the beginning).

    Jessica now wants a new iPhone, and so do I. At $199, it’s hard to beat, and my Samsung BlackJack from work pisses me off to no end.

    1) The keys don’t register my typing; even when they click, they don’t always type the character.

    2) The browser is horrendous. Not only does it render things in an unintelligible fashion, but when you want to type in an address, you have to sit there for two minutes holding down the delete key and waiting for the entire URL query string and address to back up far enough for you to type the new URL. The curosr moves at one speed: too slow. Also, there is no way to reset the home page from the settings – WTF?

    3) The user interface is completely inconsistent, and does stupid things like letting you answer a call when the phone is locked (which is actually a useful and smart feature) while keeping the phone locked so you can’t put that call you took on to speakerphone without typing the unlock key sequence (completely f***ing retarded).

    I could go on and on, but let’s just say that I’m glad it was free (to me, at least). It’s a downgrade from the newer Blackberry models IMO, and a very, very far cry from the iPhone. I’ve talked to our IT guy at Highwinds, and while we have AT&T as a carrier, the price difference for the iPhone data plan means that I can’t simply buy the phone and upgrade. As a result, I might consider picking up my own contract, transferring the work contract over to a consumer contract which I’ll pay for myself. I’ll wait to see what the new 3G data plans are like costwise before I make up my mind.

    MobileMe is a pretty cool way of bringing Exchange-like functionality to consumers, although I find myself wondering if anybody will care. I don’t think .Mac was that much different, and I can’t see consumers jumping for joy over sync capabilities. I mean, how much do you need instant sync as a consumer? You can just plug your phone in when you get home and sync over the wire.

    The one area I do see MobileMe being good for is acting as a bridge solution for companies that don’t use Exchange. I can see consumers buying an iPhone and telling people to email them at their MobileMe address instead of their work address (or forwarding their work email instead), and just managing all of their stuff from there.

    Snow Leopard
    I must say I was particularly disappointed that they didn’t get Mail and iCal integrated with ActiveSync/Exchange yet, and that I have to wait another entire year for it with Snow Leopard. I’m glad it’s coming, but after my experiences with Entourage I’d really rather have it sooner. I guess I will just have to wait.

    In Summary
    Not the greatest WWDC. It would have been nice to see some hardware upgrades, although honestly the hardware offerings from Apple are pretty bad ass at the moment, so this is more of a want than a need.

    At least Apple is clearly committed to boosting the platform for the iPhone, and the new applications being developed give you a taste of things to come. I can easily see the iPhone becoming the best mobile platform in a few short months, which won’t hurt my stock.

    So, an iPhone year it is. As my boss says, the BlackJack is a phone that happens to also behave like a crappy computer. The iPhone, on the other hand, is a cool little mobile computer that also happens to have a phone on it. For about the same price as a decent cell phone, I can get most of the benefits of a portable GPS unit and a mini gaming platform like the DS or PSP with a cell phone on it to boot. That’s enough to sell me.

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