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Is everyone just buying iPhones now?

So at&t’s recent smartphone sale got me thinking “Is everyone just buying iPhones now?” A couple of weeks on, and a Fortune article rumors that at&t will be slashing the price of the worst-kept-secret-in-history-and-soon-to-be-released 3G iPhone by a mighty $200 suggests the answer is no. The whole smartphone sector is simply in a Great Depression.

Great news though for those in the market for smartphone. at&t’s recent sale offered the usually $299 Tilt for free on a new contract as a refurbished unit. Other free offerings included the ever popular Blackberry Pearl. With my contract ending soon, a free Tilt sounded good to me, but…

Why the price cutting? Media tales of impending economic doom are probably a factor, but beyond that the 2008 lineup of smartphone releases make current offerings seem like they should come free with breakfast cereals.

Apple, Samsung and smartphone superstar HTC are all expected to get fingers tapping on touch screens due in stores soon.

HTC’s eagerly awaited Diamond has now been announced and packs a VGA TouchFlo screen initially praised as an iPhone beater.

Their soon to follow Raphael will have similar internals adding a five row Qwerty keyboard, and replaces the current Tilt. Both feature a 2.8 inch screen and 528mhz processor.

Samsung announced its CDMA Glyde this week on Verizon. Reviews have been mixed so far.

After a quick Gotham 360 session at Samsung today, there were no real life units on display yet.

Finally Apple is heavily rumored to be prepping a 3G iPhone for release sometime in late June.

I guess the hordes waiting for a piece of soon-to-be-last-gen tech in Apple’s W14th St store recently weren’t quite as clued-in on forthcoming releases. The store was dry of iPhone stock, presumably remaining supply of the current model is dwindling as 3G unit shipments get prepared. Nevertheless the eager folk in the line remained steadfast in their bizarre quest. The Gizmodo conversation with store staff is entertaining.

Of course the fundamental iPhone problem is likely to remain: only Star Fleet academy graduates can type fast on glass, as Data et al have proved on so many occasions. So 3G or no, I still can’t see Apple eating up the Berry’s slice of the corporate market yet. In fact RIM are fighting back with their sleek new 9000

believed to be YouTube compatible., which has apparently already racked up mighty sales volumes of one unit on eBay. Crackberry has details.

Meanwhile finally coming out of its time warp, T-Mobile announced 3G service on May 1st in the US…for voice. Thanks for nothing. Rumors started coming out of NYC that there was data as well. Great, things are looking up. Looking at my TyTN expectantly to see at least a UMTS connection, I’m disappointed to find the Edge network instead. Turns out that T-Mobile are sending 3G data over 1700MHz and a non-standard offshoot of 2100MHz, which is a first. Basically you need a new T-Mobile phone with a radio tuned into exactly the right frequencies. Thanks for absolutely nothing!

Back to at&t and iPhone users can now apparently get WiFi access through the carrier’s hotspot network. Nice that a year after its release iPhone gets access to something that Blackjack, Q, Tilt etc customers have enjoyed for a long time already i.e. high speed data on the move. Well, I say ‘on the move’ but that’s only true if the iPhone moves within the confines of the hotspot.

So with the 3G iPhone just around the corner, 1.0 owners can show off their old skool model by standing outside Starbucks to get their iTunes downloads whilst the newbies walk on by. Only kidding, you know I’m just jealous!

Neil Berman

http://www.neilberman.com/

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May 11, 2008 - Posted by | Apple, Hardware, Mobile | , , ,

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