Chicago, the iPhone 3GS, and iPods: Your Thoughts?
Published: Monday, June 29, 2009
Every time we visit a city for fun or business, we take note of the sorts of iPods and iPhones we see—and don’t see—on the streets and subways, as well as the performance of our iPhones as we’re traveling around. We spent this weekend in downtown Chicago for the annual Taste of Chicago, and were frankly very surprised at what we found: a higher density of iPod classics/5Gs than anywhere we’ve seen before, with a considerable number of second-generation iPod shuffles, and relatively few iPhones. New York City, by comparison, seemed like iPhone central even before the launch of the iPhone 3GS, and we saw lots of iPhones in Washington, D.C., as well; we’d imagine that these places must be overflowing with iPhone 3GS units by now.
One thing that doesn’t receive a lot of media attention—for obvious reasons—is the fairly significant variation in iPhone 3G performance from city to city. We were stunned, for instance, to see just how poorly the iPhone 3GS performed in our informal Chicago speed tests relative to the ones we ran in Western New York, which we previously thought was as slow as 3G could get nationally. Our Buffalo-area download speeds were roughly 50% faster than in Chicago, while upload speeds were two or three times faster; speeds and signal strength also dropped considerably indoors. Even more surprising was our iPhone 3GS’s screwy GPS performance in Chicago: the unit is almost exactly on target in Western New York, but our little blue locator dot was literally all over the map in downtown Chicago, frequently off by blocks and exhibiting issues in compass orientation, as well. A first-generation iPhone we brought along seemed to be doing a better job of triangulation without GPS hardware, amazing as that was.
Buggy software? A hardware issue? We’re not sure. And we’re also not sure whether 3G network issues or just storage concerns might have accounted for the huge number of hard drive-based iPods we saw. This may have also been the first city we’ve visited where the number of iPod shuffles we saw in use outnumbered iPod nanos by a wide margin. While our observations are clearly not scientific, we’d like to hear from readers in Chicago: what iPods or iPhones have you seen in heavy use there? Any ideas as to why they’re popular? Are you having 3G network issues? Seeing good 3G speeds? GPS performance? We’re curious.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apps: Baby Bundle, Breeze, Helpouts + iOOTP Baseball 2014
- Apple selling refurbished iPad mini with Retina display
- Yahoo aims to become default iOS Safari search engine
- Apple working with Shazam on iOS song discovery feature
- iWatch poll ends, first accessory poll begins
- Hyundai bringing CarPlay to 2015 Sonata
- Apple agrees to anti-theft smartphone measures
- 8GB iPhone 5c launches in more European countries
- iPhone 6 metal mockups spotted at electronics show
- Alpine Electronics announces aftermarket CarPlay products
- Incipio Tek-nical for iPad Air
- Lepow ADD Power Bank
- Favi Swivel Screen Portfolio Case with Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Air
- ChargerLeash Charge & Sync Smart Lightning Cable
- iWalk Sound Angle Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- iWalk Extreme 10,000 Duo Battery Pack
- Speck DuraFolio for iPad Air + iPad mini
- Hack Things Poppy 3D Camera for iPhone 4/4S/5/5c/5s + iPod touch 5G
- Tavik Hemings for iPad Air
- Spigen SGP GLAS.tR SLIM Privacy for iPhone 5/5c/5s
- The Complete Guide to Apple TV Channels
- iHistory: From iPod + iTunes to iPhone, Apple TV + iPad, 2001 to 2010
- iHistory: From iPod + iTunes to iPhone, Apple TV + iPad: 2011 to Today
- Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks
- Splitting purchased content between two iPads
- iLounge’s 2014 CES Best of Show Awards: iPad, iPhone, iPod + Mac
- Preview: 7 Big Apple Trends To Expect At The 2014 CES
- Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers
- Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone
- Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac