Chicago, the iPhone 3GS, and iPods: Your Thoughts?
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.
- Report: Some third-party repairs ‘bricking’ iPhones with iOS 9
- Report: Apple to bid on NFL Thursday Night Football streaming rights
- Apple to begin taking broken iPhones for trade-in, offer in-store screen protector installation
- Apple ordered to pay $625M to VirnetX in patent case
- Apple Pay reaches 2 million retail locations
- Apple acquires security company LegbaCore
- Zagg to acquire Mophie for $100 million
- Report: iPhone 7 to include flush camera lens, drop rear antenna bands
- Report: iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 set for March 15 unveil
- Alleged iPad Air 3 drawing shows Smart Connector, four speakers, camera flash
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case for iPad Pro
- Edifier MP700 Rave Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Just Mobile HoverDock for Apple Watch + HoverDock for iPhone
- VRS Design Dandy Layered Case for iPad Pro
- Just Mobile TENC for iPad Pro
- Native Union DOCK Lightning
- Native Union DOCK for Apple Watch
- Hitcase Pro+ Action Pack and Snap for iPhone 6/6s
- Urban Armor Gear Trooper for iPhone 6/6s
- NEBO CaseBrite for iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!