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.
- Tips app debuts in iOS 8 beta 4
- iTunes 12 makes its first appearance with iOS-style design
- Apple releases fourth beta of iOS 8
- Forensic scientist notes iOS ‘back doors’
- Eighth annual iTunes Festival announced
- iLounge Game Spotlight: Bio Inc.
- EU criticizes Apple for in-app purchases (Update)
- Sue Wagner joins Apple board of directors as Bill Campbell retires
- Apps of the Week: Overcast, Ingress, Endless Numbers 1.2 + more
- iPhone 6: 1810 mAh battery, improved color 13MP camera?
- Incipio offGRID Smart Bluetooth Low Energy-Enabled Portable 6000mAh Backup Battery
- Divoom Voombox Travel Rugged Portable Wireless Speaker
- Logitech protection+ for iPhone 5/5s and +trip
- Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless
- Incipio Steno Ultra-Thin Bluetooth Keyboard Folio for iPad Air
- OtterBox Resurgence Power Case for iPhone 5/5s
- Gumdrop Cases FoamTech Case for iPad Air
- Ztylus Camera Case + RV-2 Revolver Lens for iPhone 5/5s
- JBL Synchros Reflect In-Ear Sport Headphones
- JBL Synchros E50BT Over-Ear Headphones
- iLounge Picks: Five Great Summer Party Speakers
- Editorial: Endings And Beginnings
- Live From CE Week 2014: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
- What’s New In iOS 8 For iPad, iPhone + iPod touch
- iLounge Multi-Editorial: WWDC 2014’s iOS 8, OS X Yosemite + More
- 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