A new page found on AT&T’s website suggests the company may finally be ready to begin offering free Wi-Fi access to iPhone users at its hotspots nationwide. AT&T’s Wi-Fi Access page now states, “we are proud to offer iPhone customers free access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi hotspot network with more than 17,000 hotspots, including Starbucks.” The company’s iPhone 3G service plan page has yet to be updated with a mention of the service. In April, free Wi-Fi access was briefly offered to iPhone users at a select number of AT&T hotspots, but the service was quickly removed, with no announcement from the company. In May, the company added text to its iPhone web site stating that free Wi-Fi access was now part of all iPhone service plans, only to remove it shortly thereafter. AT&T has yet to make an official announcement regarding the service.
Update: Following the publication of this news, AT&T removed the page from its website. A screenshot of the original text appears below.
A week after its troubled launch, the iPhone 3G remains a hard-to-find item in the U.S., with nearly all of AT&T’s company-owned stores sold out. According to checks made earlier this morning by iLounge, Apple’s online iPhone 3G availability page shows approximately 61% of the company’s 187 retail stores sold out of iPhone 3G. 57 stores (30%) show availability of at least one iPhone 3G model, while only 15 stores (8%) report stock of all three models. Out of the 57 stores with at least one model in stock, 22 were located in New York and California, with 7 out of the 15 stores showing availability of all three models coming from those two states. This gives NY and CA a disproportionately high percentage (40%) of stores with stock remaining. While Apple is understood to be making shipments to its stores on an almost daily basis, it remains to be seen when iPhone 3G availability will again be widespread.
Additionally, AT&T stores contacted by iLounge have reported extremely limited availability of iPhone hardware, with one store claiming that a grievance has been filed against Apple for restricting shipments. The store noted that it had received a total of only 20 iPhones to offer to more than 100 lined-up customers, with only 5 of each 16GB model to sell. Meanwhile, the store noted that Apple Stores have been stocked with hundreds if not thousands of units.
iLounge is pleased to announce the re-launch of our iLounge Mobile portal, optimized for efficient access to iLounge’s broad spectrum of content from any iPhone or iPod touch, now with a fresh new look and exciting new features.
iLounge Mobile offers full access to iLounge’s News, Reviews, First Looks, Articles, and Backstage entries, Web App and Company directories, and also offers iPhone-formatted versions of our award-winning Library of free iPod and iTunes books.
Out shopping for a product? You can now search our database of thousands of accessory reviews, or sort them by rating to see best-in-class products, all right from your iPhone or iPod touch.
If you need to contact a company for more information about a product, simply browse our comprehensive industry directory to find the company you need, then tap on the number to place a call using your iPhone.
These are just a couple of highlights from our new iLounge Mobile portal, which can be accessed now at ilounge.com/mobile.
For easiest access, be sure to add iLounge Mobile to your home screen! Enjoy!
Market research firm iSuppli’s Teardown Analysis Service has taken apart the iPhone 3G and has issued a preliminary estimate of $174.33 for the cost of materials and manufacturing of the 8GB iPhone 3G, compared to its estimate of $227 for the original 8GB iPhone. iSuppli found several chips from Infineon AG in the phone, including the HSDPA/WCDMA/EDGE baseband chip, an RF transceiver and a GPS solution, along with a Samsung ARM processor, Toshiba flash memory, three power amplifier modules from TriQuint Semiconductor, a Marvell Wi-Fi chip, a Bluetooth solution from Cambridge Silicon Radio, and more. The company notes that in addition to the its estimated bill of materials and manufacturing cost, Apple is also spending an estimated $50 on intellectual property royalties for each iPhone 3G shipped. [via BusinessWeek]
Update: Semiconductor Insights has provided iLounge with an image of the new Wolfson Micro audio codec chip found in the new iPhone 3G. During our testing of the new iPhone, which you can find details of in our comprehensive review, we found the audio from this new chip, labeled WM618OC, to sound extremely similar to the Cirrus Logic part used in the iPod classic.
Speaking in an interview with PC Magazine, Apple vice president of Worldwide iPod and iPhone Product Marketing Greg Joswiak made several comments regarding the iPhone 3G and iPhone software. Following up on a The New York Times report that Apple had disclosed that “the iPhone’s G.P.S. antenna is much too small to emulate the turn-by-turn navigation of a G.P.S. unit for a vehicle,” Joswiak deemed the disclosure incorrect. “Complicated issues” are to blame for currently preventing driving navigation apps, he said, but “it will evolve. I think our developers will amaze us,” Joswiak added. When asked about the lack of cut and paste in the latest iPhone software, he said that Apple has a priority list of features, and they included as many of those as they could in the new software and in iPhone 3G. Finally, Joswiak remarked that some office suite applications may face issues due to each application having its own file space, adding that “There’s no cross-application file structure.”
Apple has reached a settlement with Canadian telecom provider Comwave which gives Apple the legal right to use the trademark “iPhone” in Canada. The settlement was reached late Wednesday evening, prior to the iPhone 3G’s Friday launch. According to the terms of the settlement, Apple will receive sole rights to the iPhone name in Canada, while Comwave has agreed to phase out its use of the name — which it has used since 2004 to promote its VoIP phone service — by November 9. Further terms of the agreement, including financial details, were not disclosed. “I’m happy to report that we have settled our dispute,” said Comwave president and founder Yuval Barzakay. “Both parties worked hard and diligently to make sure the deal was closed prior to the launch.” Apple previously settled a trademark dispute with Cisco over the use of the iPhone trademark in the U.S., which left both companies free to use the moniker on their products.
Following our report on the yellow tint apparent in many iPhone 3G screens, Apple has confirmed that the screen has a warmer look by design. Apple’s senior director of iPhone product marketing, Bob Borchers, said, “We moved the white point in order to make [the display feel] more natural,” noting that customers would likely appreciate a warmer color temperature, particularly when viewing photos. Ars Technica, however, reports that an updated version of the iPhone 3G firmware — labeled version 5A347 as opposed to the 5A345 version that ships on the devices — changes the color calibration to be less yellow. The 5A347 firmware is not available though the “Check for Update” feature in iTunes, but can be installed by clicking on the “Restore” button.
Update: John Gruber of Daring Fireball reports that a source on Apple’s iPhone engineering team confirmed that there were no changes regarding display color temperature between 5A345 and 5A347, questioning the accuracy of Ars Technica’s earlier report.
iPhone and iPod touch users have downloaded more than 10 million applications from the App Store since its launch late last week, Apple has announced. The store, which launched with over 500 applications, now offers more than 800 apps, with more than 200 offered for free and more than 90 percent priced at less than $10. “The App Store is a grand slam, with a staggering 10 million applications downloaded in just three days,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Developers have created some extraordinary applications, and the App Store can wirelessly deliver them to every iPhone and iPod touch user instantly.”
Apple has announced that it sold its one millionth iPhone 3G on Sunday, just three days after its launch on July 11. The phone is currently available in 21 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US, and will go on sale in France on July 17. “iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world.”
During our continued testing of two iPhone 3Gs, we discovered last night that one of our units has a troubled headphone port; unlike our original iPhone and another iPhone 3G, unplugging the included Stereo Headset from the port mid-telephone call results 50% or more of the time in a disconnected call. Since many of you have units already, we’d like to ask in advance of our review: is this happening to your iPhone 3G? Please post in the comments below; we’d like to know how isolated this is. Thanks!
Though Apple claimed that the iPhone 3G’s screen was the same as the original’s, users are discovering that their devices’ screens exhibit a noticeable yellow tint when compared to the screens of the original iPhones. iLounge’s extended Live iPhone 3G Comparison Test, however, shows a subtle difference by comparison with the blue-tinted original iPhone and the differently colored iPod touch, noting that each screen possesses a slightly different white balance, with the gray-white iPod touch having the most neutral coloration. Additional user reports suggest that the yellow tint may be bothering some users, and it is currently unknown how much tint is in different units’ screens, or whether Apple will replace especially affected units.
As long-time iLounge readers know, we devote considerable time and energy to testing new iPod and iPhone products, running hard-core battery, audio, video, and other tests prior to publishing our reviews. Since Apple handed out advance free units to its favorite reviewers, hoping to get the most favorable iPhone 3G reviews out in advance of the product’s release, we have decided to publish our production model iPhone 3G’s test results as we go through the process, starting immediately so that buyers can get as much accurate information about the new device before making a purchase.
You can find our test results, updated continuously, by clicking on the article’s headline above. We will also respond to reader questions as convenient throughout the process. Our Gallery of iPhone 3G unpacking and comparison photos is also available.
Apple has officially released iPhone Software 2.0 through iTunes and its $9.99 iPhone 2.0 Software Update for the iPod touch. Due to the installation process for iPhone Software 2.0, which requires the device to be completely erased, the phone must re-activate through iTunes’ servers to be functional following the update. A number of readers are reporting that their iPhones are unable to re-activate following the installation, leaving their phones “bricked” until Apple and AT&T fix the activation problems. On a related note, iPod touch users are reporting that they are unable to download the update from iTunes due to connection problems, which are most likely connected to the larger activation issues. We advise users to hold off on attempting to download and install either update until the issues are worked out. [Image via RedEye]
Readers and iLounge editors have experienced serious iPhone 3G activation problems this morning, resulting in the halting of hardware sales in some stores and extended wait delays in others. According to an iLounge editor in the United Kingdom, the local Apple Store had ceased sales of the iPhone 3G based on an unspecified system failure, and was taking customers’ details for later contact. In the United States, similar reports from readers suggest that customers at both AT&T and Apple Stores are in for extended waits due to activation problems.
Updated: A report from a reader direct from the AT&T Store - “All of us buyers stood around AT&T for another 45 mins, waiting for 3Gs to activate… Apple server of some kind went down, apparently. AT&T checked with their national offices, Apple in Cupertino, etc., and nobody is able to activate phones now… so we all left with hardware, but phones are non-functional… previously existing customers (i.e., those with SIMs already) still can’t activate in-store or remotely, as of 5 mins ago.”
Though you’ve already seen the numerous casing shots we’ve featured in our First Look at the iPhone 3G, as well as the world’s first unpacking pictures taken in the wild, we have just posted our gallery of iPhone 3G comparison and unpacking photographs for your enjoyment. Available from our Flickr account, the set of photos shows off the iPhone 3G by comparison to the iPhone, iPod touch, original iPod, and iPod classic, as well as the data functionality of its Maps and Safari applications.
Updated: We have added another huge batch of photos, including white and black unit comparison photos, screenshots, and much more.
iLounge’s editors have been attending iPhone 3G launch events today in three U.S. states, as well as in Canada. After hours of waiting in lines that were clearly past AT&T’s capacity to satisfy today with product, we offer our readers the following advice: do not wait in line AT&T stores, unless you are prepared to suffer major disappointment. Updated: Our UK editor notes similar issues at O2 in the United Kingdom; see this article’s comments for details there.
As was the case with last year’s launch of the iPhone, AT&T stores have today allowed lines to form well in excess of their actual capacity to presently supply iPhone 3G hardware. At one store we visited this morning, the AT&T store ran entirely out of 16GB iPhones after only 12 customers had made purchases. Another AT&T store ran out of black 16GB units after roughly 10 people had left the store, and customers began to leave the line after extended waits without a guarantee of sufficient inventory.
Though the lines to purchase the iPhone 3G appear to be both shorter and less energetic than last year’s iPhone queues, AT&T’s stores appear unable to satisfy the demand, yet are keeping people in line until they can offer to order units that may be in stock by next week. Lines at Apple Stores are somewhat longer, though it is unclear as to how much inventory they have. We will be updating this story throughout the day.
Canada: Rogers’ flagship store in Toronto had a line of roughly 80 people by 5:00AM; by 9:00AM, an hour after the store opened with groups of 10, they had processed 20 people. The store had a total of 90-100 units, with roughly 20% as 16GB models. A smaller Rogers location, received a total of 6 iPhone 3G units, with one black 16GB, one white 16GB, and four black 8GB models. The Apple Stores in Canada are not selling the iPhone 3G, making Rogers locations the only places to purchase units.
One of the many new, under-publicized features of iPhone Software 2.0 is the ability to take a screenshot of whatever happens to be on the iPhone’s screen at the time. The process is simple: hold down the home button, and then quickly press the sleep/wake button on the top of the phone. Once the buttons are released, the screen will flash white for a brief moment, letting you know the shot has been taken. The screenshot can then be found in the iPhone’s Camera Roll, and can be copied to a computer on the next sync, or emailed to a photo sharing service or to friends. This same tip should also work on the iPod touch, providing it has been updated to software 2.0. Screenshots are created in PNG format, as opposed to the JPEGs made by the iPhone’s Camera application.
iFixit has posted the first disassembly photos of the iPhone 3G, which it acquired at the device’s midnight launch in New Zealand. Of note, the LCD and glass covering are now separate components, as they are in the iPod touch, making for easier repairs. They were glued together in the original iPhone. The battery is not soldered on, as it was in the original model, and the iPhone 3G appears to use the Infineon SMARTi Power 3i chip. According to Infineon, the part is “optimized to support modem and data card applications based upon X-GOLD208 and X-GOLD 608, with features ranging from EDGE up to 3G and HSDPA.” Finally, the iPhone’s two main boards (logic and communications), which were stacked in the original model, are now laid side-by-side, a configuration iFixit suggests allowed Apple to make the battery longer.
Although it has yet to be officially released by Apple via iTunes, iPhone Software 2.0 can now be downloaded through a direct link. After downloading the software image, users need to make sure the downloaded file ends in “.ipsw”, as some browsers, including Safari, will add an unnecessary “.zip” extension to the file name. You may need to look in your trash can to find the file if it is downloaded by Safari and automatically uncompressed. Once the image is ready, hold the Option key and press “Check for Update” in iTunes with the iPhone connected, browse to and select the downloaded image, and the update will commence. This image is not for use with the iPod touch, which will require a $9.99 paid update to get the 2.0 software.
Note: Apple warns in a recently posted Knowledge Base article that installation of iPhone Software 2.0 requires a complete erase of the device: “Normally if you choose to update, the iPhone or iPod touch software is updated but your settings and media are not affected. If your device currently has a software version prior to 2.0 (1.x) and you are updating to software version 2.0 or later, all data on your device will be erased in order to perform install the new software. In this case, iTunes will offer to create a one-time media backup of your device depending on what content is on your device and what content is stored in the iTunes Library you are connected to. You should ensure that you have enough free space on your Mac or PC to accommodate a backup that matches the capacity of your iPhone or iPod touch (4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, or 32 GB) if you proceed with the this backup.” [via Mac Rumors]
Apple has released three versions of its new iPhone Configuration Utility that allow enterprise users to create configuration profiles which can then be used to setup multiple iPhones. Configuration profiles contain “device security policies, VPN configuration information, Wi-Fi settings, APN settings, Exchange account settings, mail settings, and certificates” that allow the devices to work with enterprise systems. The iPhone Configuration Web Utility 1.0 for Mac and Windows allows users to create, sign and distribute configuration profiles using a web browser, while the Mac-specific iPhone Configuration Utility 1.0 for Mac OS X expands these capabilities to include tracking and installation of “provisioning profiles and authorized applications,” and the capture of device information, including console logs. All three version of the iPhone Configuration Utility are available now as free downloads from Apple’s website.