Synchronica PLC, provider of mobile-synchronization and device-management solutions, has announced that its Mobile Gateway 3.0 software supports over-the-air synchronization between Microsoft Exchange and the iPhone. The software integrates with existing IT infrastructure and doesn’t require the use of IMAP and SMTP on the Exchange server. Mobile Gateway instead uses Microsoft’s secure Outlook Web Access to retrieve email from the server, and then delivers it directly to the built-in email client on iPhone. Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Synchronica said, “The iPhone is a very attractive smartphone, appealing to both the consumer and prosumer market. Mobile Gateway already supports synchronization with Microsoft Exchange, but does not require firewall modification or any software to be installed in the corporate network… From a carrier’s perspective, we are significantly expanding the reach of the iPhone into the business user and prosumer segments.” [via MacWorld UK]
Kevin Chang, Taiwan-based analyst for JP Morgan, has issued a report saying that he expects Apple to release a cheaper version of the iPhone in the fourth quarter, a device that a recently unearthed patent application suggests may be based on the iPod nano. Citing the patent application — which describes a multifunctional handheld device, controlled via a Click Wheel — and unnamed supply channel sources, Chang said, “We believe that iPod Nano will be converted into a phone because it’s probably the only way for Apple to launch a lower end phone without severely cannibalizing iPod Nano.” He also noted that the new phone could have “rather limited functionality.”
Update: JP Morgan has now retracted the statement, saying that a near-term release of an “iPhone nano” would be “unusual and highly risky.”
Apple CEO Steve Jobs visited the company’s Regent Street store in London, England yesterday, according to an ifoAppleStore report. Jobs’ appearance has lead to speculation that an announcement concerning the iPhone’s carrier in the UK, and possibly across the rest of Europe, is coming soon. The report also mentions that the Regent Street store’s concierge bar will be closed Monday, July 16, which could allow Jobs to make an announcement about an iPhone deal from inside the store.
An online survey sent out by AT&T to iPhone users hints at a possible iChat application for iPhone. iChat is the messaging application Apple includes with its Mac OS X operating system. One of the slides in the AT&T survey asks users to rate the EDGE network performance when using various applications on the iPhone. iChat is listed along with YouTube, Google Maps, Email, Weather, Stocks, and Search. While it is possible that Apple is working on a version of iChat for the iPhone, it is also possible that the survey meant to reference the iPhone’s SMS text messaging application, which looks and acts quite similar to Apple’s desktop messaging applicaiton.
Apple has begun restocking iPhones at its retail stores nationwide, following yesterday’s near sell-out of the device. Apple’s iPhone availability page showed sell outs at all but two of the company’s 164 retail stores yesterday, but today that figure has rebounded, with 44% of the stores reporting stock. The restocking, however, seems centered more on the East Coast and Midwest — stores on the West Coast remain sold out, from Washington to California. Many stores appear to be releasing their new inventory around noon, as several iLounge editors have succeeded at finding iPhones around noon at stores that were sold out in the morning.
Another iLounge editor had a surprising visit to an AT&T store, which may indicate unfair practices by the cellular giant. Our editor went in to see if they had any iPhones in stock, or had received a new shipment — to which an AT&T sales clerk responded with a resounding “no.” After taking our editor’s number in an effort to “call him when they come in,” the clerk noticed that he was a potential new customer, and proceeded to bring out two new 8GB iPhones, phones that he previously said were unavailable. The clerk then explained that the store was reserving iPhones for new customers only — the store in question had received around 20 units earlier in the day. It is unclear whether this practice is widespread throughout AT&T retail stores.
Logo images for both T-Mobile and Vodafone have been found in the iPhone’s file system. The images, Default_CARRIER_TMOBILE.png and Default_CARRIER_VODAFONE.png, lend credence to the rumors that both T-Mobile and Vodafone will offer the iPhone throughout different parts of Europe. In addition to the images, the device’s ringtones have been found in a dedicated “Ringtones” directory. The iPhone’s ringtones are currently saved in unprotected AAC format with a .m4a extension.
Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg claims that flash support will be coming to the iPhone in an early software update. In a piece entitled “Questions About Apple’s iPhone,” Mossberg responds to a question regarding the iPhone’s inability to play many internet videos, stating, “Apple says it plans to add [an Adobe Flash] plug-in through an early software update, which I am guessing will occur within the next couple of months.” Lack of Flash support in the iPhone’s Safari browser has been a main issue in early reviews of the device. In addition, Mossberg also references Apple’s iPhone service FAQ, which reveals that should an iPhone need repairs, a loaner iPhone can be rented during the service period for $29.
The Times is reporting that cellular service provider O2 has beaten out Vodafone and others to win exclusive rights to offer the iPhone in the UK. According to the report, negotiations are still ongoing with mobile phone retailers like Carphone Warehouse over an agreement to allow sales of the iPhone in their stores after a period of exclusivity with O2. The agreement between Apple and O2 is thought to include a share of revenues generated by iPhone customers, and O2 is expected to make the necessary network configuration changes to support iPhone’s at-home activation and features such as Visual Voicemail. As previously reported, T-Mobile is expected to offer the iPhone in Germany, while Orange is believed to be the front-runner to carry the phone in France.
Update: Bloomberg reports that O2 parent company Telefonica SA is denying the report. “No deal has been signed with Apple,” O2 spokesman David Nicholas said. “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.” Alan Hely, London-based spokesman for Apple, said, “We’ll bring the iPhone to Europe in late 2007,” but declined to comment on any possible UK partners.
Well-known hacker “DVD” Jon Johansen has discovered a way to “activate” an iPhone without signing up with AT&T. The hack allows iPhone owners to use the device’s iPod and Wi-Fi features, but due to the lack of an AT&T contract, the device’s phone features still won’t work. In a post titled “iPhone Independence Day,” Johansen posted Phone Activation Server 1.0, along with several other instructions necessary to run the hack. The hack does not unlock the iPhone for use with other carriers.
Rheinische Post is reporting that the T-Mobile unit of Deutsche Telekom has completed a deal to be the iPhone’s exclusive carrier in Germany. The report, which is a preview of a larger story set to run tomorrow, claims that the iPhone will sell for around 450 euros — around $612 — and will hit stores Nov. 1. The report did not cite any sources. Previous rumors concerning the iPhone in Europe have stated that Vodafone, as well as T-Mobile, were front runners to land the device. Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile were not available for comment.
Teardowns by iSuppli, Portelligent, iFixit, and iResQ have revealed much about the inner workings of the iPhone. As reported by BusinessWeek, Portelligent estimates the component cost for the phone to be in the $200-$220 range, with iSuppli’s estimate of $265.83 in cost for the 8GB model slightly higher. iResQ’s teardown offers a look at the interior of the iPhone, but it doesn’t offer details of components and their manufacturers. iFixit did list some components, including Samsung ARM and memory, a Wolfson audio chip, a Marvell Wi-Fi chip, a Skyworks GSM/EDGE power amplifier, and more. Absent from their teardown was pricing information for the components, which both iSuppli and Portelligent provide.
iSuppli and Portelligent list German company Balda as the supplier for the phone’s touch-screen, with pricing estimated at $55-$60. iSuppli claims that Samsung, with its memory, ARM chip, and DRAM, was the biggest winner among iPhone component suppliers, with an estimated $76.25, or 30.5 percent, of the product’s hardware costs. Although exact costs of the the components may never be known, and although these estimates don’t include promotion or logistic costs, it is apparent from these reports that Apple — and possibly AT&T — are seeing wide margins on the iPhone.
Across the country yesterday, iPhone users experienced trouble using AT&T’s wireless EDGE network, due to network issues. The problem which caused the service outage has been identified and is currently being worked on. Warner May, a spokesperson for AT&T, said, “The iPhone was not the cause.” Indeed, it appears that users of other data-enabled phones, including 3G models, experienced problems as well. The network, which experienced problems primarily in the West and Midwest, was back up as of 7:00 p.m. EDT.
Apple has posted details of its iPhone Out-of-warranty Battery Replacement Program. The program, which costs $79 plus $6.95 shipping, takes three days and clears all data on the iPhone — Apple suggests syncing your iPhone to back up your contacts, email account settings, text messages, and more. The iPhone’s lack of a user-replaceable battery has been a concern in most reviews of the device.
Apple may have sold as many as 500,000 iPhones over the launch weekend, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Munster had projected sales of 200,000, an estimate that was beaten according to J.P. Morgan analyst Bill Shope, who estimated sales of 312,000 units. While Apple has yet to release any exact sales figures for the new device, the launch is already being viewed as a success by industry pundits. “This is a very successfully handled launch,” Munster said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The real sign of success would be what kind of legs this product has in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, we estimate a third of Apple’s sales will be from iPhone. This is a huge product.”
Spokespeople for AT&T have declined to confirm numbers, but have been enthusiastic about the launch. Mark Siegel, AT&T spokesperson, claimed “things have just gone extraordinarily well.” The cellular provider said that most of its 1,800 stores sold out of iPhone stock in 24 hours. Checks on iPhone availability from Apple’s retail web site show that more than a third of Apple stores around the country are listed as “Sold Out” of the device. In addition, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is also bullish on the device, claiming “I was going to only use the iPhone as a test phone at first, but I’m ready now to make it my primary number.” Wozniak, who got in line at 4 a.m. on June 29 to buy the phone, continued, “I was still a bit negative after a couple of test calls, but then I tried the browser and was shocked at how wonderful it was to have real Web pages.”
Following yesterday’s rollout of Apple’s iPhone on AT&T’s wireless mobile phone network, many once-excited customers found themselves frustrated and disappointed after activation-related delays prevented use of their new $499 and $599 devices. As pointed out by iLounge reader Steve Rubel, and confirmed by two iLounge editors with similar issues, a large number of first-day iPhone customers have fanned out across the Internet to describe failures by AT&T to properly start service on the new phones. The issues are officially being attributed to overwhelming demand for the iPhone, and an AT&T representative confirmed to iLounge this morning that “virtually all AT&T stores sold out” of iPhone yesterday; spot checks this morning indicated that Apple Stores, which generally received much larger allocations of iPhones, vary from sold out of one capacity (typically 8GB) to having either or both in stock.
The iPhone, which requires a one-time download of iTunes 7.3, must go through a several-step online activation process before any of its iPod, Internet, or phone features can be used. Failure to activate the phone renders it useful only for “emergency calls,” and disables the remainder of its features; the activation process must be repeated, with fewer steps, each time the phone’s software is updated. If AT&T’s automated service, linked to through iTunes, fails to activate or re-activate the phone in a prompt manner, it will not be usable.
Discussions on Apple’s support forms now describe quoted wait times of “up to 24 hours” for activation, as well as numerous other issues relating to conversion of Individual Plans to Family Plans. Though 5 of our 7 iPhones activated properly, iLounge’s editors are currently attempting to get activation issues resolved with the other 2, and will update this article as appropriate.
Update: A second AT&T representative has told iLounge that a team of AT&T engineers has been manually working around the clock to process the flood of delayed activation requests experienced last night, which were described as falling into the “change of account type from individual to family” and “number portability” categories. Wait times range from 6 to 9 to 24 hours based on the category of account change; iLounge received a “24 hours” notice on a ported number. More straightforward iPhone accounts are typically set up via iTunes in minutes.
Updates 2 and 3: One of iLounge’s 2 long-activation iPhones was activated successfully after 18 hours. The other took roughly 40 hours, and five phone calls, since the first attempt on Friday night, and has now been fully activated.
We’ve just posted a massive new collection of iPhone interface and comparison pictures. Ever wondered how an iPhone compares physically to a Motorola RAZR? A Sidekick 3?
The original iPod, or current iPod models?
Want to see pictures of the iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and Mac computers all next to each other?
In addition to our previous set of iPhone unboxing pictures, we’ve just posted a new gallery full of “standard” iLounge shots.
You can see the rest of the pictures by clicking on the title of this article, and viewing our Flickr account. Enjoy!
You’ve seen the photos of iPhone: here are the photos of iPhone’s box and box contents. Just like Apple’s old premium iPods—the way they used to be packaged before price drops and smaller packages prevailed—the iPhone comes with premium items such as a charging, audio, and synchronization Dock, as well as a USB Power Adapter. It also includes current iPod-like fare, specifically a Stereo Headset (earphones with microphone), a Dock Connector to USB Cable, and printed documentation. New to the package is a cleaning cloth, provided to help keep the screen shining. iTunes 7.3 remains a download from the Apple.com web site, rather than a CD in the box.
You can see iLounge’s first iPhone unpacking photos here. Additional photos are available from the link below.
Update: Apple has posted manuals for the iPhone to its web site. With the Mac OS X application Preview, you’ll see TOC and Index links.
Hands-On: iLounge’s editor Larry Angell notes from his retail iPhone the setup process to transfer an existing line to iPhone was extremely fast, and called in a report to us from the road. He notes, however, that AT&T network speeds, which were reportedly upgraded for iPhone, do not appear to be very fast in his initial tests of the EDGE network. His second call on iPhone was dropped one minute in, and his third call also disconnected after several minutes. AT&T’s network appears to be taking a hit with the addition of the many new iPhone users.
Larry adds that, despite other data questions he still has, Google Maps is running very fast on his iPhone. It’s also pulling up correct, nearby locations with a surprising degree of accuracy as to his present location. Perhaps from his launch day excitement, he’s finding that the screen is smudging from his face, but it’s not visible head-on—the screen is still perfectly clear. It’s only visible on odd angles. He also feels that the iPhone is much slimmer than most of the photos give it credit for being. In brief web testing, he notes that MP3 and certain movie files found on web pages will play back on iPhone, but YouTube videos found embedded on a page (such as iLounge) will not, so you’ll need to use the YouTube browser. We’ll add more impressions shortly.
Apple has posted a series of brief videos explaining how to perform simple tasks on the iPhone. Videos include “Silence the ring,” “Delete a message,” “Create your favorites list,” “Assign a ringtone,” “More song controls,” “Browse in Cover Flow,” “Magnify to edit,” “Mail preferences,” “Set a passcode,” and “Reset you iPhone.” All ten “Finger Tips” videos can be viewed from http://www.apple.com/iphone/ .
Surprising some who believed that lines of customers for iPhone would not materialize, or that such lines would be restricted to only New York City and major cities in California, large groups of anxious iPhone buyers have formed at Apple Stores and AT&T locations across the United States. As of noon local time on the East Coast, iLounge editors and readers in Florida, Ohio, Tennessee and California reported groups of over 50 people already queued at local stores before noon local time, only a few having slept overnight to be close to the head of their lines. You can follow iLounge editor Larry Angell’s live updates from Columbus, Ohio at this link.
After noon, the crowds continued to swell, nearing 100 even in non-flagship Apple locations. By 4PM EST and 1PM PST, flagship Apple Stores in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as select other locations, had lines of over 200 people waiting for iPhones. At 2PM on each coast, Apple Store employees “blacked out” the stores’ windows as they prepared to move iPhones into display positions around each store, and prepare inventory on hand for sale. Signs reading “iPhone World Premiere, Tonight at 6 p.m.” were placed in the windows. Some of the stores announced that they would take groups of 50 at a time for purchases, in two lines: one cash, one credit. Fifteen minutes before launch, our editor at the Florida store was reporting “well over 250 people” in line. Our Ohio editor noted that groups of 30-40 would be taken at a time, and were asked to proceed to the Genius Bar if they were interested in making an immediate purchase.
Many reports coming in to iLounge suggest that the lines continue to grow, as demand for the $499 and $599 iPhones appears to be significant, and though it’s unclear as to how many iPhones stores are receiving, the numbers are high. A YouTube video shows a full pallet of iPhones being delivered to the Apple Store in SoHo, providing a rough estimate of 400-500 iPhones, perhaps more. One iLounge editor reports that he has heard that the ratio of 8GB units to 4GB units available is 4:1 in favor of 8GB units.
To keep the crowds refreshed, Apple Store employees have handed out bottles of Smartwater, and have walked the lines to chat people up as the launch approaches. We’ll continue to update this story as the day progresses; submit your story or photos using the “submit a news tip” box inside this article, or the “submit news” button at the top of the main page News column.