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Sprint exec criticizes AT&T 3G; Palm CEO talks iPod, Apple

post #1 of 62
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In promoting Sprint's upcoming 4G network, a Sprint executive has cited AT&T's 3G troubles as an example of what not to do; and Palm's CEO discusses his time at Apple, including the creation of the iPod.

Sprint: AT&T's 3G "virtually useless"

Speaking at the 4G World Conference in Chicago, Sprint president of corporate initiatives and CDMA, Keith Cowan, took the opportunity to promote his company's 4G network. The company will provide WiMAX service over the Clearwire network to 80 cities by the end of 2010.

In rolling out its new high-speed data network, Cowan said Sprint hopes to avoid a situation like the on AT&T currently finds itself in, according to PCWorld.

"As our friends at AT&T are learning, it doesn't matter to consumers if they have the coolest device, if the network is so jammed up that it is virtually useless," Cowan said.

As criticism of AT&T's network, particularly among iPhone users, has grown, the company has essentially been forced to admit its shortcomings, while it plans to invest billions of dollars in its network to boost coverage. But as the network has struggled to meet capacity, particularly since the launch of the iPhone 3GS, perception of the AT&T brand has diminished.

The new iPhone 3GS has support for 7.2Mbps high speed packet access. AT&T plans to roll out HSPA in six U.S cities this year, and plans to have service available in 25 of the nation's 30 largest markets by the end of 2010. The nation's second-largest carrier intends to begin rollout of 4G LTE -- its next-generation wireless broadband WiMAX competitor -- in 2011.

Rubenstein talks Apple, iPod

Palm's CEO, Jon Rubinstein, was the first guest on the new The Engadget Show this week. In 1990, Rubinstein joined Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the company NeXT, who later brought him to Apple as senior vice president of hardware engineering. In his time there, he was instrumental in the creation of the iPod.

In the interview, Rubinstein talked about his time at Apple and his influence on the iPod. He said Jobs invited him to come to Apple in 1997 to help the then-strugling company.

"At the time, Apple was in terrible, terrible shape," Rubinstein said. "So I decided that it was a really interesting opportunity."

He explained that the iTunes project was originally kicked off with the intent of creating a CD burning application.

"HP was kicking our butt because of CD burners," he said.

As work began on iTunes, Apple began looking at current MP3 players available on the market, which Rubinstein said were all "terrible." It was during this time that he took a trip to Japan to see what new technologies vendors had to offer, and he discovered the 1.8-inch hard drive. From there, he said, it was a convergence of new technology that allowed the iPod to come to be.



In 2007, Rubinstein joined Palm Inc. where he oversaw the development of the WebOS platform and the Palm Pre. This June, just after the launch of the Pre, Rubinstein was named CEO of Palm.

Palm announced Thursday that it sold 823,000 smartphones last quarter, a year-over-year decrease of 30 percent.
post #2 of 62
Interesting talk. Goes to show there's more to Apple than Mr. Ego.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Interesting talk. Goes to show there's more to Apple than Mr. Ego.

I agree. It's also very interesting to find out how something as revolutionary and mainstream as iTunes started out with such a small idea. Seems that a lot of big ideas also start out in this manner.

(if only I could think of one of these ideas \)
post #4 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Interesting talk. Goes to show there's more to Apple than Mr. Ego.

:snicker:
post #5 of 62
One wonders if Sprint's solution is to have crappier phones and less customers, and therefore have less problems.

The iPhone has certainly shown AT&T's issues, but I remain to be convinced that if it were on Sprint or Verizon it wouldn't have performed a similar hatchet job on their reputations. There's no other phone out right now that generates the sort of network traffic the iPhone does, especially amongst Verizon's line up of crippled junk.
post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

I agree. It's also very interesting to find out how something as revolutionary and mainstream as iTunes started out with such a small idea. Seems that a lot of big ideas also start out in this manner.

(if only I could think of one of these ideas \)

Ha! Ending... A lot of the best ideas are ones the person who makes them likes or wants themselves. Take me for example. I have been trying to come up with good ideas for ages, and finally the best idea yet comes from a surprising place - it's a Twitter service I wished existed, it didn't so I created it. And the idea, as most of them are is brain-dead simple, pardon the analogy. The idea? How dare you ask me to Spam, twitboy!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #7 of 62
"Palm announced Thursday that it sold 823,000 smartphones last quarter, a year-over-year decrease of 30 percent."

And yesterday's headline here that Palm "beat analysts' expectations" makes any sense at all?

This company should be sold ASAP and the money given back to the shareholders . . . if there are any left.
post #8 of 62
Sprint wants the iPhone. Badly.
post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Sprint wants the iPhone. Badly.

They'll get it too. My bet is Apple won't renew their contract with AT&T, and are only spreading this message to get better treatment from them in the meantime. As for different technologies to work on different networks, that's the easy part.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

"Palm announced Thursday that it sold 823,000 smartphones last quarter, a year-over-year decrease of 30 percent."

And yesterday's headline here that Palm "beat analysts' expectations" makes any sense at all?

This company should be sold ASAP and the money given back to the shareholders . . . if there are any left.

There was bound to be losses, considering how much money such a small company spent. They'll do alright over time. The iPhone still has the mindshare though.

I'm not sure if I buy in the whole webOS idea, you won't see great 3D games come from this, which is one of the things that makes Apple current product so popular - more powerful.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 62
Funny how he doesn't mention his hacking iTunes and the subsequent cat and mouse game with Apple.
post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

I agree. It's also very interesting to find out how something as revolutionary and mainstream as iTunes started out with such a small idea. Seems that a lot of big ideas also start out in this manner.

It didn't. It started out by buying a program already invented by Cassady & Green called Soundjam, probably the best purchase Apple ever made.
post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

"Palm announced Thursday that it sold 823,000 smartphones last quarter, a year-over-year decrease of 30 percent."

And yesterday's headline here that Palm "beat analysts' expectations" makes any sense at all?

This company should be sold ASAP and the money given back to the shareholders . . . if there are any left.

Palm did a lot better than you think they did. Look up the facts.
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They'll get it too. My bet is Apple won't renew their contract with AT&T, and are only spreading this message to get better treatment from them in the meantime. As for different technologies to work on different networks, that's the easy part.

I'll bet you're wrong. I can't see a single advantage to going to Sprint, and you can't find one.
post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It didn't. It started out by buying a program already invented by Cassady & Green calll Soundjam probably the best purchase Apple ever made.

I would imagine though, that Apple was working on something before they bought Soundjam, but decided that Soundjam was further along, and so would save them a lot of time. After they bought it, they likely quickly began to integrate their own work into it, as they changed it radically shortly after.
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It didn't. It started out by buying a program already invented by Cassady & Green calll Soundjam probably the best purchase Apple ever made.

Umm... the article states that iTunes started off... at the very beginning... as just a CD Burning application. Small idea. Then Jon realized how crappy most MP3 player applications were and went looking to see what was available from third parties. Then discovered the 1.8" hard drive. Etc. Etc. Converging of technologies. Blah blah blah.
post #17 of 62
From the article:
Quote:
In 1990, Rubinstein and Apple CEO Steve Jobs co-founded the company NeXT...

Huh? NeXT was formed in 1985:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXT


He didn't join NeXT until 1990:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Rub..._Jobs_and_NeXT


You might want to revise that part.
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I would imagine though, that Apple was working on something before they bought Soundjam, but decided that Soundjam was further along, and so would save them a lot of time. After they bought it, they likely quickly began to integrate their own work into it, as they changed it radically shortly after.

No so. If you look at the original soundjam it's basically the same. The only change was the addition of the store. Then Apple bought the coverflow technolgy and tacked that on.
It's still basically Soundjam, not radically different.
I still have my original Soundjam OS9 box and discs.
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

Umm... the article states that iTunes started off... at the very beginning... as just a CD Burning application. Small idea.

That's misleading and re-writing history because iTunes really started off and was released as a way to get music on iPods (improting from CDs) with playlist and listings which were allreadypart of SoundJam. The CD burning part was an extra.
post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As work began on iTunes, Apple began looking at current MP3 players available on the market, which Rubinstein said were all "terrible." It was during this time that he took a trip to Japan to see what new technologies vendors had to offer, and he discovered the 1.8-inch hard drive. From there, he said, it was a convergence of new technology that allowed the iPod to come to be.

I am sure he had a great deal to do with the iPod, but it sounds a tad self-serving to make it sound like it was all just good hardware. (Even iTunes is dismissed in his interview as merely an attempt to compete in the CD-burning arena).

What made the iPod (and the iPhone) what it is, and differentiated it from everyone else, is the software.
post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It didn't. It started out by buying a program already invented by Cassady & Green called Soundjam, probably the best purchase Apple ever made.

To think that iTunes comes from Soundjam is plain ignorant of the work Apple put in from iTunes 2 to 9.
post #22 of 62
It's not just cel service where AT&T is failing.

AT&T bought out Bellsouth, my local DSL provider. I've already had three outages this month; they seem incompetent and unable to fix the problem right. I may have to bail and move over to Comcast.

AT&T destroys everything they touch. Apple would do right to bring the iPhone to Sprint and Verizon once their exclusivity contract runs out. Of course, they probably won't.

I've been happy with my Palm Pre so far; it's a fun little phone. I own two Macs, so I love Apple products too, but the iPhone can be the most amazing phone in the world; if it's on a crappy network, it's useless to me.
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They'll get it too. My bet is Apple won't renew their contract with AT&T, and are only spreading this message to get better treatment from them in the meantime. As for different technologies to work on different networks, that's the easy part.

We'll see what happens in 2010 and where the iPhone will head to/ stay with AT&T.
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

That's misleading and re-writing history because iTunes really started off and was released as a way to get music on iPods (improting from CDs) with playlist and listings which were allreadypart of SoundJam. The CD burning part was an extra.

I think he was talking about the idea for iTunes -- i.e., before they even started development on it and long before it was released. Lot's of things start out as an idea for one thing and end up as something quite different. Take Vista, for example... (please!)
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by too999 View Post

To think that iTunes comes from Soundjam is plain ignorant of the work Apple put in from iTunes 2 to 9.

No it's not- it's fact, plain and simple. That is where it originated. Look it up.
What it is is delusional to think otherwise.
post #26 of 62
I like how NOKIA sponsored the Engadget show and then the panel spends a solid 10 minutes criticising NOKIA's products and strategies in the first episode.

Also interesting is the credit Rubinstein gives Fred Andersen for saving Apple. Wasn't he basically the fall guy for the stock options scandal?

What were the 4 unnamed startups Rubinstein worked on prior to coming to Apple? Do any of them still exist?

With regards to Sound Jam - yes, Apple purchased it and used it as the basis for iTunes, although it was not their first choice. That said iTunes today is unrecognisable from the SoundJam product (which is I think the point too999 was trying to make).


Much of Apple's software started out in other forms (Macromedia Final Cut, KHTML engine prior to Webkit etc.).

This is typical of many software firms. Very rarely is something created from scratch. I believe iPhoto, Keynote, Pages, Numbers and Aperture were created inside Apple though.
post #27 of 62
Pre iPod, Apple considered buying Universal (Music) for their music library, but the stock market reacted negatively.
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post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Sprint wants the iPhone. Badly.

I wonder if they'll try and bastardize it like they do with their htc phones. I remember when the touch pro came out, it had a black battery case on it, but sprint decided to go with silver. It looked worse and everyone bitched that it was silver. NOW the Touch Pro 2 is out, and the stock version has a silver back, but Sprint's version has a BLACK back side, and everyone's bitching that they want the silver back side! LOL

I don't know why Sprint doesn't just go with the stock design on HTC phones. It always looks better than what they do to it.

Imagine a gunmetal colored iphone for sprint, with an orange circle around the home key lol.
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'll bet you're wrong. I can't see a single advantage to going to Sprint, and you can't find one.

Yeah, cause more customers isn't an advantage. Either is people who refuse to switch from carrier, read: Sprint, some people are loyal like that.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #30 of 62
Sprint's customer service is horrid. It would take a lot - iPhone maybe, or like a million dollars - for me to go back to that carrier.
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

One wonders if Sprint's solution is to have crappier phones and less customers, and therefore have less problems.

The iPhone has certainly shown AT&T's issues, but I remain to be convinced that if it were on Sprint or Verizon it wouldn't have performed a similar hatchet job on their reputations. There's no other phone out right now that generates the sort of network traffic the iPhone does, especially amongst Verizon's line up of crippled junk.


Wired had an article this week suggesting that is exactly Verizon's direction. They would prefer to have phones that are not the most in demand, so long as it means their network performance looks good.

The problem with this is that it depends on you having phones no one wants or wants to use. If you are providing a service and the only way you can provide it is by charging customers and assuming the won't use it (by providing them phones they don't want to use) it seems you are striving for success by relying on failure...

Sprint on the otherhand at least brought in the pre and will launch an Android device. This at least shows they welcome the idea of customers actually using the devices they buy.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

It's not just cel service where AT&T is failing.

AT&T bought out Bellsouth, my local DSL provider. I've already had three outages this month; they seem incompetent and unable to fix the problem right. I may have to bail and move over to Comcast.

AT&T destroys everything they touch. Apple would do right to bring the iPhone to Sprint and Verizon once their exclusivity contract runs out. Of course, they probably won't.

I've been happy with my Palm Pre so far; it's a fun little phone. I own two Macs, so I love Apple products too, but the iPhone can be the most amazing phone in the world; if it's on a crappy network, it's useless to me.

Lucky for you that Sprint keeps losing customers each quarter and that the Palm Pre has not been a success.....you have the entire Sprint Network to yourself!
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

One wonders if Sprint's solution is to have crappier phones and less customers, and therefore have less problems.

The iPhone has certainly shown AT&T's issues, but I remain to be convinced that if it were on Sprint or Verizon it wouldn't have performed a similar hatchet job on their reputations. There's no other phone out right now that generates the sort of network traffic the iPhone does, especially amongst Verizon's line up of crippled junk.

Yes and No. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA in a separate channel for "mostly" voice... called 1X that is 1.25 MHz wide. In many of the cases a separate voice called "DO" also 1.25 MHz wide is used. If the data traffic is heavy, just data will slow down. Voice should not be affected.

ATT use a WCDMA 5 MHz channel that combines voice and data. It is easy to see how data could crowd voice out, even though they try to control that. However, HPSA implementation should improve that.

In addition to the wireless, the entire router and backbone need to be upgraded to fiberoptics. I doubt the Sprint and Verizon network backbone are designed to handle the kind of traffic that the iPhones generate.
post #34 of 62
AT&T network if far from being jammed by iPhone's. Look their new 3G network can handle 5x more traffic than edge did, so if edge had no problem with 70 million users 3G shouldn't have a problem with 350 million which AT&T network is far, far from. When they upgrade to LTE in a few years the network will be able to handle 5x more traffic than today's 3G or almost 1.8 billion users, making voice calling plans drop like rocks.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

No it's not- it's fact, plain and simple. That is where it originated. Look it up.
What it is is delusional to think otherwise.

I agree. Apple removed features from Soundjam. Anyone else remember that they removed the EQ, skin support, the ability to create genres, bass & treble adjustment, etc.*
post #36 of 62
Ah a Sprint guy criticizing ATT. Sprint has the worst network I have ever used. No service everywhere I went when I had them and it was miserable. I have no issues at all with AT&T but I also have the 850 MHz spectrum where I live so that helps and I have had that since 2008. I don't see why people have so many issues with AT&T my data is fast and never have a dropped call. I had major issues with these when I was with Sprint and Verizon.

Apple will not release a Iphone for Sprint or Verizon, why would they build a CDMA version of the phone when that technology will not be around in 2-3 years. If Apple does drop their deal with AT&T it will be because T-mobile has bought Sprint and is now a number 3 provider in the country with a big footprint and GSM, Apple will then maybe offer it to T-mobile as well as AT&T leaving Verizon out in the dark ages with their crapy CDMA network, no Iphone, and their other crippled piece of crap phones.
post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They'll get it [the iPhone] too.

Highly unlikely.

Sprint uses CDMA, but in different frequency bands than Verizon's current CDMA, an orphan to be replaced by LTE. AT&T is also going to LTE, a GSM family technology being also adopted in much of the rest of the world. Sprint is adopting WiMax as its 4G technology, which is entirely different from and incompatible with LTE.

Sprint is also losing market share.

So, if you were Apple, would you build a phone solely for Sprint, while most of the world market converges on a different technology?

I don't think so.
post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

Highly unlikely.

Sprint uses CDMA, but in different frequency bands than Verizon's current CDMA, an orphan to be replaced by LTE. AT&T is also going to LTE, a GSM family technology being also adopted in much of the rest of the world. Sprint is adopting WiMax as its 4G technology, which is entirely different from and incompatible with LTE.

Sprint is also losing market share.

So, if you were Apple, would you build a phone solely for Sprint, while most of the world market converges on a different technology?

I don't think so.

If true then no, the likely won't. My point wasn't necessarily that Sprint would get it though, but more so that AT&T won't continue to be the only company in the US that has it.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

(if only I could think of one of these ideas \)

Yep, my last big idea was to sell bottles of water and if I charged a dollar each and sold a million of them I would make....er....help me with the math!
\)
post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by blewharvest View Post

I agree. Apple removed features from Soundjam. Anyone else remember that they removed the EQ, skin support, the ability to create genres, bass & treble adjustment, etc.*

Yes I remember. The equalizer and bass treble adjs were fantastic. The skins were a lot of fun. I'm telling you, if you stripped out everything from iTunes that orignated in Soundjam you'd be left with nada.
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