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iPhone clues in latest nano firware update? (+ weird findings)

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
I found these very interesting text strings in the latest iPod nano Firmware updater. The file is called Firmware-14.5.2 and is found inside the 2006-6-28 iPod updater package. (Use right click to "Open package content")

There's a big list of labels used for commands and variables somewhere inside the file, if you look with an hex editor.

Among the weirdest I found are the commands/variables names bellow...

Could this be enough to confirm an iPod phone based on the iPod OS?


t_feature_app_PHONE_APP

kPhoneSignalStrength

clPhoneMocksApplication

clPhoneCallModel

clPhoneCallHistoryModel

prPhoneSettingsMenu

prPhoneSettingsMenuView

prPhoneEnableSetting

prPhoneMenuItem



These are definitely not from the Motorola phones, as they are running a completely different OS. These are also not from the contact and address lists features that can contain phone numbers.


Now if it weren't enough, look what I found too, just after the phone references:

t_feature_app_MESSENGER_APP

clMessengerModel

clMessengerApplication


Can anyone explain what these do in the middle of the main iPod feature/apps list?

A messenger application to go with the phones I guess?

The following are presumably games that were not included. (found among other included games)

t_feature_app_SIMON_APP

t_feature_app_STACKER_APP


Maybe Stacker is a Tetris clone?

I wonder what a search feature could do on an iPod...
t_feature_app_SEARCH_APP
t_feature_QUICKFIND


Changing the main menu font could be a feature?
A long list of seemingly included fonts can be found elsewhere.
t_feature_EXPANDED_FONT_CHOICES

There is a few reference to a graphic EQ that would be enabled by some accessory.
I concluded that it was for the iPod Hi-Fi speakers.
t_feature_view_GRAPHICEQ

Now is this thing about AppleTalk? Or an instant messenger?
t_feature_view_APPLETALKBALLOON

A keyboard for the iPod? For the messenger app?
t_feature_view_APPLEKEYBOARD

A choice of multiple graphical appearances?
t_feature_APPEARANCE_CHOICES
prAppearanceCurrentAqua

prAppearanceCurrentBlue


A way to put a picture in the background of menus?
t_feature_MENU_BACKGROUND

Maybe a way to set a startup photo?
prStartupPhotoSettingsMenuView
prStartupPhotoSettingsScrollView
prStartupPhotoSettingsMenu
prStartupPhotoSettingsItemView
prStartupPhotoSettingsMenuItem


There seem to be a hidden built-in photo folder in the iPods that's used for retail demos. Anyone knows how to access it?
kPhotoLibrary_RetailDemo

The next one is a variable name, I guess that it could enable a wider range of movie formats to play on the iPod Video. (Maybe enable all .mp4 and .h264 to play even if they're not pre-scaled to 320x240?)
AllowUnsupportedMovies

I also saw many references to a brightness and contrast features, and ways to display and operate the iPod video LCD menu on the TV like Jobs did on stage at Macworld.

Among this list of variable and command name is this Boolean variable:
__USE_ORIGINALLY_PLANNED_FEATURES___

I guess that if this variable was set to true, some of the hidden features would be activated. Maybe we could even access the prototype Phone mock-up application?

(Edit: Oops, I forgot the M in Firmware in the title)
post #2 of 62
Wow, very interesting. Thanks!
post #3 of 62
Wow indeed! Waiting eagerly for more informed people to speculate or shed light on this ...
post #4 of 62
There's an easy way to find strings inside binaries (and even search!), namely the UNIX strings command. Used as following from the Terminal (or any other console app.)

Quote:
strings "iPod Updater 2006-06-28.exe" | grep -i FEATURE
t_hw_feature_RTC
t_hw_feature_WHEEL
t_feature_VIDEOCORE
t_feature_app_MP3PLAYEREXAMPLE
t_feature_app_SETTINGS
t_feature_app_BLOCKO_APP
t_feature_app_CHOPPER_APP
t_feature_app_MUSICQUIZ_APP
t_feature_app_SIMON_APP
t_feature_app_STACKER_APP
t_feature_app_ADDRESSVIEWER_APP
t_feature_app_ADDRESSVIEWER_EX_APP
t_feature_app_TEST_AUTOMATION
t_feature_app_GAMES_APP
t_feature_app_NOTES_APP
t_feature_app_VOICERECORDER
t_feature_app_PHOTOIMPORT
t_feature_app_PHOTOIMPORT_SIMULATOR
t_feature_app_REMOTEUI
t_feature_app_CLOCK
t_feature_app_SPORTTIMER
t_feature_app_SLIDESHOW
t_feature_app_PHOTOBROWSE_APP
t_feature_app_DISKBROWSER_APP
t_feature_app_VIDEO_APP
t_feature_app_RADIO_APP
t_feature_app_RADIO_MOREREGIONS
t_feature_app_RADIO_SCANSUPPORT
t_feature_app_RADIO_DISPLAYFADED
t_feature_app_EAPPSHELL
t_feature_app_PHONE_APP
t_feature_app_MESSENGER_APP
t_feature_app_CAL_APP
t_feature_app_TRAINER_APP
t_feature_app_SEARCH_APP
t_feature_SHUFFLESONGS
t_feature_READING_SPEED
t_feature_MULTIPLE_OTG
t_feature_PODCASTS
t_feature_LYRICS
t_feature_CLOCK
t_feature_WORLD_CLOCK
t_feature_UNIT_TESTS
t_feature_FONT_MENU
t_feature_EXPANDED_FONT_CHOICES
t_feature_SHOWSETTINGVALUE
t_feature_ALBUM_ARTWORK
t_feature_EXTRAS_CACHE
t_feature_app_LOCK_APP
t_feature_ALARMS
t_feature_SPEAKERS
t_feature_CARDREADER_SUPPORTED
t_feature_iMA_TestImageFolder
t_feature_view_GRAPHICEQ
t_feature_view_INDICATOR
t_feature_view_OVERLAY
t_feature_view_APPLETALKBALLOON
t_feature_view_APPLEKEYBOARD
t_feature_graphics_COLOR
t_feature_APPEARANCE_CHOICES
t_feature_TIER3_LANGUAGES
t_feature_ALBUMART_BROWSE
t_feature_MENU_BACKGROUND
t_feature_STARTUP_PHOTO
t_feature_EXTRA_REMOTE_COMMANDS
t_feature_LOCK_ORIGINAL
t_feature_QUICKFIND
t_feature_CONTEXTUAL_MENUS
t_feature_BRIGHTNESS_CONTROL
t_feature_TIMEBOMB
__USE_ORIGINALLY_PLANNED_FEATURES___
post #5 of 62
Release the damn thing already! My shares are getting restless.
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 #6 of 62
*Gets a warm and fuzzy feeling*
post #7 of 62
That's heartening news, especially after ThinkSecret's latest report that indicates that iPhone dev has been "frozen", not to resume until next year. Of course, I haven't put a lot of stock by ThinkSecret-propagated rumors, as they haven't been very accurate. (Most recently, the Woodcrest Xserve for which they keep saying "any day now!" has yet to materialize, and I bet it won't until August.)

And so far, mum's the word on the iPhone from AppleInsider, apparently (as we haven't seen any articles on it), so how accurate can ThinkSecret's information be?
"In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure-dome decree."
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"In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure-dome decree."
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post #8 of 62
Thread Starter 
knneth, that's a very interesting command It would've save me time.

Now these are labels associated with functions and commands. Would it be easy to know which ID number is associated with which label? Maybe it'd be possible to find where those IDs are used as menu commands.

That way we could swap the Chopper game ID with the Simon game ID, reload the Firmware and hope it works. The same could be done to try to use other hidden features like the phone mock-up. Most of these are probably functional, and were just removed from the menus at the last minute.

By the way the strings about the phone don't necessarily that Apple is on the verge of releasing an iPhone. But it mean that Apple at least toyed with the idea to the point of making a mock-up that could work in the Nano.

Other new interesting things can be found in this Firmware, like tons of .wav files with the voices of Lance Armstrong and Paula Radcliffe, saying things like "Congratulation! you just completed your first 100 miles!". Obviously it's for the Nike thing. Look for the "RIFF" string to find the beginning of these files.
post #9 of 62
Why is this board so quiet? We should all be buying Apple stock today. This seems pretty big.

There's a reason it's called the iPod and not the iJam, iRock, or whatever (aside from the latter names reallly sucking). It has the potential to be so much more.

Needless to say, I just signed a 2 year contract and bought a razr. The wife will learn to love it.
post #10 of 62
What, no one's pointing out the t_feature_app_VOICERECORDER and t_feature_app_RADIO* bits?

They could just be support for 3rd party devices, but in that case, so could the phone bits.

Hmm. Could be a move to offer an iPod OS to *other* HW manufacturers to compete against Symbian, NokiaOS, etc. License them the clickwheel and the OS, and let them take the heat for entering new markets?
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #11 of 62
There were rumours that Apple was working with Softbank in Japan to develop a cell-phone, so, for me, the most exciting part would be getting a beautiful Japanese cell phone here in the US that is truly world-roaming (and hopefully 3G). If they announce that, I am buying one immediately.

My 1 yen (1 penny) Japanese phone is ten times better than any phone here in the US. The size and screen are perfect and I can only wish for something just as good. If it is an iPod too, that would just be perfect.

I was on the verge of buying a Samsung 904SS while I was last there. Hopefully a WWDC announcement will have made my decision to wait correct..
post #12 of 62
Could the delays with the nano also be phone related?
Perhaps the new nano and iPhone will launch together?

I am a little nervous about the iPhone having the same form factor as the nano.
I think it would be a little bit too small for a phone.
Also at that size the battery would probably be under-powered.
I'm also curious what the accompanying bluetooth headset will be like.
post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
What, no one's pointing out the t_feature_app_VOICERECORDER and t_feature_app_RADIO* bits?

They could just be support for 3rd party devices, but in that case, so could the phone bits.

A voice recorder would seem like an obvious feature for a cell phone.
But, I doubt Apple ever has any intentions of making Radio standard on an iPod or iPhone.
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by TKN
There were rumours that Apple was working with Softbank in Japan to develop a cell-phone, so, for me, the most exciting part would be getting a beautiful Japanese cell phone here in the US that is truly world-roaming (and hopefully 3G). If they announce that, I am buying one immediately.

My 1 yen (1 penny) Japanese phone is ten times better than any phone here in the US. The size and screen are perfect and I can only wish for something just as good. If it is an iPod too, that would just be perfect.

I was on the verge of buying a Samsung 904SS while I was last there. Hopefully a WWDC announcement will have made my decision to wait correct..

I don't think Apple has historically used the WWDC as a platform for iPod related announcements.
Are the 3G networks here in the US up to speed yet?
post #15 of 62
One can only hope some of these are released soon... a major iPod software refresh is long overdue.

Kick, the Radio stuff is probably just for the FM remote (though Apple certainly could fold FM radio into the iPod if they wanted to).
post #16 of 62
Screw what its for, LETS FIND OUT HOW TO USE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by VL-Tone
I found these very interesting text strings in the latest iPod nano Firmware updater. The file is called Firmware-14.5.2 and is found inside the 2006-6-28 iPod updater package. (Use right click to "Open package content")

The only problem with all of this is that this is the Nano firmware, not the 5G (iPod Video) firmware. (Which is Firmware-13.6.1.2 in that same package), which I compared to the archived version on my 5G iPod, and it's the same.

This being the case, all of these features are Nano-only, which actually doesn't make any sense. Most of those strings are NOT present in the iPod 5G firmware, including the ones related to video, use original features, etc.

I've poured over my firmware for the 5G because I was trying to get the LCD output to the screen (as displayed at its introduction). To no avail, of course.

Why would all of these things be present in the Nano version, and not the 5G version?
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by udecker
Why would all of these things be present in the Nano version, and not the 5G version?

lehmiefink...

because the iPod part of the iPhone is iPod nano based?
Maybe?
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post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by gar
lehmiefink...

because the iPod part of the iPhone is iPod nano based?
Maybe?

I was, of course, referring to the "Movie" and "video" portions of the keywords discovered in the firmware.
post #20 of 62
Thread Starter 
The answer is simple udecker:

The firmware for the 5G iPod remained unchanged in the last iPod updater. The iPod (Video) Software 1.1.2 in the 2006-6-28 updater is the same as the one in the 2005-9-23 updater.

Only the nano and shuffle were really updated in the 2006-6-28 release.

Apple must keep a code base that is common to both the nano and video iPod, and usually trims out what's not used in a particular model. Seems they forgot about this in the latest nano update.
post #21 of 62
Alright, anyone knows how to run iPodOS through gdb? Or at least set the __USE_ORIGINALLY_PLANNED_FEATURES___ to false?
Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand. Putts Law
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Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand. Putts Law
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post #22 of 62
Interesting find.

With WWDC around the corner, I wonder if the phone will be intro'd as part of Steve's famous "One More Thing" phrase.

Given that WWDC is developer centric, what if Apple releases an API to allow either software to be ported to the device's OS and to allow third-party developers to write applications for the phone?
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by amac4me
Interesting find.

With WWDC around the corner, I wonder if the phone will be intro'd as part of Steve's famous "One More Thing" phrase.

Given that WWDC is developer centric, what if Apple releases an API to allow either software to be ported to the device's OS and to allow third-party developers to write applications for the phone?

Here comes the apple smartphone!!

Not a pda as steve is so fond of killing.

And it gives Apple Dev's something else to work on.

Why cede the field to M$?
post #24 of 62
So an iTMS Movie rental service and an iPod phone at WWDC. I don't think so somehow That'd really piss the devs off.

My guess is we're looking at one or two special consumer announcements over the next few months, assuming either rumour is true. And that needs to be taken with a big pinch of salt, as the firmware features look like something that would also be present in a version licensed to third parties who want to make phones similar in concept to the ROKR, only with an all Apple interface.

Other possibilities might include something as simple as bluetooth support being present in an upcoming iPod. Bluetooth support could be as simple as "connects to your headset or car music system wirelessly" or it could be more advanced, and capable of, say, mediating between multiple devices that want your ear's attention. Think about it - you're listening to music on your BT headset, and then a phone call comes in. You'll want the iPod to stop playing and give the phone access without having to play around with settings and/or multiple headsets. Ship one stereo headset, with a microphone, and let the iPod control everything.

I'm bringing these up because I'm not 100% convinced Apple will want to launch a phone. The phone business isn't remotely similar to the computer business, and it's not exactly a massive profit earner. I know everyone (well, almost everyone) wants an iPhone, but this is not an industry I'd want to touch if I were Apple. I would, however, want to cut down the barriers as much as possible so people do not see the whole "carrying multiple boxes" thing as a hinderance and simply go out and buy MP3 playing phones.
post #25 of 62
If you don't believe that Apple will produce a device that includes a phone, perhaps you know something that Apple doesn't know, as evidenced by what was essentially an announcement by of an Apple phone at the 3Q financials meeting.
post #26 of 62
I'm thinking along your lines. I think these phone references may be direct wireless connectivity between iPod phones. I don't know if this would be builting bluetooth or an attachment. I too, am unconvinced that Apple will release a phone. I don't see any benefit to Apple in doing so.

I'm also not convinced that there will be any major changes to the full-size iPods. I suspect that they may announce some capacity increases, but the major 6G revision will probably not be hard drive-based, will be as slim as the Nano and share the Nano firmware. It wouldn't surprise me if they consolidate to a single HDD iPod model with 150GB capacity and several Nanos with increased capacity: 32, 16, 8.

Quote:
Originally posted by peharri
So an iTMS Movie rental service and an iPod phone at WWDC. I don't think so somehow That'd really piss the devs off.

My guess is we're looking at one or two special consumer announcements over the next few months, assuming either rumour is true. And that needs to be taken with a big pinch of salt, as the firmware features look like something that would also be present in a version licensed to third parties who want to make phones similar in concept to the ROKR, only with an all Apple interface.

Other possibilities might include something as simple as bluetooth support being present in an upcoming iPod. Bluetooth support could be as simple as "connects to your headset or car music system wirelessly" or it could be more advanced, and capable of, say, mediating between multiple devices that want your ear's attention. Think about it - you're listening to music on your BT headset, and then a phone call comes in. You'll want the iPod to stop playing and give the phone access without having to play around with settings and/or multiple headsets. Ship one stereo headset, with a microphone, and let the iPod control everything.

I'm bringing these up because I'm not 100% convinced Apple will want to launch a phone. The phone business isn't remotely similar to the computer business, and it's not exactly a massive profit earner. I know everyone (well, almost everyone) wants an iPhone, but this is not an industry I'd want to touch if I were Apple. I would, however, want to cut down the barriers as much as possible so people do not see the whole "carrying multiple boxes" thing as a hinderance and simply go out and buy MP3 playing phones.
post #27 of 62
There is only one person that can shed light to all this ..... HARALD...!!
where are you ? Any hints? ... HARALD?!...
The world belongs to who wants it , now who deserves it.
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The world belongs to who wants it , now who deserves it.
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post #28 of 62
I can see the iPod diverging into two distinct products. A phone/mp3 player (aka, Nano) and the video models (actually growing in size, larger screens, etc for iTMS movie rentals - aka iPod). Shuffle is discoed as price difference will become moot.
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post #29 of 62
I think they'll all have video, though I agree in that their are and will be models with larger screens that are oriented toward viewing video.

That said, the phones will have video too.

Whether there is really a need for video on these devices has yet to be demonstrated. I don't know of anyone who spends much time watching video on their iPods, though I am sure there are a few for whom this is a great feature. Still, the bulk of them are sold as music players, and there is yet to be a portable video device that has been sold in huge numbers for that purpose.

Of course, how we might actually use video capabilities on a portable device might not have even been conceived as of yet. Then again, we may just never really want or need to watch video on a pocket device.
post #30 of 62
I watch video on my ipod. When I am traveling.
post #31 of 62
Right. As I said, I am sure that some put the video to good use. That said, I see tons of people in London with white buds in their ears, but never see anybody watching their iPod.
post #32 of 62
I don't see them ever getting rid of the pure MP3 player in the nano form-factor, either, though. Many people have different phones (even those capable of playing music) but still prefer the ease of use and simplicity of a separate device.
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by netdog
Right. As I said, I am sure that some put the video to good use. That said, I see tons of people in London with white buds in their ears, but never see anybody watching their iPod.

That's because in London you have to watch out for traffic going the wrong way!!

post #34 of 62
iPhone video advert here: http://www.mobilewhack.com/reviews/a...e_or_real.html

Undoubtedly a fake but quite an elaborate one.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by netdog
If you don't believe that Apple will produce a device that includes a phone, perhaps you know something that Apple doesn't know, as evidenced by what was essentially an announcement by of an Apple phone at the 3Q financials meeting.

At this point, there's no official confirmation either way. The comment that's being interpreted as meaning Apple has "announced" a phone just said that Apple is aware of the competition and plans to have something to deal with it.

That could be a phone. It could be a device that ensures iPods happily coexist with phones and which has clear advantages over phone-integrated devices. It could mean a licensing system. It could be a patent lawsuit for all I know.

I'm not ruling out Apple selling a phone, but I'm not seeing the evidence that's been posted as confirming *anything*. What I am seeing is a lot of wishful thinking, and a lot of people interpreting anything phone related through a filter of wishful thinking.

As it stands, the "messages in the firmware" thing doesn't, actually, make a lot of sense as evidence of a phone. To assume this is what it is, we have to assume that Apple is extending an MP3 player to incorporate mobile phone technology, or else using MP3 player firmware as the basis of a cellphone operating system. Does anyone else not think that's slightly odd?

Leave aside the need to either team up with a carrier, or sell unsubsidized, unlocked, phones to markets historically anti-such things, or to create a full blown MVNO, an industry completely unlike anything Apple's done before and one with plenty of competitors (competitors who'd offer a variety of phones, not just one.) Just focussing on the design of this one. A mobile phone that uses an MP3 player as the front-end. Uh-huh.

Not impossible, but definitely strange.
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by peharri
Leave aside the need to either team up with a carrier, or sell unsubsidized, unlocked, phones to markets historically anti-such things, or to create a full blown MVNO, an industry completely unlike anything Apple's done before and one with plenty of competitors (competitors who'd offer a variety of phones, not just one.) Just focussing on the design of this one. A mobile phone that uses an MP3 player as the front-end. Uh-huh.

Not impossible, but definitely strange.

Before Apple entered the mp3 player market, they had never done it before. Before Boot Camp, they had never done that before. Before a lot of stuff, they were virgins to things. The registered iPhone.org in '99, so what? Peter Oppenheimers latest quote about cellphones, so what? Then those strings of clues found in iPod software update, so what?. If you actually think Apple is not actually working on a phone, I think your crazy. If Apple actually is not working on a phone, then Apple is crazy.

Conclusion: Apple are logical folk, and for logical folk this is a logical next step. This makes too much sense not to be true. All signs point to yes, my gut and numerous clues and facts tell me this also. Whether it will be called "iPhone" or "iPod Phone", you can rest assured it's coming, it's most definitely coming.
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 #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
Conclusion: Apple are logical folk, and for logical folk this is a logical next step. This makes too much sense not to be true. All signs point to yes, my gut and numerous clues and facts tell me this also. Whether it will be called "iPhone" or "iPod Phone", you can rest assured it's coming, it's most definitely coming.

I somewhat agree.
post #38 of 62
Just keep in mind Apple's historically buggy 1st version of any new hardware. I'd give it a year or more.

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GOA

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

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post #39 of 62
Quote:
Conclusion: Apple are logical folk, and for logical folk this is a logical next step. This makes too much sense not to be true. All signs point to yes, my gut and numerous clues and facts tell me this also. Whether it will be called "iPhone" or "iPod Phone", you can rest assured it's coming, it's most definitely coming. [/B]

I agree. Like the meshing of computers that don't look like computers into home media centers (Tivo, for example), phones, PDAs and portable music players are clearly one of the current stages of convergence. The caveat is that, much like the state of portable music players before Apple introduced the iPod, nobody has made a very good convergent portable device as described above that has either captured our collective imagination or given us outstanding function and form. Apple is just the company to do that, and they will do it. The writing is on the wall, and in the call and the updater code.
post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
Conclusion: Apple are logical folk, and for logical folk this is a logical next step. This makes too much sense not to be true. All signs point to yes, my gut and numerous clues and facts tell me this also. Whether it will be called "iPhone" or "iPod Phone", you can rest assured it's coming, it's most definitely coming.

Yes YES! Make me believe 'cause I want one!!
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