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Report downplays concerns over lack of 3G iPhone

post #1 of 177
Thread Starter 
The absence of a 3G iPhone from Apple's product portfolio has been a hot topic amongst investors, but any concerns in that department are currently a bit overblown, says a new report from one Wall Street analyst.

In a brief research note to client investors on Monday, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said he's frequently asked about the lack of a 3G iPhone and what it means for Apple. He explained, however, that he sees these ongoing concerns as "overdone and misplaced" at present, and outlined four key data points in defense of his beliefs.

First and foremost, Wu said, 3G (WCDMA/UMTS/HSPA) is still a relatively niche technology and not widely deployed in the US despite all the publicity and hype. "Even in Europe and Japan, where the technology is more available, network coverage is somewhat spotty," he wrote. "While there are a decent number of 3G phones (~10-15 percent) being shipped, the untold reality is they utilize much more prevalent 2/2.5G wireless infrastructure most of the time.

In addition, 3G is not as field tested as 2/2.5G, the analyst said, also pointing out that RIMM -- the leading smart phone vendor -- has experienced a lot of success with 2/2.5G Blackberries.

Costs of 3G iPhone parts would also be somewhat steep at present, Wu added. "We estimate that 3G components including the baseband, RF transceiver, and power amplifier add about $15 in incremental cost versus the 2.5G EDGE chip set iPhone uses today," he told clients. "We believe these price points need to come down a bit before 3G can be widely deployed."

Another reason Apple has been slow to adopt 3G has a lot to do with the technology's reputation for being a bit of a battery hog. "Our sources indicate that 3G requires about 35-40 percent more power to run [than 2/2.5G components]," the analyst wrote in his report. "This is a key issue as Apple seeks to deliver as much battery life as possible on its highly functional iPhone."

From his supply chain checks, Wu believes a 3G iPhone will most likely ship sometime near or after the middle of 2008. "

We believe by then, the network coverage, price points, and battery life issues will be better addressed," he wrote. "Should Apple decide to ship earlier, it will likely be positioned as a high-end smart phone and allow Apple to re-position the current 2.5G iPhone as a more mainstream product."

While Wu and his team remain concerned with potential softness in US consumer spending, he said it appears that Apple "is once again positioned to buck the trend." He recommends that clients be buyers of the company's shares on pull-backs and said he see upside to his $210 price target in 6-12 months.
post #2 of 177
I thought the current iPhone was already positioned as a mainstream product? It hasn't been marketed as a high-end smart phone.

Granted the price point could be a little lower, but then we consumers always want things to be cheaper.
post #3 of 177
I can pretty much agree with this. What I've read says the same thing about 3G use, both here and abroad, and I've been expressing that.

As far as battery use goes. I've read reports on both sides of the issue. I suppose it comes down to which you want to believe.
post #4 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by hanabi View Post

I thought the current iPhone was already positioned as a mainstream product? It hasn't been marketed as a high-end smart phone.

Granted the price point could be a little lower, but then we consumers always want things to be cheaper.

Most people would think that a $399 phone is a high end product these days. Mainstream would be lower, maybe much lower. It would be close to the average phone selling price.
post #5 of 177
An iPhone with 3G could be the first phone where people on a broad scale would actually start using the 3G possibilities. Most people I know with 3G phones still just call and send sms. No video call, no surf, no modem etc. It's just the phone. And they all complain about the battery life.. Some also complain about heat and "sensing the radiation" like "the feel of having your ear against an old TV screen" on 3G phones.. I don't know about that, perhaps 3G radiation is worse than 2G, no clue.. But still, 2G is where world compatibility lies today. All 3G phones must be 2G compatible anyway in order to be of any real world use since 3G isn't covered yet.
post #6 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

An iPhone with 3G could be the first phone where people on a broad scale would actually start using the 3G possibilities. Most people I know with 3G phones still just call and send sms. No video call, no surf, no modem etc. It's just the phone. And they all complain about the battery life.. Some also complain about heat and "sensing the radiation" like "the feel of having your ear against an old TV screen" on 3G phones.. I don't know about that, perhaps 3G radiation is worse than 2G, no clue.. But still, 2G is where world compatibility lies today. All 3G phones must be 2G compatible anyway in order to be of any real world use since 3G isn't covered yet.

I have 3G for my Treo 700p over Sprint, and I use it.

But how often do I use it?

Not that much. Even for the iPhone, people I know say that they don't use the web feature very often.
post #7 of 177
What has always bothered me is the people screaming out there that the iPhone is worthless without 3G most likely don't even own an iPhone, let alone a 3G capable cell or they don't even live in one of the scant areas in the US that has 3G technology in place.

Like I've said time and time again, in NY state, the only region that has 3G technology is NYC. Ok, let that soak in for a second before I continue..... those New Yorkers that are complaining about lack of 3G support live in the largest city on the face of the planet. What happens to exist more per capita in said largest city in the world???? That's right, FREE WIFI locations.

EDGE is just fine for surfing or pulling email. If you need to do some serious surfing, go find a WIFI location.

I live just fine with my iPhone in a rural setting with the EDGE network and if I need to surf hard, I pull my MacBook out and use WIFI. The iPhone is NOT a laptop replacement.
post #8 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

What has always bothered me is the people screaming out there that the iPhone is worthless without 3G most likely don't even own an iPhone, let alone a 3G capable cell or they don't even live in one of the scant areas in the US that has 3G technology in place.

Like I've said time and time again, in NY state, the only region that has 3G technology is NYC. Ok, let that soak in for a second before I continue..... those New Yorkers that are complaining about lack of 3G support live in the largest city on the face of the planet. What happens to exist more per capita in said largest city in the world???? That's right, FREE WIFI locations.

EDGE is just fine for surfing or pulling email. If you need to do some serious surfing, go find a WIFI location.

I live just fine with my iPhone in a rural setting with the EDGE network and if I need to surf hard, I pull my MacBook out and use WIFI. The iPhone is NOT a laptop replacement.

That's not true for 3G coverage. Go to Sprint's site,or that of Version, for example, and you will see far more 3G coverage than you're stating. I've used it otside of NYC many times.

And if you look at largest cities, you have to look at largest CORE cities. That means the city proper, not much larger metropolitan areas, which may contain additional towns or even cities. There, NYC ranks #11.

http://www.citymayors.com/features/largest_cities1.html
post #9 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

What has always bothered me is the people screaming out there that the iPhone is worthless without 3G most likely don't even own an iPhone, let alone a 3G capable cell or they don't even live in one of the scant areas in the US that has 3G technology in place.

Of they live in Europe where 3G access is widespread and 3G reliant services like MMS and online video are already popular.
post #10 of 177
Urr, as a European, I can confirm that there are very few places WITHOUT 3G these days. This comment that it isn't really that available in Europe and Japan is unfounded, and uninformed at best.

It's everywhere in Europe. And Japan has 4G pretty much everywhere.

The US is pretty poor with mobile technology, being stuck in the dark ages.
post #11 of 177
Quote:
But how often do I use it? Not that much. Even for the iPhone, people I know say that they don't use the web feature very often.

Its probably a generational thing but I use the web on my iPhone pretty often. Not really for long periods of time like I would on a computer. But I often look up information or read the NY Times while I'm waiting.

Market Share reports that the iPhone tops all mobile web browsing in North America. Which means most iPhone users are using the web frequently.
post #12 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

What happens to exist more per capita in said largest city in the world???? That's right, FREE WIFI locations.

In my experience, mostly in SoCal and Denver, free wireless is pretty hard to find. Even inside businesses and coffee shops, it is all locked down. Besides I don't want to check my email from a free wireless because I can't trust providing my password.

m

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post #13 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Its probably a generational thing but I use the web on my iPhone pretty often. Not really for long periods of time like I would on a computer. But I often look up information or read the NY Times while I'm waiting.


I'm not so sure that's true. Certainly not for me. I've always been a tech head. It's just that it isn't as useful as some seem to think. I almost always know where a place is that I'm going to, and there are other sources for this info. Using the phone almost always means that you need info at the last minute. I'd rather take the time in advance. It's called planning. That isn't all that age related, just how organized you are.

I do use it to check stock prices, weather, sports scores, and some news. I do have several programs on my phone for directions, maps etc, but they are only needed occasionally.

Quote:
Market Share reports that the iPhone tops all mobile web browsing in North America. Which means most iPhone users are using the web frequently.

It doesn't mean that it's being done frequently, just that it's more frequent than with other phones.
post #14 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

In my experience, mostly in SoCal and Denver, free wireless is pretty hard to find. Even inside businesses and coffee shops, it is all locked down. Besides I don't want to check my email from a free wireless because I can't trust providing my password.

m

Even here in NYC, the coverage is not that great. What I find, walking around with a WiFi network finder, is that they are clustered. Major areas without any, then all of a sudden, a small area will be all covered. But, mostly not.
post #15 of 177
Quote:
It's just that it isn't as useful as some seem to think.

Which is the whole point. A fully rendered web page is far more useful than only the text.

Quote:
Using the phone almost always means that you need info at the last minute. I'd rather take the time in advance. It's called planning. That isn't all that age related, just how organized you are.

I'm not sure exactly what function you are talking about. I agree the phone should not substitute good planning. But being able to access the fully rendered web at any time is convenient.

If you have a job where you travel a lot having maps on your phone is a great help. This past week I was just on a shoot in San Francisco. I've been there a few times and have a general feel for the city, but we still needed maps to help us get around. I was looking at Google Maps on my iPhone but I had to find where we were and could not always tell the number of miles to where we wanted to go.

Our sound recordist had a Verizon phone with triangulation software. He could see where we were real time and could see the number of miles to where we wanted to go. But his phone could not show a fully rendered map the way the iPhone could.

I travel a lot for work and that definitely showed me the advantage of GPS. I look forward to when the Google triangulation software comes to the iPhone.

Quote:
It doesn't mean that it's being done frequently, just that it's more frequent than with other phones.

6 of 1, half dozen of the other. Semantics.
post #16 of 177
Someone is clearly trying to cover up the fact that EDGE is not cutting edge, pun very much intended.

Some numbers from Swiss telecom company Swisscom about coverage in Switzerland and elsewhere:

Switzerland
99.8 % EDGE/GPRS
90 % UMTS
45 % HSPA (90% until mid 2008)
PWLAN > 1000 Hotspots

And that's in a country that has a big percentage of area that is simply rocks, mountains and snow.
If you look at EDGE / UMTS availability here: http://www.swisscom-mobile.ch/scm/kd...s_edge-de.aspx it looks even worse.
Edge may be present in many countries, but so is UMTS. And HSPA is spreading quickly. I have a good idea, why Apple hasn't introduced the first generation iPhone here yet.
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post #17 of 177
Quote:
Even here in NYC, the coverage is not that great. What I find, walking around with a WiFi network finder, is that they are clustered. Major areas without any, then all of a sudden, a small area will be all covered. But, mostly not.

Many social areas around Manhattan do have free WiFi. Places where people are encouraged to stay and relax. City Parks, City Libraries, Whole Foods cafe, places like that.

Quote:
I have a good idea, why Apple hasn't introduced the first generation iPhone here yet.

There are a lot of places where Apple has not introduced the iPhone. Switzerland is more than likely on this list because its a small market.
post #18 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Which is the whole point. A fully rendered web page is far more useful than only the text.

That's the difference between information and glitz. If you get the information, you don't need the glitz. That doesn't meant you might not want it, but that's something else.

Quote:
I'm not sure exactly what function you are talking about. I agree the phone should not substitute good planning. But being able to access the fully rendered web at any time is convenient.

Convenient, yes, at times. But how often is that? I have several good mapping programs on my phone Tube2 is one of them, and it does a fine job of showing me the subway, LIRR, Metro-North, Jersey Transit. With all of those, I can input my starting point, and it will show the trains needed, even showing a graphic of the train moving down the track with the stations highlighted, as well as the stations needed for transfers, and the new trains. It also has a map of New York sector by sector, with clickable locations. They update the maps on a regular basis. I also get Google maps on my Treo 700p, and it looks just dandy, about the same as on the iPhone, except that the screen is 320 x 320.

Quote:
If you have a job where you travel a lot having maps on your phone is a great help. This past week I was just on a shoot in San Francisco. I've been there a few times and have a general feel for the city, but we still needed maps to help us get around. I was looking at Google Maps on my iPhone but I had to find where we were and could not always tell the number of miles to where we wanted to go.

There you go. Not always as useful as one might think on the iPhone. You're not the only one.

Quote:
Our sound recordist had a Verizon phone with triangulation software. He could see where we were real time and could see the number of miles to where we wanted to go. But his phone could not show a fully rendered map the way the iPhone could.

I travel a lot for work and that definitely showed me the advantage of GPS. I look forward to when the Google triangulation software comes to the iPhone.



6 of 1, half dozen of the other. Semantics.

There are several good GPS units for the Palms, but, even though I've always thought of getting one, just for fun, I never bothered.

Remember that I'm not saying that these features are NEVER useful, just that they are not usually needed.
post #19 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-News View Post

Someone is clearly trying to cover up the fact that EDGE is not cutting edge, pun very much intended.

Some numbers from Swiss telecom company Swisscom about coverage in Switzerland and elsewhere:

Switzerland
99.8 % EDGE/GPRS
90 % UMTS
45 % HSPA (90% until mid 2008)
PWLAN > 1000 Hotspots

And that's in a country that has a big percentage of area that is simply rocks, mountains and snow.
If you look at EDGE / UMTS availability here: http://www.swisscom-mobile.ch/scm/kd...s_edge-de.aspx it looks even worse.
Edge may be present in many countries, but so is UMTS. And HSPA is spreading quickly. I have a good idea, why Apple hasn't introduced the first generation iPhone here yet.

Something that people don't seem to realize is that just because a service is available doesn't mean that everyone will avail themselves of it. Coverage doesn't mean usage.
post #20 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Market Share reports that the iPhone tops all mobile web browsing in North America. Which means most iPhone users are using the web frequently.

That's not that surprising though is it?

Browsing on other phones available in the USA is a pretty terrible experience. It's like turning up at a race on a carbon fibre Bianchi to find everyone else is on Schwinn Orange Crates.
post #21 of 177
Quote:
That's the difference between information and glitz. If you get the information, you don't need the glitz. That doesn't meant you might not want it, but that's something else.

It can be glitz. On many websites the graphics help with the presentation of information. I would say flash is guilty of most often being more glitz than substance.

Quote:
Convenient, yes, at times. But how often is that?

I'm saying being able to surf the general internet is convenient, not only mapping.

Quote:
There you go. Not always as useful as one might think on the iPhone. You're not the only one.

The presentation of the map on the iPhone is great. Not being able to find where you are is a real limitation. But we already know how they are going to remedy this.

Quote:
Remember that I'm not saying that these features are NEVER useful, just that they are not usually needed.

Yeah, we don't need a map to get around NY.

Quote:
Browsing on other phones available in the USA is a pretty terrible experience. It's like turning up at a race on a carbon fibre Bianchi to find everyone else is on Schwinn Orange Crates.

The software usability impacted web use more than 3G has. There was the comparison showing the LG phone with 3G rendering web pages not much faster than the iPhone. It'll be interesting to see the numbers that come out of Europe.
post #22 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The software usability impacted web use more than 3G has. There was the comparison showing the LG phone with 3G rendering web pages not much faster than the iPhone. It'll be interesting to see the numbers that come out of Europe.

True. Software usability is important, vital even, but I'm afraid that the difference between EDGE (or GPRS) on my iPhone and 3G on my old phone is noticeable. I find EDGE, if I can get it, tolerable, but I'm usually on GPRS in the UK, so in fact, it's torture. My criticism is that the iPhone needs 3G in Europe to even sell. End of sentence.

I personally find more use out of my iPhone now, then I ever did with the Nokia N80 (with 3G) i used to have. However, I'll find it even more useful when it has 3G.
post #23 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That's not true for 3G coverage. Go to Sprint's site,or that of Version, for example, and you will see far more 3G coverage than you're stating. I've used it otside of NYC many times.

And if you look at largest cities, you have to look at largest CORE cities. That means the city proper, not much larger metropolitan areas, which may contain additional towns or even cities. There, NYC ranks #11.

http://www.citymayors.com/features/largest_cities1.html

yeah I did not think it was the largest anymore, but keep in mind that NYC has claimed for years they have a very large undocumented population which do not fall into the stats. But I think this is also true to many large city, I doubt Mexico City counts every head in ever card board shack.
post #24 of 177
Quote:
True. Software usability is important, vital even, but I'm afraid that the difference between EDGE (or GPRS) on my iPhone and 3G on my old phone is noticeable.

No I'm not taking away 3G's speed advantage. I see a huge difference between EDGE and WiFi, so I understand. Also take into account your old N80 was not rendering full web pages.
post #25 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The software usability impacted web use more than 3G has. There was the comparison showing the LG phone with 3G rendering web pages not much faster than the iPhone. It'll be interesting to see the numbers that come out of Europe.

It was a Nokia E61i if you mean the report I think you mean.

It's obviously not just 3G that makes the experience pleasurable. The E61i only has a 220Mhz ARM9 CPU and no graphics acceleration as it's essentially the same hardware the E61 used when it was released in 2005. It uses an earlier version of Webkit and supports Flash. On the one page it was slower than an iPhone, the page had flash adverts which the iPhone neither downloads or needs to render on it's 412Mhz ARM11 CPU and graphics accelerator.

It only supports standard 3G too - no HSDPA. So the test was E61i at 384kbps v iPhone at EDGE speeds (237kbps)

I wonder what it'd do if it was up against a modern 3G phone.
post #26 of 177
Daily using 3G to download mail and check web services using Ericsson 800. Will definitiely get an Iphone when it is 3G capable but not before that...
post #27 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

No I'm not taking away 3G's speed advantage. I see a huge difference between EDGE and WiFi, so I understand. Also take into account your old N80 was not rendering full web pages.

The N80 uses the same S60 Webkit based browser as the E61i, and supports Flash-lite. So it was quite probably rendering more web page content than an iPhone does.
post #28 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

Like I've said time and time again, in NY state, the only region that has 3G technology is NYC. Ok, let that soak in for a second before I continue..... those New Yorkers that are complaining about lack of 3G support live in the largest city on the face of the planet.

FYI, that's far from the truth.

http://www.wireless.att.com/media/do...NG_U_NY_v1.pdf

The other big cities in NY are also well covered with 3G. I'm in DC and yeah, I have an iPhone. And yeah, I'll be buying a 3G iPhone as soon as it costs less than $500.
post #29 of 177
I don't want this to be YAPAIT (yet another pro/anti-iPhone thread), I only want to point out what I feel are some innaccuracies implied by the original reviewer and some posters re: the pros/cons of 3G. So a discalaimer to any rabid iPhone-istas out there: I know the iPhone is killer, and has the best UI on the market. As soon as the iPhone gets at least 3G and GPS, and the iPhone SDK rolls out so a few crucial PDA apps I use get ported, I'll be the first to get one. Now on with it:

First - re: realworld 3G-vs-GPRS/EDGE speeds:
It depends on the processing/rendering speed of your mobile device, yes, but after heavy use of the GPRS/Edge on my Treo 680 (6 mo) and an iPhone (a few days), then switching to a 3/3.5G-capable AT&T Tilt (HTC Kaiser), I can tell you unequivacally that 3G is immediately and noticeably snappier than GPRS/EDGE and makes a real difference, at least in my coverage area (around the S.F. Bay Area.) If the speed comparisons between 2G/2.5G<>3G don't take into account hardware limitations that impact the rendering speed of the device, then its maybe not the best test. The Tilt has a dedicated graphics chip, and the 3G speeds are noticably faster (at least than the iPhone or Treo 680.)

Second - re: Wifi capability rendering 3G redundant/pointless:
Those who claim wifi is some kind of pragmatic alternative to 3G/3.5G are seriously overlooking the well-known fact that wifi requires the user to be locationally static and not in transit (not to mention near an open AP), which means wifi is a NOT a pragmatic option while you are riding on PT or in a car, walking across town, etc. Obviously wifi AP's do not hand off your connection as cel towers do with 3G (plus the wifi battery drain is massive.) Come on iPhoneistas, you already know that wifi is not a real-world option when you are in transit! Travel time is idle time when many people, like myself, make high use the data connection to catch up on mail, read the nyt, or whatnot.

Third - re: 3G=too much battery drain:
Yes - It is undeniable that 3G takes more battery than GPRS/EDGE. But remember that 3G can be manually downgraded on the phone to EDGE/GPRS on the fly when needed (at least it can on my Tilt), and more importantly, that 3G battery drain is NOWHERE near Wifi's battery drain -- whether on the iPhone or any other wifi-capable phone (though this can depend somewhat on your default wifi radio power settings.)

For my Tilt -- with 3/3.5G on all day with frequent calls, music-listening, and moderate data usage, as long as push email is not active -- my stock battery lasts about 9 hours. That may not be good enough for some people, but its good enough for me. Besides which the Tilt batteries are quite slim -- I can just swap out a depleted with extra one in my charger at work. (Guess thats not an option on the iPhone.)

Fourth - re: 3G coverage vs EDGE/GPRS coverage:
Of course 3G coverage (not to mention 3.5G coverage!) is spotty compared to EDGE/GPRS. But the real-world significance of this 'spotty'-ness depends on the travel patterns of the mobile user. As long as there is 3G within the radius of my daily travels, the fact that 3G falls off outside core urban areas has no practical impact on my mobile experience.

In the S.F. Bay Area, I easily get at leats 2 bars of 3G about 90% of the time, traveling frequently between San Francisco, Berkeley/Oakland, and the south bay. 3G coverage along the main freeway corridors is very good, and even along the BART line it is not bad (except when bart is underground, of course!) Therefore, a 3G-capable phone is useful to me, and the problem of spotty 3G coverage doesn't impact me much at all. If a 3G connection does drop down to EDGE for a few minutes, its seamless and not a big deal. Conversely, if one lives in an area with little to no 3G coverage, then they probably should not shell out for a 3G-capable phone.

cheers!
post #30 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Most people would think that a $399 phone is a high end product these days. Mainstream would be lower, maybe much lower. It would be close to the average phone selling price.

$399 is very much high-end. My cell provider is giving away HTCs and Blackberries for free on a three year contract. Around here at least, you'd have to try very hard to find a phone of any kind that is more than $150.
post #31 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by bokoo View Post

I don't want this to be YAPAIT (yet another pro/anti-iPhone thread), I only want to point out what I feel are some innaccuracies implied by the original reviewer and some posters re: the pros/cons of 3G. So a discalaimer to any rabid iPhone-istas out there: I know the iPhone is killer, and has the best UI on the market. As soon as the iPhone gets at least 3G and GPS, and the iPhone SDK rolls out so a few crucial PDA apps I use get ported, I'll be the first to get one. Now on with it:

First - re: realworld 3G-vs-GPRS/EDGE speeds:
It depends on the processing/rendering speed of your mobile device, yes, but after heavy use of the GPRS/Edge on my Treo 680 (6 mo) and an iPhone (a few days), then switching to a 3/3.5G-capable AT&T Tilt (HTC Kaiser), I can tell you unequivacally that 3G is immediately and noticeably snappier than GPRS/EDGE and makes a real difference, at least in my coverage area (around the S.F. Bay Area.) If the speed comparisons between 2G/2.5G<>3G don't take into account hardware limitations that impact the rendering speed of the device, then its maybe not the best test. The Tilt has a dedicated graphics chip, and the 3G speeds are noticably faster (at least than the iPhone or Treo 680.)

Second - re: Wifi capability rendering 3G redundant/pointless:
Those who claim wifi is some kind of pragmatic alternative to 3G/3.5G are seriously overlooking the well-known fact that wifi requires the user to be locationally static and not in transit (not to mention near an open AP), which means wifi is a NOT a pragmatic option while you are riding on PT or in a car, walking across town, etc. Obviously wifi AP's do not hand off your connection as cel towers do with 3G (plus the wifi battery drain is massive.) Come on iPhoneistas, you already know that wifi is not a real-world option when you are in transit! Travel time is idle time when many people, like myself, make high use the data connection to catch up on mail, read the nyt, or whatnot.

Third - re: 3G=too much battery drain:
Yes - It is undeniable that 3G takes more battery than GPRS/EDGE. But remember that 3G can be manually downgraded on the phone to EDGE/GPRS on the fly when needed (at least it can on my Tilt), and more importantly, that 3G battery drain is NOWHERE near Wifi's battery drain -- whether on the iPhone or any other wifi-capable phone (though this can depend somewhat on your default wifi radio power settings.)

For my Tilt -- with 3/3.5G on all day with frequent calls, music-listening, and moderate data usage, as long as push email is not active -- my stock battery lasts about 9 hours. That may not be good enough for some people, but its good enough for me. Besides which the Tilt batteries are quite slim -- I can just swap out a depleted with extra one in my charger at work. (Guess thats not an option on the iPhone.)

Fourth - re: 3G coverage vs EDGE/GPRS coverage:
Of course 3G coverage (not to mention 3.5G coverage!) is spotty compared to EDGE/GPRS. But the real-world significance of this 'spotty'-ness depends on the travel patterns of the mobile user. As long as there is 3G within the radius of my daily travels, the fact that 3G falls off outside core urban areas has no practical impact on my mobile experience.

In the S.F. Bay Area, I easily get at leats 2 bars of 3G about 90% of the time, traveling frequently between San Francisco, Berkeley/Oakland, and the south bay. 3G coverage along the main freeway corridors is very good, and even along the BART line it is not bad (except when bart is underground, of course!) Therefore, a 3G-capable phone is useful to me, and the problem of spotty 3G coverage doesn't impact me much at all. If a 3G connection does drop down to EDGE for a few minutes, its seamless and not a big deal. Conversely, if one lives in an area with little to no 3G coverage, then they probably should not shell out for a 3G-capable phone.

cheers!


Well said. Thanks for sharing your real-world 3G experiences with us. It's nice to see that ATT is finally starting to get some decent 3G coverage up, even if it is metro-only/mainly.

.
Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
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post #32 of 177
Anandtech did a wireless comparison between the iPhone and Samsung Blackjack. And did find that 3G in the Blackjack drained the battery faster than EDGE and WiFi in the iPhone, but actually found that EDGE drained the battery faster than WiFi on the iPhone.
post #33 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Anandtech did a wireless comparison between the iPhone and Samsung Blackjack. And did find that 3G in the Blackjack drained the battery faster than EDGE and WiFi in the iPhone, but actually found that EDGE drained the battery faster than WiFi on the iPhone.

So switch 3G off if you want battery life instead of fast comms. Nice to have a choice though yes?
post #34 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Anandtech did a wireless comparison between the iPhone and Samsung Blackjack. And did find that 3G in the Blackjack drained the battery faster than EDGE and WiFi in the iPhone, but actually found that EDGE drained the battery faster than WiFi on the iPhone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

So switch 3G off if you want battery life instead of fast comms. Nice to have a choice though yes?


Yup, bingo. Choice is good.

And the Blackjack is outdated anyhow, the Blackjack II came out in November, it's 3G (HSDPA) with 7 hours talk time (plus 336 hours standby time, which is actually better than the EDGE iPhone's 250 hours).

Seems like if Samsung can release a 3G smartphone with good battery life, Apple should be able to do the same, and on a reasonably close timetable. But somehow, we're gonna be twiddling our thumbs waiting for one until the Asian launch in 'mid-to-late '08', I'll bet. \

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post #35 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Yup, bingo, choice is good.

And the Blackjack is outdated anyhow, the Blackjack II is out now, its 3G (HSDPA) with 7 hours talk time (plus 336 hours standby time, which is actually better than the iPhone's 250 hours).

Seems like if Samsung can do a 3G smartphone with good battery life, Apple should be able to do same.

.

How is that rated though? Rarely do they say whether the3G is on at the time. Do they give that info. I'm curious?

Also, the iPhones large backlight drains much more power than do the smaller backlights from most other phones.. If iPhone users are using the screen more than other phone users, then the battery won't last as long.
post #36 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

How is that rated though? Rarely do they say whether the 3G is on at the time. Do they give that info. I'm curious?

You'd have to ask the manufacturer. It's hardly in their best interest to quote battery life stats that are nowhere near reality, though, as they'd just get hammered for it in the reviews. \ I'm fairly sure that it's measured with GPS off, though, since that's often a true battery sucker (though super-useful to have when using real-time location-based services).

Even assuming the very worst (which I wouldn't), as aegis mentioned, 3G is something you can turn off if you need to.

Edit- I looked up the Anandtech article that Teno cited, where the old, obsolete Blackjack had a lot less talk time with the 3G on. Given that Anandtech measured the talk time at 4 hours 11 minutes with 3G on for the old Blackjack, and Samsung claimed 3 hours, I'm going to say that Samsung measures talk times with 3G on, and more than that, are very conservative in their rated talk times on top of that.



Quote:
Also, the iPhones large backlight drains much more power than do the smaller backlights from most other phones.. If iPhone users are using the screen more than other phone users, then the battery won't last as long.

Sure, but the iPhone's screen doesn't really affect talk time battery life significantly, since there's that nifty sensor on the iPhone that registers when the phone is up against your head and turns the screen off. I highly doubt Apple measured talk time with the screen on the entire time.

Screen size also wouldn't be an issue for stand-by battery life, obviously. Your concern is more regarding straight web-surfing. In which case, you could simply turn 3G off if you were worried. *shrug*

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post #37 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Sure, but that wouldn't really affect talk time battery life much, since there's that nifty sensor on the iPhone that registers when the phone is up against your head and turns the screen off. I highly doubt Apple measured talk time with the screen on the entire time.

Also wouldn't be an issue for stand-by time, obviously. Your concern is more regarding straight web-surfing, I'd think.

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Sure it would. Talk time is just a function of using the phone. Before you talk, you have to dial. That means using the screen. After you talk, the screen pops on again. While Apple has done a good job of understanding that their large screen is a battery nightmare, they can't prevent its use altogether.

Standby time is different. even if you never turn the phone's screen on, there will be battery draw. But, I have always found that standby time is pretty meaningless. No one has their phone on standby without actually using it for a fair amount of time, which cuts the actual standby time to very little, perhaps a few hours. With iPhone users supposedly on the internet, having so much fun browsing, there is almost no standby time, and it cuts severely into the talk time as well.
post #38 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Sure it would. Talk time is just a function of using the phone. Before you talk, you have to dial. That means using the screen. After you talk, the screen pops on again. While Apple has done a good job of understanding that their large screen is a battery nightmare, they can't prevent its use altogether.

Yep. And Apple are a bit cleverer there than any other phone I've used which all leave the screen on when talking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Standby time is different. even if you never turn the phone's screen on, there will be battery draw. But, I have always found that standby time is pretty meaningless. No one has their phone on standby without actually using it for a fair amount of time, which cuts the actual standby time to very little, perhaps a few hours. With iPhone users supposedly on the internet, having so much fun browsing, there is almost no standby time, and it cuts severely into the talk time as well.

Doesn't the iPhone spend a lot of it's time contacting the carrier to check mail or doing other data related crap? That'd eat into it's 'standby time' significantly I'd have thought and maybe more so if it used 3G.

I still think however the lack of 3G for battery related issues was smoke an mirrors to hide the fact they used ancient tech in the iPhone hardware. Now they've got v1 out they can pick more advanced hardware.
post #39 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Sure it would. Talk time is just a function of using the phone. Before you talk, you have to dial. That means using the screen. After you talk, the screen pops on again. While Apple has done a good job of understanding that their large screen is a battery nightmare, they can't prevent its use altogether.

I said it wouldn't affect it much or significantly, and I stand by that. The screen is on for a few seconds, the average phone call is a few minutes. Go into your call logs and check it out. My avg is around 4 minutes, and I'm not that gabby.


Quote:
Standby time is different. even if you never turn the phone's screen on, there will be battery draw. But, I have always found that standby time is pretty meaningless. No one has their phone on standby without actually using it for a fair amount of time, which cuts the actual standby time to very little, perhaps a few hours.

I'd respectfully disagree. I did the sums once, and found that stand-by battery usage accounts for about 40% of my battery usage. If you leave your phone on all the time, it definitely adds up.

Of course, I do not currently own a smartphone, and I think what you're talking about would be more specific to a heavy user on a smartphone. Even then, though, using your worry about the screen being on for a few seconds before and after calls as a benchmark, standby time still matters a bit.


Quote:
With iPhone users supposedly on the internet, having so much fun browsing, there is almost no standby time, and it cuts severely into the talk time as well.

See above. I think what you're saying is true, but only for people who have time to surf all day.

Oh, and I looked up the Anandtech article that Teno cited, where the old, obsolete Blackjack had a lot less talk time with the 3G on. Given that Anandtech measured the talk time at 4 hours 11 minutes with 3G on for the old Blackjack, and Samsung claimed 3 hours, I'm going to say that Samsung measures talk times with 3G on, and more than that, are very conservative in their rated talk times on top of that.

Given that, their 7 hours talk time rating on their 3G HSDPA Blackjack II seems quite good.

And, yet again, if you're overly worried about 3G battery drain, you can ALWAYS... TURN... IT... OFF.

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Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
To the 'We Didn't Need It' Crowd/Apple Apologista Squad : Wrong again, lol
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post #40 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Doesn't the iPhone spend a lot of it's time contacting the carrier to check mail or doing other data related crap? That'd eat into it's 'standby time' significantly I'd have thought and maybe more so if it used 3G.

I still think however the lack of 3G for battery related issues was smoke an mirrors to hide the fact they used ancient tech in the iPhone hardware. Now they've got v1 out they can pick more advanced hardware.

One thing that I've been told about that is that even phones that use 3G, and have it turned on, may not be using it for such things as checking for mail, talking, MMS, etc. Each phone maker (and cell operator, I assume), decides how the phone is going to use its technology. It's all very possible that on an Edge network, the iPhone would use Edge all the time, except when 3G is REQUIRED (that is, later next year, when Apple has 3G).

To be fair then, we would have to know this. Turning off 3G may only have a real function when the user is explicitly using a service that would call for it, but not otherwise.

That's also possibly why some phones seem to have such a big battery draw with 3G, and others not.
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