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Garmin's iPhone rival; MacBook Air's CPU non-exclusive; more

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Garmin is looking to become the first credible rival to Apple with a touchscreen phone that adds real GPS navigation and 3G. Meanwhile, reports have the MacBook Air's special Core 2 Duo surfacing in Windows PCs, and Apple may use the tale of one iPhone's encounter with a semi-trailer truck for a future ad.

Garmin nüvifone chases after GPS, iPhone features

Known best for its GPS mapping units, Garmin held a press event on Wednesday night for a product that signals its plunge into the world of cellphones.

Called the nüvifone, the device at first blush is more than slightly familiar to iPhone users. A 3.5-inch wide touchscreen serves as the sole control for nearly every function; only power and volume have physical controls. The handset will also sport Wi-Fi, an advanced web browser, and playback of AAC/MP3 audio as well as MPEG-4 video.

Garmin pins its hopes, however, on one key element: a true GPS unit. Unlike the iPhone and iPod touch, which only use triangulation to provide a rough estimate of the owner's whereabouts, the nüvifone has a true GPS receiver that pinpoint a near-exact location in North America or Europe. The tracking device supplies local Google searches for fuel prices, restaurants, and other nearby data. It will also automatically geotag (position-locate) any photos or videos captured with its camera and includes a cradle mount that switches the phone into GPS mode for use in a car.

More importantly, Garmin's first phone also appears to be an answer to common complaints about its Cupertino-born challenger. Besides being able to capture video, the nüvifone runs a faster 3G cellular Internet connection and supports MMS messaging -- a means of sending photos and video clips between cellphones which has been conspicuously absent from the iPhone.





While potentially the iPhone's most obvious competitor to date, questions remain about the nüvifone's availability. Garmin has only promised a general summer release date and hasn't named either a carrier or a price, either of which should affect its ability to compete with Apple's current and future offerings.

Fujitsu, Lenovo on tap for MacBook Air's processor?

Claiming to have sources aware of future plans, CNET says that the MacBook Air's unique Core 2 Duo processor isn't exclusive and will find its way into notebooks from two major PC vendors.

Both Fujitsu and Lenovo will use the 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz chips in computers that will be launched "shortly," the site alleges. As demonstrated with Apple's own design, the Intel processor is prized for an unusual chip package that reduces the size and power use of the Core 2 Duo without a severe hit to performance or having to wait for future Intel mobile platforms. Either PC maker could build a more energy-efficient notebook from the chip, the purported insiders say.

Apple has a recent history of serving as the testbed for new Intel chips, including the use of Intel's first 3GHz eight-core Xeon in the Mac Pro and the 2.8GHz mobile Core 2 Extreme in the mid-2007 24-inch iMac.

iPhone's semi-trailer truck encounter subject of Apple's interest

Many iPhone owners are cautious with their devices, but one user's mistake may ultimately help Apple sell the device for its durability, iPodNN reports.

After accidentally leaving his iPhone on the trunk of his car at a gas station, owner Mike Beauchamp was surprised to learn that his iPhone not only survived a high-speed fall from the car but a run-in with a semi-trailer truck at more than 70 miles per hour on the road.

Aside from a partly damaged LCD, the device is said to be completely functional down to its touchscreen, calling functions, and its camera. Even the glass "doesn't have a mark on it," the owner says. The demonstrated toughness of the phone has reportedly been enough to warrant attention from Apple itself for marketing efforts.

"I've spoken with Apple's customer relations department - they're interested in using it in an iPhone commercial," Beauchamp writes. "This is the ultimate crash and durability test out there!"
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

iPhone's semi-trailer truck encounter subject of Apple's interest

Many iPhone owners are cautious with their devices, but one user's mistake may ultimately help Apple sell the device for its durability, iPodNN reports.

After accidentally leaving his iPhone on the trunk of his car at a gas station, owner Mike Beauchamp was surprised to learn that his iPhone not only survived a high-speed fall from the car but a run-in with a semi-trailer truck at more than 70 miles per hour on the road.

Aside from a partly damaged LCD, the device is said to be completely functional down to its touchscreen, calling functions, and its camera. Even the glass "doesn't have a mark on it," the owner says. The demonstrated toughness of the phone has reportedly been enough to warrant attention from Apple itself for marketing efforts.

"I've spoken with Apple's customer relations department - they're interested in using it in an iPhone commercial," Beauchamp writes. "This is the ultimate crash and durability test out there!"

Waaaaooooowwww.... impressive
post #3 of 32
Now that will be interesting: A jailbroken iPhone with user-accessible battery in an Apple commercial...
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Now that will be interesting: A jailbroken iPhone with user-accessible battery in an Apple commercial...

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post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


from: http://www.ipodnn.com/articles/08/01...vs.18.wheeler/



post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Both Fujitsu and Lenovo will use the 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz chips in computers that will be launched "shortly," the site alleges. As demonstrated with Apple's own design, the Intel processor is prized for an unusual chip package that reduces the size and power use of the Core 2 Duo without a severe hit to performance or having to wait for future Intel mobile platforms. Either PC maker could build a more energy-efficient notebook from the chip, the purported insiders say.

Good. I hope it happens very soon, thereby offering people choices. In the process, I hope all of the anti-MBAs will migrate to their Lenovo/Fujitsu MBA-clones, and shut up.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Good. I hope it happens very soon, thereby offering people choices. In the process, I hope all of the anti-MBAs will migrate to their Lenovo/Fujitsu MBA-clones, and shut up.

Ditto.
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post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

from: http://www.ipodnn.com/articles/08/01...vs.18.wheeler/




Oo

Now that makes more sense
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MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

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post #9 of 32
I have had my own situations in which the iPhone turned out to be quite resilient. The day I bought the iphone, I got a belt clip for it. Within less than 24 hours, when sitting down in my car's driver seat, the edge of the seat wedged between the phone and the belt, and &*#%@$ the phone went flying out the open car door onto the pavement in the parking lot - 8 feet way from the car. Went and exchanged the belt clip, and the exact same thing happened, even thought the sales person at ATT assured me that that would never happen with that brand (the second one). all of this happened within a week from the iPhone going on sale.
The iPhone now has some dents in the corners but continues to work flawlessly, and no screen damage! Incredible!!!!!
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Now that will be interesting: A jailbroken iPhone with user-accessible battery in an Apple commercial...

in those pictures, where is this user-accessible battery you speak of?
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Garmin has only promised a general summer release date and hasn't named either a carrier or a price, either of which should affect its ability to compete with Apple's current and future offerings.

Battery life and the quality of the UI might also affect its ability to compete. (I know
that is going out on a limb.) Also touch screen is not the same as multi-touch.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Battery life and the quality of the UI might also affect its ability to compete. (I know
that is going out on a limb.) Also touch screen is not the same as multi-touch.

Yep. It's almost funny, when news of this broke on some of the tech sites, the usual "anything but Apple" crowd almost wet themselves-- from a few mocked-up static screen shots.

No idea how responsive or usable the UI is, no idea about stability, no idea about how apps interact, no idea about battery life, no idea about call quality, hell, no idea about how much it even costs, but-- absolutely sure that this is the phone to blow Apple out of the water and show them how its supposed to be done, jumping up and down hollering "I want one! I want one!"

Apple derangement syndrome: not a pretty picture.
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post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yep. It's almost funny, when news of this broke on some of the tech sites, the usual "anything but Apple" crowd almost wet themselves-- from a few mocked-up static screen shots.

No idea how responsive or usable the UI is, no idea about stability, no idea about how apps interact, no idea about battery life, no idea about call quality, hell, no idea about how much it even costs, but-- absolutely sure that this is the phone to blow Apple out of the water and show them how its supposed to be done, jumping up and down hollering "I want one! I want one!"

Apple derangement syndrome: not a pretty picture.

What a great post.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

No idea how responsive or usable the UI is

What UI?
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yep. It's almost funny, when news of this broke on some of the tech sites, the usual "anything but Apple" crowd almost wet themselves-- from a few mocked-up static screen shots.

No idea how responsive or usable the UI is, no idea about stability, no idea about how apps interact, no idea about battery life, no idea about call quality, hell, no idea about how much it even costs, but-- absolutely sure that this is the phone to blow Apple out of the water and show them how its supposed to be done, jumping up and down hollering "I want one! I want one!"

Apple derangement syndrome: not a pretty picture.

Well, true GPS, 3G, and according to CNET a user-replaceable battery and the strong possibility of it being available on multiple carriers has a whole lot of people excited for good reason, as those are possibly the top 4 complaints most users have against iPhone. Would you trade multi-touch for 2 or 3 of those features? Of course, Garmin also has about 3 years more experience with touch screen devices than apple, so I wouldn't be too surprised if the interface works out ok.

Of course, chances are that by the time Garmin releases this, apple will already have incorporated them into the new phone. This will, of course, lead to the same mass anger among previous owners as when apple lowered prices
post #16 of 32
Questions that I have:
1. Will it replace my iPod? No
2. How much memory will it have?
3. Will it replace my Palm PDA? (yes I'm the last person on earth that still carries a separate PDA)

I'm still waiting for something that will converge my phone, my iPod and my PDA (for organization and as a medical reference-i.e. custom apps). So far-no luck anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Well, true GPS, 3G, and according to CNET a user-replaceable battery and the strong possibility of it being available on multiple carriers has a whole lot of people excited for good reason, as those are possibly the top 4 complaints most users have against iPhone. Would you trade multi-touch for 2 or 3 of those features? Of course, Garmin also has about 3 years more experience with touch screen devices than apple, so I wouldn't be too surprised if the interface works out ok.

Of course, chances are that by the time Garmin releases this, apple will already have incorporated them into the new phone. This will, of course, lead to the same mass anger among previous owners as when apple lowered prices
post #17 of 32
Well at least this give's Apple some incentive to get iPhone MkII out with all the weaknesses cleared up and the time frame may be long enough for that to be out by Garmin's release date.

I love my iPhone but I welcome Garmin to this market for the competition they will give Apple. I really like my Garmin GPS, it is really well made and has great UI and great price (especially compared to my wife's Lexus built in model which sucks big time).

What is amazing to me is, here we have Apple and Garmin in phones and Motorola out ... how times are changing!
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post #18 of 32
I told all you Air fanboys that the CPU wouldn't be exclusive...
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

I told all you Air fanboys that the CPU wouldn't be exclusive...

Now why would ANY processor be exclusive? Not even the G4 chips were. Apple may be able to get some of Intels new chips early, but they are far too high volume to ever just make a chip just for Apple.

Anybody who said that any Apple product is getting an exclusive custom chip doesn't know a thing about computers and obviously didn't look at any of Intel's roadmaps. Unfortunately, a lot of people thought that, including respectable news outlets.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Garmin is looking to become the first credible rival to Apple with a touchscreen phone that adds real GPS navigation and 3G.

I'll correct that for you...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Garmin is looking to ride on the coat tails of Apple with a touchscreen phone that adds real GPS navigation and 3G.

There are plenty of credible rivals already but hey, hop on board Garmin.
post #21 of 32
Competition is always good.

But me thinks Apple will never be the most feature rich product around. They never were with the iPod and they won't be with the iPhone. It'll boil down to ease of use and software. Sure you don't get a true GPS, but can you run the thousands of iPhone apps coming down the pipe?
However, the battery thing is a plus for the nuviPhone.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Oo

Now that makes more sense

yes,
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Competition is always good.

But me thinks Apple will never be the most feature rich product around. They never were with the iPod and they won't be with the iPhone. It'll boil down to ease of use and software. Sure you don't get a true GPS, but can you run the thousands of iPhone apps coming down the pipe?
However, the battery thing is a plus for the nuviPhone.

As both an AAPL and GRMN shareholder I think this will be good.

As you stated, Apple has never offered the most feature rich products, but they get the UI and integration RIGHT. Ease of use and elegance are their killer differentiators. With the SDK coming soon, and it being based on Cocoa (If the current hacked APIs are any indication), there should be a lot of gorgeous - both in look and ease of use - apps coming out soon.

But, the AT&T exclusivity and feature poorness (MMS, GPS, 3G, etc.) will always have whiners. Garmin makes great GPSes and their UI, while not as great as Apple, is pretty good. If Garmin can pull some decent battery life, and have good web app & GPS integration - and maybe their own SDK, they should be able to attract a good chunk of customers. I just hope they can deal with the carriers like Apple. I'd hate to see a Verizon nuviPhone that charges to enable the GPS, and charges for every picture you take, and charges..., and charges.

Unfortunately, Garmin has a very poor history of Mac support. So I wouldn't be surprised if whatever support software they provide only works on Windows.

- Jasen.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Well at least this give's Apple some incentive to get iPhone MkII out with all the weaknesses cleared up and the time frame may be long enough for that to be out by Garmin's release date.

Exactly !
I'm so happy with this announcement. It's a very promising concept that finally puts all of those appliances (that I'm interested in) into one single package.

Great! Let see how Garmin will execute it, and more importantly let's hope that it will put enough pressure on Apple to respond with the iPhone of my dreams.
Exciting!
post #25 of 32
I think it will great if Garmin makes a nice phone, I just have never understood enthusiasm for an unreleased product based on bullet point feature lists.

If "OMG!!! it can do everything I ever wanted a thing to do!" actually meant "great product" then there would a lot more great products out in the world, wouldn't there?

Size constrained consumer electronic devices are always, always, always about trade-offs. There's no trick to extending that list of features as long as you like-- you just make it have 20 minute battery life or be 4 inches thick or bury things in the interface structure or constrain the horsepower of the processor or any number of other choices that the designer must make to put it all together.

The trick is to combine those features in a way that makes them genuinely useful-- that is, easy to access and use, reliable, integrated, and in a form factor that lends itself to carrying everywhere.

Apple, in the iPhone, has made a number of significant choices, in order to to create the user experience they have.

We have no idea whatsoever what choices Garmin has made, and can't, until we see the thing in action or play with it ourselves. IMO, cries of "at last, the GPS, 3G, touch screen, media playing, video recording MMS phone of my dreams!", at this point, make no sense at all.
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post #26 of 32
i think this may bode well for us, this industry reads tealeaves better than we do, rumors have said for some time that gps companies were looking into making a phone. so maybe apple has this in development tealeaves here. so i think maybe the 3g phone may have this option, makes sense since SJ is pretty tuned into this market.
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post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

i think this may bode well for us, this industry reads tealeaves better than we do, rumors have said for some time that gps companies were looking into making a phone. so maybe apple has this in development tealeaves here. so i think maybe the 3g phone may have this option, makes sense since SJ is pretty tuned into this market.

But what does Apple know about GPS software? Route-finding, route management, digital map products, that sort of thing. I'm sure Apple could do a nice partnership with Google, and get nice integration with Google Maps, but I wouldn't expect them to offer a "full-feature" GPS solution like I expect Garmin to do.

- Jasen.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

But what does Apple know about GPS software? Route-finding, route management, digital map products, that sort of thing. I'm sure Apple could do a nice partnership with Google, and get nice integration with Google Maps, but I wouldn't expect them to offer a "full-feature" GPS solution like I expect Garmin to do.

- Jasen.

You know....there was a time when people said, "But what does Apple know about making Phones?". Look where that got us...
post #29 of 32
I'm betting Garmin won't try to dictate what phone company a person uses.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuneman07 View Post

I'm betting Garmin won't try to dictate what phone company a person uses.

But will they be able to dictate that the phone remain unlocked? And what features the phone must have? i.e. Will they maintain the "Garmin" feature set or allow the carriers to provide their own? Will there be a Sprint nuvifone and a T-Mobile nuvifone, etc.?

Apple did two important things:
1) Visual voice mail. This required the carrier to modify their cell system. Thus the exclusive agreement.
2) Dictate the Apple branding and features. I'm not aware of any phones that maintain the manufacturer's branding anywhere nearly as strong as the iPhone - but then I'm not a cell phone junkie.

- Jasen.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I think it will great if Garmin makes a nice phone, I just have never understood enthusiasm for an unreleased product based on bullet point feature lists.

If "OMG!!! it can do everything I ever wanted a thing to do!" actually meant "great product" then there would a lot more great products out in the world, wouldn't there?

Size constrained consumer electronic devices are always, always, always about trade-offs. There's no trick to extending that list of features as long as you like-- you just make it have 20 minute battery life or be 4 inches thick or bury things in the interface structure or constrain the horsepower of the processor or any number of other choices that the designer must make to put it all together.

The trick is to combine those features in a way that makes them genuinely useful-- that is, easy to access and use, reliable, integrated, and in a form factor that lends itself to carrying everywhere.

Apple, in the iPhone, has made a number of significant choices, in order to to create the user experience they have.

We have no idea whatsoever what choices Garmin has made, and can't, until we see the thing in action or play with it ourselves. IMO, cries of "at last, the GPS, 3G, touch screen, media playing, video recording MMS phone of my dreams!", at this point, make no sense at all.

Absolutely agree with you on the fact that there is no point in extending the list of features, as it doesn't mean it will create a better device. But that's not what i was talking about.
To be honest I find few features on the iPhone to be absolutely useless and just being there for the very sake of extending the feature list, while lack of other features like voice or video recording seems very surprising - of course one looks at the functionality, from the perspective of their own needs.
I personally have absolutely no interest or use for the visual voicemail - maybe if i would receive 150 messages a day then i would. On the other hand, I use navigation system every day and so I use my iPod and my GSM, so when i hear of the company that want's to put all of those into one, I think it's great.
And that brings me to the conclusion = There is a reason to be excited about this announcement, cause it presents a concept that includes features that are useful and let's hope Apple will get inspired but that trend.

PS
And lets be objective here, how many of us got madly excited about the iPhone, six months before we could even see it in action or play with it.
Cheers,
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by j.max View Post

Absolutely agree with you on the fact that there is no point in extending the list of features, as it doesn't mean it will create a better device. But that's not what i was talking about.
To be honest I find few features on the iPhone to be absolutely useless and just being there for the very sake of extending the feature list, while lack of other features like voice or video recording seems very surprising - of course one looks at the functionality, from the perspective of their own needs.
I personally have absolutely no interest or use for the visual voicemail - maybe if i would receive 150 messages a day then i would. On the other hand, I use navigation system every day and so I use my iPod and my GSM, so when i hear of the company that want's to put all of those into one, I think it's great.
And that brings me to the conclusion = There is a reason to be excited about this announcement, cause it presents a concept that includes features that are useful and let's hope Apple will get inspired but that trend.

Sure, and no given feature set is going to do it for every user. But Apple is one of the few companies that actually leave out "features" in pursuit of an all over idea of how they want a device to work. Arguably, this is exactly what is wrong with most of the phones on the market now-- they compete on number of features first, and on ease of use, stability and integration second.

In other words, Apple appears to define usability goals first, and then build out to meet those criteria, even when it means forgoing a given feature. Most other CE manufacturers appear to define a feature list first, then build them all in without a great deal of concern for how they work together, how easy they are to access, etc.

Quote:
PS
And lets be objective here, how many of us got madly excited about the iPhone, six months before we could even see it in action or play with it. Cheers,

Sure. But we had seen an actual demonstration of the UI in action, and shortly thereafter started getting real info on exactly how the iPhone went about doing what it does.

If you recall, not that many people were getting excited about all the "features" the iPhone was slated to include, they were getting excited about the UI and its multi-touch input scheme.

That right there puts the iPhone in a class by itself-- can you name another phone that drove consumer interest by initially talking about its UI? Phone makers do exactly what Garmin has done: release a long list of features that they intend to include, with maybe a few glamor stills of a few mocked up screens. That, or they just show pictures of the phone itself, if they feel the industrial design is sexy enough be a selling point. That's all the Razr was, for instance, and it's largely what such "iPhone killers" such as LG's Voyager are about--case elaborations with the same old clunky, difficult to use UI.

Features mean nothing if they're too hard to use or get at. Does the Garmin address that issue elegantly? We don't know, but for my money it's really the only question worth asking.
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