Samsung Omnia…even the major players are making iPhone Clones

It is starting to get slightly sad.  Microsoft is releasing emails to developers asking them not to jump ship.  Blackberry and now Samsung are releasing iPhone clones.  Samsung’s looks "bricky" with the type of screen you’d be happy with in 2006.

Oh, and this bad boy runs Windows Mobile 6.  Sure, you can install Opera Mini and have an "OK" browsing experience.  However, you are still stuck with the clunkieness of the WM6 interface and instability of the overall OS.

According to photographs released with a statement from Samsung, the Omnia resembles the original iPhone in its dark, shiny finish, curved edges and slim form.

The phone will be unveiled at the CommunicAsia trade fair in Singapore starting June 17 and go on sale in southeast Asia that week. It will be available in Europe in July.

All of this reminds us of when the Coyote pulls out the umbrella to shield himself from the fast approaching boulder.

iPhone 2's competition (Blackberry Thunder) leaked, blown off..

BGR (not to be confused with PBR) got the latest Blackberry leak on their iPhone kil..competitor.  Interesting timing.

It looks pretty similar to iPhone version 1 overall in form factor.  It has lots of buttons (see right) but most importantly, it runs the Blackberry software that millions of businesses have doing their enterprise email.  Us IT people aren’t known to like switching platforms very often so no matter how good or bad it is, it will get adopted in a lot of businesses.

If you’ve used an iPhone and a Blackberry, you know there is a world of difference in the details.  Web browsing for instance.

Here’s a typical scenario: A small business director asks his IT guy "why can’t we have an iPhone" (he just spent $20,000 on BBY infrastructure/clients and training).  IT Director: "Here!  Have a blackberry thunder, it is pretty much the same thing!"

Sorry to Mr. Small Business Director….

Speaking of drinks (PBR), does anyone else think the "blackberry thunder" sounds like a bad drink?  Maybe 2 parts blackberry schnapps and 1 shot of Rumpleminze?  OK, obviously the weekend is hitting.  Back to work!



More iPhone video recorder evidence?

Apple’s latest round of job postings includes a Input Device Firmware Engineer who is responsible for the iPhone’s Multi-Touch firmware.  One of the prerequisites?

Familiarity with video camera, displays, or input technologies.

Obviously, if they are recruiting now for this position, the next iPhone doesn’t necessarily carry this functionality.  However, recent rumors have pointed to such functionality.  In fact, low quality video recording is currently available on generation 1 hardware through jailbroken Apps so it isn’t a huge stretch.


iChat, Videoconferencing for iPhone…Windows?!


Videoconferencing on iChat has never worked perfectly for us….especially over Jabber and to AOL users on Windows.  According to Crunchgear all that can now change.  They found a little blurb in some "leaked" photos (which frankly look about as real as any we’ve seen – but are probably not real):

Video just became a little more fun. Start a real time video chat with other AT&T subscribers via 3G networking, or with iChat buddies via WiFi. The video calling revolution has begun.

Now available on iPhone and – Windows!

Steve Jobs announced that AOL IM would be available in iPhone 2 at the SDK preview earlier this year.  Video on the iPhone and iChat on Windows however is a bit surprising. 

The video capabilities coincide with earlier reports that the 3G iphone will indeed have video capture capability – which would be nice.

Seriously.  If real, this makes sense.  Go Apple!

iPhone will lead in mobile TV

Apple’s next-gen iPhone is going to light a fire under the mobile TV market, with the potential to become the de facto standard for mobile TV among consumers.  We know Sling will make an appearance at some point….but that isn’t all.

"The iPhone could become the mobile video delivery device of choice for many consumers, by providing a compelling mobile TV and video proposition before mobile broadcasting networks, such as DVB-H become widely available", said Analysys Mason analyst, Mark Heath, in a report titled, "iPhone Shows the Way for Mobile TV".

The analyst notes that while many operators already offer mobile TV using their 3G networks, such services suffer poor quality and coverage problems. That’s partially because 3G only supports "relatively low penetrations of mobile TV users," the analyst said.

But research reveals iPhone users are already accessing television and video content more widely than users of other mobiles – suggesting the future addition of 3G support in the device will kick-start mobile TV consumption.

The iPhone’s high-quality widescreen, low battery consumption and substantial memory will make the device perfect for such uses; while the iTunes Store is already expanding the reach of TV shows to mobile devices. 

Chief advantage for Apple is the future iPhone’s ability to support multiple methods of delivering TV and video content, including sideloading (ie. iTunes), WiFi and 3G, minimising the amount of TV and video traffic that needs to be carried on 3G networks.

"If the iPhone is able to achieve significant worldwide market share, it will be well-positioned to have a significant impact on the way mobile subscribers purchase and watch mobile TV and video content," added report co-author, Dr. Alastair Brydon.

O2 to deep discount 3G iPhone

Yet more news this morning on the upcoming 3G iPhone, which Apple’s exclusive UK network O2 plans to sell at a discount price, with special upgrade deals for existing customers and more.  It’s the latest hot iPhone rumour to speculate upon Apple’s launch plans for the device, with Macworld UK claiming the product will cost £100 for a new customer agreeing an 18-month contract.

O2 is also predicted to be preparing to sell the iPhone in the UK to pay-as-you-go customers, who will have to pay £269 to get hold of the device. For well-heeled users, the company will offer a free iPhone to customers choosing the most expensive tariff. Even better, existing iPhone users will be offered a free upgrade to the new model.

It all sounds too good to be true to us, but that’s what the veteran Mac website is claiming, citing sources overheard in some bar.

We’ll know soon enough…


Any joy in the Zune division?

It has arrived. The limited-edition (500-only) Joy Division Zune, carrying artwork derived from Factory Records design guru, Peter Saville’s, Unknown Pleasures.

It goes on sale when the Joy Division documentary ships on June 17, with all 500 units shipping pre-loaded with the film.

Is this a fitting epitaph to iconic Joy Division singer, Ian Curtis? Is it the sign of Microsoft’s New Order in the music player space, or is it an Unknown Pleasure because no one cares about Zune?

In the spirit of American Idol, you get to decide. Say your piece in the comments below…

Thanks to Pitchfork.



Telefonica's Movistar to (really this time) carry iPhone in Spain

It’s crystal clear now that Apple is going to be in Spain this year.  On again,  off again news that Spain’s Telefonica Movistar unit will be offering the iPhone in Spain – went official today.

Telefonica this morning confirmed it will begin selling the iPhone in Spain this year. The company owns UK network, O2, which sells the device in Ireland and the UK.

At the end of March, Telefonica had 23 million users in Spain, where it is the leading mobile phone firm. 

Also in Europe, it recently emerged Apple  will offer the iPhone in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia through TeliaSonera AB. It is in talks with Royal KPN NV to distribute iPhone in the Netherlands.

Softbank to carry 3G iPhone in Japan

Same story, different Carrier/Country.  Softbank announces that they will carry the 3G iPhone on their UMTS 3G Network later this year…


Since they don’t mention exclusivity, NTT Docomo, KDDI and the rest still have a shot – so don’t go dropping your current provider just yet!