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back to article Apple iPhone 3G

So the much-hyped iPhone 3G is finally here, flaunting its new HSDPA connection and AGPS. But all is not rosy in the Apple's garden of touchy-feely delights, since many of the old version's problems still remain. At first glance the new model looks just like the old one. From the front, there's no obvious difference between this …

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Jobs Halo

MMS - come on, who actualy uses that aged 13 or over?

I got the iphone 3g on launch day from apple southampton. It's actually better than i expected. Finally proper address book syncing with my MBP, and battery does about 2 days, which isn't too bad.

I guess including MMS wouldn;t hurt but really who actually uses this? Its free and much better to send email anyway. I've had MMS phones for years and only send about 3 MMSs. I'm more likely to send photos with the iphone's email than i was with MMS.

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Jobs Horns

Apple doesn't need to keep up with the competition

Worldwide sales figures for the first iPhone proved that Apple don't need to keep up with the competition.

Apple could re-release this same phone with a single additional hardware tweak every couple of months and it would still sell by the boatload, even to people who already owned the previous generation devices.

The Apple fanbase is a breed apart from regular consumers - they don't care about DRM, missing industry standard features like front-facing cameras on 3G phones, stereo Bluetooth, MMS, memory card support, copy and paste, etc. It's slick, shiny and it has the Apple logo on it - where do I sign up for my 18-month contract?

(I've used the iPhone and whilst the browser is awesome I have a strong distaste for Apples featureset-arrogance in the marketplace)

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Jobs Horns

LOL WHAT A PIECE OF SHIT!

Yes this really is the mother of all shit eating turds!

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Jobs Halo

Awkward keyboard?

You must have fat fingers. I can type almost as fast as I can on a normal keyboard - trust in the autocorrect! Even if you hit the wrong key, 99% of the time the iphone guesses what key you mean to press!

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complete indifference

Having seen some of the coverage of this "event" I'm left with the .... sorry, this topic is just so DULL I can't even be bothered to continue writing about it.

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Stop

good lord

this review has been up for hours and there's no flame war yet. WTF? is it because all the comments posted so far were SO inflammatory, none have actually been approved??

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"You need a Wi-Fi connection to access the iTunes App Store"

That's not actually true. There's a 10MB limit (from memory - could be wrong) if you don't use WiFi, but otherwise it's fine. And most apps are less than 10MB.

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Happy

This review is fair and spot on

This is in fact a very impartial and honest review. No need for a flame war, whether you're for or against the iPhone. The review tackles each issue as it would for any other phone. I don't plan to get one until they sort out the on screen keyboard. Once it is possible to fire off an email or text message at the same speed (or quicker) than something like the excellent Nokia E71, then we'll be talking. iPhone 3?

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Twat-O-Tron alive and well at the Register

..but let's keep lobbing rocks at the BBC et al anyway, eh boys?

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Happy

Missing the point

I'm a first time iPhone'r and the reason I have finally succumbed is the exchange email integration. This doesn't just work it is FAR more usable than either Windows Mobily or SE handsets that I have previously owned. This makes the iphone a killer business phone with a great tarrif that frees you from worrying about the amount of data you are downloading. MMS? Video phone? Tell me one business user who cases less about those functions.

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@alex

Who actually uses MMS? My wife and most other wifes & girlfriends!

Think about it................... it's bloody essential! Not having it means I'll never buy one - ever!

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Wish list

Stevey boy, listen up:

1. Cut-and-frackin-paste. MacOS 1.0 had that.

2. User filespace. We like to keep stuff and use different apps on it

3. Global search. We need to find stuff.

Having said that, it does what it does so well, I feel like I'm complaining my Ferrari doesn't have a cup holder

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Anonymous Coward

Not using MMS shows a lack of imagination

A picture speaks a thousand words, etc. Especially if I'm on holiday. Or scouting for new rivers to kayak. Or spot a new bit of geekware; or my nephew's being cute; or try to choose (ie: get the wife's opinion on) plants for the garden; or getting Dad to identify said plant? Have you ever tried describing a surf break; or a new ski run; or one of a million other examples?

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Jobs Horns

Better

They could have just done 3G in the first place. But no, they had to take advantage of their fanboys as usual by selling them something that was obsolete out of the box.

This is a big step forward though. Still should not be tied to only one network, but ah well.

I am still waiting for the far better iphone they are undoubtedly sitting on right now.

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@Darren Coleman

Did you read the review? The phone has a "gorgeous screen", "viewing video, browsing the web and even just hopping around the menus is as much a joy as it was with the original" (where it is implied the reviewer thought it was quite good), and "Safari remains the best mobile browser bar none".

There are lots of non-stellar parts of the phone, as discussed in other parts of the review, but you're clearly wrong if you meant to imply that Apple haven't released a competitive phone. It's one thing to say it isn't the best in class, but quite another to say that the only reason any have been sold is the pre-existing Apple fanbase.

I thought it was a good review, and I think the iPhone deserves about the level of success it has had. Especially as we all get to benefit from improvements in web browsing and data plans that other phones and operators are suddenly having to provide.

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Tom

RE: MMS - come on, who actualy uses that aged 13 or over?

I do - for some reason on T-Mobile MMS is actually cheaper than SMS when roaming abroad.

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Happy

Opera competing with Safari

Safari has provoked Opera to update their mobile browser. VNUnet likes it.

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/07/17/opera-response-iphone

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Alert

RE:MMS - come on, who actualy uses that aged 13 or over?

Who uses MMS aged 13 or over? Well I for one do. I work on a site that measures some 200,000m² and MMS is invaluable for communicating with colleagues and contractors etc. many of whom only have a fairly standard mobile phone.

Is a shame really, iPhone with 3G (not so fussed about GPS) would be close to ideal for me but the lack of MMS (coupled with no video and fairly low spec camera) make it a no go.

Best wait for v3 then...

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Simple

Buy the phone that does what you want how you want.

I'm getting one ASAP as it does all I require.

MMS? it's a rarely used feature for me. I can email people instead.

Also, Apple didn't need to upgrade 2G owners to version 2.0 of the software but did. How many other handset makers would do that?

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@Thomas

Yes, I read the review. I've played on the v1 iPhone quite a lot - and I know the v2 is more of the same with some bells and whistles (3G, GPS, App Store, etc). The v2 is what the v1 should've been, but it's still missing a whole host of features that ARE industry standard.

It's no great surprise that people who have iPhones and business users "don't need MMS" - but that's a contrived argument. MMS *is* widely used, and arguing that sending images over email is just as viable - which isn't a guaranteed much less instant service - is laughable. MMS works *because* it is an industry standard, you don't have to worry about whether your recipient reads email on their phone (even assuming they know how to do this or whether it's even possible), nor do you have to worry *when* they read this message. MMS, like SMS, is presented to the recipient instantly. Frankly if you're going to argue that sending images over email is a valid alternative to MMS then you might as well do away with SMS too and use emails instead?

Apple have released an interesting phone, but I still maintain that their arrogance to the established standards, particularly in the EU markets, is frustrating. It would be trivial to add MMS (if swirlyMMS can achieve it why can't Apple?), copy-and-paste, Flash support, etc - yet Apple have made a conscious decision not to.

(FWIW I own a Macbook Pro which I use often, so I'm definitely not anti-Apple. I'm a realist and I expect phones that are billed as revolutionary to be just that, not several steps backwards technologically)

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Jobs Halo

The irony is

I'd love one, my Vodafone contract ends in a month, I love my iPod Touch to death but I really really want email on-the-go with unlimited data, and I can easily justify it for business.

But I won't ... because my iPod is 32GB and it's more than half full without any apps yet but just my CD collection.

FFS. 32GB one please to match the Touch. Give me my One Device to Rule Them All.

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Paris Hilton

RE: RE: MMS - come on, who actualy uses that aged 13 or over?

Ok one or two points taken but basically if a picture is going to to be good enough to convey any great information by the time its been shrunk by MMS and viewed on a regular phone its useless, come on in email, you versatile bugger you!

If Apple invented MMS everyone would be like come on, what a rip off, typical Apple, i can do that with linux and email and some sort of shell script for free!

I bet Paris sends MMS, @ gary owen, is your wife Paris!? ;)

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Stop

Am I missing something here?

Hang on a sec, this is an iPHONE, correct? As in, it makes phone calls? Yet there's zero mention in the article or any of the comments about its actual ability to make phone calls?

Curious.

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Jobs Horns

Who uses MMS?

Anyone who has kids.

Gutted if I couldn't send/receive pics of the little ones when me or she is in work.

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Coat

Has it been renamed?

What is this Apple iPhone you speak about? I thought it was called the Jesus phone!

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Jobs Halo

Simple Facts

I've used Symbian devices and Windows mobile extensively. iPhone does the subset of features I actually want far better than any other device. Would you offer any other phone to someone and expect them to be able to google something without them every having used it before? No crap interface or pecking with a stick! It just works.

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Paris Hilton

ENOUGH !

Just like Gordon Brown's emal holiday, can you all please give us a break from this iphone hoopla?? For a month at least /

Retards all.

Even PH would be fedup by now with all the attention.

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jai
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Jobs Halo

re: missing industry standard features

i'm sorry, but these so-called "industry standard features" that everyone keeps on banging on about - the front-facing camera, mms, memory-cards - are they actually useful

i don't know _anyone_ who does video phonecalls or video conferencing on their mobile. if you need that for business, you'll do it in a meeting room.

mms were a fad and their time has past. send an email with a full size picture for free instead of an expensive tiny fuzzy text messsage picture - if you lot want to keep living in the dark ages of sms technology that's your problem

and memory-cards - these, like dvd/cd drive and floppy disks before them, are things of the past. in the same way that the MacBook Air has dispensed with teh need for a cd/dvd drive, so too has the iphone dispensed with memory cards! stop living in the past!!

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but it cant forward a txt

I defy anybody to say they have never forwarded a joke.

And as funny as some texts are, could you really be bothered typing them out again?

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jai
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re: Wish list - cut & paste

how would you implement the "cut and paste" on a system with no keys and only finger input?

first, you need to find a way of allowing the user to select a chunk of text. presumably, you'd put two fingers on the screen at the start of the first word, and drag the second finger to the end of the last word. that would highlight them.

(this opens up it's own bag of worms though - if you allow the users to highlight text, then they'll want to highlight text both within text input boxes but also from other areas on the screen - such as from text messages that have been recieved, emails that you're reading before you click teh reply button, text on websites, etc etc.) you need to find a way to make sure that a scroll action isn't mistaken for a highlight text action.

then what? do you assume the user wants that text cut? what if they just want to copy? do you pop up a menu offering a choice of cut/copy/delete?

and once the text is on a clipboard, how do you paste it? a double tap on the text cursor? holding your finger in the same place for 5 seconds?

Yes, Mac OS 1.0 could copy and paste - but it had a mouse, a drop down Edit menu and it had a keyboard with the Apple-key on it. these are all missing from the iPhone and so it's not as easy to implement

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@ not using mms shows a lack of imagination

Using mms shows a lack of common sense. If I have unlimted data, I can send a longer, more detailed, email for free with all those pics for nuthin, and any phone worthy of it's name can support email.

Come back to the future... With email!

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Coat

@ BigTim

"Anyone who has kids.

Gutted if I couldn't send/receive pics of the little ones when me or she is in work."

You shouldn't be on the phone at work anyway! You should be on facebook instead.

/mine's the 6 months out of fashion one in the past.

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Stop

@re: missing industry standard features

So what your basically saying is that if apple don't have a feature, then people don't need to use it any more? Sorry, but I DO use all the features that are missing from the iphone, video calling may be a bit of a novelty, but I like it, as do my friends. It's great if we're out on different nights out to see the carnage we're all inflicting. Same for MMS. Not all of my friends are technologically minded enough to read emails on their phone, and to be honest they probably wouldn't bother even if they could. So a funny picture sent by email would just sit there until they could be bothered to read it, where as an MMS would grab their attention straight away. As for the lack of a memory card slot, I'm sorry, but that is essential nowadays. The more functions your phone claims to have, the more storage space it requires, especially as the iphone claims to do away for the need for a seperate mp3 player. Yes you could just load it up with the songs you want to listen to, but then why not have some crap 500 meg mp3 player. If you shell out for the iphone you should expect to be able to fit your entire collection on there and 16gb doesn't cut it.

BTW, CD's/DVD's aren't a thing of the past, not yet anyway, just because a macbook air doesn't have them because if it did it couldn't make its purely-marketing-driven claim to be the thinest laptop ever, doesn't mean they aren't used the world over. Sounds to me like you've brought an air because you're a fanboy and are now trying to justify it's lack of features.

I think of the iphone as a "concept phone". In the same way the motor industry creates concept cars to show us what cars will be like in 20 years time, so the iphone has shown us what will be commonplace with phones in 5 years. Thing is though, no one buys concept cars, and I can see no compelling reason to buy an iphone.

Stop for Stop the Bloody Hype around what is a middle table smartphone!

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@Giles Jones

Try HTC, o2, T-Mobile, Orange

All of them released updates from WinMo 5 to 6 and then the newer handsets from 6 to 6.1

Regards

Kimbie

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"Apple doesn't need to keep up with the competition"

Just proving the old addage "there's one born every minute".

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Phone=Good, Apple 'Experience'=Shit

I got an iPhone 3G and I love most of its features - I only got one because I wanted a smartphone and went for the iPhone on a whim.

The keyboards great - I have dinky hands with wide fingers and manage a high rate of success in hitting the right keys.

My only complaints is firstly the retarded iTunes activation system, which is pathetic. I stick my SIM in, I should be able to use my phone, that simple, and which has put me off getting any future versions of the iPhone - I'll wait til Nokia rustle up an iPhone killer for my next phone.

The second complaint is the crap camera. Probably the worst camera-phone I've had in years, it's actually worse than the Cocoon's.

Other than that, once O2 stopped mucking me around, its been a good experience.

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Tom
Stop

My god *slaps face*

If you're sending e-mails with pictures in, it most definitely won’t be for free, you'll still have data charges (although you'll probably wait until you’re seated in starbucks for the free wifi)

As for MMS, I use it regularly, for instance I found a copy of 'Bus driver simulator' in game the other day, how better to describe this than a picture of the box and a witty tag line to send to mate.

Memory cards are a god-send as they allow significantly more flexibility in data management.

If you owned V1, you’re a mug, but hey, you can't make your mind up over the laws of attraction, if you waited til v2, you're still a mug, just one who thinks he's beaten the game, if you got them both, you've lost the right to make comments with the rest of intelligible society.

Please stop bleating on about jebus phone, it doesn’t have a leg to stand on other than a pretty screen and a smooth browser.

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A few points

The LCD is different, not just the colour balance which is set in software for a 'warmer' (yellow) cast but the viewing angles are reduced over the original, entirely subjective whether this is a good or bad thing.

The Audio hardware is different, using the same chipsets as the iPod Classic for much improved audio (assuming you're using a decent set of headphones that now connect to this model).

Battery life is reduced while in 3G mode, switch that off though and despite a smaller battery, stamina is better than the original phone. Having said that, 5 1/2 hours of 3G talk time is at the top end of similar 3G phones.

MMS really does need to die, It may be an Industry standard but its a stupidly expensive way of sending poxy small pics between phones, I'm glad they left it out. Like it or Loathe it, Apple have created a customer expectation that the Mobile internet should a) not incur extra charges, and b) be as useful as the Internet on their PC's, As this expectation percolates through the mobile industry MMS will either have to become a free extra with your contract or will die the slow painful death it deserves.

Overall a surprisingly balanced review for an Apple product at 'Teh Reg', shame though that for a tech journal you're missing the details a quick scan of the Ars review would have revealed.

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@jai

Memory cards are a thing of the past? Somebody better tell Sandisk!

Seriously, that's a ridiculous and baseless thing to say, built in memory (like the Iphone) is fine, but exchangeable memory is useful too, it opens up the possibility of limitless storage, and can extend the useful life of a device too. I bought a 4GB card for my Tytn II back in October, I could upgrade it to 8GB now for £30 - try doubling the memory in your Iphone next year.

As for MMS, as everyone else here with a life has pointed out, if you know people who aren't set up with constant email access on their phone (wife/kids/friends/normal people) then of course it's something you need, or at least want. Picture messaging is a standard mobile feature, just like SMS and that talking thing people sometimes do, and not having it would be a constant irritation to many people.

Video calling - meh, fair do's, nobody uses it, it was a terrible idea in the 60's and it still is now.

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No regrets

Who needs email when you have email? Email exists outside of my iPhone, where MMS is resolutely stuck in "phone world". It's not a feature I'll miss. Same goes for video calls; while like most folks I was caught up in the early 3G video call thing (and I really did love my SonyEricsson k800i), I only used the feature a few times!

Since I got my iPhone (1st gen) I've used it's web features every single day. Now I've upgraded with an iPhone 3G 16gb and I have no regrets.

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Go

Jailbreak for MMS

To all the people who are saying it doesn’t have MMS, all that’s needed is a Jail break and SwirlyMMS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4vTbbf0Qv4

Now stop crying, after all windows XP doesn't come with every piece of software does it?

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@ Alex RE:MMS

I and my missus use MMS for sending dirty little pics, can't do that with email, wouldn't want the government to have a pic of my peni in their files!

MMS isn't dead and a lot of people use it, just because you don't doesn't mean the mobile world revoles around you buddy...

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Third Party MMS Apps exist for iPhone

I can't believe no one googled MMS iPhone before opening their trap, including the author. Many third party developpers are making MMS apps.

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Anon Koward

"a pic of my peni"

Strewth... How many do you have?

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Jobs Halo

Re: My god *slaps face*

Tom, if you get an iPhone on a contract, you get unlimited data. So emails are 'free' in the sense your contract covers all data useage with no extra charge.

Just bought my iPhone 3G 16GB, it's still in the box till I get home from work. Looks pretty cool though!

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@Darren Coleman

"Yes, I read the review. I've played on the v1 iPhone quite a lot - and I know the v2 is more of the same with some bells and whistles (3G, GPS, App Store, etc). The v2 is what the v1 should've been, but it's still missing a whole host of features that ARE industry standard."

I'm not arguing otherwise. What I'm saying is that if one handset does somethings quite a bit better than another handset, but other things not at all, then it's not fair to say that it is failing to keep up with the competition just because of the features it lacks. That doesn't tell the complete story. I would have thought that the more reasonable conclusion was that it is competitive, depending on which features you look for.

When asked about cut'n'paste, Apple said "[we] were not specifically against the feature, [we] have a prioritized list of features and were only able to get down the list so far with this product release". So although the company may project an extremely arrogant image, and suffer from undue arrogance in a hundred other departments, in this respect they've shown some humility. They can see value in the feature, it's just that they saw greater value in other features and could only do so much with the resources they have.

Of course that doesn't help when the features aren't there, but that's why it's an 80% phone, not a 95% phone.

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Boffin

@jai Re: re: Wish list - cut & paste

"how would you implement the "cut and paste" on a system with no keys and only finger input?

"first, you need to find a way of allowing the user to select a chunk of text. presumably, you'd put two fingers on the screen at the start of the first word, and drag the second finger to the end of the last word. that would highlight them."

You do it the way my old Newton 2100 did it, IIRC: Put your finger (stylus) at the start point, drag across and down to the end, then hit a handy "copy" icon. Go to where you want the copied item, tap the insert point and tap "paste".

Contextual menus mean you don't need to "<command>-keystroke" common functions

Personally, if Apple would simply make a device that had the functionality of my old Newton -- run multiple programs at once, "freeze" inactive programs to free-up memory, handwriting recognition (I had the late-model OS and am one of those that generally had quite good results with the HWR -- possibly because my normal style is a sort of "connected printing"), memory cards for storing data, etc. -- with the nice screen and wi-fi, I would be all over it. I'd even prefer something with a slightly larger physical screen than the current model (DAMN these fifty-mumble-year-old eyes! Zoom/squeeze/pan are fine, but they DO add extra steps.). Since I generally wear a jacket or such with large pockets I am not wedded to the idea that my gadget(s) MUST fit into a shirt-pocket.

But, then, I'm old-fashioned that way; I don't like concentrating everything down to one all-encompassing point of failure. I have a 'phone that I make calls on and a music player to... well... play music on. And if someone steals my player, I can still call the police. (And if someone steals my 'phone... well... at least I have music to relax me while I go down to the police station!<gr>) I would be more than happy to add a third item if it was a palmtop with the functionality and ease of use of OS X.

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Jobs Horns

Re: Third Party MMS Apps exist for iPhone

Official apps? Ones that you don't have to jailbreak the iPhone to use? I don't think you can count aftermarket apps as part of the base featureset to be honest, otherwise I'll just point out that I can play Monkey Island using SCUMMVM on my N95....

Is there an MMS app on the Apple AppStore? Exactly.

MMS has been a base feature of mobile phones for years. Personally I can take it or leave it, though I have a number of picture messages that I've received from friends and... acquaintances - but I'm certainly not arrogant enough to state that "MMS is dead". It is widely used - statistics prove this.

What I find most confusing is the mindset of people who have upgraded from the v1 iPhone to the current one - if they could justify not having 3G and/or GPS for so long anyway why do they suddenly need it? It's not as if the current 2.0 firmware wasn't released for older devices..... it wouldn't be because they bought it as a fashion trinket and are exactly the sort of people who buy everything Apple churn out without hesitation?

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Loathe?

Why would anyone 'loathe' the iPhone? I certainly don't loathe any Nokia or Blackberry phone, they are just products on a shelf after all. The iPhone is great for all mobile phone and PDA users and will lead to more competition on the market and increased choice for all. The mobile phone market is healthier for it...

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Stop

Oh dear.....

*yawn*

It's a gadget. It'll be old news in 6 months when the newer, shiny-er version comes out, and the same old stuff will be wheeled out about how good/bad/mediocre the new one is/isn't.

Face facts, some will rant about it, some will rave, and some will sit on the fence.

Personally I couldn't give a flying..........

Nothing to see here, move along.

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