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back to article What's not in the iPhone 4S ... and why

No 4G radio and no NFC payment technology: the only new radio on the iPhone 4S is a CDMA connection for travellers that, it turns out, most travellers won't be able to use. We know Cupertino has been looking into Near Field Communications for a year or two, and presumably decided that the technology was still too immature to get …

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FAIL

world series baseball assumption fail!

It was named after a newspaper called the "World". So it became the "world" series. Your example is a poor attempt at a comparison that isn't particularly valid.

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FAIL

Okay, so the paper was incorrectly named then? Or did it cover World events?

a bit like http://theworldlink.com/

"Daily newspaper covering Coos county. Local news, sports, weather, and advertisements."

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Anonymous Coward

Except that it wasn't....

This popular "fact" is nothing more than an Urban Legend.

http://www.snopes.com/business/names/worldseries.asp

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Really? Snopes.com and the author's opinion proves your point does it? lol

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Facepalm

I stand corrected.

And have since learned that the world series does indeed allow competitors from the entire world (the US and Canada). There are some pesky other outlying nations who may want a slice of the pie, but given they are not contained within the 2 nation world, they can't enter!

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Ru
Facepalm

"Snopes.com and the author's opinion"

The snopes page cites its references. Anyone care to point us all at some opposing evidence that the series was ever sponsored by the World newspaper? No? Well, there's a surprise. Congratulations on being less useful even than a Wikipedia article. Lol indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

Entire World?

"...does indeed allow competitors from the entire world (the US and Canada)."

That will be the entire world in the same way as the Golgafrincham B ark carried all the important people from Golgafrincham?

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@ Bear features

And the opinion of the Baseball Hall of Fame who has also debunked the Urban Legend.

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Silver badge

When a US businessman tells you he has a global solution, he often means: "we have a solution that works in New York AND Los Angeles (and maybe Toronto as well, but we haven't actually tried it there)".

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???

"...while iPhone users are reduced to demonstrating their superiority by talking to themselves their phones"

Errr, this feature has been on Android for quite a while now. How does that make iPhone4S superior?

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FAIL

This is why HTML5 REALLY needed a "SARCASM" tag.

Geez...

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Happy

sensible Android users..

.. are not speaking to their phones but speak to people using their phones..

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On the iPhone too

Siri was (past tense!) available as an app for previous iPhones for over a year.

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Bronze badge

@been on Android for quite a while

And on even the entry level Nokias for years. Oh, but that doesn't count since it's That Company.

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The iPhone solution is vastly different and improved to what is has been available on Android for a while. Watch the video. This is the true beginning of AI on consumer devices.

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but only if you have a network connection - so not much use on the tube, most trains, in the wilds, etc.

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FAIL

LTE - not in the UK for a couple of years

Given that the spectrum likely to be used for LTE isn't due for auction until 2012 - possibly the 2nd half, at that.

Then they have to build networks.

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HD Voice?

Any word on whether the iPhone 4S will support HD Voice (also known as Wideband Audio or AMR-WB)?

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Facepalm

Eternal optimists - the LTE Glass is going to half full soon!

" These days it's more likely to be 24 months, by which time LTE will be much more widely available and the 4S distinctly dated."

I do love an optimist. In Blighty, there are a few decent sized holes in the GSM network, let alone the gaping holes of 3G and you think 4G/LTE will be more widely available in 2 years?

I suppose it depends on your definition of 'much more widely available'. If it means patchy coverage in the center of a few major cities, then I suppose you could be right...

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Happy

Think your missing the point

Is it a world phone?

Yes

Here's how it works, buy the phone anywhere but US, Japan or China (CDMA carriers) and you use GSM, WCDMA at home and abroad. Just as it is now.

But buy the phone on a CDMA carrier in those 3 countries you now have the option of roaming abroad on GSM, WCDMA by buying a local SIM.

This is a boon for any travellers who want to use Sprint, Verizon, KDDI. etc at home while still having international roaming.

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Boffin

Well, that's fine.

But a *real* global phone such as the Samsung Galaxy S2 that I have beside me in my hotel in the colonies currently requires none of that mucking around. Bought in the UK, with a UK SIM, I just had to walk off the plane in America and, well, it worked. Why do Apple have to make everything so damn *complicated*?

GJC

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Joke

Yes, but this is an Apple-centric article. Therefore the Samsung Galaxy S2 does not exist as it is illegal.

Please turn yourself in at your local Apple Store for re-education.

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@Geoff Campbell

That's what he said, there are GSM networks worldwide, so your GS2 and this 4S and the 4, and the 3(S) and the 2G and all the other GSM phones work like that and always have.

However, if you have a CDMA phone from say Verizon, then when you visited another country you were likely to be SOL, basically the 4S has GSM backup for CDMA users. GSM users don't need a backup.

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@ Sonicnights

Except with Verizon you don't use SIM card slots.. oh and the iphone allows you to open the device to change the Sim Card?

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FAIL

That's ssergorp for you.

"we're a long way from having one phone working around the world"

Odd - because my Motorola 2000i has worked reliably around the world (that's North and South America, Australia, Europe, Scandinavia and China) for years. OK, so it's not flashy whiz bang but the damn thing just works everywhere.

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Silver badge

Any quad-band phone bought in the UK will work like that, and this includes all earlier iPhone models. It isn't for your benefit.

If for example you are a Verizon customer, and have their equivalent, something like the Samsung Fascinate, then it won't work outside of the US and possibly Canada, whereas the iPhone 4S will. There are other Verizon world phones, but not many, you have the choice of a few Blackberries and Motorola Handsets and the HTC Trophy.

It isn't Apple that is making things complicated, it is Verizon and Sprint that are making things complicated by using a different network technology from the rest of the world.

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Stop

the iphone will do that too

You obviously misread the original author's comment.

The iPhone will do that too, because the U.S. is reasonably supplied with GSM networks. Any GSM phone with the necessary range of frequency support is a 'world phone', pretty much, because there's very few places which have *only* CDMA networks.

However, any CDMA-only phone certainly isn't a world phone, because there's tons of places which have no CDMA networks.

Ergo, it doesn't make much sense to bother about letting primary-GSM users roam onto CDMA networks, because they rarely actually need to, and permitting it is a lot of trouble due to the issue briefly touched on in the original articles (CDMA doesn't use SIMs and hence can't rely on them for security, they have to use handset authorization).

It certainly *does* make sense to bother about letting primary-CDMA users roam onto GSM networks, though, because this is something that they're going to need to do to use their phones in GSM-only places.

So it makes sense to add a GSM radio onto a CDMA phone, but it really doesn't make much sense to add a CDMA radio onto a GSM phone. Things are only a mite confused with the iPhone because Apple's decided to just make one SKU (okay, three, with the different capacities) for all markets. But it still makes sense to worry only about the 'primary CDMA, secondary GSM' case. Apple's not doing anything dumb here.

I'd be surprised if any primary GSM carriers have ever bothered to offer a phone with a CDMA radio, but it's pretty common for CDMA carriers to offer phones with GSM radios. That's what a 'world phone' is commonly understood to be, in North America. That specific situation is the reason for the iPhone 4S' dual radios.

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Happy

I refer the poster to an earlier article

merca and canadia _IS_ the world!

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FAIL

SIM!

I have a Verizon Droid 3. A "world phone" on a CDMA network. Guess what; it also has a (Vodaphone) SIM. It roamed quite happily when I was in England 2 weeks ago. Expensive, like all international roaming, but it worked!

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Boffin

Lack of SIM

To me, the lack of a SIM card is what makes CDMA a "shit" technology, as I haven't had to worry about handset auth since 2003. GSM was actually welcomed as 'freedom from telcos' because of the SIM card; this freedom was threathened by Apple and their "virtual SIM" thingy, thankfully it got blocked by the GSMA.

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Anonymous Coward

Re open iPhone to change SIM

Yes

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Anonymous Coward

Re well that's fine

When I get off the plane in the colonies, my iPhone just works... You obviously haven't noticed that our colonial cousins have GSM networks as well. Apple actually make everything very simple butNin this case it's nothing to do with them it's down to AT&T or T-mobile...

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FAIL

Missing radio

Still missing an FM radio.

Apple claim this is a "dying format that can be replaced by streaming". However any streaming of radio I've done has been unreliable and behind the source by some considerable delay.

Which is frankly rubbish when you're watching the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Firework concert and listening "live" on Radio Forth. An event where the fireworks are very carefully timed to the music.

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Happy

That's a pretty specific use case. I'm not sure it's made too much of a dent in Apple's selling of 1/4bn iOS devices...

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As RichyS says, that's a bit of a specific case.

My case for wanting plain old FM radio is that it's free (doesn't eat into my contract's data alowance) and is available in places where data bandwidth is non-existent or just inadequate for good audio quality.

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Coat

Or...

Just use your iPhone as the glorified iPod Touch that it is....you know, those things Android, et al users refer to MP3s? (iTunes converts them, so they can't be referred to as MP3s at that point).

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Happy

Accessories are your friend

For example: http://store.griffintechnology.com/iphone/navigate

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Anonymous Coward

Specific?

Clearly you are not a keen radio listener. High quality radio is important and at least one source of radio that does not cost network charges is more than desirable.

The unreliable sync. and timing is one thing I notice with DAB (just turn on an FM radio and listen to how far apart they can be). In addition, an overloaded or poor network can cause serious disruption (I experience that as a listener to the BBC over the internet in Central Europe.

So, internet radio is not bad; but it is not a full substitute for FM or even MW and LW, whatever kind of music one wants to hear (or anythng else)..

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Anonymous Coward

"So if you're a European hoping your 4S will work across the USA you'll be disappointed."

No you wont. You'll just be forced to use AT&T in the US or Rogers in Canada. Much like an owner of any none CDMA equipped phone.

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Anonymous Coward

AT&T...

If you're stuck on AT&T then you might as well not have a working phone! Although since the iPhone4 came out on Verizon, maybe enough people have jumped ship that you might be able to use AT&T again!

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Headmaster

Unclear or too much beer...?

You write: " Apple's decisions are good news for the faster-moving competitors, but success will be dependent on operators not pushing LTE too hard and the proximity-payment crowd staying quiet for a while, neither of which seems terribly likely."

So, whose success are you referring to? Apple's, the competitors'? To me it seems like you are referring to Apple's success although that sort of contradicts the start of the sentence saying Apple's decisions being good news for its competitors....

If it's clear to someone else, please enlighten me....

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Holmes

Lewis didn't write this...

One hopes that Lewis read this article - it has some substance and basis in fact not supposition.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm looking forward to the handset releases that are going to be in the Apple sales interim. We'll be seeing phones with Nvidia Tegra 3 chips (see YouTube for appropriate demo videos) Q1 2001 - that's quad core 1.5ghz. Ram and storage are no big deal. We already know that the Super AMOLED screen in the Galaxy s2 is second to none (or perhaps only the retina display, for density, but what about contrast ratio?). And yes, as stated in this article, the lesser subjects of LTE/NFC. Then think about what Android will be doing in that time frame (you'll have Ice Cream Sandwich, and successor by then), and of course, probably another Google reference phone (Motorola?) or two. It's an opportunistic time to make Apple look like a poor mans substitute.

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roaming

I find this a bit confusing because my 3GS from the UK worked fine in the US when I visited last year.

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Silver badge

That is because the US also has GSM networks. You just wouldn't have been able to roam onto CDMA networks. If your carrier only had a roaming agreement with a US CDMA network you would have been in trouble.

Rather like the situation in the UK back in the last decade when O2/Vodafone were on GSM 900 and Orange/T-mobile (121 at the time I believe) used GSM 1800. For a few years you could buy single band phones which would only work on one or the other. Eventually dual band GSM became the norm and you could use your handset on any of the networks.

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I had been asking about world roaming on to cdma networks.

Interesing to see it discussed - thanks.

That is a shame, as it would be a good thing: coverage in USA would be dramatically improved if visitors could use VZW

However, given the relationship between Vodafone & Verizon it would not be hard to integrate IT to enable SIM to act as SE - after all, Verizon has done it in reverse for some time so the linkage already exist. So maybe it will come...

Two other points:

If Apple were to launch LTE next year that would still be well in advance of LTE availability in many countries so I wouldn't overstate its importance.

Indeed, I could buy an iPhone 4S on 2 year contract and be on my next phone after that before I would think about getting an LTE phone in UK... If were in USA then it might be different - but I'd still wait a year or so till the network is widespread, and the 2nd generation UE chipsets rolled out.

Similarly on NFC. I have had NFC in my credit card, for what, two years now...? Have I used it once? Like heck... I am really not going to base a choice on what phone to use because it has a technology I haven't used and no-one supports. Maybe in two years time...

Not defending Apple, but these seem peculiar reasons to criticisize

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Coat

NFC

I would love to use NFC, but I live in the US so I don't have to worry about things like that. Some day our banking systems might become advanced enough to use something like chip & PIN too.

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Stop

Can we have a clear "non partisan" analysis of that Voice control thing?

I had voice control 7 years ago on my Nokia : i said:"Call Home." and it called Home.

and i had a bit more than that for a while on the iPhone too.

I can't say i had that on my blackberry because i have never, ever, managed to get it to do what i was telling it to do.

Voice control was never really accurate but it does the job.

What i dont have is something which understands context, which understand 3 languages, different way of asking questions and does not seem too bothered by accent and background noises.

is this AI? and if it is how good is it?

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Bronze badge

It works pretty much the same way the Android does it -

It records your voice, sends the entire sample (you asking a question) over the internet to their servers which process the file and send data back to the phone.

Obviously I am unable to comment on the Apple system (although you will probably find someone who can as this functionality has apparently been contained in an app which has now been removed from the Apple store) - but the Google system works brilliantly - it even works with the background noise of driving on a motorway (I was a passenger). The Apple system is intriguing because while the Google system can do most of what the Apple system can do - the Apple system seems to have the ability to cope with context and states.

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Remember the presentation was PR by sales people. I seriously doubt the claims of "AI" will stand up to any real world standard definition.

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