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iPhone 4 Hits 600,000 Pre-orders, Google Has Cunning Plan

Gordon Kelly

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iPhone 4 Hits 600,000 Pre-orders, Google Has Cunning Plan

Apple may be feeling smug today, but Google is already planning ahead...

In an official statement the Cupertino giant has announced:

"Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Appleā€™s new iPhone 4. It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock."

These difficulties largely happened across the pond where AT&T dealt with the flurry of orders with all the sophistication of a myopic pit bull spewing private customer information all over the place and mixing up who has ordered what. Eventually the network resorted to pen and paper taking customers' pre-orders with imprints of credit cards and signed contracts - how 1990.

That said the numbers are still impressive and no doubt would have been even more so had a) AT&T got its act together and b) the majority of UK networks actually bothered to start their pre-orders. Instead most have gone live today. How was your experience?

Not to be intimidated, Tech Crunch has learnt that Google is now focusing its attention on making Android as polished and easy to use as iPhone OS - something which remains Apple's ace card.

This news isn't surprising since Google locked down the vast majority of Android's features with 2.2 (also known as Froyo), it also ties in with the appointment of Palm webOS head UI designer Martias Duarte last week - something I stressed the importance of in TrustedReviews podcast 3.

So no company is letting up and, if anything, competition is simply intensifying. Good...

Sources

Apple Press Release

Tech Crunch

Coffee_With_Bailey's

June 17, 2010, 4:34 am

Google and their customers / 3rd party developers still have the major headache of developing apps for a whole range of different hardware flavours, screen resolutions, etc...





Hard to ever build an app that feels optimised for any particular Android phone or runs quite the same on any two handsets.





Not knocking Android - just stating the problem as I see it.





Apple, for all their faults, have been quite clever in this regard... e.g. how they've offered more screen resolution, improved GPU and Processor in a fairly transparent and backwardly compatible way.





Palm/HP would do well to follow this approach - and avoid fragmenting their market too much - it complicates & devalues the whole app store proposition and frustrates users when the app they purchase doesn't work or look quite the way it should.





<Cue the hate-mail flame-fest>

CptKirk

June 17, 2010, 4:42 am

The UK networks should be ashamed at how little information they have given their customers.

rav

June 17, 2010, 4:52 am

It's just amazing how many of these things Apple can shift.





I spoke to my non techie iPhone loving mate today and the iPhone 4 feature he's most excited about is facetime. He really does think it's revoloutionary.

ruthless

June 17, 2010, 5:50 am

Apple, Nike, McDonalds... the only genius is in the marketing.

Greg Shewan

June 17, 2010, 11:48 am

@ruthless - my sentiments exactly... some people will buy anything they are 'told' to. On another note, why oh why AT&T... you guys really seem to have trouble getting the most basic things right.

Hamish Campbell

June 17, 2010, 12:28 pm

well, to be fair, I think marketing and design......and a ruthless efficiency.

mrtinkles

June 17, 2010, 12:32 pm

as far as i can see none of the main carriers in the UK have started offering preorders. As CptKirk says the level of information coming out of all of them is appalling. o2 have announced tariffs ages ago but keeping quiet on cost of phone and preorder, orange have published cost and tariff details but no preorder, vodafone put up and then pulled a test page and have said nothing further and the other 3 carriers have said nothing. If you guys are hearing a different message from the UK mobile companies then could you let us know as the uncertainty is really annoying.

supersizeme

June 17, 2010, 12:40 pm

@Ruthless - yes because I am sure you could make a better phone!

Nick G

June 17, 2010, 1:14 pm

@Gordon, did you upload this article via a mobile broadband dongle by any chance? The JPEG quality is awful :)

Lantic

June 17, 2010, 1:22 pm

@Ruthless @Greg Marketing huh? I'd like to think I have a modicum of intelligence and the ability to make my own decisions without being "told" what to buy. I bought an iPhone after ditching my Blackberry and have never regretted it. You can put lipstick on a pig - it's still a pig! No amount of marketing will make up for a rubbish product - and Apple selling 12m iPhones in the last quarter would indicate that their phone might not be too bad.

lifethroughalens

June 17, 2010, 2:43 pm

@lantic





"I'd like to think I have a modicum of intelligence and the ability to make my own decisions without being "told" what to buy."





Yeah, we all like to *think* that way; the best marketing techniques rely upon that thought process! There really is no such thing as 'free will' :) A majority of iPhone owners that I know ten to exhibit this 'character' in spades ;)





It is a good gadget though - that there's no denying.

rdsh

June 17, 2010, 2:50 pm

@mrtinkles +1 I too find it amazing how little useful info the telcos are providing.

Kaurisol

June 17, 2010, 2:51 pm

@lantic - it is extremely good marketing. But of which is identifying your target market and what they want, then developing the right product for that market. It depends upon the orientation of a company - whether it is marketing driven or engineering/product development driven - and the target market that they have identified.





Giving Apple credit where credit is due, they have identified a clear mass-market and the right product for that market. It's like comparing a Mondeo (or other mass-market car) to a Landrover Defender - the right product for the target market. A Mondeo wouldn't be any good off-road, a Defender isn't that good on a motorway.





@Bailey's_Coffee


Quite agree - and another example of a company failing that whole backward compatability issue is Nokia (I say that as the happy owner of an N900).

LetsGo

June 17, 2010, 4:59 pm

@Bailey's_Coffee I think google has been foward looking in not specifying a one size fits all. Consumers should choose what fits their tastes. Some will want a keyboard, some a large screen, pico projector etc.





As for devolopers Google SDK encourages resolution independent UI design, it similar to Microsofts XAML(WPF\Silverlight). So a lot of developers should be able to use their UI skills on WM7 and Android.

rav

June 17, 2010, 5:24 pm

@lantic


A lot of people do actually think that the iPhone is the only phone capable of running apps, using the internet, showing video..... performing sexual acts etc.





No doubt it is a good phone but most people don't seem to be aware that there are other options let alone if they are better or not.





All this Android fragmentation business seems overblown. Apps work fine whatever device you have. The limiting factor is the version of Android you're running. Not the device itself. I haven't found screen resoloution to be an issue. Apps that worked on my Hero work fine on my Desire. In the same way that Chrome works equally well on my laptop and desktop.





Would people rather only released yearly updates like Apple and took forever to add features or that there was contstant progress?

Ala Miah

June 17, 2010, 5:37 pm

They made a phone that revolutionised the mobile phone market.





Now they are milking that innovation. Nothing so far has come out to beat it so can you blame them?





A part of me thinks they deserve it, another part of me thinks are people really that naive and stupid?

Keithe6e

June 17, 2010, 5:58 pm

@ravmania: A lot of people do actually think that the iPhone is the only phone capable of





Or alternatively a lot of people do know that other phones are capable, but they like the IPhone better, just thinking aloud. :). Yes, they will be some people who don't know what there buying and just follow the crowd, but not sure this is any different to same crowd who believe the Blackberry is the only phone that can do Email.





I've mentioned this before, were I think the IPhone really has the advantage is the ecosystem,.





eg. For your desire try finding a nice speaker dock like the Zeppelin.


or a car radio that will dock with your Desire, for charging and playing MP3's.


Not saying the above isn't possible, but your choices are very restricted. Eg, even go into Halfords and look at how many radios have IPod/Iphone connectivity.

Nick

June 17, 2010, 6:18 pm

iPhone prices from o2 are up: http://shop.o2.co.uk/new-iphon...

Lee Noble

June 17, 2010, 8:35 pm

Im fed up waiting for all the tariffs to come out, but I found this on t-mobile's website:


http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/shop...


which for £10pcm gives you 100min 100txt and 1Gb of 3G if you choose that option. I'm tempted to stretch myself and get an unlocked iPhone and use this plan as it is over £200 cheaper than Orange over 18months (4G 32Gb).





However the terms & conditions of that tariff have specific exclusions relating to blackberrys and stuff. I've got a feeling they're going to severely hamper the iPhone in particular in the t&c's once they remember to get around to changing them. Should I get it now before the terms change and hope it works with the iPhone; or wait and see? I really don't need any more than 100mins & texts as that's all I have now, but 1Gb of 3g is more than Orange are offering for £35pcm.

lensmann

June 17, 2010, 11:51 pm

@Lee Noble: The exclusion is only for Blackberry email. I've used T-Mobile's 30 day rolling contract with an HTC Hero without any trouble (I checked to make sure it was OK, and I was told it was).

rav

June 18, 2010, 12:20 am

@Keith


The iPod connector was definitely ingenious and has no doubt helped line Apple's pockets!





Fingers crossed one day manufacturers will go for no proprietary connections like regular USB or A2DP.

LetsGo

June 18, 2010, 12:55 am

@Keith You do know that the Desire can act as a USB Drive? Straight out of the box.

lensmann

June 18, 2010, 4:16 am

@Keith: As someone else said, the Desire works as a mass-storage USB drive. Any car stereo or streaming home radio that can read from a USB key will work with the Desire. You probably have a wider choice of Desire-compatible devices than iPhone-compatible devices. But yeah, plenty of people think that the iPhone works with docks and the Desire doesn't. It's part of a general pattern. Don't get me started on how my old TyTN2 does things the iPhone still can't (mumbleraverantmutter). Why does Joe Public not realise this? Because while HTC and just about everyone else make gadgets, Apple make consumer products. The stuff they make doesn't break ground in terms of raw functionality. It breaks ground in terms of packing functionality associated with complex gadgets into a device that's about as simple to use as the kitchen sink. Joe Public doesn't want a complex gadget, and the reason the iPhone seems so revolutionary to him is that no mass-market consumer product has offered that level of functionality in such a simple package before.





This, by the way, also applies to Apple's iPhone SDK. Windows Pocket PC supported third-party applications years before the iPhone did, but as I can attest from personal experience, programming for WinMo was a complete nightmare. The iPhone's APIs are much more restrictive, but it's infinitely easier to write an iPhone app to the extent that it's actually something a non-geeky newbie can aspire to do and actually accomplish. And so it goes.

Keithe6e

June 18, 2010, 2:01 pm

@lensmann + @ravmania: Yes I do know that there is the USB route. Good for playing MP3's, but what about Spotify, Internet Radio etc? You could go the BlueTooth(quality might be an issue) + USB for just charging I suppose. Also you have the codec issue, you have to use the lowest common denominator supported by both the radio + phone, unless you store both versions. eg. If you listen using a lossless codec on the phone, you'll need another MP3 version just for your Car (unless the car could also handle lossless too of course). And say you had screens in your car, the dock connector also does Video.


But using Apples dock connector things are so much easer don't you think?





@lensmann: plenty of people think that the iPhone works with docks and the Desire doesn't.





I never said it didn't work with docks, but try putting your Desire into a Zeppelin if you wish. :) Look don't get me wrong, I certainly believe there is more powerful phones out there, I actually recommend the Desire to a friend.





I think this "People don't realize", is a bit too simplistic. Like it or not, the way the Iphone works and the ecosystem is rather good, and it's not just selling well because of clever marketing and mass sheep followers.

Apoc

June 18, 2010, 5:00 pm

Voda prices now available





http://shop.vodafone.co.uk/iph...

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