Posts tagged Apple

iphone 5

iPhone 4S – Black and White Pre-Review

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Just like I did with the iPad 2, here is my black and white review of the iPhone 4S.

Note: It’s a pre-review since I don’t have one yet (nor does anyone else, except maybe this guy).

Btw, if you don’t like Apple (or secretly do, but like complaining about features it doesn’t have – go here)

UPDATE 20/10/11: I ended up buying one.  My iPhone 4s review is here.

Item Comment
Killer Feature Battery life (read that several times – got it yet?)
Anything else? Yes, iOS 5 (but you can get that on the 4, or 3GS)
What else is new/improved Camera, faster processor, it’s thinner, blah blah (sounds like iPad > iPad 2 eh?).  Full iPhone comparison here
What’s everyone talking about Siri - it’s where you can speak commands to your phone
What’s everyone bitching about? It’s not called and iPhone 5, and its shape is the same
Should I get one? If you want to.   Your call.  If you say “There are no new features” then you missed the killer feature of battery life.
Will I get one? For now I will say maybe. And like the iPad 2, the more I look at it, the more it will probably be a yes :)
There is a TINY WINY problem in that it won’t be avail in NZ for ages – so I guess I will have to order online and get it delivered to a mate overseas like I did with my iPad.  Or maybe a(nother) wee trip overseas?

Anyone with a smart phone (and who actually uses it as one) knows the frustration of battery life.  While it’s fine when you use it for calls and text, once internet use comes in to the picture, a FULL days work is hard to get on a phone.  Apple nailed that with battery life on the iPad, and now, have MAJORLY improved it on the iPhone.  To me that’s the true revolution of the iPhone 4S.

Black and White Version: iPhone 4S’s killer feature if battery life.  iOS rocks, and Siri is a “oh .. nice”. 

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FirstIn.co.nz - Apple 13.3-inch Macbook Pro - only $1599.99 (save $300) - today only!

Firstin.co.nz rip off AGAIN

3

It looks like firstIn.co.nz are at it again with misleading retail prices.

I have blogged about FirstIn’s inflated prices before here, and also their misleading specs on products here. And yep they are at it again!

Today I see they have an 2nd hand (they say refurbished – but by who?) MacBook Pro for $1599 that they say saves $300. (In case the page disappears I have pasted a screen shot below).

Well I did a comparison with the only site I know always sells refurbished Apple gear – Apple NZ.  And I find their STANDARD price on this unit is $1527 (again image shown in case this link dies).  Now I will explain that the Apple product is a 2.4GHz processor, where as the FirstIn is 2.53, but Apple also have the 2.66GHz model, with a larger (320GB) hard drive for only $1699.  So that’s $200 LESS than the supposed standard price FirstIn claim, for a BETTER unit.  Take a look for yourself – Apple sell heaps of refurbished stuff all the time. So where is the $300 saving?  What’s this based on?   In fact it’s $72 MORE than Apple, plus Apple do free shipping, so that’s (up to) another $10 saved, depending on where in NZ you are.

It took me 30 seconds to find this price, so FirstIn cant claim they didn’t know.  This what they do for a living (sell stuff online), and they REPEATEDLY inflate their so called RRP to show larger discounts than are really there.  In this case they are actually charging MORE than a comparable unit. I would MUCH prefer to by direct from Apple – I trust them when they say its refurbished, and I also trust Apple’s pricing (coz they don’t mess with it, and they rarely discount). It goes without saying I don’t trust FirstIn.

Black and White Version: FirstIn.co.nz continue to be misleading on their pricing/discounts.  I don’t trust them.

PS: Click on either image below for a larger view.  Both images copied from their respective web sites at 1.15pm on 12 July 2011.

Click on image for full view


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graph

Tech companies – the round up

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Another straight to the point, black and white post here.

My views on the current, and future prospects, of various tech companies.

Short Term Medium/Long Term (3-5 years)
Apple Excellent Excellent
Google Excellent Excellent
Microsoft Good Poor.
Nokia Average Poor
Rim (aka Blackberry) Good Poor Average
IBM Good Excellent Very Good
FaceBoook Good Good – Very Good
Twitter Average ??

I’ll give just brief further comments on the mobile device space:

  • I think Google’s OS (Android) will be the biggest by far in 5 years (sooner), with over 50% market share,
  • Apple will be the most profitable by far, and maintain the position as the biggest selling single phone of any supplier.
  • Microsoft and Nokia combined will have less market share in this space than Apple or Linux presently do in the PC space (less than 10% combined) – they are dead long term in this market.
  • Rim (blackberry) will maintain their market share for now (give or take a few %), but long term they will be a niche player.

I also think Microsoft will go after (ie battle) Google more than it will Apple.  It’s lost the war with Apple (or more to the point, they aren’t on the same battle field).  Microsoft have two main resources – CASH, and their huge user base.  Let’s see if they can do anything with that.  There is hope for Microsoft, because unlike Rim and Nokia, they have FAR wider base of products than just the mobile device space.  But that would involve a whole change for the company – and actually get innovative again.

Black and White Version: Many current market leaders (aka Google and Apple) will continue to be strong.  Others, like Microsoft are long term dead-ducks.

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ipad 2

iPad 2 Pre-Review

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Here it is: my black and white, cut to the chase pre-review of the iPad 2.

I call it a pre-review since I have played with one several times (various Apple stores), I don’t own one yet.

I will give a full review when I do.

In the meantime, here’s the B&W pre-review:

Whats good about it The same stuff as made the first gen IPad great – user interface, battery life, etc.  (Read this line again, it’s important).
What’s improved Speed, low res camera x 2.  Oh, and it’s thinner.
What’s missing Everything that’s missing from the first gen iPad (assuming you thought it was missing in the first place that is), except for a camera
Should I upgrade from the 1st gen iPad? Probably not.  But then again you probably shouldn’t do lots of things.
Is it better than the 1st gen iPad Yes.  For sure
Is it the best tablet on the market Yep (in my opinion).
How does it FEEL? VERY fast, and light (I know it’s not much lighter, but thin makes if feel light).
What else? The iPad smart cover is SOOOO cool.   And no, it doesn’t work with the 1st gen iPad.
Tell me more Ummm, no.  This is the black and white version.  Read some online iPad 2 review, like this one

Btw, I ordered one.  Did it online, coz while the queues in San Fran were down to 4 hours (ie get up at 5am, and get one at 9am) by the time I left there a few weeks ago, it was still easier for me to click some buttons and then have a full warranty in my home country.  I’ll sell my iPad 1 for maybe half what I paid for the iPad 2, so all in all costs me $600 to upgrade.

Black and White Version: iPad 2 is faster, and thinner, and sexier.  A step up, but an evolution, not a revolution.

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nothing_to_see_here

A recap of the (non) news of the week

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There is certain lot’s of non news this week.  And another story that has a limited news-worthiness (is that a word?) that’s the lead on WAY to many media’s pages.

Here is the summary:

But the biggie for overplayed news story of the day goes to this:

  • Some guy called William is getting engaged.  OK it is news coz he’s the Prince of something, 2nd in line to something else (the British thrown they say) but being the lead story is WAY overplaying its importance (slow news anyone?).  But what’s really bad is  doing stupid stories like this saying Local Couple Delighted is just a waste of my screen space.  They could do a story about a local blogger bored with lack of journalistic stories, as that would be true too, but I fear this won’t happen soon.

Black and White Version: Nothing to see here, move on.  Oh, wait Prince William got engaged, not a biggie I know, but yeah, slow (news) blogging day for me.

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iPad four months in (a review)

1

I have now been using an iPad for over four months now.  My initial iPad review can be found here, but here’s a summary of my thoughts four months on (the back and white, cut to the chase, version)

This post if a follow on from my Black and White take on iPhone 4 and iPad in NZ.

So anyway .. on to the post: (more…)

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IPLUNGE PHONE STAND

Best and funniest iPhone 4 and Apple videos on the web

2

I was browsing, stumbling around and otherwise looking around the web today and came across a whole bunch of cool (aka funny) videos on iPhones, Mac, Apple etc, so thought i would share them here:

The Unofficial iPhone 4 Launch Video

Warning: Contains sexual references :-)

The iPhone 4 Apology Video (including the black guy)

There there are the I’m on Boat Parodys

In case you missed I’m on a Boat – watch this first, if not, skip to the next one.  Warning: Harsh language.

Then watch this ..

While on the topic of cool, check out this novel, retro stand for an iPhone/iPad (and cheap 2, only $US 5.99).  Click on the image for more details.

Black and White Version: Some people have too much time on their hands, glad they do, they come up with funny shit :-)

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apple logo

iPhone 4 and iPad in NZ – the black and white version

2

I recently made a post about my take on the world in a black and white, cut to the chase, way.

Over the next few days I had a few friends ask me about the iPhone with questions like will they fix the antennae issue?, and should I buy one now or wait?

So here is my black and white answers.  Where possible, I try to answer in one (or a few) word(s).  The idea is to keep this straight to the point.  So here is my take on the iPhone 4, and the iPad in New Zealand

iPhone 4 in New Zealand

Question
Answer
Where can I buy one? www.apple.co.nz
Is there an antennae issue? Yep
Is the antennae issue a major one? No
Will they fix the antennae issue with a new model soon? Nup.
Will the next model fix it? They will change it, but it won’t “fix” it.  All phones suffer from it to some degree
When will the iPhone 5 come out? No one knows, but it appears to be about a new iPhone every 12-18 months.
Should I buy one? That’s up to you.  Do you want one?
Should I buy one now or wait for the next model? If you want to buy one, get one now.
How much do they cost? 16GB: $1099, 32GB: $1299
Should I buy one in NZ or overseas? New Zealand.  Coz the warranty is only in the country you buy it in, plus NZ and Australia are one of the few countries that have unlocked iPhones.  Do NOT buy one from the US.
Are we getting ripped off in NZ with the price? No, prices are about the same as OZ for an unlocked phone.  The reason US has such cheap phones is that you are locked into a 2 year plan with AT&T.
What provider should I use? XT
Do you get paid by Apple or anyone else to say stuff? No.
Who’s fault was the launch fail in New Zealand? Vodafone

iPad in New Zealand

Question
Answer
Where an I buy one? Apple.co.nz or lots of retailers like JBHiFi
Should I buy one? Up to you.
Will overseas iPad works in NZ Yep, right out of the box.  ALL iPads are ‘unlocked’
Buy in NZ or overseas? Up to you.  Probably NZ.  NZ price is about the same (or cheaper than) most countries.   Can be a tad cheaper in the US.  Remember warranty is country specific for iPad (so if you buy it in the US you have to take it back there for warranty claims).  Also anything over $700 attracts GST when you bring it in.
3G of WiFi model? Does depend, but for 95%+ of people, I recon 3G model (it has WiFi too remember)
How much does it cost? From $799 – an iPad Price list in New Zealand is here
What mobile provider shoudl I use for data? XT for 90% of people.  2 Degrees for the other 10%.  A comparison can be found here
But really why would I buy one? If you are asking this, then don’t buy one.  There are lots of reasons you might want (or even need?) one.  It’s up to you, they are cool, the work well, but all depends on what you might us it for.
OK, is it cool, like really? Yep.  It rocks!  A useful work tool too.

Black and White Version: Prices in NZ are fair for iPhone 4 and iPad.  Both are great devices, but only buy one if you want to.  Buy them in NZ, and use them on XT.

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fail

iPhone NZ Launch FAIL

13

I promised myself that I wouldn’t post on the iPhone, iPad or anything Apple related for a while.  Well OK, I didn’t PROMISE, I thought about it. Kinda like people think about giving up smoking, or walking the dog, and then the moment passes.

Anyway .. this one is just too big (and bad) to give up on.

Today Apple was SUPPOSED to launch the iPhone 4 in NZ. MAJOR FAIL.

Here’s a wee summary:

  • The one official iPhone carrier Vodafone (and note they have no exclusivity in NZ, they are just the only one) provided NO information prior to launch day.  Nothing, ZIP. 
  • On launch day, people have queued up outside retailers (we don’t have Apple shops, so this is people like MagnumMac and Vodafone) only to be told “go away, nothing to see here”
  • Vodafone are entirely quiet on their twitter account despite being inundated by questions.  They are staying ZIP (for now). 
  • XT (Telecom) the non official carrier, that most people actually prefer to run an iPhone on, have even chipped in – see the post on the right.  Glad to see someone has a scene of humour!
  • The Apple NZ web site for iPhone still has “notify me” not buy now as the option (see image on right) as of 1.30pm on launch day
  • Lots of rumours about why no stock – some blame Apple, some Vodafone who are controlling it all
  • 1pm UPDATE: Vodafone have NOW announced the iPhone 4 is on sale from 1pm (ie now), but only on contract.

My thoughts:

Vodafone:

  • This is a mess for Vodafone NZ
  • However, this is NOT a Vodafone only issue.  They do NOT (IMHO) control stock in NZ.  They are the only authorised carrier, but it’s non exclusive.  Apple’s own web site says you can use it on any network you want
  • They have handled it VERY badly
  • You are pissing all the high end users off.  Just take a look at the online forums and iPhonenewzelanad to see that all the geek users (and I say that nicely) are all major XT fans already.  These geek users (my new term) influence others.  I know I do :-)

Apple

  • Gotta say, not impressed here either.  All that was needed was some basic info on your web site.  What was there was (and is) wrong.  Says avail from selected retailers – and all of them are saying “not us”.
  • Even Apple only released the price of ONE of the two iPhone 4 models prior to launch day.  As of today (launch day) we STILL don’t know the retail cost of the 32GB model.
  • What happened to your Premium Retailers?   MagnumMac should be your FIRST option to sell stuff, not Vodafone.  Vodafone are pissing off Apple customers.

Further rumours, and where to from here?

  • Apple will sell them form their web site from 7pm today UPDATE: It came online at 11pm, with a 3 week delay in delivery.
  • As much as people are saying this is bad (and it is), this won’t affect Apple sales ONE LITTLE BIT.  It just makes them look bad.  Very un-Apple like.
  • It WILL affect Vodafone.  It will further alienate them from the geek-users (see my comments above) and these people matter, even if they aren’t your customers
  • In the long term this will be a blip.  People will talk about it, but still buy the iPhone (or not buy the iPhone, but those people weren’t buying it anyway).

There is an EXCELLENT post on TUAW on the iPhone 4 launch fail in NZ.

Black and White Version: Major fail for Vodafone and Apple on iPhone Launch day in NZ, not that that will affect sales though.

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Data up to 1GB

iPad Data Plans Comparision – XT, Vodafone and 2 degrees

7

Follow this link:

THIS POST HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY THIS ONE on iPAD data plans, as it factors in the new 2Degree plans, and also fixes an error in one table (Voda $20 should be 250MB not 500MB).


Recently I blogged about the various data plans for the iPad in NZ, and included a summary table with the costs, along with which were 3G etc.  I suggest you read this last post if you haven’t already, as this one is just about price.

Well I wanted to go one step further with the pricing side of things and show the various plans based on actual usage.

So here there are, two tables one showing lighter usage (up to 1GB) and one heavy usage (right up to 10GB).

My assumptions:

  • 1GB = 1000MB (not sure if this is how telcos in NZ charge or not to be honest, but I have been consistent with this, so it will make very little difference).
  • I have just put in the pre-pay plans, as that way it’s consistent and fair (and less lines!).
  • I am assuming Vodaphone do allow 10c/MB for over rates (their web site doesn’t say, not that I can find!)
  • No allowance is made for any difference in part charges or min charges per connection (no idea if this makes a lot of difference or not!)
  • The graph shows a straight line line between each data point, which is right EXCEPT for 2Degrees, where it SHOULD jump up $6 every 50MB and not a gradual progression as the graph shows.

Note: Click on any image for a larger view.

iPad Data Plans in NZ, up to 1G

iPad Data Plans in NZ, up to 10G

The cross over points are quite interesting, with lots happening in the  250MB – 1000MB space.  Also I note that up to 1GB there is not a lot in it (the Voda 500MB does have the edge if you use just 500MB though).  Personally I like any of the XT plans since they do the 10c/meg to start with and then capped at the monthly rate you select, plus the $29.95 double up option.  Pity Vodafone doesn’t offer the double up for $10, like they do on their other data plans.

Update 28th July 2010: What’s interesting (and I thought was a mistake at first) is that from 750MB right through to 3GB, the 2GB XT plan is cheaper than the 4GB. This is because the 4GB keeps charging at the 10c/MB until it hits the monthly cap of $79.95, where as the 2GB hits its cap of $59.95 earlier and stays there till 2GB and only passes it again between 3 and 4GB.  So unless you are a REAL heavy user, on XT the 2GB plan is better.    At anything more than around 3.5GB the only viable plans are on XT, with everything else getting prohibitively expensive.

For anyone interested here is the raw data


Other useful related links

Black and White Version: XT is faster, and cheaper in MOST cases for the iPad in NZ {and just faster for the others :-) }

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