iPhone to be renamed to Apple Phone, with 3G and other features?

Posted on Saturday, Jan 13 2007 @ 00:00 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS what he thinks about the Apple iPhone. He believes the iPhone will eventually be renamed to Apple Phone. He gives the example of Apple's iTV which has been introduced as Apple TV at MacWorld.

What he says about why Apple decided to go for the iPhone name without taking a license from Cisco makes since. It's to get more free publicity. Soon Apple will either pay Cisco a bunch of money to use the iPhone name or they will rename the device to something like Apple Phone.

He also wrote a few paragraphs about why the iPhone currently only supports the 170kbps EDGE network and not 3G:
The iPhone is this amazing connectivity quad-mode device that can probably make use of as much bandwidth as it can get, so making it suck through the little straw that is EDGE makes no sense from a user perspective. But remember that the parties involved here are Apple and Cingular, neither of which is 100 percent allied with user interests. Cingular has a 3G network called BroadbandConnect or "MediaNet" if you buy Cingular's associated Cingular Video service.

And there's the problem -- Cingular Video, which is based on RealVideo, NOT QuickTime or H.264.

Apple wants the iPhone to get its content primarily through iTunes, ideally by syncing with a Mac or Windows PC. Apple doesn't like Cingular Video and doesn't want its customers to know it exists, much less use it. But it would be very hard to introduce a true 3G iPhone, have Cingular promote it strongly, only to say that it can't be used to view the mobile carrier's own video content. So instead Apple falls back to the slower EDGE network, which can support email and widgets and surfing, but which also forces iPhone users to get most of their higher-resolution video through iTunes, where Apple makes money and Cingular doesn't.
So Cringely claims Apple doesn't want Cingular Video but did like all the money they got to make the phone a Cingular exclusive. He believes all it will take to turn an EDGE iPhone into a 3G iPhone is a firmware upgrade.
Mobile phone carriers are eager for video to succeed on their 3G and 4G platforms because it represents a major new source of revenue. Apple's iPhone is the best handset yet for displaying that video. But Apple isn't going to allow this to happen without Cupertino gaining a substantial piece of the action. I'm sure discussions are taking place right now with Cingular where Apple is arguing that the carrier should make its video service iTunes-compatible.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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