iPhone 3G: the good, the bad and the stoooopid!

First of all, let me share with you how I followed the keynote speech at Apple WWDC 2008:

1. I watched part of this live web video show, hosted by these three geeks..

TDL Live WWDC 2008

2. I listened to the whole presentation LIVE in audio via the USTREAM.TV stream provided by the the amazing people over at iPhoneAlley. The sound was not very clear but perfectly usable. I heard all the clapping and cheering in the hall (as well as the sound of someone’s typing on the keyboard of the laptop used to transmit the audi to the web). Welcome to user generated live audio coverage!

UStream audi from iPhone Alley

3. I followed the live blogging and photo posting from MacRumors live.

Mac Rumors live

So what’s my impression. And will my Nokia N95 soon kick the dust?

Let’s see..

Apple is bringing the iPhone officially to Jordan via Orange. No word from Zain yet. In fact, Jordan, Egypt and Qatar are the only Arab countries that, according to Apple, will be getting the iPhone this year. I find it amazing that markets like Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been excluded. It seems no one has told Apple how many phones they can sell in Saudi (I think they know but a deal has obviously not been struck yet).

iPhone 3G Map

Am I willing to change my mobile number which I had for almost 10 years now and switch to Orange to get an iPhone? Probably not.

Will Zain eventually get the iPhone too. Maybe. But for now, only Orange’s logo is on Apple’s Jordan iPhone page (yes there is one. Thanks Ramsey for pointing this out :-)

Apple is doing so much right with the iPhone platform. But it’s also getting a bunch of things totally wrong.

3G is here, which is cool, but we don’t even have 3G in Jordan yet.

The new iPhone 3G has GPS navigation. But as the iPhone’s maps are based on Google maps, GPS will be pretty useless in places like Riyadh and Doha, which don’t have any maps on Google. My Nokia N95 has excellent maps (for free) for these two cities (and, of course, all European cities). I’ve actually used my N95 maps several times and it was a great experience (except for the drain on battery life of course).

The amazing price point of the new IPhone 3G of US$ 199 is irresistible. But it seems to be tied to agreeing to a 2 year contract. Let’s see how much it will cost unsubsidized.

And Apple is doing a great job when it comes to mobile software. The iPhone 2.0 software revision will allow for an app store where people can download free and paid-for applications from third party developers. Apple is also enabling corporate push email and also providing a push email solution for consumers, using its new Mobile Me (www.me.com) service which will replace .Mac.

Lots of good stuff..

iPhone 3G

I talked a bit about the good and a bit about the bad. Now let’s talk about the stupid.

The iPhone 3G still can’t shoot videos. Is Apple serious?? I know that there are already hacked apps that can do this. But it boggles my mind that Apple still didn’t include this feature. Shooting mobile video is not only useful for someone like me, but also fun. How lame is it that this is not supported out of the box.

And what about that 2 megapixel camera? My N95 has become my main camera. It is extremely useful for taking copies of documents. It can do flash photography. The 5 megapixel resolution is very useful. Nokia’s next flagship N-series phone (the N96?) is rumored to have a 8 MP camera. So 2 MP on the iPhone 3G is plain disappointing.

I am also surprised at the lack of a front-face camera in the IPhone 3G. There where rumors of a mobile version of iChat. Without a front face camera, forget it!
Apple’s competitors are working hard to catch up. Nokia, Samsung, LG, HTC, Blackberry. Not to mention the upcoming release of Google’s Android mobile platform.

Another sad thing about the iPhone 3G is its lack of support for Arabic. The iPhone now supports a lot of languages including several flavors of Chinese and Japanese and the ability to recognize finger-written characters in these languages. But Arabic? Apple is leaving that to Saudi hackers, thank you very much.

The most amazing things about the iPhone remain the groundbreaking touch user interface and the Safari web browser.

My Nokia N95 is packed with features. But it is slow to react, has a user interface that is stuck in the 1990’s and has a rather small, non-touch screen and, after one year of owning it looks pretty bad from the outside (chipped paint, broken battery cover, etc). I recently discovered that the N95 actually has a accelerometer hidden inside which can detect the phone’s orientation but that Nokia simply doesn’t utilize. LAME. LAME. LAME.

As an avid Mac user, I would really LOVE to get an iPhone and enjoy the Apple experience on the go. But considering the the fact that, for now, only Orange will officially carry it Jordan, that it still can’t do video out of the box and that its GPS will not be too useful in the region, I am still hesitant to get one.

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10 Responses to “iPhone 3G: the good, the bad and the stoooopid!”

  1. za3tar Says:

    I am personally very disappointed and upset with Apple’s new move

  2. Abdalla Says:

    The new iphone lakes a lot of features that are being mentioned as standard in other mobile devices thats for sure, but the beautiful,easy to deal with interface are the most attractive things..

    The iphone will be officially released in some arab countries (including Qatar,where im living) which means that the arabic language will be surely supported later,gmaps will be updated to include these countries maps and most likely in future,the itunes store will be available as well in order to be able to benefit from the App store , i expect alot in future,and this all makes a lot of sense , so maybe we arabs got to be a little more hopeful and patient.

  3. Mapless Says:

    Well, its marketing… you will never get everything in one phone! specially for 199$! That’s a perfect price! and when the price is perfect… not everything else is… i’m using the older 16GB iphone… and i just love it :) but everything has limitations… LOL

  4. za3tar Says:

    I have been using the old 8GB iPhone as well .. and i still feel dooped. I mean, i still can not believe Apple’s ways. I mean, how can you really market a phone as a smart phone if it can’t tell you which are the calls that you made and which are the calls that you received ?! .. i don’t know. it is really weird with apple.

    And here is the thing, if they finally do get the phone features fixed, steve jobs will come out and pass it out as major development. How are the other companies not picking up on that i don’t understand.

    I am not an apple-hater .. i actually like them quite a bit .. but this is my first time to deal with them and i am shocked!!

  5. ArabianMonkey Says:

    Thought u might find this interesting too:
    iPhone 3G: Beyond The Hype

  6. H. Salameh Says:

    Humeid you can simply watch the keynote off of Apple’s website. I just did and I’m in Amman.



  7. Khaled bin Alwaleed Alsaud Says:

    Good article brother!
    I tried to talk to Apple (Jobs and Cook) about this, but i dont understand the lack of Arabic supported in everything.



    God bless,

  8. eyadmayy Says:

    if u need arabic go to www.iphoneislam.com u have to jailbreak ur iphone first to get the arabic working on it! 30 dollers the cost for arabic i buy from them and its so great!

  9. the unknown Says:

    i got an insider from orange itself, who told me the iphone is to be released this month…

  10. clawzy Says:

    I got my iPhone on Tuesday… I already knew before that it doesn’t have MMS, Bluetooth (for sending files to another device), and video call support… STILL, it’s been 5 days since I bought it and I continuously discover things that amaze me… and I use it a lot… but don’t worry folks, there will be updates and maybe MMS, voice recording, bluetooth and video recording will be available. If not, third-party applications will probably make it possible soon :) Although, video calls won’t be available for iPhone 3G since the secondary front camera is missing :(

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