We'll be on the scene on both sides of the U.S. covering the iPhone 4 launch at various retail outlets, but we can't be everywhere. That's where you come in. Will you be out braving the crowds (or maybe lack thereof in your neck of the woods) to get a shiny new iPhone? If so, we want to see any line photos and hear any stories (both good and bad) about your launch day adventure that you think CNET readers would enjoy.
It's that time of year again when throngs of people line up, sometimes days in advance, for the latest and greatest version of the Apple iPhone.
Thursday is the official release date for the iPhone 4. And from the looks of things, this year could be the biggest of all iPhone launches.
AT&T says that demand for the iPhone 4 is 10 times what it was for the iPhone 3GS. And Apple says it took 600,000 preorders for the new phone through its sales channels.
If history is any indication of what to expect, initial sales of the iPhone 4 are likely be a doozy. Apple sold more than 1 million iPhone 3GS smartphones the first three days it was on sale. The original iPhone sold about 270,000 units during its first weekend in June 2007, while the iPhone 3G sold around 1 million when it launched in July 2008.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the iPhone 4, which is the fourth generation of iPhone, the "biggest leap since the original iPhone" was launched in 2007. With a new homegrown processor like the one used in the iPad, a bigger battery, a 5-megapixel camera that can record video in high definition, and a new FaceTime video chat application, the iPhone 4 is expected to be a hotter device than all previous iPhones.
Unfortunately, for customers waiting to get their hands on the new phone, there are already signs that supply may not keep up with demand. On Tuesday, AT&T announced that only preordered iPhone 4s will be in stock in its retail stores Thursday. Anyone looking to buy an iPhone 4 at an AT&T store without having preordered the device will have to wait until June 29.
AT&T's preordering system also crashed over and over on June 15, the day the iPhone 4 was made available for preorder. Potential customers attempting to buy the phone saw error messages as they tried to process their orders.
So what is an expectant iPhone 4 user to do? Check out this FAQ to get a better handle on what will be happening on launch day. For updated information from AT&T, the company suggests checking out its Facebook page.
What happens if I preordered my device? First of all, lucky you. If you were able to successfully preorder an iPhone 4 via Apple or AT&T then you should check your e-mail confirmation to find out when you can expect it to arrive. Depending on what you chose, the device will either be waiting for you at the store you picked, or it will be shipped directly to your house. AT&T said they are on track to deliver preordered devices. They are sending e-mails when the devices have shipped and for customers picking up their devices at the store, local store reps will be calling to let you know when it's available for pickup.
Will I have to wait in the same long line as everyone who didn't preorder a phone? No, if you've placed a preorder to be picked up in store, there will be a separate line for you to stand in--you won't have to wait behind people who haven't reserved one ahead of time.… Read more
The iPhone 4 got a timely teardown from iFixit on Tuesday night, confirming that it integrates 512MB of RAM and a new battery connection scheme and revealing the accelerometer/gyroscope hardware, among other things.
Here's a brief overview of what iFixit found in its initial teardown of Apple's newest phone:
Battery: The inside real estate is dominated by the battery. The 3.7V 1420 mAh Li-Polymer battery allows for up to seven hours of talk time on 3G or up to 14 hours on 2G. "It's pretty apparent that real estate was very limited inside the iPhone 4's 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm footprint," iFixit wrote. Antenna connector is on the back of the rear case cover.
Battery Connector: "The battery can be easily removed once the back panel assembly is out of the way," according to iFixit. The battery connector is different than the one in the 3G and 3GS: it is not soldered to the logic board.… Read more
I like Google Voice, I really do. But now that the search giant has thrown open the gates to make Google Voice free for anyone in the U.S., many more people will get the opportunity to pick and praise.
After all, it was Google's multipronged voice service for forwarding phone numbers, sending free text messages, transcribing voice mail, and making voice messages accessible online that recently got me out of a bind with a broken phone.
Still, there are persistent foibles in the less-than-perfect service that Google bought a scant three years ago when it was still called GrandCentral. The call-block, listening-in, and call-forwarding features are great, and visual voice mail is and has been a plus. But inconsistencies, especially with the computer-aided transcription of voice mail messages and with phone number mess-ups in the Google Voice mobile apps, have continuously disappointed.
We overlooked some drawbacks in the name of a free service that has essentially been in closed beta since 2007, and therefore subject to a little leeway, but all that is about to change now that it's open season. Google Voice already had more than a million subscribers while it was still in invite-only private mode, and I suspect millions more callers will be less forgiving once the thrill of accessing another hot Google service wears off.
Consumer pressure will surely cause Google to throw more resources at the system's holes, and also give it an opportunity to monetize by adding more targeted advertising, planning waves of premium features for consumers, and selling corporate plans to companies managing a mobile workforce. I welcome the compliments and critiques that will hopefully lead to the changes, and Google should too.
So if you're listening, Google, here's my list of the top four features missing in today's Google Voice.… Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--The iPhone 4 won't officially show up in stores until Thursday, but as has become a tradition, some of the more eager have gotten in line days ahead of time.
Chris Bank, 24, camped out in a tent with a friend on Stockton Street Monday night in order to secure the first two spaces in line. He says he's never waited in line before for any gadget, but that this iPhone release is special. "I'm finally switching!" he said Tuesday, holding up his BlackBerry.
Bank is trying to gather as much attention as he … Read more
"Xmas has come early because my #iPhone4 just arrived," Gil Cabrera wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
He was one of the few already reporting that their new iPhones are arriving via FedEx two days earlier than planned.
The earliest iPhone 4 preorders were supposed to arrive Thursday, the first day the device is available to the general public. Earlier it was reported that some Apple customers have begun receiving notification that their iPhone 4 may arrive a day early, Wednesday. But some have clearly started arriving even earlier than that.
I updated my iPhone 3G to the new iOS 4.0 as soon as it became available this morning, so was able to avoid the four-hour download times reported by CNET's Josh Lowensohn. It's definitely a worthwhile update--the improvements to e-mail alone are worth the two hours it took me to download and install the package. But it doesn't do much new for music playback.
I've noticed two minor improvements. First, it's now possible to create a playlist directly on the phone; before, you had to create playlists in iTunes on your computer, then sync … Read more
Eager to get your hands on the latest and greatest version of Apple's iOS for your iPhone or iPod Touch? Apparently you're not alone, as CNET readers, Twitter users, and our own staff members have been experiencing heavily extended download times, as well as download failures on the software update.
For this reporter, the start-to-finish time to grab Apple's 378MB iOS 4 firmware update (which is one of Apple's biggest yet) was estimated at 4 hours and 29 minutes, averaging 20KB to 30KB downloaded per second. It also had to be restarted twice, due to connection … Read more
Apple's iOS 4 was released today ahead of the launch of the iPhone 4, which becomes available June 24. iPhone users can update to the latest OS via iTunes, but some features will not be available for the iPhone 3G and the update is not available at all for the original iPhone. iOS 4 will not be available on the iPad until this fall.
Apple says there are more than 100 new features in iOS 4, but the most notable tweaks include multitasking, with handy controls for switching apps; home screen folders that you can name by category for … Read more