Thursday, February 4, 2010

Apple Iphone

The iPhone 4 is the fourth generation of iPhone, and successor to the iPhone 3GS. Introduced on June 7, 2010 at the WWDC 2010 at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, it is the first device to support FaceTime, Apple’s video calling application. It has an Apple A4 processor, 512 MB of eDRAM, a 3.5 inches (89 mm) LED backlit liquid crystal display with 960-by-640 pixel resolution, and the iOS 4 operating system…
Verizon Wireless will begin selling Apple's iPhone 4 in the next couple weeks, but the carrier also offers a wide array of Android, RIM BlackBerry, and other smartphones. Here's how they stack up against Apple's latest offering.

A series of articles have looked at how Apple's iPhone 4 stacks up against other smartphones, principally those running Google's Android OS. As the largest Android carrier in the US, Verizon's new ability to sell Apple's iPhone 4 threatens to shake up the smartphone business and dramatically change the options subscribers have available to them.

Verizon's phone comparison website, built in Adobe Flash, doesn't make it very easy to see how its dozens of phones compare in features and price. While the company's offers differ slightly among regions of the country, this general overview shows what options shoppers have among the carrier's offerings.

In 2009, Verizon's smartphones were almost entirely BlackBerry models; reportedly 95%, according to analyst sales data. Starting at the end of 2009 however, Verizon bet big on Android, unleashing a "Droid" branded ad campaign that helped shift its smartphone mix decidedly toward Android, resulting in less than 20% of its smartphone subscribers sticking with BlackBerry devices thoughout 2010, with most of the balance jumping to Android.

Verizon's Android offerings

One of the biggest winners of Verizon's Android push was Motorola, which made the original Droid and now makes the more modern Droid X, Droid Pro, Droid 2, the StarWars branded Droid R2D2, as well as the low end Devour and Citrus smartphones.

Another initial partner in Verizon's Droid push was HTC, a former Windows Mobile licensee that embraced Google's new Android platform from the beginning. Last year, Verizon sold HTC's Droid Eris, which has now been replaced by the HTC Droid Incredible.

A more recent beneficiary of Verizon's Android push is Samsung, which recently introduced the Samsung Fascinate and Continuum (both versions of the Galaxy S), as well as the Galaxy Tab, an oversized "tweener" smartphone-like device lacking mobile phone connectivity apart from 3G data, SMS, and WiFi, which is offered as an alternative to Apple's iPad or iPod touch.

Verizon also sells LG's Android-based Vortex and Ally (although the former is currently out of stock). Android models change so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with what the different names and models mean in terms of features and performance. Unlike the iPhone, which is refreshed every summer with a newer, faster model, Android phones ship from a variety of makers on different schedules, and not all new phones are better and faster.

A variety of new Android models are introduced as low end models with lagging performance and old software, and many are simply not upgradable to the latest version of Android, something that's impossible to find out at the time you buy the device.

Verizon's other smartphones

Most of LG's Verizon smartphone offerings are not Android-based and instead use LG's own embedded OS (including the enV Touch) or use Microsoft's now discontinued Windows Mobile 6.x (such as the LG Fathom).

Verizon currently does not carry any Windows Phone 7 devices, but does still offer the related, dead-end Microsoft Kin. Verizon also offers the low end HTC Ozone, which is also a Windows Mobile 6.x device.

Among BlackBerry phones, Verizon offers the Curve and Bold, both button-oriented devices, and Storm 2, an iPhone-like touch screen model. Verizon also offers HP's Palm webOS-based Pixi Plus, which mixes a touch screen with a small keyboard.

How Verizon compares as a smartphone carrier

Upon closer examination, it's not hard to see why Verizon was willing to make sacrifices to get iPhone 4. Two of its four smartphone platforms are essentially on extended life support (the waning webOS and the outdated Windows Mobile 6.x). The carrier's former star platform, while recently updated to BlackBerry OS 6, simply hasn't kept pace with the iPhone and Android and instead offers features closer to 2008's iPhone OS 2.0. However, despite a strong marketing push behind Android in 2010, Verizon's Android offerings aren't looking very competitive.

Among other things, no Android model Verizon currently carries offers a front facing camera suited to making video calls. That will make iPhone 4 and its FaceTime video calling a key new feature for the carrier to promote. Verizon has not yet made public whether it will support FaceTime calls over 3G however; AT&T does not, restricting video calls to WiFi. Front facing cameras are available on Android devices on other US carriers, including Sprint's HTC EVO Shift 4G and Samsung Epic 4G.

Verizon's Android offerings are also overshadowed by much faster devices on the new Sprint and T-Mobile networks. Sprint's HTC EVO Shift 4G takes advantage of that carrier's fast (but sparsely available) Clearwire WiMAX service offering download speeds of about 3-6Mbps and peaking to 10Mbps, while T-Mobile's new Samsung Vibrant 4G will take advantage of that carrier's fledgling new HSPA+ service to deliver blazing fast downloads at up to 21Mbps, among the fastest wireless networks in the world.

Verizon debuted its own "4G" branded LTE network last month, and introduced a series of new Android smartphones that will take advantage of it in the second half of this year, but for now its fast data network is only available as a WWAN service for notebooks and MiFi personal hotspot devices. Verizon needs a good smartphone now, and all it has to offer is its robust but relatively slow CDMA EVDO network, which delivers closer to 1Mbps downloads.

That's not very fast by any standard, but it is considered to be very reliable, widely available in terms of coverage, and capable of supporting tethering and unlimited data use by users (features AT&T doesn't offer). When trading reliability for fast spots of service, it's only easy to opt for the faster network if you happen to live and work in places where it's available.

AT&T's 3G network is also faster than than Verizon's, but again only if you're lucky enough to be in range of its best service areas. For many iPhone users in rural or dense urban areas, particularly New York and San Francisco, Verizon simply offers better overall service. Users who want faster data downloads than Verizon provides can do what AT&T users already do: simply rely on WiFi for data at work and home.

How Verizon's smartphones stack up

Every smartphone is only as good as its carrier, and vice versa. In fact, how well a smartphone works compared to other models depends upon the sum of a stack of interrelated features, rather than simply a hardware specification comparison.

These factors include the hardware features of the device itself, the features and usability of its core software (including its operating system and web browser), the availability and quality of its third party apps, its usability in terms of media (music, movies, photos and other content), and how well the device works on a given network (a factor that includes issues such as speed caps, bandwidth limits, software updates, installation of junkware, pricing and ability to roam on other networks).

The last time AppleInsider compared smartphone hardware six months ago, we pitted the then-new iPhone 4 against four popular Android models from a variety of US carriers (summary below). This time, we'll focus on Verizon itself, with the largely unchanged iPhone 4 taking on Verizon's existing Android, BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Phone devices.


iPod is a portable media player designed and marketed by Apple and launched on October 23, 2001. The product line-up currently consists of the hard drive-based iPod Classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, the compact iPod Nano, and the ultra-compact iPod Shuffle. iPod Classic models store media on an internal hard drive, while all other models use flash memory to enable their smaller size (the discontinued Mini used a Microdrive miniature hard drive). As with many other digital music players, iPods can also serve as external data storage devices. Storage capacity varies by model, ranging from 2 GB for the iPod Shuffle to 160 GB for the iPod Classic. All of the models have been redesigned multiple times since their introduction. The most recent iPod redesigns were introduced on September 1, 2010.
Apple's iTunes software can be used to transfer music to the devices from computers using certain versions of Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems. For users who choose not to use iTunes or whose computers cannot run iTunes, several open source alternatives are available for the iPod. iTunes and its alternatives may also transfer photos, videos, games, contact information, e-mail settings, Web bookmarks, and calendars to iPod models supporting those features.
The iPod branding is also used for the media player applications included with the iPhone and iPad; the iPhone version is essentially a combination of the Music and Videos apps on the iPod Touch. Both devices can therefore function as iPods, but they are generally treated as separate products.
Discontinued models of the line include the iPod Mini and the iPod Photo, the former being replaced by the iPod Nano, and the latter reintegrated into the main line as the iPod Classic.

Black Berry Mobiles

BlackBerry is a line of mobile e-mail and smartphone devices developed and designed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) since 1999.
BlackBerry functions as a personal digital assistant with address book, calendar, memopad and task list capabilities. It also functions as a portable media player with support for music and video playback and camera and video capabilities. BlackBerry is primarily known for its ability to send and receive (push) Internet e-mail wherever mobile network service coverage is present, or through Wi-Fi connectivity. BlackBerry has the ability to use wireless data efficiently while using less power than other phones, three BlackBerrys use the same wireless spectrum as only one other smartphone. BlackBerry is a powerful messaging phone with a large array of messaging features in a smartphone today, including auto-text, auto-correct, text prediction, support for many languages, keyboard shortcuts, text emoticons, push email, push Facebook, Twitter and Myspace notifications, push Ebay notifications, push instant messaging with BlackBerry Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messanger and Yahoo Messenger; threaded text messaging and a customizable indicator light near the top right of all BlackBerry devices. All notifications and conversations from applications are shown in a unified messaging application which third party applications can access. BlackBerry's push gives BlackBerry devices a long battery life. All data on the phone is compressed through BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).
According to him, Blackberry Storm 2 (it’s not yet decided if that is it’s trade name) will come to market (in Netherlands) at the end of this year or beginning of 2010. It will lose carrier exclusivity at least in Netherlands and will be available to KPN subscribers. (Original Storm was exclusive to Vodafone). And it will address the biggest problem many Blackberry fans had with original Storm – bad experiences typing on clickable touchscreen – by offering a “new way of typing”.
My guess here is that Storm 2 will add a slide out QWERTY keyboard to a full touchscreen device.
Another interesting tidbit revealed by Mr. de Banchet was that Blackberry will take a breather from releasing any new additional phone models in 2009:


Nokia Corporation (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈnɔkiɑ]) (OMX: NOK1V, NYSE: NOK, FWB: NOA3) is a Finnish multinational communications corporation that is headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, a city neighbouring Finland's capital Helsinki. Nokia is engaged in the manufacturing of mobile devices and in converging Internet and communications industries, with over 132,000 employees in 120 countries, sales in more than 150 countries and global annual revenue of over €42 billion and operating profit of €2 billion as of 2010. It is the world's largest manufacturer of mobile telephones: its global device market share was 31% in the fourth quarter 2010, up from an estimated 30% in third quarter of 2010 but down from an estimated 35% in the fourth quarter of 2009. Nokia's estimated share of the converged mobile device market was 31% in the fourth quarter, compared with 38% in the third quarter 2010. Nokia produces mobile devices for every major market segment and protocol, including GSM, CDMA, and W-CDMA (UMTS). Nokia offers Internet services such as applications, games, music, maps, media and messaging through its Ovi platform. Nokia's subsidiary Nokia Siemens Networks produces telecommunications network equipment, solutions and services. Nokia is also engaged in providing free digital map information and navigation services through its wholly-owned subsidiary Navteq.
Nokia has sites for research and development, manufacture and sales in many countries throughout the world. As of December 2010, Nokia had R&D presence in 16 countries and employed 35,870 people in research and development, representing approximately 27% of the group's total workforce. The Nokia Research Center, founded in 1986, is Nokia's industrial research unit consisting of about 500 researchers, engineers and scientists. It has sites in seven countries: Finland, China, India, Kenya, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Besides its research centers, in 2001 Nokia founded (and owns) INdT – Nokia Institute of Technology, a R&D institute located in Brazil. Nokia operates a total of 9 manufacturing facilities located at Salo, Finland; Manaus, Brazil; Cluj, Romainia; Beijing and Dongguan , China; Komárom, Hungary; Chennai, India; Reynosa, Mexico; and Masan, South Korea. Nokia's industrial design department is headquartered in Soho in London, England with significant satellite offices in Helsinki, Finland and Calabasas, California in the USA.
Nokia is a public limited liability company listed on the Helsinki, Frankfurt, and New York stock exchanges. Nokia plays a very large role in the economy of Finland; it is by far the largest Finnish company, accounting for about a third of the market capitalization of the Helsinki Stock Exchange (OMX Helsinki) as of 2007, a unique situation for an industrialized country. It is an important employer in Finland and several small companies have grown into large ones as its partners and subcontractors. Nokia increased Finland's GDP by more than 1.5% in 1999 alone. In 2004 Nokia's share of the Finnish GDP was 3.5% and accounted for almost a quarter of Finland's exports in 2003.