woikr clarifies: Allegations on the iPhone 3G in India (Chain Mail)

A chain mail has been doing some rounds in every one’s mailbox here in India. There are a lot of allegations on the new iPhone 3G available now through Vodafone and Bharti Airtel. Some true some false; woikr clarifies these allegations for you.

1. No A2DP on Bluetooth, can’t share any (mp3, images) files via bluetooth

True. However, Bluetooth hardware is there which is used for Bluetooth headset but no one has yet implemented the above stuff as it has full fledged email.

2. Can’t use as a wireless modem, (you pay ridiculous data charges to activate internet on your phone, but cannot connect it to your PC and browse when you are at home)

False. There’s an app called “NetShare” to do this. This, like on other phones, will discharges the battery very fast. Anyhow, Mobile Safari works great by itself. We recommend you to limit EDGE/3G  browsing to Mobile Safari.

3. No copy and paste (cannot copy a part of a…. say…. email & send it…. have to type it out yourself)

True. But there’s nothing limiting this phone from allowing this – it’s just its not top priority for Apple right now. And we think that’s stupid on Apple’s part. Anyhow, there’s a new framework called as OpenClip for this.

4. No 3.2 or 5 megapixel camera (the 2MP camera it carries is worst camera I’ve ever seen….. photos look like they have come out of a VGA camera)

The 2 MP camera is not that bad. It isn’t just perfect as it lacks flash and zoom. The images aren’t at all bad if taken in proper lightning. Check out some images we took in a cricket match at night.

Victory lights

Sun is overrated

Meanwhile, did you know, its the most popular cameraphone on flickr!

5. No video recording with camera

True. There is an app available in Cydia called Video Recorder, it’s paid, but records limited length videos in the trial version too. Also, there are apps like Qik, Flixwagon –  which provide live video streaming. These apps are not yet available on App Store because of Apple’s stun silence on video applications for now.

6. No front camera

This is something we agree, but how many of us video conference on our mobile phones ?

7. No JAVA support

False. There are apps in Cydia – Java/iPhone, JamVM and Jikes that work as Java interpreters. Also, we are hoping that Sun and Apple work together to get us a proper Java version. After all, iPhone’s hardware is more than suitable to run Java.

8. No physical keyboard (BELIEVE me! this alone is a deal breaker… touch keyboard as good as it looks… once you use it then only you come to know about the importance of having a hard keypad)

Believe us! This is the best way to do it. What if a country wants its own version of keyboard. Say a keyboard in Hindi? Will they remove the hard keyboard? With a soft keyboard, all you need to do is display different characters on the keys. Check this example for Japanese keyboard.

Japanese Keyboard

Japanese Keyboard

Did you know Apple supports handwriting recognition for Chinese? Check it out, it’s pretty nice!

Chinese Handwriting recognition

Chinese Handwriting recognition

9. No 3G network yet in India .. so why pay for expensive 3G phone if you cant use its 3G services .. so, for India , iPhone 2.0 is no better than its first version

True. However, do not expect blazingly fast speed with 3G in India. We all know that EDGE is here for namesake only. Woikr recommends Wifi it is the best way to browse net on the phone. The same goes for other Wifi phones.
Plus, iPhone 3G might drive the operators and TRAI to speed up the process for 3G launch in India as this is the first phone with the word “3G” in its name. Till now, many people who bought Nokia N95s  and other 3G phones did not know that they are 3G capable.

10. No removable battery. (You cannot change battery. Have to send it to apple outlet.. Come on now!!!!…This is not an iPod. Its a bloody phone. You cannot live without phone for 2-3 days)

True. The only plus point is that like iPod’s battery replacement, there are chances that you get a a new phone when you submit it for battery replacement ;-). Now who doesn’t want a new phone?
Additionally , the iPhone 3G has visible screws, this should not be a problem to replace. Apple service is good at such things.
Although, we still agree Apple has no reason to not allow us from changing batteries.

11. Cannot send MMS

False. There are MMS applications available on Cydia and Installer.

12. Can’t use as external storage device (16 GB of utter waste.. next time you go to your friend’s house & find some interesting songs, movies etc… sorry you cannot connect your ’16 GB’ phone and share it!!!! Apple apparently has a solution.. ” BUY MUSIC & MOVIES FROM iTUNES STORE “….. Give me a break will you APPLE!!!)

True and False. There’s an app called as diskAid to do this. However, the songs and videos you copy on your iPhone using this tool will not be available in the iPod app on the phone. You will will need to transfer hem through iTunes.
There have been enough debates about drag and drop media functionality on Apple products. They just do not listen. Probably they don’t want us to do it that way.

13. No FM radio

True. However, there are Internet Radio apps. Flytunes. They have Indian channels as well. Works pretty well over EDGE. Will surely work fine over 3G. Awesome if you have wifi.

14. Can’t use your mp3 files as ringtones (This is heights man!!!)

False. You can use the apps like “Ringtones” to do this on the iPhone or u can use iTunes to create ringtones. There are numerous desktop apps to convert mp3s to ringtones. And the process is pretty simple too!

15. Cannot insert any other operator’s SIM card

True. And at INR 31000, we do expect this option.

16. Completely tied to iTunes… Connect to your friend’s iTunes & you risk erasing everything on your phone.

False. You just need to configure it properly. Also, you can now authorize your phone at 5 locations using the App Store id – that way u wont erase every thing.

17. We Indians are used to these features. Most of our phones already have these features. & we cannot do with out them…. i mean can you imagine paying so much for a phone with which you cannot transfer files via bluetooth. what age is this …STONE AGE???

False. Ever heard of email? Go see how clumsy email is on other so called smart phones.

18. Some features may be activated by jailbreak.. But why the hell should you risk losing your warranty after paying so much.
And want to add third party software??.. YOU HAVE TO BUY THEM FROM iTUNES STORE ONLY!!! . (Shell out more money). Apple is a bloody control freak. Dont surrender your freedom to it.

False. App store is one of the best things that happened to the mobile market. Plus, there are tons of free (useful and entertaining apps and games). Stop whining, Grow up.

19. Its good for American market (who have no idea what mobile freedom/choice is) which is in stone age compared to Asian/European markets. When they want to buy a phone, they have to go to network operators and buy only those phones that are available on that network & stick to that company till their contract expires. You want to change carriers? Not before paying damages, & buying another phone on the other network again.

False. There’s no contract, there would be some nominal charges to be paid to get you iPhone unlocked officially. These details are not released yet.
And please, stone age! You are talking about cellular plans here, not technology :-)

20. On the contrary, we in India have so much freedom. We go to handset shops & buy which ever phone we like. Then go to carriers.. checkout the plans & buy SIM. Don’t like the plan or rival carrier came up with a better plan???? EASY .. just remove & replace the SIM.
Apple is trying to IMPOSE THEIR MODEL ON US riding on the hype iPhone has created in the US (yes it was a flop in Europe
. That’s why Apple never talks about its sales in Europe ).

False. These have been in existence pre-Apple mobile domination. Its the Mobile service providers who are doing this, not Apple.

21. Don’t fall for the subsidized price of iPhone… CHECKOUT THE DATA PLAN ATTACHED TO ITS SIM.. they will recover the cost through ridiculous data plans. Bill might come to around Rs 2500/month.(AT LEAST AMERICANS PAY THAT MUCH)
Let me clear one thing though.. iPhone is the best looking phone (its touch interface is nothing like you have ever seen ) & best browsing experience out there no doubt …. (& others are fast catching up.. check out the android demo at Google
IO 2008)…. BUT AFTER A FEW DAYS IT ALL COMES DOWN TO FUNCTIONALITY…

Not sure what’s the point here.
But yea, Android looks good. However, there’s no handset as of yet. Let’s wait and watch.

22. The list goes on & on & on….

Can you order a copy for us please :-)

23. Those of you who buy it… You will be most happy for at most a week… & then, MARK MY WORDS…YOU WILL START REGRETTING IT!!!
My advice… WAIT FOR HTC DREAM!! (powered by android). Still not convinced by then…by all means go for iPhone…
So friends lets spread this info to all our friends and help them in making a wise decision….. & those of you who have bought unlocked versions already please share your experiences with others.

False. We at woikr have been using the iPhone for almost a year now and we love it. We can’t imagine spending a day without it.

But then, we are geeks. One thing we can say is that we are yet to see a single person who saw the iPhone in our hands and said, “Yikes, this sucks!”. Most of them actually added themselves to the long queue of prospective buyers :-)

The only real issue we have is the extremely high price. And we hate Vodafone, Airtel and Apple for doing this to us Indian fans.

PS: We hope you don’t think woikr is an iPhone news site. It’s just the iPhone fever :-)

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Comments

22 Responses to this post

  1. Amritash says:

    Bravo,, superb clarifications..

    this could move aleast some %age of people saying 'No' to iphone3G on todays TOI pole to 'YES'.

  2. Ashish says:

    Good work.

    This article is truly enlightening !!!

  3. Chirag says:

    @Ashish & Amritash: Thanks :-)

  4. Sherry says:

    Simply ENLIGHTENING guys… True to your slogan …

    I would say … "Because you guys can"… Keep the info flowing…

  5. s k reddy says:

    reasonable clarifications…do help me a lot..many ppl ( esp..my cousins) ask me abt these things and make me dumb..now i can hit them back..

    nice work chiku..keep going.success will be a step nearer to u..

  6. Mohit says:

    hmm woikr digging its way thru…good goin geeks :)

    u got it from US…so its okay for u…in india shelling out 31k for a phone is like giving out 20k for a watch :)

  7. Swaroop says:

    Thanks Sherry, Reddy and Mohit,

    your comments really appreciated :)

  8. Pat says:

    Hi,

    That was a kick ass review for every misconception…

    But it seems that you strongly suggest to use Cydia…

    But Cydia is not for a novice users. Another problem using Cydia is ,

    when ever apple releases a new firmware. you have to wait for the team to confirm if it works with cydia…

    and its buggy…. its almost like you can be screwed at a crtical movement by ur iphone hanging and you should be (At times , restart it in DFU mode.)

  9. Chirag says:

    Thanks Pat!

    We actually upgraded to 2.0 recently and found Cydia a lot better than Installer.app. I guess that unwillingly reflected in the article :-)

    We haven't seen any bugs from Cydia as of now, but issues like "restart it in DFU mode" are really scary! I hope they clear out the bugs gradually.

    Anyhow, for any beginner/non-geeky user, Apple App Store is awesome. We all@woikr like it even more than Ubuntu/Synaptic/apt-get combination. And that's not an easy combination to beat :-)

  10. Pratik says:

    Cool information guys…I know this phone is awesome.. and your clarifications make this even more sure…. but do you guys think the price of this thing will go down in the near future…maybe something aroung 20k..I really want to buy one.. but recently i have lost my communicator.. so can't shell out much on phone..

  11. Raj Mohanty says:

    Great Work. !!!

    Cannot agree with the point no. 23.

    Its an amazing experience to own one !!!

    Has anyone got a chance to lay there hands on the new iPhone 3G. Heard it has a plastic body. How is it comapred to the older metal one? pros and cons?

    The pricing in India is absurd. But then it makes iPhone quite unreachable for the most, and thats good news for those who already own one .. :)

  12. Setu says:

    @Pratik –

    We cannot say much about the price drop. This is because Airtel and Vodafone are both offering the iPhone 3G at exactly the same price. This probably means that they both sat together and decided on the absurd price. They might also have agreed not to lower the price without consulting with each other.

    The only driver to lower the price in India is competition. Which does not seem to be present in this case.

    So we really cannot say anything. Let's wait and watch.

  13. Setu says:

    @Raj –

    The plastic body helps improve the signal reception as plastic does not interfere with GSM signals. The previous model had aluminum back which caused interference thereby lowering the signal strength for the device.

    Additionally, the new one has a curved back bulging out in the middle. Thus making it more easy to hold the phone. However, you wouldn't be able to keep it flat on a table.

  14. Rajesh says:

    #No support for flash player. We cant watch all youtube videos??

    True. Iphone does not support flash player. There are few thousand videos in youtube that are compatible with iphone.

  15. Manoj says:

    Folks in US claim iphone uses faulty substandard 3G chip?

    This is claim. However iphone uses infineon chip which No.3 in 3g chip maker. Texas instrument and Qualcom are 1 and 2. owns 37% & 34% market share. Well why we should worry, we dont have 3g. Thank you Airtel and Vodaphone

  16. Manoj says:

    I dont agree with justification by you to point No.3. Wifi has limited coverage and wifi can be locked there are few open wifi. It totally defeats idea of internet connectivity on the go!!!

  17. Manoj says:

    In my last point I was referring to point no.9. I may sound paranoid. But Can some one explain to me why one should pay a premium for the service that does not exist? in this case 3G. And why so much hype created by carriers about 3G in India, when it is non-existent. Are we so stupid? I think customer deserves better service for what he pays!

  18. Setu@woikr says:

    @Manoj –

    We completely agree with your premise. What we meant by recommending wifi over 3G or EDGE was that you should prefer to use wifi at your home or office to access the internet on your iPhone.

    If you need internet on the go, EDGE will satisfy most of your needs like Push/Fetch email, Google Reader, AppStore, Maps and seldom visits to websites. And of course, we hope that when 3G launches in India, the speed is better than EDGE.

    Regarding your point around the premium you must pay for a 3G phone when there is no 3G highway in India – Look at Nokia smart phones or Blackberries. Most of them are 3G capable. Its just that Apple is using the "3G" term as a USP for a mobile phone for the first time :).

  19. cyril says:

    good article brother!

    well written…. :)

  20. daksh says:

    theres the new 3gs now change it

  21. […] Paste – This was one of the most talked about feature of all time. Users have been cribbing about not having copy paste this for a while now. But the recent availability of hClipboard and Clippy fpr jailbroken iPhones […]

  22. abhishek says:

    this blog has covered all the ?s tht every1 had. yeah true apple is a bit stringent towards their policy but there are many other positive sides to it. it completely overshadows the boundaries tht they have set. i gve a thumps up to iphone…

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