iPhone Questions

To go along with my hits and misses, I have a few iPhone questions that haven't been fully answered yet.

  • Will it be locked down? - Some articles say you can't run your own apps. Some might read in to the statements with a little more hope for loading their own code on their iPhone. From the NY Times article
    “These are devices that need to work, and you can’t do that if you load any software on them,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn’t mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment.”

    I see hope in the Widgets. The phone appears to run the same Widgets from the desktop. I'm hoping that Dashcode isn't just for the desktop and will be the vehicle for custom development on the iPhone.

  • Is the battery removable? - Most likely, not, and I'm ok with that, but I've talked to some folks that say there is no way they'd get one if it didn't have a second battery option.

  • Full use Bluetooth? - Bluetooth headsets are a given. Apple is releasing their own, which is curious. Are they doing this to embed some simpler pairing or did they see an opportunity to design a nice headset. Personally, I think there are quite a few nice headsets on the market. They will have a tough time besting those already in the market. Apple has yet to post any details about their headset. I'm hoping they do that soon.

    Beyond headsets, what will we get? A2DP? Dial-up networking? HID? Object push? If A2DP is in there, I think I'll have to buy one, whether or not I want to use the phone portion (more on that in another question). A2DP would also allow for cleaner music sending and control without goofy solutions. Dial-up networking would sure make the data plan worth having. Apple has great Bluetooth networking support in OS X. Macbook + data enabled iPhone = high degree of connectibility. HID would shut up all of the folks that have to have plastic keys to be happy typing. I'd expect mini thumb boards and sewn-in keyboards to show up in droves. Object push would let you make use of that 4/8 GB of flash and get your pictures off without a cable. If it were Apple alone, I think all of this would work. Since this is a phone, I'm more concerned that the carriers will have a hand in blocking some of these features, as they've done in the past.

  • Can you buy one without a contract? - Some folks are saying yes because they will be for sale in Apple stores. I don't think that means a darn thing. I'm pretty sure you'll be forced to buy a contract, even though the pricepoint seems to be an unsubsidized price. That's Cingular's payoff for keeping the secret, developing the back end for visual voicemail and generally relaxing their requirements to let Apple do what they want to do with a phone on their network. If the contract is required, I predict tons of cheap iPhones on eBay 2 years from June. People go through phones like bread. "Ohh, you have a RAZR? That's so stale. The KRZR is where it's at, doof!" If Apple doesn't follow on with non-phone widescreen touch iPods, then the used iPhone market is going to be jumping for those that don't care about the phone and just want the rest.

  • Can you use it without a SIM? - I think it would be suicide to disable the device if it had no SIM, but who knows when you get mobile carriers involved. I guess we'll see.

  • Can you send music wirelessly? - We all know the Zune can squirt, but will the iPhone? Will you be able to send non-DRM'd files over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or is that part of the no wireless synching that I've heard? Will you be able to send DRM'd music? I can see myself dropping an album or two on a friends computer or work computer to listen with the connected speakers. You auth that machine so it can play that content and then de-auth it when you leave. That's within the bounds of the DRM, as long as you can get the files off of the phone.

Do you have any links to help answer these questions? Leave a link in the comments.

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