Scuff marked iPhone 5 deceptively promo as “finely crafted watch” precision?

Monday, 24 September, 2012

precision you'd expect from a finely crafted watch

iPhone 5 was launched yesterday to the usual Apple products launch frenzy. But already, there have been many iPhone 5 users reported they are having scuff marks right out of the box (brand new).

First of all, I will set the stage by laying out what Apple has claimed in its online marketing and promotional material. And then I will write about one particular Canadian user’s iPhone 5 experiences and what happened to him once he found the “scuff marks” problem and reported it. (note: see set of five scuff marked iPhone 5 photos here plus also posted at end of article) And then I will talk about cases of other users reporting similar problems. At the end, while I am NOT a lawyer I will briefly draw the readers’ attention to Competition Bureau Canada’s online resource “False or Misleading Representations and Deceptive Marketing Practices Under the Competition Act” in case they find they need some help to decide if the Competition Bureau can help.

Apple’s marketing and promotional claims

It is important to note that in Apple’s marketing and promotional page (design) for iPhone 5, Apple is claiming and advertising (emphasis),

“iPhone 5 is made with a level of precision you’d expect from a finely crafted watch – not a smartphone.”

You see, potential iPhone 5 buyers are actually told NOT to expect the level of precision of a smartphone but the of a finely crafted watch! I don’t know about you, but I have yet Read the rest of this entry »

iPhones Tracking questions to Steve Jobs from US Senator Al Franken

Thursday, 21 April, 2011

US Senator Al Franken asks the following questions in an letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs,

1. Why does Apple collect and compile this location data? Why did Apple choose to initiate tracking this data in its iOS 4 operating system?

2. Does Apple collect and compile this location data for laptops?

3. How is this data generated? (GPS, cell tower triangulation, WiFi triangulation, etc.)

4. How frequently is a user’s location recorded? What triggers the creation of a record of someone’s location?

5. How precise is this location data? Can it track a user’s location to 50 meters, 100 meters, etc.?

6. Why is this data not encrypted? What steps will Apple take to encrypt this data?

7. Why were Apple consumers never affirmatively informed of the collection and retention of their location data in this manner? Why did Apple not seek affirmative consent before doing so?

8. Does Apple believe that this conduct is permissible under the terms of its privacy policy? See Apple Privacy Policy at “Location-Based Services” (accessed on April 20, 2011), available at

9. To whom, if anyone, including Apple, has this data been disclosed? When and why were these disclosures made?

[HT Information Week “iPhone Tracking Only Tip Of Security Iceberg”]

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese speech-to-speech translation app

Saturday, 5 March, 2011

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation - Pix 2

What is Jibbigo?

Jibbigo is a “speech-to-speech translation app for your mobile device. You talk in one language, it talks back in the other. […] No data charges required–just your voice. Jibbigo is available in eight different language pairs on iTunes and the Android Market.

Apple iPad app:  “Jibbigo ” (link to iTune)

Price: US$ 24.99

Star rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

*** Background ***

Machine translation is a very difficult problem even for desktop/large computers. I see translation in three levels of difficulties, beginning with the hard problem of text-to-text translation, then speech-to-text translation, and the toughest one is speech-to-speech translation (the one Jibbigo tries to do). Why? Because speech-to-speech translation requires,

1) the original (e.g. English/Chinese) human voice be recognized and converted correctly into (English/Chinese) text;

2) the translation of recognized text into target language text (Chinese/English) be performed correctly (very hard in itself); and

3) the translated target text being read out in the target language correctly (should be easier but not always as you will see here).

I’ve spent days and many hours testing and exploring the Jibbigo iPad app (feeling like testing software in one of my previous jobs). The following is my review plus an edited video highlighting some of the tests I’ve conducted.

*** The Good/OK ***

* Translation of simple greetings (“Good morning.”, “Good Afternoon.” etc) were done correctly most of the time.

* Some simple English sentences were picked up and translated to Chinese correctly.

(e.g. “How much?” ==> “多少钱?”; “How about two million five hundred thousand dollars?” was translated to “2500000美元怎样?” (note: ; 2500000 was read as 2 million, 500 thousands); “Do you have orange juice?” ==> “有橙汁吗?”; “I live in Canada.” ==> “我住在加拿大。”)

* Jibbigo allows user to enter names and their Chinese translations. For example, I entered my name Kempton and my name in Chinese. Jibbigo was able to recognize my name “Kempton” in English and translated it to Chinese. Unfortunately, Jibbigo failed to pronounce my Chinese name correctly. More on this in the next section.

* Some simple sentences were translated somewhat correctly.

(e.g. “What time do I need to get up in the morning?” was translated to “我想要什么时候起床?” The translation missed the word “morning” “早晨/早上” and confused “need to” with “想要” (the word for “wish to”).

“Where can I rent a car?” was translated to “我在哪能租车吗?” . This Chinese translation is understandable but a better one may be “我在哪里可以租到车?” since the “吗” at the end is not really necessary. And being the picky me, I think “哪里可以” is stylistically better than “哪能”.

* To “protect” the user :), Jibbigo won’t display or translate profanities. So if you said “F*ck off!”, the Jibbigo will show it detected/picked up “<beep> off.” and actually create a beep and display “<beep>.” instead of doing any Chinese translation!

*** The Bad/Not-so-good ***

* The simple sentence of “Do you have steak?” was translated to the non-sensical “你有排怎么做?” instead of the correct one of “你有牛排吗?”.

“I am having steak for dinner.” was incorrectly translated to “我的牛排吗。”, missing the word/idea of “dinner” and adding the question word “吗” for no good reason. A better translation may be “我的晚餐是牛排。” or  “我吃牛排晚餐。”

* “The machine part number is 123456789.” was translated to “这个机器号码是123456789分。” The last word “分” is not needed and indeed confusing and misleading.

* “How much is your machine?” was badly translated to “你是多少钱?” meaning “How much are YOU?” Jibbigo missed the important word of “machine”. A better translation is “你的机器是多少钱?”

* “I need it next month.” was incorrectly translated to “我需要它。” missing the translation for “next month”. A better translation may be “我下个月需要它。”

* I think this one may be tough but important to crack. Jibbigo has problems with proper nouns. e.g. “China Airlines.” was translated to “中国航空公司。” when the proper Chinese name for this Taiwan-based airline is “中華航空公司”. Imagine, someone at the airport trying to fly “中国航空公司” and being told there is no such airline!

“How about two million Canadian dollars?” was badly translated to “加2500000美元吗?”, misplacing the word “加” (for Canada?) and missing the fact that it is “Canadian dollars” and not US dollars “美元”. The correct translation should be “2500000加元怎样?”

* When the Chinese tester said hello and her Chinese name (which was entered into Jibbigo), the app picked up, “你好。我交换怀孕。” and translated the words to, “Hello. I am exchange.” Jibbigo goofed badly because “交换” and “怀孕” are the words for “exchange” and “pregnant”, very far off from her name!

* “Bee” was translated as “啤酒”, the words for “beer”! The correct Chinese words for bee are “蜜蜂”.

* And for some strange reason, Jibbigo failed to translate the following list of words when they were said individually. “Talk, Speak, Speaking, Love, Month,

*** Software stability problems and errors ***

* When iPad went into sleep/auto-lock mode (I set my iPad to go to sleep in 5 minutes) while Jibbigo is running, it will crash and will fail to record voice/function properly when the iPad is woken up.

*** Concluding comments ***

As a computer geek and someone who wants to see Jibbigo‘s technology working, I am disappointed to find Jibbigo failed to work as advertised. Based on my extensive testing, I cannot recommend Jibbigo. And as one Jibbigo user commented in his review, “I wouldn’t dare use this on a trip for fear of getting laughed at or smacked!“. To be truthful, I don’t think he was being excessively harsh.

I think the Jibbigo English to Chinese translation app development team needs to spend some time in resolving the various translation and stability problems in the current version of the software (Jan 21, 2011, Version 1.12226). I wish the Jibbigo team the best of luck.

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation - Pix 3

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation - Pix 4

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation - Pix 5

P.S. The user can choose one of two language pairs, “English International <==> Chinese” or “English USA/Canada <==> Chinese”, I picked Canadian English.

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation

“Nokia, our platform is burning.”

Wednesday, 9 February, 2011

It is rare to see a CEO admit errors and that his/her company is in deep trouble. An excerpt from an internal, but now public, email from Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia (since September 2010),

We too, are standing on a “burning platform,” and we must decide how we are going to change our behaviour.

Over the past few months, I’ve shared with you what I’ve heard from our shareholders, operators, developers, suppliers and from you. Today, I’m going to share what I’ve learned and what I have come to believe.

I have learned that we are standing on a burning platform.

And, we have more than one explosion – we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us.

Will be interesting to see what happen in time.

[HT Wired]


Feb 11, 2011 Update: Too bad, “Nokia unveils Microsoft partnership

iPhone 4 users screwed

Friday, 21 January, 2011

Torstar “Apple tightening the screws on iPhone 4

“Apple stores are replacing screws on iPhone 4s brought for servicing with tamper-proof screws to prevent anyone else from opening the device.

Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, a prominent Apple repair and parts supplier, said the purpose of the new screws is to keep people out of the iPhone and prevent them from replacing the battery. He said he noticed in November that screws were being switched.

“If you took your car in for service and they welded your hood shut, you wouldn’t be very happy”,” he said, comparing it to shutting owners out of their iPhones.”

iFixit, “Apple’s Diabolical Plan to Screw Your iPhone

iFixit, “Apple’s Latest ‘Innovation’ Is Turning Planned Obsolescence Into Planned Failure


Also check out this insightful article about lithium-ion polymer batteries, “Zen and the Art of Battery Life“.

Apple App store peddles stolen Chinese books?

Tuesday, 4 January, 2011

Anyone can submit apps for Apple’s approval in order to be available for sell at Apple App store. Now, I am curious what legal responsibility Apple has in ensuring the sellers actually have the proper rights? In particular, I wonder how does Apple ensure proper copyrights for foreign languages books?

I wonder if Apple simply asks all apps sellers to sign legal documents claiming they have proper legal and copyrights to sell whatever they try to sell and indemnify Apple in the process?

Apple App store peddles stolen Chinese books?

Apple App store peddles stolen Chinese books? (Ni Kuang 倪匡作品全集(简繁体712部))Apple App store peddles stolen Chinese books? (Yi Shu 亦舒小说集200+部(簡繁體))

Ni Kuang (倪匡) and Yi Shu (亦舒) are two famous Chinese authors in Hong Kong and many of their books are still in print and available for sell in bookstores. So it came to me as a big shock and surprise to see a collection of 712 (yes, seven hundred and twelve) of Ni’s books (倪匡作品全集(简繁体712部)) and a 200+ collection of Yi’s books (亦舒小说集200+部(簡繁體)) available for sell for only US$2.99 and $1.99 respectively!!!

Wow, $2.99 for 712 books and $1.99 for 200+ books, what a deal if it is legit?! From what I can gather, Yi’s books collection has been available for purchase at least since a Oct 30, 2010 update. And Ni’s books collection has been available for purchase since Dec 30, 2010.

Both ebook collections are being sold by a seller name “Jingang Chen”. I don’t know if this “Jingang Chen” person has the proper legal rights to sell the books collections or not, I do hope Ni’s and Yi’s authorized publishers can check and confirm if these two book apps are indeed legit.

Hate to see anyone selling stolen copyrighted materials so internationally and so easily.

Joe Weber FlyingWord CEO interview – “Treasure Island” iPad app

Tuesday, 9 November, 2010

FlyingWord - Treasure Island - pix 2

The following are video clips of my Skype video interview with Joe Weber, CEO and co-founder of FlyingWord, to talk about their Treasure Island iPad app based on the classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. (beautifully narrated for about 7 hours)

Also check out my FlyingWord “Treasure Island” iPad app review.

Here are part 1 of my interview with Joe.

Part 2

Part 3

Here is a promotional clip of FlyingWord’s Treasure Island,

iPad app review: FlyingWord’s “Treasure Island”

Tuesday, 9 November, 2010

FlyingWord - Treasure Island - pix 1

The following is a review of the pre-release version of FlyingWord Treasure Island iPad app. And I will post my video interview with Joe Weber, CEO and co-founder of FlyingWord, later.


Apple iPad app: “Treasure Island” by FlyingWord based on the classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Price: $7.99

Launch date: Nov 13, 2010

Promotional clip of FlyingWord’s Treasure Island

Star Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


– Lively and very engaging narration of the original full-length classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. (beautifully narrated for about 7 hours)

– Excellent music and sound effects at the right places.

– Historical original Treasure Island illustrations by N. C. Wyeth and Walter Paget.

– Nicely rendered 2D illustrations into “3D projections”, camera angle controllable by readers. [Note: the 3D here is not real Avatar 3D, but closer to what Ken Burns does with his “layers” of photos in a scene.]

– Some of the pages have objects for readers to play with. For sure to check out the cannon. (These objects have “physics engines” behind them to allow users to move them around.)


– The initial version of the app has a few bugs that I’ve reported to FlyingWord.

-The app has problems waking up from “sleep” or “auto-lock” modes. Narration fails to restart gracefully. In a few instances, waking up after sleep actually tripped the narration and it got stuck in repeating a word/sound.

– If the reader flip to a page where part of the text in the paragraph is in the previous page, the narration will read from the text in the previous page. This result can be very confusing for the readers as they may not know this is the “expected behaviour”. To me, readers may expect when flipping to a new page, the narration will match the text she/he reads on the page.

– Many of the objects are a bit too small and difficult to control.
+ e.g. in the breakfast scene (bottle is ok, but the egg, plate, and sword are difficult to manipulate)
+ in the scene with the apple barrel, the barrel can be easily moved but the apples are not controllable even though the readers will likely spend time to try to move it. It may be more enjoyable if the apples are made bigger and controllable by readers like the barrel.

– This one is technical. Currently, the space outside of the edges of the 2D to 3D projections are blank (set to black space). I think it will look nicer and gives a more immersive experience if the whole background are filled and readers won’t see black space around the edges of the original 2D frames.


As discussed in the Pros section, the narration is lively and very engaging and I really love it. At the same time, the app may have been a bit ambitious in using the full-length original Treasure Island in its launch version. The good news is that an abridged free update will be released in a few weeks after the initial launch. To me, the abridged version with shorter audio (~1.5 hour long) and text will be a nicer fit for kids who will appreciate the physics engines games and 2D-to-3D effects more.

To write this review, I also found and checked out a LibriVox free audio book version of Treasure Island on the app store and it has the original text and the audio is reasonably good but definitely not as exciting/engaging as FlyingWord‘s version.

FlyingWord - Treasure Island - pix 2

Coming Soon

FlyingWord‘s next book is ‘Twas the night before Christmas (tentative price: about $4.99).

Samsung Free Galaxy S gambit v. iPhone 4 – Time to go global?

Sunday, 25 July, 2010

Yes, Guardian has confirmed that Samsung UK started giving out Free Galaxy S phone last Wednesday (July 21) to someone who had a smartphone dilemma (deciding between iPhone 4, Samsung, htc). Will (the above “someone”) even joked about getting famous for getting the free Galaxy S. So far, Will still loves the phone. Another user, Tiffany complained about iPhone 4 dropping calls, and she also received a Galaxy S (and posted a picture) and joked about her celebrity status.

The “calculated” vs “authentic” dilemma

Quoting Guardian, (emphasis added)

“You get the picture, right? Less a “cross section of customers reporting iPhone reception problems,” more of a cherry-picked bunch of digital influencers.”

Using traditional thinking, Samsung UK calculated the cost & benefit, and then picked the “digital influencers” to send the free phones. But reporters are smart, and they can easily identify/cherry-pick “digital influencers” thus making the exercise seem much more “calculated” and less authentic.

Some ideas of how Samsung should proceed on this “campaign” (my current thinking only):

1) I think Samsung should seize on the attention it is getting and turn this UK originated marketing gambit into potentially a global initiative provided the Galaxy S phone is as good as Samsung wants people to think. (note: If the Galaxy S turns out to have various problems of its own, then picking a fight with iPhone 4 is probably a very bad idea.)

2) Assuming 20 Galaxy S phones are handed out in each country (4 phones a week, for 5 weeks, the phones retails at $599 in Canada), I just can’t imagine spending less than $12,000 in Canada to get people to consider the Galaxy S as a first Android challenger to the iPhone 4. The free phones offer sends a strong message to potential users, “we are as good as the iPhone 4”.

3) Again, Galaxy S has to be a really good phone (I don’t know if it is any good) or this gambit will surely come back and bite Samsung.

(Disclosure: I’ve asked to have a Galaxy S phone. :)

July 26 update: Cool, looks like the Samsung Canadian team has heard me. Now, will or I get a Galaxy S? :)

Other news

“Samsung’s dilemma: How to attack its customer (Apple)” – ‘According to iSuppli, Samsung makes three of the most expensive and important parts of the iPhone 4, The processor, the SDRAM and Flash storage’, CNN

Samsung gives free Galaxy S to iPhone whiners“, cNet also confirmed Samsung is not offering the promotion in the United States. I think this is a mistake.

Galaxy Phones From Samsung are Worthy iPhone Rivals“, WSJ’s Walter S. Mossberg

Samsung prepared Galaxy full-line up to compete with Apple“, cNet

Samsung offers free phones to frustrated iPhone users“, Wired

Galaxy S Demo

By the way, check out the following Galaxy S Demo. The Swype technology seems quite neat but I have to try it to see for myself, unfortunately the demo gave a terribly unclear demo of the technology.

July 26th update: Interestingly, the @SamsungMobileCA team has reached out to me. I have written a new blog entry “Samsung Mobile Canada Galaxy S marketing campaign/gambit“.

Apple: removed from “Admired Companies”/Lovemarks list

Monday, 19 July, 2010

Sadly, I am removing Apple from my “Admired Companies”/Lovemarks list. I may still consider buying Apple products in the future but Apple is no longer on my “Admired Companies”/Lovemarks list list and it is definitely not a Lovemark to me anymore.


Removing Apple from list of Admired companies/Lovemarks

Watching Apple’s actions in the recent months (including its app store approval “policies” (note: reversing that one wrong decision didn’t make the fundamental problem go away) and licensing terms “iPhone developer EULA turns programmers into serfs” and “All Your Apps Are Belong to Apple: The iPhone Developer Program License Agreement“), and the final straw of Steve Jobs’ iPhone 4 press conference last Friday (16, July, 2010), I have removed Apple from my list of admired companies (or Lovemarks).


July 25 update: An insightful piece from Guardian “If Apple wants to be a major player it needs to start behaving like one – The iPhone 4 debacle reveals how much Apple has to learn about life at the top”.

Bad iPhone Top Ten – David Letterman

Thursday, 15 July, 2010

iPhone 4 duct taped - pix 1

iPhone 4 duct taped - pix 2

iPhone 4 is not even available in Calgary/Canada yet and it has reached comedian David Letterman’s Top Ten list as a joke (see video). Apple announced on Wednesday they will have a press conference on Friday to talk about the iPhone 4 and today even a US Senator has decided to tell Apple to offer a free antenna fix.

What hurt the most is probably the jokes and damage on Apple’s brand. No brands/lovemarks are invincible.

Duct taped iPhone 4 – Consumer Reports

Monday, 12 July, 2010

July 15 Updates: “It’s Time Apple Fixed the iPhone 4 Antenna Problem” Wired News
Apple Engineer Said to Tell Jobs IPhone Antenna Might Cut Calls” Bloomberg


iPhone 4 duct taped - pix 1

iPhone 4 duct taped - pix 2

iPhone 4 duct taped - pix 3

Check out Why Consumer Reports can’t recommend the iPhone 4!

See also MarketWatch, “Another ‘thumbs down’ for the iPhone 4” and “Consumer Reports says it can’t recommend iPhone 4
Magazine cites reception issue, tells readers to wait for a fix from Apple

I wonder what Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive think when they saw an iPhone 4 with duct tape from Consumer Reports!

iPhone 4 launched June 7th, 2010

Solution to iPhone 4 reception/antenna problem: Learn Apple approved way to hold your phone!

Friday, 25 June, 2010

July 15 Updates: “It’s Time Apple Fixed the iPhone 4 Antenna Problem” Wired News
Apple Engineer Said to Tell Jobs IPhone Antenna Might Cut Calls” Bloomberg


iPhone 4 launched June 7th, 2010

July 3, 2010 Update: “Is Apple in Antenna Denial?

“On Friday Apple released a letter admitting the iPhone 4 has problems, but insisted they are due to a signal-strength formula that is “totally wrong” and not caused by the antenna design. Since then the news has saturated tech blogsApple support sites and message boards — and it seems like most people aren’t buying Apple’s explanation.”

July 2, 2010 Update: “Tests Confirm iPhone 4’s Antenna Flaws“, Wired Gadget Lab,

Many customers are complaining that the iPhone 4’s antenna loses the signal when you hold it a certain way. They’re not delusional: Independent tests lend credence to the issue.

A study led by AnandTech saw a major drop in signal strength when the iPhone 4 was “cupped tightly,” covering a sensitive area in the lower left corner. The iPhone 4’s external band is actually two antennas — one for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and the other for voice and data — and according to Anandtech, touching the point in the lower left, where the two antennas meet, causes attenuation.


Apple Steve Jobs has spoken and declared iPhone 4 reception/antenna problem as a “non-issue”. Reading following from Bloomberg “Apple Tells Users to Hold IPhone Differently to Fix Reception” is almost funny if it isn’t actually painfully stupid to see Apple’s problem. Why didn’t Toyota thought of telling their customers to drive their car or apply the brakes differently to “fix” their problems? Apple current respond reminded me of Intel’s Pentium floating point bug multiplied by a million times but Apple’s currently antenna design flaw can be experienced by any users anytime, any day, simply depending on how they hold their phones at that time.

Here is an excerpt from Bloomberg‘s “Apple Tells Users to Hold IPhone Differently to Fix Reception”,

“Apple Inc. responded to complaints about reception on its new iPhone by telling customers they should hold the device differently.

“Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas,” Apple said today in an e-mailed statement. “If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.”

From CBC News “Apple blames iPhone signal loss on users“.

I found this clear demonstration of the iPhone 4 reception problem from this insightful analysis of the iPhone 4 antenna problem by Spencer Webb: “Apple iPhone 4 Antennas …“. [note: I think Spencer’s statement “I already know how to do the Vulcan Antenna Grip on the iPhone, and I am wearing out my current model.”  goes into the engineer solution and let Apple off the hook too easy for the millions of non-technical customers that should not be bothered with the “Vulcan Antenna Grip”! :) Think of the Toyota example again.] By the way, I am curious if the gap is put at the top and bottom of the phone, will the chance of this problem happening be greatly reduced?

Also see PCWorld “Apple Responds to iPhone 4 Antenna Problem“.

PCWorld also did its own tests of iPhone 4 signal and took the new phone for a spin in San Francisco alongside an iPhone 3GS. PCWorld was able to replicate the signal problems when covering the bottom left edge of the phone, something that did not occur when the phone was laid flat on a table with the antenna untouched.

These days, Apple is thinking so highly of itself that it thinks it can simply “fix” its design flaw by telling its customers to change the way they hold their phone or pay additional money to buy a cover to coverup the cosmetically beautifully but engineered poorly iPhone 4. Sad.


Jun 30, 2010 Update:

– This Cnet article contains a purported steps “AppleCare representatives are being instructed on how to coach users about the proper way to handle the latest-generation smartphone”

– From ABC News “Trouble Ahead for Apple’s iPhone 4? – Law Firm Investigates Complaints, Petition Pushes Apple for Free Cases

iPhone 4 dilemma – iPhone 4 would have been great for WIND Mobile

Monday, 7 June, 2010

The iPhone 4 has just been announced (see coverage via engadget live blog) today and it looks stunning and packs some cool features. (I will write about WIND Mobile & iPhone 4 later in this post.) Love many of the cool features (e.g. the glass, steel bands as antennas, gyro), in particular, FaceTime (limited to Wi-Fi) and HD Video Recording & publishing. The dilemma to me is that both  FaceTime and HD Video, when they are used over the 3G network, will consume a ton of bandwidth. First, this can be really costly under fixed data plans. Apple has disabled the data hungry FaceTime over 3G and make it to work only Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi because I suspect heavy data usage can quickly degrade the carriers’ networks. Imagine a large number of users using their iPhones 4 to FaceTime at special events or tourists hot spots!

To me, it sucks that Apple has decided to make iPhone 4 NOT work for the AWS 1700 MHz frequency band, a band that is used by WIND Mobile in Canada (see tech spec). To me, iPhone 4 would have been great for WIND‘s “unlimited” data plan (if you exceed 5GB per month, they may reduce your speed if the network is congested) which I won’t have to worry about the data charges.

Check out this CBS News report,


P.S. Now, is there any good reason why FaceTime should only work between iPhone 4s? Why not iPhone 4s and any Macs (or PCs)?


June 8, 2010 Update: Jeff made a good case in “AT&T’s cynical act“,

“And now it’s AT&T that turns the clock back on. Tick. Just as mobile is about to explode with new devices and new uses for us all to be ubiquitously and constantly connected doing all kinds of new things and creating new value along the way, AT&T says it wants nothing to do with that explosion (because it would have to work harder and invest more to do better). So it makes a business strategy out of imprisoning Apple fanboys as long as it can and making them use its service less. Tock.

AT&T also tries to push us off its network both with its pricing and with the promise of wi-fi. Its press release even makes it sound like an AT&T service that we can use unlimited wi-fi in our home! Thank you, AT&T.

Let’s note that AT&T’s action in relation to the iPad is nothing short of bait-and-switch as it was sold as using the magic of unlimited data with plenty of data-rich applications and now the price of that gadget only soars if you actually use it as it was designed: to consume media constantly.

I would hope that Apple is chagrinned about the door to which it has delivered its customers. But Apple sniffed the shark when it picked AT&T, making Apple’s control more important than its customers’ service and value and its partner’s quality and ethic.


Jun 11, 2010 Update: Interesting article with some scientific info “Does the iPhone 4 Really Have a “Retina Display”?”

Interesting articles: Typeface, Chinese box-office, Justice LeBel, BumpTop

Monday, 3 May, 2010

A few interesting articles,

May 25 Update: Google buys BumptTop, Toronto touch-screen company, for 30m via TorStar

Apple’s Next iPhone

Monday, 19 April, 2010

Check out Gizomodo’s “This is Apple’s Next iPhone” for the iPhone 3GS + 1 model. Now I just hope the mobile chip set will run on WIND Mobile’s AWS.

The Impossible Test – Whiz kid’s iPhone app downloaded 2 million times

Saturday, 10 April, 2010

Interesting article. “Milton whiz kid’s iPhone app downloaded 2 million times – Naveen Sidhu is only 18, but his game The Impossible Test is an international hit

2 x iFund = $200m (KP & iPad)

Wednesday, 31 March, 2010

For the record and some links, “Kleiner Perkins’ Doubles Down The iFund To $200 Million For the iPad“.

iPhoning my way to retirement

Monday, 25 January, 2010

An interesting business lesson from the iPhone apps space [via O’Reilly radar],

“[…] Eugene Lin wanted some iPhone App Store money. So he made one iPhone app that was eventually accepted, then another that was rejected and then he found a hit with the racy Peek-a-boo.”

WIND Mobile Calgary Launch (interviews with CEO Ken Campbell, CCO Chris Robbins)

Friday, 18 December, 2009

I am very excited that WIND Mobile has finally launched its services and opened its first store in Calgary today. I’ve conducted video interviews of WIND Mobile Chief Executive Officer Ken Campbell and Chief Customer Officer Chris Robbins which you will hear them talk about,

– WIND’s launch experiences (with Industry Canada and CRTC)

– Details of 5GB limitation of WIND data plan and on the reduction of speed (after that 5GB). – Essentially if the network is not busy, you will still get full speed even if your usage exceeds 5GB.

– When can customers get iPhones and the pricing plans? – Chris talks about WIND operates the newest GSM – AWS (some info at FCC page). Hopefully in 2010 when T-Mobile in US launches their AWS iPhone, WIND will get some of those iPhones. Targeting “2nd half of 2010” but it is up to Apple (and the volume demand for AWS iPhone).

– When will WIND go to Edmonton, Vancouver, and other cities? – Edmonton & Ottawa (Jan 2010), Vancouver (early 2010), expand services in Calgary

– You will hear Ken’s response to Globe and Mail’s report “Globalive lobbyists stay silent on winning tactics“, where Ken stated “all activities have been filed“. (update: Globe and Mail has apologized and retracted the story.) See Ken’s full answer in the video interview.

– WIND’s online blog and community plan and strategy

Here is my interview with video interview with WIND Mobile CEO Ken Campbell (Time code added in the YouTube video info area so you can jump to particular segment.)

Here is my video interview with WIND Chief Customer Officer Chris Robbins (Time code added in the YouTube video info area so you can jump to particular segment.)

Here are some photos and I will try to add more to this post later if I can find some nice ones.

I included the last photo of the WIND coffee cup holder and press pass. I love attention to details. It is precisely this kind of attention to details that sometimes is a sign of good customer service and customer care. Time will tell. We will see.

First WIND Mobile customer at Calgary Launch

First WIND Mobile customer at Calgary Launch

WIND Mobile CEO Ken Campbell at Calgary Launch

WIND Mobile CEO Ken Campbell at Calgary Launch

WIND Mobile CCO Chris Robbins at Calgary Launch

WIND Mobile CCO Chris Robbins at Calgary Launch

Potential WIND Mobile customers at Calgary Launch

Potential WIND Mobile customers at Calgary Launch (papa and baby boy were lining up outside this morning)

WIND Mobile (Calgary Launch)

WIND Mobile @ Calgary Launch

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