NASA believes that material found on Mars recently may really be ice. When images from the trench dubbed “Snow White 2” were received from the Phoenix Mars lander, scientists believed the white surface shown was either salt or ice clumps. Because many of them were gone the next day, the researchers ruled out the presence of salt, although the soil sample didn’t yield evidence of water.
Because the Phoenix is undergoing adjustment to its software, it has been a bit lax in its duties. We suspect that when it gets going it will get right on it, unless those pesky Martians try to sabotage the project again before the 90 day time frame is complete.
Read More | CNN
It seems that there is a bunch of confusion surrounding the price of the newly announced iPhone 3G. I spent a while on the phone the other day chatting with my pal Chris Aarons over at Buzz Corps, and we debated how pricing would work. At the end of the conversation, I realized how silly it was that, despite a price being announce on stage at WWDC 2008, that people still weren’t sure if they would be able to get the phone for the $199-299 that was quoted.
So, where does the confusion lie? Well, when dealing with cell phone companies in terms of subsidized phones (and the new iPhone 3G is a subsidized phone,) it all comes down to qualification. Don’t believe us? Head on over to AT&T’s iPhone 3G splash page. Next to the price of the phone, you will see a neat little asterisk. Scroll down to the fine print, and what do you find? The following:
*Qualified customers only. 2 year contract required. Based on 3G and EDGE testing. Actual speeds vary by site conditions. Based on iPhone 3G (8GB) and first-generation iPhone (8GB) purchases. Requires new 2-year AT&T rate plan, sold separately.
Did you get that? Qualified customers only. And yet, there is no mention of who qualifies. There lies the conundrum. When Steve Jobs announced the price of the iPhone 3G, he made no mention of any sort of qualification that had to be met, and many believed that $199 was the price anyone should expect to pay for the new iPhone. Luckily, InformationWeek was able to get some information out of AT&T’s Mark Siegel, which should help in clearing all this up. Looking at what Siegel had to say, here is what we know to be true:
Apple‘s Worldwide Developer Conference starts on Monday. We already knew what the rumors are. 3G iPhone. OS X Snow Leopard. App Store. iPhone 2.0 firmware. Redesigned iMacs/MacBook Pros. Mac nano. Mobile Me service. Steve Jobs announced as Obama’s running mate. Anything we missed?
Anyhow, one thing we can be certain of is that Apple is focusing on the operating system. As evidenced by the spy shot above, OS X Leopard and OS X iPhone should be getting some premium attention. Makes sense, being that this is a developers conference and all. We have one more spy shot for you after the jump.
So, word on the street now is that Apple will be unveiling Mac OS X
10.6 in a mere five days at WWDC. Based on the fact that Steve Jobs said that they wanted to get back on track to releasing just about yearly, I started asking people if they thought the successor to Leopard would show up next week, and they all scoffed as if I were some sort of lunatic. Well, now with the reports that TUAW and Ars have receive, it appears that my hunch was correct. Oh, and what will the successor be named? We all know Apple likes to stick with the cats for OS X, and it appears that this time it is going to be “Snow Leopard.” You see, this release is all about tightening up speed, stability, and security - not so much about dazzling new features like Time Machine. See? They want to take Leopard, and make it white as snow. That’s almost as cute as an iPod nano…
We look to Monday to see what Steve brings us.
Read More | TUAW
Get this - Fortune is saying that AT&T is going to be subsidizing the cost of the 3G iPhone by $200, which would mean that you could get one of the new phones for $199 USD with a 2-year contract. Now, that isn’t as crazy as it seems, as they do this with just about every other phone that they offer. They just haven’t been doing it with the first iPhone. Now, to be clear, if you made the decision to buy the phone from an Apple Store, you would be paying the full price.
Other tidbits in the Fortune article state that the new phone will be 2.5mm thinner than the current iPhone (which itself is 11.7mm thick), and that it will also include a GPS chip. Pricing will be $399 for the 8GB version, and $499 for the 16GB model, before subsidies. As with all Apple rumors, we take this one with a grain of salt, but hey, it’s Fortune, right?
Read More | Fortune
Gear Live Poll
Will you buy a 3G iPhone?
Alright, so we know that the 3G iPhone will be in our hands in the next couple of months. What we need to know from you guys is if it is enough to push you over the edge to buy. Do you already own an iPhone? Are you happy with it to the point where you won’t be upgrading until it no longer works? Or are you the type to go sell it immediately so you can get the 3G version right away? We know there are even some of you out there who are disenchanted with this whole iPhone thing, and you guys stick with your Blackberrys, Windows Mobile phones, etc. In any case, let us know how all these recent iPhone rumors are affecting your psyche.
We’ve been trying not to stir the iPhone rumor pot too much lately, but it seems like details are starting to come out that we believe may just be legitimate. Ryan over at Engadget heard a few things from a trusted source that match up with a couple of things we’ve heard, plus he got a few things we weren’t sure about.
For starters, we had heard that the 3G iPhone would likely be just a tad thicker than the current model, which seems to match up with what we read. Physically, Apple may be doing away with the two-toned back color of the iPhone, opting instead for a smooth black finish. The headphone jack will no longer be recessed into that hole of frustration, and lastly, the thing will have full-on GPS.
Engadget is saying that the next iPhone could ship as early as July. We are thinking it could be as early as June. We know for a fact that there is at least one person here in Seattle who has one, and that the person doesn’t work for Apple. Apple typically doesn’t seed these things outside of their organization until they are in the last phase of testing. That leads us to believe that these are just about ready to launch. What do you think? This is all a bit too exciting for us, as we die a little inside with each day that passes where we have to use EDGE on our iPhone.
Read More | Engadget
Rumor has it that cell phones may go disposable. Although we traced a press article concerning Hop-ons’ order to create screenless phones from a European distributor at a price of $20.00 each, we have yet to be able to clink on a link on Hop-on’s site successfully. We did find a quote from its president Peter Michaels,
“During our meetings with distributors in Vegas the response to our simple, inexpensive, $20 phone was phenomenal. The initial test purchase order with multiple purchase orders behind it is a big step in introducing Hop-on to Europe.”
Be that as it may, don’t we have enough garbage in the world without having to add to it? We find this in the same category as single use razors and cameras that we finally see less of everyday. We notice that even Kodak has trouble dispensing of theirs and claims that they recycle up to 77% of each one. We are only concerned with that remaining 23%.
Read More | techradar
In the above video, the main throwback into gadget news, Walt Mossberg, mentions that the iPhone will be 3G sometime in the next 60 days. Now we know, we talk about analysts making such claims all the time, but in case you didn’t know, Walt Mossberg is pretty much the guy that gets to play with all these things first. Before anyone else in the industry we mean. So when he throws out a claim like this, we are of the opinion that the grain of salt that you need to take it with is a lot smaller than all the other guys. Oh, and this goes along with our story that Apple may have placed the order for 3G iPhones, and the fact that iPhones seem to be sold out at a bunch of Apple Stores. It just makes sense.
The question is, once a 3G version of the iPhone is made available from Apple, are you buying?
EDIT: Mossberg has since said his comment was just based on the speculation that we all are under, however, that said - it’s Walt. You know this guy is under NDA. Even if it was prediction-based, rather than a slip of the tongue, the evidence is all around us.
We’ve all been expecting Apple to release a 3G version of the iPhone at some point during this year. It turns out, it may be coming sooner rather than later. Ken Dulaney, analyst for Gartner, is saying that he has heard from sources over in Asia that Apple has placed an order for 10 million 3G iPhones. Even more interesting is that these would be 10 million on top of the current 10 million that Apple hopes to sell of the current iPhone version in 2008. If this is true, we’d expect to hear about it within the next few months. Maybe around the time that the iPhone 2.0 firmware upgrade is released, hmm?
Dulaney also mentioned that the 3G version of the iPhone may use an OLED screen, which would result in an improvement in battery life. Hey, if Apple went with EDGE for the current iPhone due to battery issues, it would make sense that in their leap to 3G, they’d try and conserve as much battery life as possible, right?
While we won’t know for sure when we will see a 3G model of the iPhone, I personally believe it is a safe bet that we will be seeing one within the next few months. The iPhone is nine months old, and while it is still a marvel, 9 months is a long time to go in the cell phone industry without seeing an upgrade. Apple also knows that 3G is a glaring omission from the current model. After all, there was a collective groan heard around the tech world when it was introduced back at MacWorld 2007 due to it’s lack of 3G. Even 14 months ago it was a huge letdown. Too much time has passed since then.
Bottom line, if you are in the market for an iPhone, but aren’t in the “need to have it now” mindset, you may want to wait a while.
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