Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A CDMA iPhone? NOT!

I think this new iPhone is a 4G LTE iPhone, NOT CDMA 3G as reported.

Actually Verizon is switching from CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access).Their 4G network is based on LTE (Long Term Evolution) which, I believe is a GSM standard. Regardless it is a TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) technology not CDMA. It will probably take somewhere close to 10 years to retire their 3G CDMA network.

This makes since because Verizon has said that they will deploy their 4G/LTE infrastructure through 2010 and 2011. Major markets will have LTE on Vzw by the end of this year. Once a standardized voice profile is established for LTE, voice calls can be made. Spell that Skype.

So my guess is there is no CDMA iPhone coming and there are a number of reasons for that.

  1. It's the old technology (I like CDMA better but I liked BetaMax better too).

  2. To produce a CDMA phone you have to pay (one way or another) Qualcomm royalties. Not something Jobs want to do.

  3. The Vzw LTE network is fast on it's way and will probably get here before Apple could make a CDMA iPhone.

  4. Why would Apple be putting engineering talent on this old CDMA technology that Steve doesn't want when LTE is on it's way for both Vzw and AT&T?

My bet is It's an LTE iPhone not a CDMA iPhone.

I started this as a comment on WSJ's Digits site. A couple of responses to my comment questioned the point about VzW switching to LTE. I believe the premise of their comments went to the point of Vzw abandoning their 3G CDMA network. I think we all know that's not going to happen at least for 10 years and maybe more. The network is still good and reliable and will be for many more years.

But Verizon is adding LTE quickly and as quoted in Wireless Week "Verizon is set to deploy LTE in 25 to 30 different markets later this year."

As I understand it the voice profile for transferring voice data across LTE may not be standardized yet and there could be continued delay for handset development (total speculation on my part). If Apple comes out with a device that works on LTE and works with the closest thing to the current gold stanadard for the voice profile they could walk away with the new LTE phone market. But my guess is that HTC, Nokia, Motorola and LG are all working on the handset technology as well and we will see handsets that are compatible with LTE maybe sooner than later.

As these handsets come onto the market many of them will work with the new LTE networks in the same way as analog/digital model of the last several years. The iPhone may be a bit of a maverick and only work (because their Apple) with the LTE network. The advanced network throughput will be a real consumer draw. If Apple can get it out quickly… (the first LTE handset is the iPhone?) How sweet would that be for Apple! That’s the way Jobs thinks. “Let’s do a little leapfrog from where we are in this tech landscape and shake things up a bit.” The iPhone itself is the proof of this kind of culture at Apple.

So yeah I still think the new iPhone will be the iPhone 4G not a CDMA version of the iPhone 3G

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where's my VzW Nexus One?

Nexus One on Verizon Wireless on April 23rd 2010? FAIL!

So the rumors about the Nexus One being available on the Verizon Wireless network today were obviously disproved. Bummer! I want one and I have been waiting and waiting. Like someone waiting on a new Apple product or something!

And you know that the Android OS and phones are soooo much cooler than the MAC OS based iPhone. The iPhone is consumer techie cool. Yeah, yeah I heard "Anybody can use one.What manual? Who needs a manual."

The Android phones(and more importantly the Nexus One) are developer techie cool and that's WAY cool. That is in part because it is based on Linux and is open source software. "Who wrote this god awful manual!" It's also cooler from a developer's perspective because of the development environment and the relative ease of distribution.

The iPhone uses an arcane computer language called Objective C and developers must work within that environment. That work would best be done on a Mac with the Apple proprietary (and expensive) development environment. After buying all the gear you then have to learn how to program in the language (of the Apple gods! But I digress :-)).

With Android your development environment is Java based and supported by the most widely used and freely available IDE, Eclipse. I have one friend that has done some game development for the Android OS and has told me that it relatively easy to develop applications for the Android OS. Oh yeah, did I mention that I'm a Java developer?

Then there's distribution. I don't own an Android phone and don't know if there is anyway to get privately published applications easily loaded on an Android phone but my guess is that it is way easier than it is with an iPhone. Do you have to "jail break" an Android phone? My first guess is no, but hopefully I'll find out soon.

Anyway, these are some of the reasons I think the Google phone market is going to EXPLODE! Yeah I really mean it. This could be the biggest thing to come along in a long time (or not).

Verizon Wireless:
I want my Nexus One!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The iPhone's best days are here, now.

The iPhone is a real hit; there is no doubt about that. "Duh," you say. So do you think Apple is just going to run away with the smart phone market? Not so fast...

The Boy Genius Report (or BGR as it prefers now) on October 28th of last year produced a nice graph that shows the iPhone quickly growing it's market share in the smart phone market to 30% in September of '09. That's pretty respectable; so what's to keep that growth in market share from just going and going and going? There is one good reason, Google and their new Andriod OS for smart phones.

The Android OS has been out for over 2 years now but the handsets that use them have only been around for about a year. Though 2009 there were a few new offerings of smart phones that sported the Android moniker but there wasn't a lot of attention focused on it until Verizon began their Droid ad campaign. The media blitz really put Android on the map and has raised the level of exposure. Verizon offers the Motorola Droid and the HTC Eris handsets, both running Android. The Droid runs Android Eclair 2.0.(.1) and the Eris runs Android 1.6.

The Android 2.x release is the break out winner in the marketplace and Google has added fuel to this fire by releasing their new HTC based phone the Nexus One. The Nexus One does the Droid one better because it is using the latest Android 2.1 (not 2.0.1) OS.

Enough background and history about Android. Why is it going to overtake the iPhone? The answer is simple, the iPhone runs the MacOS and like everything Apple, they control everything about the iPhone from the materials that go into it, to the OS, to the carrier that can offer it.

Google on the other hand has taken the approach that any phone maker can take and use the Android OS on any phone. This is very similar to what Microsoft did in the early 80's with DOS and then later with Windows. Back then any PC maker that made an IBM compatible PC based on the Intel (and later the PowerPC) microprocessor could run
the OS.

This created a commodity market for the PC and allowed market forces to drive down the price of the IBM compatible PC. The Mac on the other hand was still a PC that was completely controlled by Apple. To this day it means that if you want a Mac and the MacOs, you have to go to Apple and pay whatever they ask for that PC.

Given the fact that the Mac architecture (both hardware and software) is completely controlled by Apple, the environment is very stable. There are very few compatibility issues because there are relatively few permutations of the Mac hardware and software. This is one of the major reasons that people are willing to pay up to 50% more for a Mac today than a PC.

As the market for smart phones heats up over the next few years Apple will continue to market the iPhone the same way they market the Mac. And like the Mac, they will continue the policy of asking the consumer to pay a premium for the Apple name.

Google on the other hand is giving away the Android OS to all who want it without charge. Manufacturers can even add proprietary enhancements to the OS without releasing the source for those enhancements, thus giving them differentiation in the smart phone marketplace. This will contribute to the flood of Android phones in the marketplace with the phone hardware becoming a commodity, much like IBM compatible PC hardware.

The standardization of Android smart phones also has the potential of offering some degree of portability for users. The use of the phone and the applications developed for it will work on multiple phone models from multiple vendors giving the consumer a wider choice of phones to choose from. In a few months when Verizon Wireless comes out with it you can pick up a Nexus One if you don't like the Droid.

This is the beginning of the Android era of smart phones. Within the next three years the Android OS will become the dominant OS in the smart phone market. Apple will still have the iPhone and who knows, maybe by then all the major carriers will offer it on their new 4G, LTE networks.

As I said before, the best days for the iPhone are here and now.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Domain name TheBeautifulGigbit.com... I got it!

You know I really hate having to come up with screen names but I think I kind of like this one. So I decided to try getting the domain name. Hey It hadn't already been grabbed by someone. Cool now I've got the blog and the domain name. I'm going to try to link the domain name up to this blog next week after the domain registration has gone through. Until then, it will most likly take you to my primary domain ComputCafe.com. That's nothing more than a glorified bookmark page for my personal use. But anyway...

Hello World!

Hey who remembers K &R? Don't know what that is? Don't feel bad, just Google it.

Anyway, I created this blog because a friend asked me how to and how much it would cost to set up a blog. There is one he really likes called CalculatedRiskBlog.com and he was interested in trying his hand at building a blog.

Well I've been doing computer programming for 30 years and have been in the thick of the whole internet 'thing' for lack of a better term. And when someone asks me a question like that I either know the answer or know how to get one quickly. And sure enough I saw the blogspot icon pop up on the Firefox tab when I went and looked at CalculatedRiskBlog.com.

I then went to blogspot.com (which redirected me to blogger.com, but so what) and found that it was all free! Great! I sent my friend an email and gave him the good news. Now he is getting up the momentum to get a blog of his own. So I know the next question is something like "Hey I want to do so and so on my new blog. Can I do that?" So I thought I'd best get a first hand look at how this is done and here I am.