Author Archives: Ben
Firstly, I’d just like to say:
Not that it really has any impact on any of you, but I just thought I’d let you know. I’ve just been busy with exams, moving house, planning vacations (you know, the important stuff…), and yes, I know it’s not really an excuse, but I’m gonna use it as one anyway.
So, what I wanted to discuss today was the experience that people are having with their iPhone 5s so far. Please leave comments at the end of this, talking about how you’ve found your new iDevice to handle through it’s initial release period. I’m not just talking about iOS 6 here, I’m talking about the hardware, too, such as the screen resolution, and the ‘noticeable’ speed improvements on the processor.
If you want to see what I’ve found, read more.…Read More
Little kids going nuts with their presents up here. Seriously. Here, have some pictures.
That’s right. I’ve made it back safely to New Zealand. And, as you all know (well, you better know…), I had some precious cargo.
But right now, I’m not concerned with fanboying over the new iPhone. Okay, so maybe I am a little, but more on that later. What I really want to discuss is the actual logistics of the entire event.
I felt that it all went quite smoothly. People lined up, they were served. Exactly how it should be. Except, you know, the lines weren’t even on their property, and they had to go far beyond the call of duty for us. I’m sure they were paid handsomely for their efforts, but that’s not the point.
Apple staff began to make their appearance at around 5:30 AM. They were great. Really. They kept the atmosphere lively, and put up with the strain of the same repetitive questions that they received with every footstep. I swear, I was getting more frustrated than them, and I wasn’t even being asked anything. In fact, I was quite lonely. Well, up until 6ish, when I linked onto an Emerates Pilot Captain from UAE. He was friendly enough.
The Apple staff handed out queue cards, which were, essentially, our tokens for our iPhone 5s. We chose what colour and how much memory, then we took this to the desk, then we got our phones. Of course, this took about four hours each time attempted.
I really can’t stress how many people were there. They would have easily sold 2000 iPhone 5s while I was there. But, like I said before, the Apple Store’s staff made it quite smooth and as pain-free as they could (besides the standing pains, and whatever else you might have picked up in the line).
I’d also like to apologise for the lack-of-promised video. I had to choose between replying to Tweets and updating the blog, or taking a video and leaving you all in the dark. I’m seriously considering investing in an external battery case.
Also, sorry for randomly stopping with the Twitter. After you’ve just stood in a never-ending queue, with little-to-no sleep, you start to lose motivation.
One more thing that I’m sorry for – for being so repetitive. I feel like I’ve told you the same things over and over again.
But yeah, I feel like I’m about to get thrashed on this topic, so I’m bracing myself for all your questions.Read More
What up, my Kiwis?
I’m feeling rather alone, out here, but it’s totally okay, because at 10AM New Zealand time, the Apple Store here will be opening, and selling the first iPhone 5s. Ever.
Right now, it’s pretty cold. Although, apparently, it’s 15 degrees. Definitely doesn’t feel like it.
If you were following my journey posts, then you’ll know where I’m up to now. If not, lemme help catch you up to speed:
I arrived in Sydney at 8:10PM, local time. After catching all the trains and stocking up on supplies, I made it to the Apple Store at about 9. Then I followed the queue all the way around the block, and took my position as 101. Then, I sat there. For hours. And hours.
Most recently, there have been teams of people setting up barriers, dividing the footpath in two – one side for the queue, and one side for thoroughfare. Now, I have two and a half hours left to wait.
I’m finally in range of Wi-Fi, although I think a lot of people are using the same one, so it might cut out a bit. This means I can finally be live on Twitter, until I tell you all that I’m going to crash somewhere. Follow @iphonewzealand, and ask me whatever questions that you have. I’ll be here as much as this Wi-Fi lets me.Read More
After a good (terrible) night’s sleep, I had to force myself out of bed to make any last-minute adjustments to my inventory. This is my first time travelling alone. I feel all grown up. Like a big man. But, you know, business is business, and I can’t go getting too excited now. Clear head, and all that. Although that’ll probably be quite hard, considering that I’m going to be running off coffee and random brunch bars from whatever airport cafeteria decides to serve me. Oh, I should probably tell you all what I’m doing… I’m on my way to Sydney to buy a few iPhone 5s. You know, just casually.
I’m actually in Auckland, at the moment, though. Flew up from Palmerston North early this morning. Met the homies that’re s’posed to be running this show – they seem professional enough. I have to admit, though, I still feel like this isn’t really happening. The decision for me to embark was just made yesterday, and I’m worried that I’m gonna get to the airport, and something bad is gonna happen… Like I’ve forgotten to do something important.
I’m sure it’ll all be fine.
Anyway, this is gonna be like a diary. I’ll fill you all in on what I’m doing, when I’m doing it, significant or not. Bare with me, this is going to be a long 36 hours, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Be prepared for some video footage, as well, after I edit it all and finally make it home. Well, so long as my iPhone’s battery holds out.
Anyway, ciao, for now. Watch this space.
By the way, these times will be New Zealand times.
I’ve been discarded onto the bus. No more holding hands, I’m on my own to fulfil my destiny.
But seriously, I’m quite looking forward to this. I mean, how cool do I look? A 20 year-old, going to Australia for a day of business. Bring on the rest of the world.
I’m on the plane. Right now. I probably shouldn’t be updating this while I’m on the plane, but it’s okay.
I got a seat at the very back. In the aisle. Thank god. Snooze time for me.
See you all in four hours.
9:39 PM, Thursday:
After spilling butter chicken in embarrassing places on my white jeans, and having a ten-minute snooze, I’ve finally arrived in Sydney. I’m still actually trapped in the plane, at the moment. I managed to get one of the seats in the very back row, so I have to wait for everyone else to sloth out of here. I think the couple that were supposed to be sitting next to me cancelled, because I somehow managed to have the entire row to myself. Who needs business class when you can have your own luxury in economy?
It’s about 18 degrees C outside. I imagine that it’ll feel like a New Zealand alcohol-blanket.
Anyway, customs time. Be back later.
Okay, so I’ve given up on Wi-Fi, because none of the networks work for me… Really annoying. And I’m also in queue. On the other side of the block. As in, you walk to the Apple Store, then you walk around the corner, then you walk to the next intersection, and you turn another corner, and you walk a bit more, and you’re there. You know, everyone seems to have come in pairs. I’m pretty sure that I’m the only one dumb enough to do this alone. But I guess I have you guys for moral support, right?
People keep walking past and staring, like they’ve never seen raging fanboys before. About 80% of this queue so far are Asian. They keep taking photos and videos of the line. I’ll probably appear on the cover of some underground tech magazine or something. Anyway, gotta save battery life.
Over and out.
12:51 AM, Friday:
I’m dead. Like, I feel like I’m going to collapse. But I must carry on. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some sleep soon. Apparently this bar that I’m outside – Forbes Hotel – doesn’t close until 4AM NZ time, so I’m …
Okay, so it seems that a few of you are still a little bit confused about the reach of Apple’s releases to New Zealand. I’ll give a rundown on what I know so far:
iOS 6 is being released today. Make sure you back-up your devices before you install. That way, when you restore, all your contacts, messages and apps will be saved, and you’ll still be running the iOS 6 firmware.
Yes, Facetime is still supposed to work in New Zealand over 3G. Obviously I’m not able to confirm that yet, but there has been nothing to tell me that it won’t work.
Apparently the new dictation feature of iOS 6 doesn’t understand the Kiwi accent, which doesn’t seem to make sense to me, as Siri can understand me just fine. We’ll see how all that goes, though, when it’s released. On the topic of Siri, she’s still going to be fairly useless, as she doesn’t have a clue what Burger Fuel is, or Hell’s Pizza, for that matter, and I don’t think she’s that much of an avid fan of the All Blacks, or Wellington’s Phoenix. Also, she hasn’t brushed up on her geography skills, since the last time we met her. Apparently she isn’t too good on giving directions around the country.
I can never find any times for any releases, and, quite frankly, it’s starting to annoy me… Someone posted in the chatbox to the right that it should be released at 1PM New Zealand time. That’s the closest that I’ve managed to find.
As for the iPhone 5, pre-order seems to be the 21st of this month, in New Zealand, and will be on the shelves on Friday 28th September. As for the time, I really have no idea, like usual. I’m guessing that it’ll be midnight, if you buy it online from the Apple Store. As for retail outlets, maybe they’re running their own special promotion times, or they plan to be open at midnight as well. It might pay to visit your local store to see what they have planned for it. But I do know that it is speculated that, by the end of the month, sales will have reached between 10-12 million worldwide.
The RRP of the iPhone in New Zealand will be $1049 for the 16GB model, $1199 for the 32GB model and $1349 for the 64GB model.
Vodafone have confirmed that nano-SIMs will be available when the devices that use them go on sale. Telecom don’t have public details on that yet, but I’m fairly certain that they will stock it, as covered here.
Now, as for the cost of the smartphones when locked into a contract, that’s something that I’m unsure about. As a disclaimer, I’m telling you guys now that the following is my assumption, and I wouldn’t take it to be factual if I were you:
When the iPhone 4S was released, the prices were the same as what the iPhone 5 is now. This tells me that, besides the obvious price drop in the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 plans SHOULD be the same as what the iPhone 4S plans were.
If the iPhone 5 were to follow its predecessor’s footsteps, then here are what the contracts would look like (prices are for the 16GB version):
That’s all the information that I could gather in regards to New Zealand’s releases. If you have any more questions, post them in a comment below, and I’ll try get hold of the respective TelCo’s to see if I can get answers.
Edit: Okay, so I just got told through our Facebook page that we have iOS 6 download times available here. I have a slight problem with this.
Here is the table from the website, telling us the iOS 6 launch times:
And here is the table that I had ready during the Sept. 12 Media Event:Read More
Alright, so, here we go.
This is the live blog for Apple’s Sept. 12th Media Event.
Please excuse any lack of creativity. I’m tired. And so are my cats. They’re fighting.
Still awake. All showered up, snug in my onesie, wrapped in my blanket. This bowl of cereal is so good. So are these V’s. And this Berocca.
USTREAM consists of a music playlist, so far. I just heard Gangnam Style. Awesome.
Still waiting, with the playlist. I’m just one of 107k viewers. Exciting much?
At the moment, some country song is playing. Probably a classic. I have no idea. I seem to be stuck in some sort of “write-extremely-short-sentences” mode.
Yep, 5:00AM. We’ve started, and, as of right now, there are 127k viewers. Physical media are being allowed into the arena now, and a livestream is being searched for.
Seven-million downloads of Mountain Lion OSX. Good topic to open with, I guess. Usually start with statistics like that. Still waiting for actual coverage.
They’re talking about the iPad now, and their sales figures. 84 million to date. The iPad is 91% of all tablet web traffic. Phil Schiller says “I don’t know what these other tablets are doing! They must be in warehouses or store shelves or maybe in peoples’ bottom drawer”.
Straight into the iPhone discussion.
“Each and every year we introduce new versions with new features… each time setting the gold standard” – Phil Schiller.
“iPhone 5″ is the confirmed name for the new iPhone.
“[The iPhone 5] is made entirely of glass and aluminium. It’s designed and built to an exacting level of standard unlike anything we, or anything in our industry, have made before” – Phil Schiller
7.6mm thick – 18% thinner than before.
112 grams – 20% lighter than the 4S.
326ppi Retina display, 4-inches. 1136×640 resolution. The iPhone is the same width, but taller.
44% better colour saturation, with full sRGB rendering.
Touch is integrated into the display, so it’s thinner and sharper, with less glare in sunlight.
Wireless is now faster. Accepts 802.11 a/b/g/n networks, and is dual-channeled, up to 150Mbps.
New chip. A6 processor. 2X faster CPU and 2x graphics compared to the A5. This is 22% smaller, and more energy-efficient. Examples given are than Pages is going to launch 2.1x faster than before.
EA Games have made an appearance. Some car-racing game. There are realtime relections in the rear-view mirrors. “Yes, for the first time in Real Racing you can see behind you”.
There’s a two-player race, but it’s asynchronous. Essentially, this is multiplayer racing where both people race at different times. “Time-shifted multiplayer”, it’s called.
Camera talk. 5-element lens and f/2.4 aperture. Same as the iPhone 4S, essentially, but thinner.
Dynamic low-light mode.
There’s now a sapphire lens crystal cover – durable and clear.
New feature called “Shared Photo Streams”. We all know what that means.
Panorama is officially native, now. Simply swing the phone, and you’ll get a 28 megapixel resulting image. It automatically smooths it all out, even if you shake or wobble a bit.
Video is improved, too. 1080p like the previous, but with better video stabilisation and facial recognition.
The front-facing camera is now 720p.
Facetime now works over cellular networks.
Three microphones now – front, bottom and back. This is for voice recognition and noise cancellation.
There’s a wider spectrum for audio, now, so your voice will sound more natural and clearer. More crisp.
“The iPhone, from its start, has used the iPod’s connector”.
The connector is, indeed, new. They’re also releasing a bunch of accessories to help converting old docks.
Now they’re discussing iOS6. The info card of each destination has been partnered with Yelp, as I blogged about earlier. They’re basically showing all the new map features, now that it’s all Google-free.
Safari has a new full-screen, similar to the desktop version. You can share tabs from your desktop to your phone. “iCloud Tabs”.
The new mailbox has a VIP system, where you can mark contacts as VIP, and their mail will go directly to a separate inbox.
“How did the 49ers do last weekend?” …