I’ll be heading to an ATT store in Northern Westchester thinking I’ll beat the potential crowds at the White Plains Apple Mall Store. What’s your plan?
Don’t expect much here today until later, but here are a few notes from today’s papers:
From USA Today
Q: What about corporate e-mail? I understand that’s an issue for many consumers, who may not be able to hook up to their company networks?
Jobs: You’ll be hearing more about this in the coming weeks. We have some pilots going with companies with names you’ll recognize. This won’t be a big issue. [USA Today]
And the Wall Street Journal
WSJ: What do you both envision being added over time to the iPhone, in terms of access to ringtones through Cingular’s (now rebranded AT&T) platform and maybe through some other manner, like turning your iTunes songs into ringtones?
Mr. Jobs: As you may know, iTunes is now the number three distributor of music in the U.S., ahead of Amazon and Target and behind Best Buy and Wal-Mart, and obviously the largest online distributor of music in the world. Of course, you can play that music now on your iPhone. One might imagine a lot of things down the road.
WSJ: Is one of those things offering music purchases and video purchases directly from the phone?
Mr. Jobs: There’s a lot of things you can imagine down the road.
WSJ: Steve, how are you feeling now about how this device will impact your iPod business? Will it cannibalize iPod sales in any meaningful way?
Mr. Jobs: We can report to you that it hasn’t so far. We announced this in January, and we’ve had a very healthy iPod business since then. This is a more expensive device and one that carries a service requirement with it, unlike any iPod does. I’m not too worried about that, but we’ll certainly report to you what happens as it happens.
WSJ: A lot of attention has been focused in some of the initial reviews of the iPhone on the EDGE network that this phone is going to be on. Steve, we saw somewhere that your concern in putting a 3G chip in the first edition of the iPhone was that the current generation of that technology would drain the battery a lot, and that there were also some issues of coverage of the AT&T 3G network at the time you did this deal. Is that correct and have those issues been resolved over time as we’ve seen the technology evolve?
Mr. Stephenson: If you think about wireless broadband networks, EDGE is the only ubiquitous nationwide broadband network deployed today. It’s a 300-plus kilobit type service. We’re selling in the tens of thousands every single month of smart phones that operate on nothing but EDGE. The service experience is really, really good and what you’re going to see with the iPhone is the caching technology that Steve and the Apple guys have developed here makes the EDGE experience even better. Between the Wi-Fi and the EDGE coverage, this is a really good experience.
We put right south of $16 billion of capital into this network over the last two years. I feel real good about the coverage and the performance. We put tens of thousands of hours of testing this device on this network and it’s performing at the top of any device we have out there.
Mr. Jobs: You know every (AT&T) Blackberry gets its mail over EDGE. It turns out EDGE is great for mail, and it works well for maps and a whole bunch of other stuff. Where you wish you had faster speed is…on a Web browser. It’s good enough, but you wish it was a little faster. That’s where sandwiching EDGE with Wi-Fi really makes sense because Wi-Fi is much faster than any 3G network.
What we’ve done with the iPhone is we’ve made it so that it will automatically switch to a known Wi-Fi network whenever it finds it. So you don’t have to go hunting around, resetting the phone, flipping a switch or doing anything. Most of us have Wi-Fi networks around us most of the time at home and at work. There’s often times a Wi-Fi network that you can join whether you’re sitting in a coffee shop or even walking along the street piggybacking on somebody’s home Wi-Fi network. What we found is the combination is working really well.
When we looked at 3G, the chipsets are not quite mature, in the sense that they’re not low-enough power for what we were looking for. They were not integrated enough, so they took up too much physical space. We cared a lot about battery life and we cared a lot about physical size. Down the road, I’m sure some of those tradeoffs will become more favorable towards 3G but as of now we think we made a pretty good doggone decision.
WSJ: Can you say whether 3G technology has evolved to the point where you’re already working on including that in the next edition of the iPhone?
Mr. Jobs: No, we just don’t comment on future stuff.[WSJ]