No Video on the iPhone 3G – Really!

Apple.pngMy biggest disappointment on the feature set for the iPhone 3G was the complete and utter absence of any reference to capturing video (OK – as well as not upgrading the camera)

Since then it’s been suggested both on the MacJury and the MacRoundtable podcasts, that the provision of video is a feature that may well be addressed by 3rd Part Apps. It has been suggested that video hooks are exposed in the API that would allow developers to create video apps.

The original 1st Gen iPhone was capable from a hardware level and some apps were made available to jailbroken iPhones that allowed you to capture and send video. I suppose I really need to get out of the mind set that if Apple don’t provide the feature on the iPhone, it’s not going to happen, now that we have authorised applications being developed for the iPhone.

The Omni Group - OmniFocus for iPhone and iPod touch.pngI can now forgive Apple the absence of a syncronised to do list as it looks like the OmniGroup will meet this requirement and more to the nth degree with the launch of OmniFocus for the iPhone. Location aware task lists anyone? Mind boggling!

So we’ll just have to see if we get some decent video apps from the developer community.

As an aside, I’ve also read somewhere (sorry for the lack of attribution) that a potential reason why Apple didn’t introduce a video chat client in the latest iPhone 3G is that they considered the impact this would have on the current 3G infrastructure.

I can fully understand this. Video chat on the current range of normal 3G phones has been available for a while and hasn’t caused a problem. As we’ve seen with internet browsing on the iPhone, once you do something right, people will use the feature. My assumption is that people haven’t been using video chat on the current 3G phones as it either not been implemented very well, or that the critical mass of users has not been great enough.

Introduce an Apple designed Video iChat client on the new iPHone 3G and release it to a rapidly expanding population of iPhone users and take up would be instant and dramatic.

Could the current 3G network infrastructure cope with this dramatic explosion of high bandwidth traffic overnight?

Probably not, and perhaps not for a while.

So if Apple were to introduce video chat, the network would collapse, the user experience would be very poor and the iPhone would be tarnished although the fault lies with the telecom infrastructure.

Seems a perfect reason to me whilst Apple would hold back on introducing video hat to all iPhone users.

How Much is a Slot on a WWDC Keynote Worth….

Apple - iPhone - Features - App Store.png… or why developers are falling over themselves to develop for the iPhone and get into the App store!

This post was inspired by a tweet from John Gruber who commented that the indie developer from the UK who developed “Band” and appeared on the WWDC keynote would soon be a Millionaire. I sort of grinned and let that once pass over me but when I did some simple math, he’s absolutely right.

Although no pricing for “Band” was mentioned in the keynote, let’s assume that he releases it for $9.99 in line with the other applications that were priced accordingly.

His appearance on the keynote and the impressive (yet fun) demo would probably make most people who saw that demo, get the app even if only to show off the capabilities of the iPhone.

Lets go with the current available market of 1st generation iPhones which Steve announced as 6,000,000. We all know that this will surge to a much larger figure once the iPhone 3G is launched, but lets stick with 6,000,000 – the App store will be rolled out to these 6,000,000 iPhones come July and the “Band” application will no doubt be a “featured” app on the App store – as seen on the WWDC keynote.

Now obviously, not everyone will buy it, but at an assumed price of $9.99, it’s likely to be an impulse buy for a lot of people. They’ve seen it demo’d so they know what to expect!

Lets run the theoretical numbers:


So that’s even with a highly pessimistic view of only selling to 1% of the current market, the developer has the potential to earn $419,580 USD (with a healthy $179,820 going to Apple)

A potentially more realistic 5% or even 10% sales will generate sales of almost $3,000,000 and $6,000,000 with 70% going direct to the developer (that’s $2,097,900 and $4,195,800 respectively).

What’s even more amazing is that this is pure profit to the developer after Apple have taken their margin!

No distribution costs, no marketing costs, no credit card fees, nothing, nada, his job is done – OK, there may be support work or enhancing the application, but the bulk of the work is covered. Apple will just write him a big fat juicy cheque at the end of each month.

Now of course, there is no certainty that he will reach those numbers, or even that he will charge $9.99 for his app, so these figures could be well in excess of reality but it’s equally uncertain that I’ve under estimated. The total iPhone market could increase to 18 million within the next 12 months and each iPhone has direct access to the App store and the purchase of the “Band” application is but a single click away for many, many millions of iPhone users.

Good luck to him I say!

Now obviously not all applications will have this level of take up but there will be killer apps developed for the iPhone and the App store is a perfect delivery mechanism to all developers to get their applications out to a huge potential market

Now where’s that link to download the SDK?

WWDC Predictions on Mac OS Ken

iTunes.pngDespite there only being a few hours before the WWDC keynote, Ken Ray (he who rocks!) from Mac OS Ken picked up my recent blog post all about my predictions and gave me a call for a chat.

I made some MacWorld predictions back in January on Kens show (along with some other podcasters) and it just so happens that I managed to get a pretty accurate score on my predictions! So Ken is giving me the chance to go public with my thoughts this time round!


Ah well, it’s too late now although I don’t think I’ve gone out on too much a limb.

You can hear the chat I had with Ken over on Mac OS Ken by subscribing to his iTunes feed

WWDC08 – Obligatory Predictions [Updated]

The keynote is now over so it’s time to see how I did! Results are in red.

Well less than 24 hours to go, so I may as well nail my colours to the mast and give you my take on how it’s going to go tomorrow.

I’m feeling slightly nervous about this one as expectations seem to be even higher than usual and there’s nothing worse than being disappointed, even when Apple perform and release a ton of new stuff – it’s just not what people have been led to expect.

So saying that, let’s press on!

The World Wide Developers conference has three themes – iPhone (Mobile), OS X and IT (Enterprise) so I would expect some announcements on all three themes.

iPhone (Mobile)

3G iPhone – The fact that a 3G iPhone is to be launched appears to be a given – scary stuff! However, with Apple withholding stocks of the iPhone for the past three weeks or so, I have to admit that this is the nearest I’ve ever seen to a dead cert for any Apple key note.

Rating: Yes! – Pretty much a cert!

GPS – Mixed feelings on this. Yes, I’d love them to include this but I’m not sure if they’d take the hit on the extra expense and the extra power requirements. Also, why would they have gone to all the trouble of including the cell tower and wifi hot spot triangulation in the last iPhone update. This is an unlikely for me but I would really welcome the addition of GPS.

Rating: No! – Well at least I wanted it. Glad to see it included

Video on the iPhone – If they are embracing 3G on the iPhone then surely video will be there too? I’d even go so far as to say that they’ll also include some mechanism whereby you can have a front facing video capture to do video-conferencing via iChat. I think the leaked CrunchGear photos will be close to the mark, especially with the design theme of tapering edges – just like the MacBook Air.

Rating: Yes and No! – No mention of video – Extremely surprised. Speaking with various people though, it appears the video hooks are available via the API so this may be facilitated by third party apps. See newer post

802.11n WiFi – I’d previously considered 802.11n for the iPhone but was prompted by a twitter from Klaus Lovgreen earlier today to include it. Provided the chipset is small enough and power efficient, 802.11n would be a welcome addition.

Rating: No! – still 802.11g

Wireless Sync – OK, more of a wish than a prediction but Apple really need to implement wireless syncing for the iPhone.

Rating: Yes & No! – Giving myself a let on this one as MobileMe does allow wireless application data syncing and the App store will sync apps wirelessly. I did really mean iTunes syncing so not 100% on this one!

Applications and App Store – Fully expect to see some major software vendors to demonstrate some iPhone apps that will make your head spin. Available as soon as the App store is launched.

Rating: Yes! – But too, too many during the keynote

Games – Lots and lots of iPhone games!

Rating: Yes! – But too, too many during the keynote

Release Date of the iPhone 2.0 – Within 2 weeks of the Keynote

Rating: No! – Not until July 11th but I sort of called it wouldn’t be available on the day


.Mac Upgrade/Rebranding – Touted as a major relaunch of .Mac as MobileMe or something similar, both the timing and the venue for a major announcement on .Mac seems likely due to the increased relevance of Apples mobile focus and the fact that this is a development event.

This will have significant overlap with both the iPhone theme and the IT theme. The enhanced .Mac will offer many push technologies to further boost the potency of the iPhone. One thing that concerns me with the increased functionality provided in iPhone 2.0 with the additions for Exchange support is the exclusion of these features for non-Exchange users i.e a large percentage of Mac users. Apple need to be able to provide these additional features to corporate Mac users so I would imagine they will provide some additional tools/features for Apple Mail and potentially other applications.

Rating: Yes and Yes! – I think I nailed this one

10.6 Launch – I fully expect the 10.6 announcement to be as rumoured although dropping PowerPC support won’t happen just yet – it’s much too soon. The rumour is that 10.6 will be a performance enhancement/stability release without any major new features. This could be an excellent ploy when comparing OS X with the problematic bloatware that is Vista and the apparent Leopard copycat that is Windows 7.

Why move forward on new features when Leopard already has a ton of cutting edge features already (including multi-touch) and the biggest problem Windows suffers from is performance and stability? A performance/stability release would show Apple is more concerned with the user experience and as a side benefit, I would imagine this strategy would free up a lot of spare resource for Apple to apply on developing other software and other consumer products. In most respects, I think I’d prefer a performance/stability release!

Rating: Yes! – I think I’m OK with this one! – Link

IT (Enterprise)

Enterprise Level Apps – As previously indicated, expect to see some significant changes in Apple software to support the Enterprise. This may take a more important part of the keynote than people expect. Apple have the Enterprise firmly in their sights based on the huge steps they are taking in the iPhone space. I fully expect them to at least seed some ideas on how they can support the Enterprise using the Mac and OS X to fully engage those corporates who adopt the iPhone.

Rating: Yes! – Some additional functions of supporting the iPhone in the Enterprise but not perhaps on the OSX side

One More Thing

Well your guess is as good as mine! Some suggestions….

Mac Tablet – Nah! Would be too revolutionary and divert too much information away from the iPhone. Could be available by MacWorld 2009

Rating: Yes! – No Mac Tablet

Updated MacBook Pro – Although the MBP has had a recent speed bump and chipset change, the overall design is badly in need of modernisation. As the event is a developers event and the bulk of those in the audience will probably have a MBP on their lap (heat permitting) or in their bag, the introduction of a redesigned MBP is a possibility. Lots of design cues can be taken from the more modern Macs such as the glass and aluminium styling of the iMac or the tapering design of the MacBook Air. There may also design cues adopted from the newly released iPhones.

Rating: No!

New Cinema Displays – Well I had to include this didn’t I. If there is one product range badly in need of a refresh and price adjustment, it’s the Apple Cinema Displays. If they make an appearance, expect some design cues from the iMac again plus the inclusion of the new super bright LCD displays as found in the more recent laptops. I have heard from certain quarters that iSight cameras are perhaps not welcomed in new Cinema Displays so the inclusion of iSights are less than certain.

Rating: No! And for the record, this is the last time I will ever mention Cinema Displays in a Keynote prediction blog

So there you go, nothing too earth shattering or completely unexpected but Steve Jobs does have a tendency to surprise us at these events so I wouldn’t be too shocked if things turned out completely differently!

People Worth Following at WWDC

Picturesque.pngI’ve been asked to compile a list of twitter addresses of people/developers going to WWDC next week.

These are all people I follow on Twitter and should be tweeting throughout the week. By following them on Twitter yourself, you’ll get a great feeling on how the conference is going.

Don’t expect too much juicy technical info – all of the WWDC Sessions are covered by NDA.

Here is the first draft of the list in no particular order – I’ll add to it if I see more people tweeting from WWDC!


PS Apologies if I’ve left you off! Either add yourself in the comments or drop me an email at [email protected]