Kickstarter has done it again ! For those of you who don’t know kickstarter let me give you a brief explanation – kickstarter allows you to advertise a product/project you wish to create and raise money to that goal from kickstarters online community. You set a time & money goal and hope for the best. Contributors may pledge you money just for the fun of it or in exchange for a promise to receive the final product, so it’s like the ultimate preorder. Every once in a while something amazing happens there and a new great product is born… this is one of those cases.
A couple of months ago when I bought my iPad with the help of my brother-in-law who lives in Texas I had to buy it through craigslist because they were out of stock in all the apple stores and various retail chains. Because Apple weren’t able to meet the high demand for iPads, they delayed their international launch, and for us in Israel it seemed like it was never going to happen. Now that demands are being met and shipping time dropped significantly I’m much more hopeful that soon we’ll be able to buy iPads here through apple’s official Israeli distributer.
It’s been reported yesterday, that the Israeli computer stores chain – “BUG”, will start selling iPads, as early as next week. This is even before the official Apple distributors – “iDigital” are able to do so. BUG will only sell wifi iPads for now, at the following reported prices:
iPad wifi 16gb – 3,799nis & iPad wifi 64gb – 4,899nis. BUG will offer service & repairs by their labs and market the iPads with a one year guarantee, as opposed to the official iDigital Apple labs. That means that if the device is repaired by BUG, that would probably void the original Apple warranty.
iDigital responded to these publications harshly, stating that selling these iPads, without official Apple repair services and support is irresponsible, and even misleading, because the iPads don’t have hebrew support yet. They commented that customers should be patient for a few more weeks, until iDigital start marketing them with the original warranty and at better prices.
I must say, that there is an element of truth to what iDigital is saying, but the picture is not as bleak as they paint it. For example, hebrew support is not officially implemented in the current iPad iOS, but the moment it is updated to support Hebrew, it will work the same for iPads bought from BUG as it would for iPads bought from iDigital. Not to mention, if you decide on jailbreaking your iPad, you can pay 8$ (~30nis) for unofficial Hebrew support by Tom Zickel, which is satisfactory for most users.
Regarding pricing – although prices might, as iDigital say, be cheaper with them – they would still be not as cheap as buying them abroad. So, unless you can get them that way, I would listen to iDigital and wait a bit longer. Having said that, I love my iPad dearly, and i’m really glad I didn’t need to wait for Apple to stock it’s official distributors here.
First off, I would like to apologize to those of you reading this post, for it’s lack of writing style. Please acknowledge that this is my first blog post and as such there will be a lot of room for improvements.
I guess what kick started me is the inspiring work Apple has done on it’s latest creation – the new iPhone 4. I’ve followed Steve Jobs keynote address and it got me really excited, enough that I felt the urge to share this with those of you who know me.
I’ve had a bit of a dilemma whether to post this in Hebrew or English, but have decided on the later, mostly as writing about technology sucks in hebrew, because of the constant need to switch to english for tech terms. I would love to hear what you think about that decision, so feel free to pass me your comments either here or by email, post mail, phone, telegraph or face-to-face.
Ok… let’s begin.
First off Apple has stated they feel that the iPhone 4 is the most significant leap since the first iPhone came out in 2007, and I completely agree with them. I will cover the most important features and advancements.
- All New Design – and what a beautiful design it is. The new phone has aluminosilicate glass plates on both front and back engineered by apple to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times stronger than plastic, which means it is much more scratch resistant and durable than before, great for those of you who have the habit of putting the phone in your pocket with spare change or keys, and even better for those of you who have the tendency to drop it on the floor every once in a while (Sagi – i’m talking to you).It’s 24% thinner than previous models, 9.3mm if you want the exact number, which makes it the thinnest smart phone on the planet.The frame is a stainless steel band, and because it’s 5 times stronger than normal steel that allows for it’s thin design to be possible. The frame also acts as the iPhone’s antennas which minimizes components space requirements.
- HD LCD Display – they’re calling it the Retina Display, because at 960-by-640 resolution, it boasts an amazing 326 pixels per inch, which by Steve’s account is more than our eyes can distinguish. That means that text will look sharper than ever and graphics incredibly vivid. With that capability they now added the iBooks store/app so you’r iPhone might really become an e-reader too.
- Cameras – There are both front and back cam’s, and before I get to their specs, I would like to talk about the new FaceTime calls feature. This is essentially what Apple’s calling their Video conferencing feature.
Until now, mobile video conferencing has really been an unused feature available with many phones, but now I predict (and as most of you know my predications are hardly ever wrong), that this will do for mobile video conferencing calls what iphone’s mobile safari did to mobile web browsing.
Mobile web browsing usage before iPhone was around 5% with other handsets, and when the iPhone came out that jumped to around 85%. I have the feeling that we’ll see something along that line with this, because their implementation looks like something captain kirk & spock would envy. Simple to use, it will allow both horizontal & vertical display and with great ease you’ll be able to switch to the back camera to stream what you are seeing. Imagine talking to your parents and then switching to the back cam to show them their grandchildren doing something cute or funny.
Now for the specs:
- Back Camera – 5 megapixels still camera with a LED flash, and in video mode this camera will capture 720p 30FPS video ! which coupled together with the new iMovie app (5$), will be fan-fuckin-tastic !
- Front Camera – VGA cam (640×480) @ 30FPS.
- Tap to focus.
- 5x digital zoom.
- Battery & CPU – There is a new processor called A4 which is both powerful and efficient and together with a new battery will allow for unprecedented usage times:
- 6 hrs 3G browsing.
- 10 hrs WIFI browsing.
- 10 hrs video.
- 40 hrs music
- 300 hrs standby.
- Mic – Two mic’s: one for recording your voice while the other records background noise inorder to carry out noise cancellation. No more – “I can’t hear you with all that noise, what did you say again ?! “
- Pricing – 199$ for 16GB and 299$ for 32GB, but we don’t know what the plans look like yet, and we surely don’t know what that translates to here in Israel, but in any case it might be a little less expensive than before. Btw the 3GS will be sold only as an 8GB model for 99$.
- Release Date
- USA, UK, France, Germany & japan – in two weeks (june 24) !
- 18 more countries in july.
- 24 in August.
- 40 in September.
Needless to say it looks like Israel will be in the last batch, but even that is just 3 months away !
Btw, this is the exact timeline I predicted, OMG I love to be right ! 🙂
Now there are a few more things to talk about and other stuff they announced, like the iPhone OS renamed as iOS 4 and it’s availability on June 21, but it’s already 3:45 am, and I have to goto sleep so I hope you enjoyed reading this and I can’t wait to read and hear your comments.
מי שלא קופץ אנדרויד, מי שלא קופץ אנדרויד !!