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FCC Approves iPhone 230

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the hitting-the-airwaves dept.
An anonymous reader alerted us that the iPhone is one step closer to hitting shelves. "The Federal Communications Commission approved Apple Inc.'s iPhone, clearing the way for the combined phone and music player to hit the shelves. Apple expects to begin selling the phones in late June. Some of the FCC documents confirm a few features of the phone, including it will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and will operate in the 1900MHz and 850MHz frequency bands. The phone uses GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technology and the low-speed GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) wireless data standard."
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FCC Approves iPhone

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  • No 900/1800 GSM. Slow GPRS. No user-installable applications. Lame.

    At least it has wireless!
    • by T-Bone-T (1048702) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @09:28PM (#19173267)
      It does have 900/1800. The FCC didn't approve them because they aren't used in the US. It still got all the approval it needed to be sold.
    • I don't see why this is labeled flame bait as he pointed out important limitations. I used cingular/at&t and due to gprs i never even thought about using serious netapps through the cellphone due to low speed and high cost.

      For my current sprint phone I cancelled net features because it was barely used on this type of phone but it's much cheaper and faster. EVDO type networks (Verizon, sprint, etc.) are far better then what AT&T are using. My greatest disappointment about the iphone was the carrie
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by T-Bone-T (1048702)
        I wish it was still modded flamebait. The very first statement was blatantly false and misleading and the last was "Lame". That looks like classic flamebait to me.
      • by kherr (602366) <kevin@puppethead. c o m> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @09:38PM (#19173373) Homepage
        I've been using EDGE through T-Mobile and it's much faster than GPRS. Not sure how it compares to EVDO and I won't vouch for AT&T's network, but it's misleading to tag the iPhone with "slow GPRS" when it supports EDGE.
        • EVDO is much faster (Score:5, Informative)

          by Mr2001 (90979) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:26PM (#19173771) Homepage Journal
          EDGE's theoretical maximum is 473 kbps [wikipedia.org], while EVDO's is 2.4 Mbps [wikipedia.org] - five times as fast. Real world performance is more like 800-1200 kbps, which is still four times the real-world performance you can expect from EDGE.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by magictiger (952241)
            Keep in mind that there are currently two tiers of EVDO in use. Base EVDO tends to run about 300-500kbps. EVDO Rev. A looks closer to what you claimed. For those of us unprivileged who are not covered by Sprint's Rev. A network, it's not such a huge jump from EDGE.
          • In what real world do you mean? I have the most recent offerings from Nokia (N95) and Sony Ericsson (K800/P990), none of these give the throughput the networks claim they provide. WiFi is slow on the N95/N80 and not worthy of the 802.11G label.
          • by Sensible Clod (771142) <dc-7&charter,net> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:51PM (#19174505) Homepage
            I work with and test EVDO and EDGE data modems (same model, different carriers), and I can tell you definitely that EVDO, while faster, is NOT 4 times as fast. It's more like 20-30% faster in my experience.
            • by Mr2001 (90979)
              Well, a lot of people seem to get pretty good speeds from Verizon's [dslreports.com] EVDO. The whole first page of test results is >600 kbps - 50% more than EDGE's theoretical maximum.

              Maybe the network is just slow in your area?
            • by jayratch (568850) <.slashdot. .at. .jayratch.com.> on Friday May 18, 2007 @02:18AM (#19175365) Homepage Journal
              If you've done this real-world test, I have to ask the followup question. Have you compared the other US 3g technology? Being as the iPhone is pretty much guaranteed not to be available on Verizon, the more relevant question would be whether the 3g speed boost is worth the wait. My "real world" experiences comparing Cingular's EDGE and UMTS has pretty much consisted of "choppy video" versus "clear video." With the exception of downloading LARGE content files, ie if the device was running the iTMS, or possibly streaming media which is generally outside Apple's business model, I can't think of a lot of real situations where the extra bandwidth would be much worth the battery life sacrificed.
          • by kalidasa (577403) on Friday May 18, 2007 @06:49AM (#19176569) Journal
            Do they have EVDO in Europe? No. So if you're trying to build a killer international product, EVDO is not what you're going to choose.
          • by Shakrai (717556)

            EDGE's theoretical maximum is 473 kbps, while EVDO's is 2.4 Mbps - five times as fast. Real world performance is more like 800-1200 kbps, which is still four times the real-world performance you can expect from EDGE.

            And all EVDO requires is that you sign away your life to a CDMA provider that locks you into crippled and proprietary phones. No thanks. T-Mobile may not have a great phone selection but I can go buy one directly from Motorola or Nokia and throw my SIM into it if I so desire. Ditto for Cin

        • by nxtw (866177)
          EDGE is a better (still slow) version of GPRS, compared to EV-DO and WCDMA/HSDPA. EV-DO and WCDMA/HSDPA are much faster than EDGE. AT&T has deployed HSDPA in many markets and Sprint and Verizon have deployed EV-DO in most markets..

          Basically, the iPhone (coming out in mid 2007) uses slow network technology. The replacement (HSDPA) was available in most major (top 10-20) markets with the notable exception of Los Angeles..... at the end of 2006. Now, HSDPA is available in some parts of 2/3 of the state
      • by alisson (1040324)
        It depends on your region. I live in the Minneapolis area, and AT&T is easily the best provider here, for anything. The others have shoddy service.
      • Re:Important Points (Score:4, Informative)

        by nxtw (866177) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:17PM (#19173705)
        AT&T is now using HSDPA, which is significantly faster than 1xRTT, EDGE, GPRS, etc. and on par with EV-DO. Much of the network supports it, with a great number of deployments in the past few years. Also, compared to Sprint, AT&T has more 3G coverage in my market (out of the 4 3G networks here, Sprint, Alltel and Verizon EV-DO and Cingular HSDPA, only Verizon and Cingular bother to cover outlying areas).

        The worst major carrier (digital broadband wise) is T-Mobile.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by outZider (165286)
          Luckily, T-Mobile is better at just about everything else, for a quarter of the price. Sure, I only get EDGE speeds. Then again, I'm not spending $80/month for data access.
    • by dwater (72834)
      > No user-installable applications.

      From what I've read, this is far from certain.

      I suspect they'll go for a similar model as S60 - that is, anyone can write s/w, but it has to be approved before they'll let it be installable. This service is called Symbian Signed on S60 and it's (somewhat) mandatory on S60 3rd.
  • Radio Schematic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grumling (94709) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @09:23PM (#19173209) Homepage
    Apple asked that other documents such as diagrams, a schematic of the radio, the radio bill of materials and operational descriptions remain private indefinitely. The FCC agreed to the requests.

    Anyone else miss the old days when every radio came with a schematic? They were usually under the battery cover or in the manuals. It really helped spark an interest in electronics, at least for me.
    • Re:Radio Schematic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Doppler00 (534739) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @09:34PM (#19173319) Homepage Journal
      Well.... if they were to do that the schematics would be grossly complex now days. You'd have a circuit schematic with 100's of pins per chip.... would be very impractical and useless to all but a dozen people. Besides, the schematic doesn't really say how it works, since all the circuitry is integrated into proprietary IC's. THOSE are the schematics Apple and other manufacturers keep to themselves.
      • by grumling (94709)
        Yea, I know, but at least if it were available somewhere...

        The main reason the FCC doesn't require the print to be on the radio anymore is because most of them were impossible to read anyway.
        • by ls -la (937805)

          The main reason the FCC doesn't require the print to be on the radio anymore is because most of them were impossible to read anyway.
          I'd guess it has more to do with companies with deep pockets wanting to keep their circuits secret.
          • Re:Radio Schematic (Score:5, Interesting)

            by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:23PM (#19174267)

            The main reason the FCC doesn't require the print to be on the radio anymore is because most of them were impossible to read anyway.

            I'd guess it has more to do with companies with deep pockets wanting to keep their circuits secret.


            Actually, I haven't come across ANY recent FCC filings where the schematics are public these days.

            Take a trolling of the FCC filings of anything these days, and the "summary" view lists schematics, internal theory of operation, etc, but it says they aren't public. The "detail" view (which lets you grab the filed documents) doesn't even list those. All you can get are the test report, test setup, manual, photos, internal photos, and maybe a couple of letters. Try it on your wifi card, or your cellphone, or your wireless mouse. It's a rare product where the schematic is actually available for free download from the FCC site.
    • by antibryce (124264)
      Synthesizers used to come with schematics too. They stopped when it became largely a collection of custom digital chips. I would imagine it's a similar problem with radios and cell phones. The schematic was there so you (or someone) could service it. But with it all being custom stuff there's not much anyone can do.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Trailer Trash (60756)

      Anyone else miss the old days when every radio came with a schematic? They were usually under the battery cover or in the manuals.

      Well, if the iPhone is anything like the iPod, it may well have a schematic under the battery, but you'd never know.

    • by snero3 (610114)

      I agree with you.

      But you have to admit that the schematic for the iphone is going to be a lot more complicated that a transistor radio. There for not able to fit on the back battery cover. It would probably need its own book

    • My fender amp came with a schematic (on a seperate piece of paper no less) about 6 years ago.

      Was kind if interesting but simple and my guess would be that circuits these days are either going to be too simple to bother or too complex (and proprietary)

  • too bad (Score:3, Informative)

    by Neuropol (665537) * on Thursday May 17, 2007 @09:26PM (#19173247) Homepage
    Vermont doesn't get to play with the new toys like the rest of the kids. Unicel has a firm grasp (sp/grasp/stranglehold) on the GSM network up here. As of current, and for what ever reason, they will also not be selling the iPhone. One would say go with Cingular or T-Mobile or which ever carrier applies, but one can't do that without penalty as well for not being on home network. If 50% of your calls, or more, are in non-network coverage areas for Cingular, you get the 'sorry-we've-dropped-you-as-valued-customer' letter.
    • Re:too bad (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @09:30PM (#19173283)
      I feel sorry for all 12 residents of Vermont.
    • by Shakrai (717556)

      Unicel has a firm grasp (sp/grasp/stranglehold) on the GSM network up here

      Well a monopoly sucks but trust me when I say that you really don't want to do business with Cingular. It's too bad that T-Mobile doesn't have a presence in your state. They are the only one of the big four that I'm willing to give my money too.

      If 50% of your calls, or more, are in non-network coverage areas for Cingular, you get the 'sorry-we've-dropped-you-as-valued-customer' letter.

      Yeah, I know people who have used that to

  • by jdc180 (125863)
    So this is coming out with cingular right? Where's EDGE or 3G? Congratulations Apple, you've released a phone that would have been competitve in 2003.
    • You've read a slashdot summary and assumed it was accurate. Thanks for playing.

      Read non-sarcastically: it has EDGE. Obviously, 3G will be on the next revision so you can buy it again. That's how Apple works. Not that I mind it entirely, because I always have a fairly new piece of equipment since I'll always be upgrading. A side effect of this is that my Apple products generally don't break because I don't own them long enough. Yes, I'm okay with this because I have gobs of money.

      I love the tech industry.
  • another prediction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iroll (717924) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:12PM (#19174191) Homepage
    Want to know what the killer app on the iPhone will be?

    myspace.com

    I'm a teacher, and I can tell you that at least 10% of my students have Sidekicks (or knockoffs), and that is all they do with them.

    All.

    Day.

    Long.

    This will be the next status item for teenagers and "trying-to-be-hip" parents everywhere. These are the people who buy a $500 purse and take it to the grocery store, or who buy $150 shoes and walk around with the tags still on. This phone costs no more than 3 pairs of pants for them. I already hear them talking about how much they hate their Sidekicks and how much they think the iPhone will rock. It's on their birthday lists. I have no doubt that Apple will be laughing all the way to the bank on this one, big time.

    I'm not saying it has to happen, I'm just saying that I saw it happen with iPods and Sidekicks, and this has got all of the same symptoms.
    • by aphor (99965)
      I'm a Gen X techie, but unlike the other wee nee poseurs on Slashdot, I get a bigger picture. I paid ~300 for a BlackBerry because I wanted a *smart* device that could say take a standard meeting invitation from my email and add that to my standard PIM calendar so I could get a standard alarm when the time draws near.

      What a disappointment. It is a mediocre phone. It is a dismal web browser. Spam: right to my hip. It doesn't sync my addressbook over bluetooth because RIM crippled the device (no OBEX or BT Sy
    • how much they think the iPhone will rock. It's on their birthday lists [...] Apple will be laughing all the way to the bank
      Heh, when my kid puts an iPhone on his birthday list, there will be only one laughing and that's me ;-)
    • Actually, the killer app for the iPhone will most certainly be proper integration of the phone and phone book. I can't believe that it hasn't been done correctly until now. I have a piece-of-sh*t motorola razr and can't even get my dozen contacts information in without a problem. The freaking thing is saying that one individual's name and number are already in, so it won't let me add it again. Unfortunately the name doesn't show up in my contact list, but it shows up as caller ID when he calls me up. I
  • by Steve Cowan (525271) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:37PM (#19174399) Journal
    People don't care whether their phone has GPRS or EDGE or EVDO or 3G. The points nobody's mentioning here that will make the phone take off are:

    Decent resolution camera for a a phone.
    Sexy touchscreen with multi-touch! This is new to any consumer device, not just phones.
    Visual voicemail. A first for any phone.
    Display changes orientation when you turn the device. Again: HAWT.
    The promise of web browsing in your hand that sctually renders real web pages correctly.
    Built-in iPod functionality that syncs with iTunes, and lists of songs/movies you can "flip" through.

    It's not how much memory it has or how fast it communicates, it is the "unquantifiable" that sells things like phones.
    • by dn15 (735502) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:09AM (#19174597)

      The promise of web browsing in your hand that sctually renders real web pages correctly.
      This is a huge feature to me. Not that I'm really going to drop all that cash on one. But its ability to zoom in and out from full page view to readable text makes it possible to use a "real" browser on a mobile device without limiting one's self to mobile-friendly sites.
      • by dwater (72834)
        Try an S60 3rd device. They have a great web browser. If it isn't already installed (some of the older devices come with a crappy wap browser), you can download and install it.

        I hope you can do similarly with an iPhone when it comes out...
      • by argent (18001)
        The promise of web browsing in your hand that sctually renders real web pages correctly.

        You mean "the promise of more useless shiny".

        I'm sure the cultists will go nuts over waiting for huge bloated web pages to slowly download over the trailing edge (not even EDGE) connection, but really... it was hard enough reading a "properly rendered" web page on my old Libretto... which had a better display than the iPhone. Anyone old enough to afford one is gonna need to spring for LASIK to read it.

        Well, maybe not tha
    • by dwater (72834)
      IMO, most of your points are valid, though probably arguably. I'd especially question that the touchscreen has yet to prove itself viable since I and many others prefer keys especially when using single handedly on the move.

      However, IMO, this one isn't valid :

      > The promise of web browsing in your hand that sctually renders real web pages correctly.

      While it does promise what you say, S60 has had this [s60.com] for a while. It even uses the same engine as Apple's Safari, IINM. It's compatible on most(?) of it's 3rd
  • *waves iPhone in face*

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