More iPwnage

Disclaimer: Honestly, I love my iPhone. It still rules, and I wouldn’t own another smartphone. However, the cynical misanthrope in me loves to deconstruct the hype that surrounds the “God phone”.

On today’s agenda, two items: 1) the “Best phone for business. Ever.” claim and 2) more 3G nonsense.

For Business? Not yet. Maybe, Updates Follow
Beyond the brazen, marketing claims of “twice the speed” and “half the price”, you have the hyperbolic claim that the iPhone is the best phone for business, ever!

I knew a guy in college who would attach an empathic “Ever!” to any best _____ claim, e.g. “That was the best movie. Ever!”. Anyway, moving on, this is laughable claim right now.

The internal mailing list and the group I created on Connect are choked with frenzied requests for help with:

  1. Synchronizing calendar with the iPhone.
  2. Getting VPN working.

Leave the first one for now because that’s a technology discussion more than anything at this point. The second one is nutty. Here’s a scenario someone called me about today.

Someone in Sales wants to demo the Oracle Business Indicators app for the iPhone, the eye candy app Oracle released when the App Store debuted last week. Very cool looking, and I’m sure customers are drooling to get a look at it.

Problem is that there’s no way to connect the app to any demo environment inside the Oracle firewall. We could use the Cisco VPN option, if there were any way to put the appropriate certificate on the iPhone, but remember, there’s no way to put anything on a locked iPhone without iTunes.

Update: Thanks to Bob for the protip. Apparently, it is possible to put files on a locked iPhone (and iPod Touch). Apple has a full-on manual here called “iPhone and iPod Touch Enterprise Deployment Guide”. I’ll have to browse this page-turner to get the 411 and adjust my thinking.

We still can’t use the Cisco VPN client without some help for Security, so stay tuned.

It’s likely that Apple will eventually go to a striped-by-enterprise iTunes model to accommodate these enterprise demands, but who knows how long that will take. Until then, how can we demo these whizzy apps to customers?

Sounds like the only choice is an unlock (2G 2.0 or 3G), but that obviously wouldn’t go over well with Mr. Jobs and company. So what do we do?

The answer is wait. And hope it comes soon. It’s a walled garden, and we’re all happily smelling the flowers. It’s a strange dichotomy that exists with some Mac enthusiasts. Techcrunch IT points it out, i.e. the Open Source stickers on the Macbook. I’m guilty too. I have Ubuntu and PostgreSQL stickers on my Macbook. I really don’t have an explanation for my behavior

Ironic, no?

Anyway, iPhone apps for business are hot like Las Vegas right now. Case in point, Tim blogged about an upcoming (?) BI Publisher iPhone app today. Check it out here. The screencast shows (I think) the SDK development environment. Cool stuff. I hope we can demo it by the time it’s released.


FYI, Rich is getting hooked up with iPhone development stuff. Stay tuned for awesomesauce and thanks to friends of the ‘Lab. You know who you are.

2G Accessories Fail
The second point for today concerns the 3G iPhone and its fails.

Retrevo blogged “Seven Reasons Why the New iPhone Sucks” today. I agree with all seven, and today, I found an eighth to add to the list.

Accessories purchased for an OI (original iPhone) don’t necessarily work with a 3G iPhone. Nice.

Here’s the story. The person in question had upgraded from a OI to a 3G iPhone, but s/he was “having issues with the phone freezing and going blank while on calls”. Bummer.

Worried that s/he might have a defective 3G phone, s/he went to the Genius Bar for help.

“The Guy at the Expert Bar asked what was going on then asked to see my phone.  He took the phone removed my jam jacket handed the phone back to me and said ok it’s fixed.

So now you can imagine, I think he is being a wise guy.. But no he went on to explain. They moved the proximity sensor to a different place on the 3G phone. It used to be located on the speaker on the 2G phone, so the sensor was not blocked when using a jacket/cover.  On the 3G phone the sensor is to the left of the speaker so if you use any covers for a 2G phone the sensor is blocked and gets confused, this in turn will blank the screen and lock it thinking its up against your face…… LOL . . . .

Why did I upgrade the phone or go for the 3G hype?”

This really struck a chord with me. So, not only are we 2G users left with some 3G envy, despite the investment we already made, the accessories we purchased probably won’t work with the 3G version.

So, pretty much all the investment you made in the 2G version is a sunk cost.

Thoughts? Find the comments. They’re directly below, where it says “Add a Comment” or maybe “X Comments” where X is ideally greater than 0. Easy to find.




  1. Heh, I wouldn't know, since I already have a perfectly good one 🙂 If one were released, it would probably be US only, which might be why you missed it.

  2. Great pro tip, thanks. For us, there's still the small matter of the group password, but this is good to know. I'll update the post.

    Much appreciated.

  3. Yeah, sorry about that. I know you've come to expect better spelling from me. I'll do better in the future. Can has doo ovur?

  4. I'm pretty happy with my “classic” iPhone and the 2.0 firmware update. The new 3G looks to me like another case study for the benefits of “trailing edge” technology.

  5. Yeah, I like the 2.0 firmware too. The App Store performs surprisingly well over Edge. I was able to install Urban Spoon and a few updates without it failing.

    Rich wants to tether the 3G to his laptop, and I agree that's a huge plus for the new one. Alas, not allowed. I expect a jailbreak will solve that pretty soon. That might be the killer feature that pushes me, but hey, if last year is the model, we can expect a price drop in a couple months 🙂

  6. I'm more than happy with my classic 2G iPhone, 3G would be fine, but I'm never too far from a WiFi and if I am I can live with 2G speed.
    I'm just excited about the 2.0 software and as soon as I can get VPN and use my iPhone inside the Oracle firewall I'll be a very, very happy bunny.

  7. Personally, I don't think VPN will be all that useful to me. I can get email and web sites using SSL VPN. I guess it opens up iPhone apps, like a Connect Rolodex.

    Tethering the 3G iPhone to my laptop is a killer feature. Rich is right; this would be creamy good awesomesauce. Alas, no dice so far, waiting on an unlocked version.

  8. Just riffing here, but how great would it be to have an LOLcats dictionary for iPhone? It could suggest “evar” when I type “ever”. That way, we wouldn't have this problem.

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