iPhone After 3 Weeks

Data & Rogers
I’ve been using significantly less data than I anticipated. After three weeks I’m just under 100MB total usage. I attribute this partially to: being in The States last weekend; staying within wifi range a lot; and mainly Rogers’ terrible 3G network. The network in Winnipeg is not very good (It’s currently been down for 2 days). I ran a couple of speed test – with full reception, in a stationary position – I was only able to get  200 – 400kbps. More often then not loading extremely light-weight pages, like google or wikipedia results is nearly impossible. Using any sort of streaming is out of the question.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the poor quality of their 3G network might have been one of the main reasons Rogers was so hesitant to offer unlimited data plans. Until now, I don’t think Rogers has been treating their wireless data service as a serious consumer product.

If it wasn’t for the iTunes App Store I would have jailbroken my iPhone by now. We’re finally starting to see some interesting apps bubble to the top.
Twinkle is great! Twitter + location = pretty genius.
Dynolicious, looks like a pretty intense car performance meter. With the ability to generate, graph and store stats like 0-60, lateral Gs, Horsepower, it’s probably worth the $12.99. I drive a Yaris, so it’s kind of pointless for me. It would be pretty hillarious to take on a plane (GPS and accelerometer still work in flight mode).
Starting to see some good free games as well. I’ve been playing BreakClassic, Moonlight Mahjong Lite and Jawbreaker…Wonder if there’s a minesweeper clone.
The facebook app is still great – I think they came out with a 1.1 release since my first post. You can now view all user data.

[if someone knows how to link to the iTunes Store, please leave a  comment]

Ok seriously, why does syncing take over an hour?!
When iTunes does it’s once a day iPhone Backup it takes me at least an hour and a half to sync. And I can’t seem to stop the backup process.


Rogers does not hold a dominant position in the market for mobile wireless telephony services

Back when Rogers initially released their iPhone prices, I filled out a complaint with the Canadian Competition Bureau. To my surprise, they actually replied!

It begins:

Dear Ryan Nerdorf,

Thank you for your correspondence dated June 30, 2008 regarding Rogers Communications Inc. (“Rogers”).

Nerdorf!” What a classic typo. They must have been getting a lot of complains from nerds like me!

Here’s the meat of the response:

It is the Bureau’s view that Rogers does not hold a dominant position in the market for mobile wireless telephony services in Canada.  Rogers is in direct competition with two other major wireless providers, in addition to a number of smaller carriers, all of whom offer handsets that are functional substitutes for the iPhone.  Moreover, Rogers’ recently-announced pricing plans for the iPhone do not constitute an anti-competitive act as these pricing plans do not have an intended negative effect on a competitor that is predatory, disciplinary or exclusionary.  Rather, they reflect an attempt by Rogers to market a product consumers find desirable and set prices accordingly.  This may ultimately be disciplined by competitor responses, and/or by consumers rejecting such a strategy.  In either case, market forces will determine if these prices can be sustained.


iPhone = Stress

*wake up, check phone*
“oh, no new mail”
*shower. check phone*
“9 new emails!?! WTF?!”
(only 3 were spam)


iPhone First Impressions

After waiting 10 hours for my phone to be activated, I’ve had my iPhone 3G now for just over 4 full days. I think this is more than enough time to write a quick review.

Data Usage:

Like every other nerd in the country, I was extremely disappointed and angry after Rogers released their initial price plans. My angry rantings even made Letter of The Day in the Winnipeg Free Press! The main point of contention was complete lack of an unlimited data plan, and egregiously overpriced data buckets (with 300MB/mo going for $30. ie. $100/GB).

Once Rogers Caved to public outcry I was back onboard.

So anyways, how much data have I actually used so far? According to the iPhones internal usage stats. I’ve sent 2MB and received 36.6MB over the celluar network, for a total of 38.6MB or 9.65MB/day. This puts me on track to use 289.5MB this month. Puting me under the original 300MB that we all found so offensive. Go figure. Even though I’m using less data I had thought, I like not having to worry about going over my limit.


The apps make the iPhone. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use another phone that doesn’t have an open-ish application platform.

My top 3 apps are probably facebook, twitterific and mobile flickr. It’s really cool to be able to take a picture from my phone and directly upload them to the web from my phone, inside the same interface. Jott and Evernote seem cool, but I haven’t had a reason to use them yet.

The fact that the apps know exactly where you are (down to 10meters!) has so much potential. I don’t know exactly what it might be, but there’s a killer app lurking in the shadows. That said, I have been a little underwhelmed by the location awareness. It’s just not quite fully … realized, like, “ok. I can see photos taken near by, so what…” Aside from that there are two other problems a) most of the data populating these apps is US-centric, so it’s completely useless to me; b) the attempts at location aware social networking depend on a certain threshold of users before they become interesting – because these apps are a niche within a niche, I don’t really see them taking off.


If the iPhone was a Microsoft product the blogs would be full of hate. I’ve come across a couple of major bugs so far! Namely:

  • GPS stops working for no apparent reason. In the “maps” application the GPS locator just hangs and other apps are unable to pull GPS data – depending on how well the 3rd party app is written, this bug might or might not cause that app to crash. Though I can still continue to use all other features of the phone, if I want to use GPS again I have to reset it.
  • Crashing! Apps – including official apple apps like Safari – just crash, randomly, for no apparent reason!
  • Freezing! Yup, the phone has frozen on my once or twice.

The bugs haven’t been bad enough to frustrate me…yet. They’re more of a minor discomfort. And I’m pretty confident that Apple will push a firmware update soon.


At the end of the day the iPhone is the nicest phone I’ve ever had. It’s definately worth the $200. Whether it’s worth the data plan remains to be seen.


Rogers Caves to Public Pressure!

As rumoured on Electronista, Rogers’ PR spokeswoman Liz Hamilton confirmed that Rogers is indeed announcing a $30 for 6GB iPhone promotion! Although it’s not unlimited, $5/GB fairly reasonable.