Wired: Apple iPhone has wireless industry scrambling

Apple Store“When Apple’s iPhone gatecrashed CES two months ago, it forced the cellular industry’s hand. At Florida’s CTIA Wireless 2007 show this week, it forced them to fold. Buzz, if nothing else, has won the first round,” Rob Beschizza reports for Wired.

Beschizza reports, “At CTIA, evidence abounded that Apple is forcing a sluggish wireless industry to respond to its hybrid media player/phone, which won’t even go on sale until June and will cost $500 for the most basic version.”

Beschizza reports, “Case in point: Samsung and Sprint’s UpStage, a music player-phone hybrid that goes on sale next month. Smaller than a deck of cards, UpStage ignores the standard practice of integrating the audio player functions into the phone, instead placing phone and audio functions on opposites sides of the case. ‘Apple is good at making noise in a certain space, which benefits everyone in that space. Look at the buzz we’re getting on the (UpStage) phone,’ said Kim Titus, a senior PR manager at Samsung Electronics. ‘It’s a music phone, not a smart phone, and it’s getting excellent ratings.'”

We now take a break from Samsung’s equivalent to Iraqi Disinformation Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, to bring you one of the first reviews of the UpStage phone from one of the most-respected of tech reviewers, The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg:

The UpStage has too many weaknesses and compromises for me to recommend it. It has lousy battery life, both as a phone and as a music player, a limitation Sprint and Samsung have tried to offset with a free add-on that makes the phone too bulky. And it comes with so little memory that, out of the box, it can hold only around 20 average songs. Adding more capability costs extra, thus lessening the price advantage… album covers and photos looked grainy, because even the larger screen has pretty low resolution. And occasionally, the start of a song was clipped… the navigation pad on the music side of the phone can be confusing. It works by touch controls; you have to use just the right pressure and slide your finger just the right distance along its sides to get it to work right. It’s too complicated.

Mossberg’s full review here.

Beschizza continues, “Other cellular industry executives were quick to hop on the iPhone bandwagon too. ‘There’s nothing like having someone come out and validate your vision,’ said Bill Blummer, Nokia’s vice president of multimedia in North America. ‘Nokia has always had a passion for creating convergence devices.'”

Full article here.
Whether you believe it’s possible or not for the other players to recover from Apple’s iPhone bombshell, it’s going to take them considerably longer than 2-3 months to do so.

Related articles:
Report: AT&T Wireless says Apple iPhone release date June 11 – March 30, 2007
Apple iPhone steals CTIA Wireless 2007 show; FCC chairman wouldn’t give it back – March 27, 2007
AT&T has received 1 million Apple iPhone inquiries so far – March 27, 2007
Apple’s iPhone ‘preverberations’ rock cell phone industry – March 26, 2007
Hidden details from Steve Jobs’ Apple iPhone keynote – March 24, 2007
Apple iPhone components scheduled for April delivery – March 19, 2007
Sony CEO Stringer talks Apple iPhone: ‘I wouldn’t bet against Steve Jobs’ – March 17, 2007
The Beeb tries to equate ‘smartphones’ with Apple’s iPhone – March 16, 2007
Cellphone users set their sights on Apple’s iPhone; look to get out of existing contracts – March 15, 2007
Getting ready for Apple iPhone: How to get out of your 2-year cellphone contract – March 13, 2007
Wired’s Mortensen: Apple is under-selling iPhone with their 10 million figure – March 13, 2007
Apple’s marketing machine does it again: iPhone generates $400 million in free publicity – March 10, 2007
Analyst: Apple’s iPhone has Palm ‘shaking in their sandals’ – March 09, 2007
Which company is most at risk from Apple’s looming iPhone onslaught? – March 04, 2007
Morgan Stanley reiterates Apple ‘buy’ – says market is underestimating iPhone demand – March 01, 2007
Apple’s 10 million iPhone sales target for 2008 would surpass most other smart phone sales – March 01, 2007
Apple COO Tim Cook: iPhone is a revolutionary product; you get what you pay for – February 28, 2007
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Apple COO Tim Cook: iPhone on track for June launch – February 27, 2007
Goldman Sachs: 4 reasons to be bullish on Apple’s iPhone – February 26, 2007
Apple airs iPhone teaser ad during Oscars – February 25, 2007
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The once-mighty Palm Inc. doomed to decline and failure – thanks to Apple’s iPhone – February 23, 2007
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How Steve Jobs played hardball in iPhone deal with AT&T (Cingular) – February 17, 2007
Digit takes a closer look at Apple’s iPhone – February 14, 2007
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How Verizon blew the Apple iPhone deal – January 29, 2007
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Rogers to offer Apple iPhone exclusively in Canada – January 25, 2007
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Ihnatko: Hands-on with Apple’s iPhone (which runs Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard) – January 18, 2007
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RealMoney: Apple just blew up the whole damn mobile-phone supply chain with its new iPhone – January 11, 2007
eWeek: Apple iPhone fallout: ‘They must be crying in Nokia-ville and other telephony towns today’ – January 10, 2007
Jefferies downgrades Motorola on fears of market share loss to Apple iPhone – January 10, 2007
The massive FUD campaign against Apple’s iPhone ramps up – January 10, 2007
Time: ‘iPhone could crush cell phone market pitilessly beneath the weight of its own superiority’ – January 09, 2007
Analyst: Apple iPhone should be given its own category – ‘brilliantphone’ – January 09, 2007
Apple debuts iPhone: touchscreen mobile phone + widescreen iPod + Internet communicator – January 09, 2007


  1. WTF is up with all this advertising MDNews? No funny pictures, but an ad for Avril’s new album? It’s not like you guys don’t have enough ads…..

    You are starting to suck now MDNews.

  2. Apple validating their vision. Hillarious. Of course it took Apple to bring Nokia’s vision into reality and sell it.

    Won’t Nokia be shocked when Apple sells iPhones but does not share their earnings with the company that had the “vision.”

    I too have visions of flying cars, rental HD movies streamed to my home through some set-top-box, but uh, word to Nokia – “vision” (aka dreaming), means JACK SQUAT!

  3. I stopped by RadioShack yesterday to get a new battery for my LG x8300. The geek salesman asked me how I liked my phone. I said, “it’s okay, it does the job as a phone.” Then he probed for more questions, asking me what I didn’t like. I told him the interface sucks, it takes 5 clicks to do something that should only take 2 clicks. I hate that phone. Every phone I’ve had has been the same experience: it gets the job done, but there are no features that make it worth envy. But the iPhone? That has my envy all over it.

  4. Hyperbolee! Apple doesn’t threaten the cell phone market all. They can call if BUZZ, but I call it FUZZ. If Apple successfully sells 10 million iPhones in 18 months, it would be sucess recorded for the history books. Meanwhile, there will still be millions of regular cell phone owners and users around the world. Doesn’t Wired have better things to write about?

  5. upstage may even HELP apple…I thought it was a great idea to have one side as the phone and the other as a music player

    apple could easily take advantage of this and produce a two face iPod/phone without the internet component

  6. Tommy Boy,
    It isn’t the hardware OR the software engineers that matters. It’s quality control, and at Apple, the QC people all know that their work is going to be checked by Mr. Jobs.

    Not everyone just wants a cheap device for making phone calls. Lots of us want to be able to use a decent web browser, hand held map, and manage our contacts and calendars. A good camera would be useful too. For me, the killer app on the iPhone is visual voicemail. I have never understood why that wasn’t available years ago. My guess: 15 million sold by the end of 2008.

  7. You have got to be shitting me.

    Samsung didn’t “scramble” to create the Upstage, it’s apart of their Ultra series and has been in development from mid-to-late 2006.

    It was announced January 8th at CES as the Ultra Music, the twin to the more feature-rich Ultra Video.


    It’s been bound for Sprint from the beginning and was renamed Upstage for commercial purposes.

    Get the fsck out of here.

  8. Hey, you said,”How repulsive an Avril Lavigne look! Yikes!” I think she looks just great.

    Its that she does not look like Avril anymore. Not sure where that cute fiesty lady went, Hmmmmm, maybe she grew up???


  9. “We now take a break from Samsung’s equivalent to Iraqi Disinformation Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf”

    What ever became of old Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf and his outrageous lies? Well at least his spirit lives on in the entire Bush administration (ah, including that teller of tall tales Sen. John McCain).

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  10. I’m with [sic]. Between my Firefox pop-up blocker and AdBlockPlus, I simply don’t see what stirs the ire of some posters. I’m sure the host of MDN could use some revenue to help pay for this site, but for some of us, few ads get through.

  11. MDN-

    You guys saving up for a trip to the Bahamas? What’s with ALL THE ADS?? Back off a bit–this forum USED to be fun. Now I can barely get to the content. Is that what you want??

  12. How do you catch up to a device with two years in the making…. umm you can’t. So instead of just scrambling around and spitting out products to try and compete with the iphone, how about these companies actually sit down, and try to make a product that can compete. Yeah right like thats going to happen.

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