Wednesday, January 26, 2011

iPhone5 buzz: 2011 in America will be 2003 in South Korea

As a long-time Mac user, I am guilty of having once or twice used the following joke to underscore that Microsoft was incapable of producing an operating system that was anything more than a poor and untimely imitation of Apple's far more innovative, stable, and superior Macintosh OS:
Windows 95 = Macintosh 87
Well, I suppose we could trot out a similar gag now, but with Apple as the butt of the joke. You see, there are rumors that users of the new iPad 2 or iPhone 5, which will reportedly come out in mid-winter and late spring, respectively, will be able to use the devices like a credit card. This, of course, is a technology that has been a success in South Korea since 2003 (it was actually introduced in 2002, but didn't take off right away) and widely used in Japan since 2004.

Anyway, here's the Bloomberg story:
Apple Inc. plans to introduce services that would let customers use its iPhone and iPad computer to make purchases, said Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group.

The services are based on “Near-Field Communication,” a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches, due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone for AT&T Inc. and the iPad 2, Doherty said. Both products are likely to be introduced this year, he said, citing engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project.

Apple’s service may be able to tap into user information already on file, including credit-card numbers, iTunes gift-card balance and bank data, said Richard Crone, who leads financial industry adviser Crone Consulting LLC in San Carlos, California.
Prior to having an iPhone, I was content to use my various LG cellular phones in Korea and in the US just for calling and texting, even though the Korean ones apparently did a heck of a lot more. There's something about the iPhone, though, that just lends itself to doing these complicated tasks easily and with confidence. (Another part of the reason was that continuing to use my good old-fashioned Asiana Airlines credit card gave me beaucoup miles.)

However, now I may give this mobile payment system a shot, but I don't see myself getting an iPhone 5 when it comes out, just because my iPhone 4 still feels very new and it does pretty much everything I want it to do, and a lot of the new stuff will be iOS-related anyway, and thus will work on the iPhone4 anyhow.

But still, some of these possible changes sound sweet, and I will be tempted to get the iPad 2, especially if it does end up with a retina display (the iPhone 4 has spoiled me).


  1. iPad 2 with a Retina Display? Not likely, man.

    John Gruber explains why in Cold Water on the iPad 2 Retina Display Hype.

  2. What John Gruber explains is not new to me, and as recently as last month I expressed doubts that they could pull off a retina display in the next iPad.

    But even Mr Gruber acknowledges there could be greater resolution, a scaling up by 1.25 or 1.5 times, but not likely 2 times, which would be the same pixel-per-inch that the iPhone 4 has.

    But then you get into the whole issue of what defines a retina display. Apple made it clear that they're referring to a PPI high enough that your eye can't recognize individual pixesl at a typical reading level. Mr Gruber himself acknowledges this: you would typically look at an iPad from farther away than you would an iPhone, so a retina-grade display on an iPad would require fewer pixels per inch.

    Anyway, I am holding out on higher pixelation before I ever seriously consider an iPad. The iPhone 4 has spoiled me that much. The 11-inch MacBook Air may be what we see on the iPad 2: more pixels, but not as many per inch as the iPhone 4. But if that's their solution, I would get a MacBook Air over an iPad if I were in the market (my MacBook Pro is only a year old, so I have no immediate plans).

    Anyway, thanks for the link.


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