The iPhone 4 Line

Wish I had ordered home delivery of the iPhone 4! There’s a multihour wait at the Stanford Apple store for reserved orders. I stopped by early this morning and it was worse but I had hoped to just walk in this afternoon – no such luck!

An iAd Ecosystem?

For me, the most interesting part of today’s iPhone 4.0 announcement event was the announcement of iAd. It was the last of the seven “tent poles” – and certainly the most strategically interesting.

Don’t get me wrong – the other iPhone 4.0 enhancements (for both end-users and app developers) were important. But the introduction of a new advertising platform – iAd – was especially important.

As he was building the rationale for doing so, Steve Jobs talked about how mobile handset users tend to search less and tend to spend more time in mobile apps. iAd is intended to enable app developers to insert powerful, interactive, emotional ads into their apps – and to participate in a majority (60%) of the advertising revenue stream.

At today’s event, Jobs demonstrated several ad mockups that incorporated interactivity, video and emotional levers. It was impressive.

The question that’s open, of course, is how this ecosystem actually gets off the ground – how it gains some semblance of balance – enough of those powerful/emotional ads from advertisers balanced against enough advertising opportunities from app developers. This kind of ecosystem demands that kind of balance to be successful.

I’ll be watching with keen interest how this all evolves.

Recommendation: The Pipeline Podcast by Dan Benjamin

I don’t have a long commute – but sometimes find myself in the car for trips up to an hour in duration. For those times, I try to keep my iPhone up to date with a variety of podcasts that, depending on my mood, help me pass the time while driving (see my earlier recommendations for photography-related podcasts).

One of the best podcasts I’ve recently discovered in The Pipeline by Dan Benjamin of This morning I listened to Dan’s discussion with Merlin Mann – and it was just great. If you want to stimulate something other than your lizard brain (!), give it a listen. Some of Dan’s earlier guests have also been great!

A Very Pretty Afternoon in Sharon Park

See my post “A Last 2009 Sunday in Sharon Park” over on, a “hyperlocal” blog about Menlo Park that we started about six months ago with a couple of very good friends.

Today was a mixed day weather wise – some drizzle and some spectacular sun. I took Lily for a late afternoon walk at Sharon Park and caught the low sun angle reflecting on the pond and fountain – taken with my iPhone 3GS using the BestCamera app.

Curious About Book Edition Pricing – The Lost Symbol Example

Dan Brown’s latest novel The Lost Symbol is available in a Kindle edition – said to be selling better than the hardcover edition at!

Yesterday, while browsing the iTunes Store, I noticed there’s also an edition of The Lost Symbol available for the iPhone (in an edition powered by Iceberg Reader)! Iceberg says:

“We currently offer over 500 best-selling books in the App Store, and are thrilled to announce we will soon be bringing more than a million books, as well as more than 50 major magazines and over 170 daily newspapers to the iPhone.”

Frankly, I hadn’t noticed they had over 500 books for sale in the App Store!

Anyway, back to The Lost Symbol. What’s curious is the pricing: Kindle ebook edition: $9.99, hardcover edition at $16.17 (plus any shipping), iPhone ebook edition: $24.99. Hmmm.

Eating Crow!

OK, time to fess up and eat some crow…iPhone crow.

Two weeks ago I penned a post about how the iPhone 3GS was the iPhone I really wanted – but wasn’t going to get because of AT&T’s then-current approach to subsidizing iPhone purchases.

At that time, I wrote: “I’ll most likely be skipping an iPhone 3GS upgrade this cycle – and just living with my 3G until June 2010 when my current bondage to AT&T is exhausted and complete.”

Turns out that AT&T listened – and adjusted. Thank you!

Through a combination of determining the qualified date based upon total payments to AT&T (e.g., family plan, data plan, text plan, etc) and an accommodation they made to accelerate upcoming qualification dates to being qualified now, I was able to suddenly qualify for the iPhone 3GS at the fully subsidized price – in my case $299 for the 32 GB model. I picked one up today at the Apple Store at Stanford and have been enjoying its much improved speed and responsiveness, the new camera (with video!) and Voice Control!

What am I offered for a “mint” 16GB iPhone 3G that has suddenly become surplus gear?