Versihold Media Stand A Great Stocking Stuffer for $10

If you’re looking for a great stocking stuffer for your techie buddies this year, head over to Versihold and snag their personal media stand for $10. Also, while supplies last, they’re including a second tripod (not a 2nd Versihold clamp, but the tripod base) for FREE.

These Versihold stands are ‘versatile’ (see what I did there) and can be used on any standard tripod stands. I have one on mini GorillaPod and it lets me put my iPhone just about anywhere I want. The tripod(s) it comes with is just fine on it’s own, but use your own to make it a whole other tool.


Would you be a Verizon iPhone switcher?

An interesting post was put up on talking about a survey conducted by ChangeWave Research. The survey found that over half of Verizon customers want an iPhone. 54% to be exact. That’s a HUGE number for Apple and HAS to be a consideration when looking at what seems to be an inevitable roll out on the Verizon network.

The typical Verizon customer, I believe, is there because of call quality and network coverage. Plain and simple, Verizon is the best in both of those camps. I don’t know that anyone other than hardcore sales people for other providers would argue those facts. 49% of Verizon’s customers were “very Satisfied” with the service. Compare this to 23% for AT&T.

I have both a Verizon phone and an iPhone on AT&T and I would agree. Despite disliking AT&T’s coverage, I just can’t give up the iPhone, yet it’s not solid enough to replace my Verizon phone completely. My biggest complaint is dropped calls and call quality. Seems like both of those things have been getting worse over the past year. Initially I thought it was a problem with the iPhone. Other phones on AT&T don’t appear to have the same problems as us iPhone users. However, I’m now wondering if it’s just AT&T in general. Check out this graph of dropped calls over a recent 90 day period:

Sure different phones have different reception strengths and weaknesses, and the iPhone certainly could be one of the worse devices. There just seems to be more reception problems lately. I’ve also noticed data getting spotty service overall. Yesterday, for example, I was at my kids’ track meet, out in the wide open with 4 bars and data was dead. The iPhone was even reporting 3G service. That’s becoming a common occurrence for me.

All that to say, I personally think it’s time for the iPhone to make a move to Verizon. Verizon has always been behind the curve on cool devices. We’ve lived with the boring phones for years now, but they DO work well. I bet that Verizon stands to gain a huge boost in new customers if it finally releases a cool device like the iPhone on their network.

The sad part is, people are starting to question if it will happen this year. One analyst with BroadPoint AmTech says it won’t happen until the first quarter of next year. Here’s for hoping he’s wrong. I’m ready to go back to carrying one cell phone!

Read the entire ZDNet blog post here: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year.


Pay At Starbucks With Your iPhone

I’m not sure whether to think this is creepy or cool. Starbucks announced last week that you can now pay for that Mocha Soy Latte with an app you can download onto your iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s called the Starbucks Card Mobile App and basically will function as your Starbucks Card once you plug your card number into the app.

Right now the only stores accepting the digital payment are select stores in Seattle and the Silicon Valley. Strangely, you can also use it in all US Target Starbucks Stores. That’s odd to me because those “leech” type stores always seem to be behind the times in Starbucks technology.

Feels a bit strange to me overall. Sure it’s convenient to pay for everything with your phone, and I know it’s just a matter of time before every Tom, Dick and Harry follows suit. I also know micropayments via a cell phone are all the rage in Japan. Still seems futuristic and kind of like technology is taking over my life (as if it hasn’t already). Maybe I just need to get with the times.

Anyone try this app out yet?


4G iPhone Coming in 4th Generation?

Just stumbled across a site that is claiming to have iPhone 4G parts in hand. Looks like there are some changes to the reflective surface and the face appears to be a tad bit longer. It’s tough to say if these signify something legitimate that’s coming or if they’re just prototypes built by some Chinese rip-off device company.

Regardless, it’s still exciting to anticipate what Apple will be releasing in the next gen iPhone. I really hope it’s 4G capable and would LOVE IT if it were on Verizon.

[Source & Image:]


Will Apple Take A Hit In The Recession?

With the buzz of last weeks event still electrifying the Apple stock and market, how will Apple adjust to the recession and cut in stock? I’m going to have to agree with my fellow blogger, Henry Blodget, who states that Apple Won’t Get Crushed By The Recession.

The new MBP and other products launched within the last few months have took into account the market and economy, while still maintaining the elegance and superior performance that Apple offers. They have been able to effectively balance the, ” magical halo of quality and cool” that Blodget mentions, while still lowering prices to a reasonable rate for those interested in purchasing a Mac for the first time or buying the new, sleek MBP with its innovative features. Blodget says:

  • A $1,000 laptop is not really much more expensive than an $800 laptop, especially for a product that should last a few years. Apple will never win over the folks who choose purely on price anyway, so it would be dumb for it to sacrifice its premium positioning to try.

  • The $200 iPhone has much of the functionality that many people once looked to laptops for, and some potential buyers of $500-$800 laptop will opt for that instead. Apple’s iPhone, moreover, is still the highest quality product in the market, so no one who buys it will ever feel like they’re settling for less.


I agree with Blodget’s reasoning, but still, there were many who were disappointed with the event and were hoping that Apple would lower their prices a little more in order for those struggling in a recession to be able to purchase a new Mac.

So while Apple is far from ‘taking a hit’ in the current recession, though everyone will see a cut in stock and lowering in profit margin and purchasing, Apple will still be just find and continue to excel as the leader in innovative and user-friendly, cutting edge technology.

But I can’t help but wonder, will Apple ever make their products, like the iPhone, available at a lower price or keep it just out of reach for the average joe in order to maintain its mystical and superior quality status?


iPhone 3G at Best Buy…you, happier?

September 7th marked an eventful day at Best Buy stores across the nation as they became the first company outside of AT&T and Apple to carry the coveted iPhone 3G. Best Buy has promoted and prepared for the event, anticipating record lines in front of the store before opening and bringing in large staffs to handle the various purchasing and set-up options they are offering. Best Buy highlights the iPhone 3G’s release both in store, through their ads and online. They offer in-store set up and ‘out the door working’ capabilities with the new purchase.

Yet at a Best Buy store in the Pacific NW, as the opening day came and went, the record lines before opening were missing and the first day sales of the iPhone seemed to be a disappointment. The brand new Best Buy mobile wasn’t nearly as busy as they hoped and the hyped and highly advertised iPhone 3G seemed to be an afterthought to customers entering the store. While the upgrades of Best Buy mobile in stores is most likely the reason Apple was willing to allow the electronics store to sell the iPhone, it is apparent they did not experience the large revenue push they were expecting. Best Buy already offers iPod digital music players at all its stores and is now even selling Mac computer lines at its more than 600 locations.

While the initial day surge may not be what’s expected, Best Buy still stands to gain considerable revenue from the iPhone in their store, as they continue to expand their relationship with Apple and search to meet the consumers needs as a one-stop shop electronics store.  Yet they may be a little to late on the iPhone 3G rush. Their listed price is online at 199.99 with 8GB memory and 299.99 with 16GB memory. The 199.99 price is available to new AT&T customers and customers ‘qualified’ for an upgrade. If you do not qualify for an upgrade, the price rockets up to 399.99. Apple Stores are also increasing their shipment supplies of iPhones and are becoming more readily available. All three stores in my local area had the iPhone 3G in stock as of today.

Time will tell whether the iPhone 3G acquisition for Best Buy will be another great move by the world’s leading electronic store or if their relationship with Apple could cloud their marketing foresight and ability.


My Family’s New Love: Facebook

You would think Santa had just brought the household a new puppy on Christmas morning. My family is enamored with Facebook. One good thing about this love affair is I don’t have to clean up doggie “accidents” or deal with chewed up furniture. It’s also highly likely Facebook isn’t going to get hit by a car or develop bad hips.

Needless to say, I’ve been dabbling a bit with the site in an effort to remain the king of my house when it comes to the number of friends each of us has. To help me, I downloaded the Facebook Application onto my iPhone and I’m pretty impressed. It has the most used base communication features of the web version. I’ve found that adding new friends is actually faster than it is with the web version.

If you’re into Facebook and have an iPhone, give the Facebook Application a try.


The iTicket, and Moving To the Front of The Line

After calling around to the three Portland area stores I found out that all three had iPhones in stock, and were handing out the ‘golden ticket’ above, to let you know you were going to get a phone–either that day if you wanted to wait, or any other time you came in, and of course, wanted to wait. I snagged a ticket, got in line and proceeded to wait about 45-60 minutes, got prequalified, and then got my iPhone.

An interesting thing happened while I was waiting. I noticed a hip looking, attractive blond gal walk in, ask someone about the line, get a ticket, and them mill around the store a bit. There were still people behind me when I got called up for my phone, so I was surprised to see a few moments later that the ‘lady in pink’ had somehow ended up standing with the guy who was pre-qualifying just a few minutes earlier, iPhone bag in hand, at an activation screen. The same folks waiting were still waiting.

I asked the person helping me if she knew how that lady hopped the line, and she said “I have no idea. It might be a business thing.” I asked another person on my wait out, and she kind of shrugged it off too. But I’m still curious to know if she either a) somehow managed to talk the whole line into letting her skip to the front, or b) had some special business pass at Apple to let her skip the line, or c) simply wooed the Apple dude into letting her skip the line.

Anyone know of an actual Golden Ticket that lets you skip to the front of the line?


iPhone – The Cabbage Patch Doll of Our Time

When I was just a kid, one of my siblings asked for a Cabbage Patch doll for a gift. I remember my dad running around like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way, trying to find that ugly little thing, and probably aging 5 years in process. I’m catching glimpses of that fiasco every time I call the local AT&T shops and Apple Stores asking about iPhone availability.

I think I’ve finally given in, and let our AT&T business rep order one for me. Expected delivery time: up to 21 days. All because I was camping out, instead of camping out. I honestly would not have expected the 3G iPhone to be a bigger, and quicker seller than the first gen version — many people I knew were planning on NOT upgrading, but apparently many were, and many first time buyers stepped up.

Perhaps the rep will come through with a surprise, otherwise, in about three weeks I’ll do an unboxing….ugh.


The iPhone Void Deepens

According to Macworld, we may be in the iPhone void for up to another entire month. “I bet we’ll see these problems for another two to four weeks,” said Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., referring to his estimate of the lead time necessary for Apple to increase orders from its suppliers and restock the depleted iPhone inventory. “Early demand has been more than they expected [because] they knocked it out of the park on the first weekend.”

We can attest to the supply and demand in our area. All local AT&T stores have been out of stock all week and are now saying they are only taking orders for delivery in 7-10 business days. After a call to three local Apple stores in the Portland area, one said they had ‘everything in stock,’ so we made a beeline to pick up a couple. Turns out they sold out of the white 16gb model before we could get our hands on one. They did however have the elusive black 16gb model, which is apparently the hot seller. Again from the Macworld article:

“The hardest-to-find iPhone 3G remained the $299 black 16GB model, which is available Thursday in only 18 stores, or 9.6 percent of the outlets. Supplies of the $199 8GB iPhone 3G plummeted in the last 24 hours, according to Apple’s inventory tool: 24 stores reported it as available Thursday (12.8 percent of the 188 in the U.S.) compared to 42 stores that said it was in stock Wednesday (22.3 percent).”

How long will the void actually last? Hard to say. Are you still in an iPhone void?