iPhone Hysteria Hits Vancouver

Despite the protests here that Rogers is charg­ing too much for data (even after drop­ping the high-end price by a third, it’s still not unlim­it­ed), and despite the fact that cur­rent cus­tomers must wait a week before they can get one, the lines to buy an iPhone are pre­dictably around the block down­town in Toron­to and Van­cou­ver.

While I’m not thrilled that I have to wait yet anoth­er week, as the com­ing of high­er speed 3G net­work­ing, and GPS is a big deal for us, but best of all is actu­al­ly being able to get soft­ware that will not make the phone bug­gy or suck bits from the net down to the phone while I’m unaware, which was what hap­pened with one of the pirate pro­grams I had got­ten a while back. I’m par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in how the new soft­ware (most of it free) take advan­tage of the syn­er­gy between the phone know­ing where it is and being con­nect­ed to the Inter­net at decent speed. Imag­ine:

  • You could take a tour of a muse­um or gar­den and had access to not one but sev­er­al mul­ti­me­dia tour guides all at the same time? Enter­ing an art work’s num­ber might show relat­ed works, or offer oth­er bio­graph­i­cal infor­ma­tion.
  • In a book­store you might get all of the com­pet­ing prices for the same book after you take a pic­ture of its bar code with your cam­era. Your cur­rent store could offer to match that price if they can keep the sale.
  • A spe­cial ‘Lunch 4–1‑1’ program/network that would not only tell you which friends were near and avail­able for an impromp­tu lunch, but also a restau­rant that all of you had said was either good or they want­ed to try out.

I expect a lot of those sorts of appli­ca­tions to show up soon. The best part is that this is entire­ly an open-end­ed sit­u­a­tion; the lim­i­ta­tion is now no longer on the hard­ware or the infra­struc­ture, but the imag­i­na­tion of devel­op­ers and entre­pre­neurs. For Van­cou­ver and its decid­ed­ly extro­vert­ed blend of tech and love of leisure, cui­sine and enter­tain­ment, today is sort of a start­ing gun for a race to the next big social appli­ca­tion, and it’s not just Face­book and Twit­ter this time.

Fol­low up: Accord­ing to Twit­ter and news sto­ries around the web, it was not a very, ahem, smooth launch of the iPhone or 2.0 soft­ware. Servers got over­loaded, phones got bricked, iTunes ver­sion 7.7 took for­ev­er to down­load, and in gen­er­al the whole process slowed to a crawl. I haven’t heard a sto­ry yet that was­n’t full of dra­ma, wait­ing and headache. I’m sure there are oth­ers who can pro­vide more detail. Suf­fice to say I’m glad that I decid­ed to wait a day or two before dip­ping my toes in the iWa­ter.

3 Replies to “iPhone Hysteria Hits Vancouver”

  1. You do not have to wait a week. That’s an inde­pen­dent Rogers store push­ing you off so they can make more mon­ey on new acti­va­tions. All Rogers stores are sup­posed to be sell­ing them to both new and exist­ing cus­tomers (as long as the exist­ing cus­tomers have had their phones for more than 1 year).

  2. I have heard hor­ror sto­ries all around! I even dared to go around the town and made sure to take pho­tos and video. Hor­ror of hor­rors!

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