Apologies for the slow response given that there was the massive announcement last week but it has taken a week to digest the announcements and some time to ruminate over what I think of thee products that are launched and in particular the larger iPhone 6 Plus that has been the most well know secret – something that was pretty much accepted as a give in before the presentation. The presentation itself was a complete debacle from a ‘live streaming’ perspective where one had to deal with a malfunctioning website, an overloaded server then the crappy management of the audio streams resulting in two audio streams coming through at the same time (the original presentation plus a translation being heard faintly in the background). In the end I gave up and instead followed the live commentary and photos uploaded on the Arstechnica live feed which was good enough especially since I was also checking out what was on TV at the same time – the joys of multitasking.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released along with the new CPU architecture promoted under the name of the ‘A8’ (I’m sure some point in the future they’ll come up with variants for their iPad and iPad Air in much the same way that the A5X and A6X) and the biggest interest I had was in the increase in storage space where you can now get up to 128GB of storage which for someone like me who has 200GB+ of music it is welcome relief – not that I’ll listen to every bit of music I load onto my phone but it is great to have a large selection so matter what mood I’m in I’ll find something I’ll want to listen to. Having that large amount of storage not only helps when it comes to music but also when it comes to applications – I’m not a big applicable acquirer but at the same time it is nice to have that extra bit of space given that once you buy the phone you cannot add extra space in the form of an sdcard some where down the line. It is one of the aspects of the new HTC product line up I really admire – the styling of the HTC One M8 really gives the device the feel and sense of a premium device whilst ensuring that the capability of sdcard expansion that it is a device that you can own for the long term.
The other interesting part is the support for more frequencies, specifically, the added support for LTE band 28 which covers the LTE APT 700Mhz spectrum which is incompatible with the 700Mhz that is in use in the United States. Before the arrival of the iPhone 6/6+ the only other two hand sets that supported Band 28 was the HTC One m8 and the recently updated Samsung Galaxy S5. The other benefit is apparently Japan and Europe are also working so that once they switch off analogue transition the 700Mhz spectrum freed up will either result in the adoption of APT 700Mhz or at least an implementation that is compatible.
As for the whole iPhone 6/6 Plus choice, I’ll be going for the iPhone 6 Plus with 128GB but the big question is whether I remain with Spark (formally known as Telecom NZ) or move over to Vodafone as they seem to at least have some sort of long term coherent grand design that doesn’t appear to be a chaotic ‘pick and mix’ of hardware and services from various vendors then praying that’ll all work together some how without it all turning to crap. Then add to that the cable internet network with speeds up to 100Mbps (and rumours of an upgrade in the pipeline to push up the speed even higher) along with Vodafone offering 12 month interest free deals like what Spark has to offer then combine that with a cheaper package if I move it all to one company then maybe the end of November is the best time to break free of spark and move to better and brighter things. As for the purchase time table – if the delays end up spilling over in reference to the iPhone 6 Plus then it might not be until maybe the beginning of December before NZ retailers (both carriers and retailers) are able to get sufficient volume to meet demand – and no, I’m not going to camp outside a shop to be the first.
Regarding Vodafone right now, the coverage is very good in my area where both they have a 1800Mhz LTE service along with 900Mhz and 2100Mhz 3G tower as well – they’re well and truly covering the area what they have to offer. Combine that with the recent issues I’ve been having with intermittent data connection and emails not always being sent even though my phone will say that it is all sent without any errors coming up. Honestly, Spark is trying their best but in all honestly you’d think at this stage they would address issues such as intermittent data connectivity issues because the problem was really chronic when I worked in Upper Hutt where there was a network connection (in many cases the signal was very strong) yet unable to load a website, send an email etc. and in Johnsonville you have to walk around the work place to find a strong signal. Oh well, what ever the case maybe I might just flip a coin and buy it direct from Apple and throw it on their 12 months interest free deal and then move forward.