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xenadu

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Posts posted by xenadu


  1. I've seen a couple of people reporting that they thought iOS maps was sending them on crazy routes, only to find out that it was routing around accidents or slowdowns. Apple is using the anonymous traffic data to update their maps' traffic info in real-time, something the iOS Google maps app didn't do... Google seemed to get their traffic data from some other service and it was always out of date here in DFW, you'd be stuck in traffic before it would turn yellow/red. So far the new maps seems to be always up to date.

     

    I've been testing it and so far, in the DFW area, it has yet to be wrong or have any issues that I can see. I'm hearing from more folks that its map data is better than the old maps was (things like Google satellite showing an empty field, new maps showing the actual house).

     

    From what I can tell, most of the bad maps seem to be in certain parts of Canada and Europe, the US seems to be good (even better for some), and China is supposedly a vast improvement.

     

     

    Saw some blog chatter about an interesting idea... Nokia owns NavTeq IIRC. Their market cap is only 10 billion. Apple could spend some money to buy them and get the whole mapping operation, plus a gaggle of patents and some smart engineers. That would be a good idea but no clue how much they'd hold out for. Since Microsoft seems to be releasing a Surface phone I doubt there will be much of a market for Windows 8 phones.

    • Like 2

  2. MIMO gives you space-divison multiplexing... there is nothing special about radio waves vs light you can see - they are both electromagnetic energy. Antennas are just eyes that see in a different part of the spectrum. Things like walls "look" like smoky glass at radio wavelengths. Stuff like aluminum can be a good lens for infrared. Once you wrap your brain around this idea, it all makes sense. Why are 2.4-2.5Ghz signals absorbed by the atmosphere so much? Because the water in the air makes it "look" like eternal fog at that frequency... so duh, you can't see as far on a foggy day. Same deal for WiMax/WiFi.... the antennas can't "see" as far due to the "fog", except that fog never clears up.

     

     

    It's a very, very rough analogy but think of MIMO as binocular vision; it allows the tower to "see" where different transmitters are in space. That's the multiple input part of MIMO. Even though two devices are transmitting on the same frequency to the same cell on the same tower at the same time, the tower can separate the signals because it knows where each one is in physical space. Without it, the tower couldn't separate who was who (like trying to play dodge-ball with one eye closed)

     

    In the opposite direction, the most advance stuff actually shapes/steers the transmission beam to direct the signal only toward the desired receiver, leaving it free to transmit a completely different signal to a different receiver, as long as that other receiver is located in a different place in space; that's the multiple output part of MIMO. By having two or more antennas transmitting, you can transmit a slightly out of phase or adjusted signal from other antennas, causing the interference to cancel the signal out in some directions but reinforce it in others. You see the same technology in concert line array systems where the long column of speakers are slightly adjusted in timing/phase to "steer" the sound in one direction or another.

     

    The phones, by having multiple receiving antennas do the same "binocular" vision thing to "see" the tower more clearly. The multipath thing WiWavelength is talking about is where the signal bounces around the environment, causing echos/reflections. Normally the phone wouldn't be able to tell if the reflection is part of a later signal or just junk reflected from an earlier one. By being able to sort out where the signal is coming from, it can subtract any stray reflections out.

     

     

    WiWavelength - please correct me if I've screwed any of this up.

    • Like 6

  3. Let's assume that each device is ESN-locked which means that Apple is allocating production output among the Big 3 -- thus Sprint's market share is essentially determined by Apple's produciton allocations, as this will force more buyers to buy Sprint iPhones if they cant buy any of the others. So we really wont know how competitive Sprint is and how successful it can be against the other guys since its iPhone market share is somewhat arbitrary and has been pre-determined by Apple.

     

     

    Maybe more folks being introduced to the Now Network based upon how Apple wants customers to split the volumes. :-)

     

     

    That's not how Apple allocates production. The carriers agree to a minimum purchase volume and pay a percentage up-front. The more they agree to buy and pre-pay, the larger their share of the initial production run. I suspect Apple also sets certain minimum targets for certain larger carriers, but no one outside that circle knows for certain.

     

    What we do know is Sprint committed to a $15 billion deal for a lot of iPhones... that entitles them to a certain slice of the initial production runs. I've heard a few folks here and there taking a look at Sprint in LTE launch markets, partly due to unlimited data and partly due to availability. Sprint states 40%+ of iPhone customers are new to Sprint so I believe it.

     

    If you are an early adopter and just have to have it and Sprint means walking away today, but ATT/VZW mean a 2 week wait... that's nothing but good news for Sprint :)


  4. As others have pointed out, this is a business decision on Verizon/Sprint's part; they will not activate unknown ESNs. The LTE parts of their networks are different and run off the SIM card, as does the GSM support which is why you can put an ATT or some other SIM in your Sprint/VZW iPhone 5 and use it on another network. I suspect you can even use a Verizon SIM in your Sprint iPhone and it would connect over LTE, though you certainly won't get voice coverage.

     

    Apple only makes 2 physical models, then solders one of three flash chip configurations onto the board, then slaps that in one of two case colors. The number of phones available on each carrier is determined by how many phones the carrier has ordered from Apple compared to the overall number rolling off the assembly line... the SIM from that carrier is inserted right before it gets boxed and the computer systems tell Apple what serial # got what SIM, and in turn Apple transmits that info to the carrier so they know what ESN (for CDMA carriers), SIM, and Serial number go together. When you activate it downloads a config file that sets up stuff like personal hotspot enabled/disabled, etc. IIRC this file comes directly from Apple - the carriers interface with Apple's gateway to configure the phones but they can't touch them directly.

     

    Sprint committed to a large ($15 billion) purchase of iPhones. You could say that they made the commitment to ensure adequate supply for their customers ;) but I suspect it is simply that Sprint has fewer customers; I will note that Sprint.com shows them shipping in 3-4 weeks and Apple.com says the same, so they may have just been slower to reallocate inventory from stores to online orders for Sprint; that's always a dynamic process.

     

    Apple also allocates a certain percentage to stores no matter what to make sure they have stock on-hand for replacements, exchanges, etc. If fewer phones have come in for replacement then the store will have more on-hand for that carrier.

    • Like 2

  5. My problem with the personal hotspot is the 20/month fee. I don't use it often enough to justify that. If they had a 5/month plan I might use it more. The three times I've needed it I added it to my plan, then took it off.

     

    As a general rule you can always defeat deep packet inspection by using a VPN tunnel, and you can defeat tethering checks by using a proxy to make the traffic appear to come from the phone, but that's too much effort for me. The freedompop thing looks interesting but has the problem of requiring an extra device to be carried around with you and charged.


  6. http://9to5mac.com/2012/09/30/verizon-iphone-5-carrier-update-to-eliminate-data-usage-while-connected-to-a-wifi-network/

     

    I know this concerns Verizon, but I found a couple of interesting things in the story:

     

    - the Carrier line in About that says Sprint 13.0 is the version of the carrier profile/settings file

    - you can tap on that line to cycle through your PRL version, ERI, NAI, and MSID.

    - this file can be updated OTA. Presumably during normal usage it just silently updates next time you restart the device or whatever

    - going to the About screen checks for an update

    - apparently the carrier file can also specify network priority and routing settings - presumably this bug had the cellular interface set to a higher priority than the WiFi interface... Speculation is that it may have had the flag set to allow cellular when connected to WiFi, a feature pulled from the beta that was designed to prevent an interruption when the WiFi network was having issues by falling back to cellular data... But we don't know.

     

     

     

     


  7. Apple has messed up before, they aren't perfect and they generally apologize and fix the problem.

     

    Apparently the new maps is a huge improvement for users in China, something I hadn't considered. I've also seen lots of people saying the new maps finally has shots of their town, etc where as before Google just had "no data" tiles. I've also heard from people who say it sucks in their area and gives bad directions.

     

    I don't know who to believe, all I can say is it seems good to me here in the DFW area.


  8. Well if/when it comes back, it's going to be all robotic. If you can just upload a program and have thousands of robots churn out phones then why not? If anyone attempts it, I bet Apple would. They need more capacity in general and have the funds to invest.

     

    Of course a lot of stuff is made here already - the Gorilla glass, their CPUs are made in Austin, TI supplies several chips, etc.


  9. I have noticed it dropping to 1X when I'm at home near my Airave; if I leave it be for a few minutes it will reconnect to 3G and works fine after that. Hasn't been an issue because I'm on WiFi at home most of the time.

     

    I'm also just on the edge of LTE coverage so it will switch back and forth between the Airave locally and the remote LTE tower as I can see the bars jump from 5 to 1 when it happens, but again doesn't seem to be a problem because it always jumps to 1X on the Airave to make calls anyway.

     

    I presume this will go away once NV is done rolling out and/or the Airave gets a firmware update, or possibly iOS 6.1 depending on where the problem lies.

     

     

    Haven't seen this issue in the wild so far but I will keep an eye out.

    • Like 1

  10. FYI: on the iPhone, if you go into the debug screen, then hold the power button until the Slide to Power Off message appears, but do not power off, just hold the home button for a few seconds. This will force-quit the debug screen and leave your status bar showing the numeric signal meter instead of bars permanently.

     

    To return, just re-enter debug mode then hit the home button to exit like normal. You can also tap on the indicator to switch between bars and numeric.

    • Like 1

  11. Well the assembly labor is already such a low portion of the overall cost it won't matter that much (and robot assembly can offset it somewhat).

     

    My understanding of it is that in China they literally put thousands of engineers, production managers, etc through school, setup component supply chains, raw material forges, etc. They've built a massive infrastructure dedicated to producing parts. The amount of capital required to fund that requires a state bank willing to take massive losses for years until it can turn a profit... Exactly what the Chinese state bank does.


  12.  

    I would prefer more of the assembly come back to the USA but Apple's major problem is they need to make so many devices that they don't have many options. They've already diversified to Pegatron and others. The Chinese government puts up all the money to train engineers, build factories, etc all on speculation that they might get an Apple order. Unless the US government engages in some .SOCIALISM. who is going to take on such a project?

     

    I'm all for the government handing free engineering degree funding to anyone who wants one, funding construction of factories, etc to bring iPhone manufacturing here to the states. Let me know when that seems like a political possibility.


  13. ScuffGate! That's it, Apple is done! Game over man! ;)

     

    I bought the black one knowing full well it would get scuffed up. I refuse to use cases. My 3GS got scuffed up like crazy and it had a plastic back just like most of Apple's competition. My work Dell laptop has an darkened brushed metal lid and it has scuffs. For that matter, every single phone I've ever had got scuffed up and dinged. This is just nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking.

     

    If scuff marks bother you get the white one so they don't show up or get a case for it.

    • Like 1

  14. Thanks for the updated info on the LTE signal strength. I hope that pans out because that makes much more sense.

     

    As for the LTE Enginnering screens, do you enter the code above into the telephone dialer just like Android? Post screen shots when you get a chance. I appreciate the help!

     

    Robert via Samsung Galaxy S-III 32GB using Forum Runner

     

    Yes to the dialer. Just enter it and press Dial.

     

    • Like 1

  15.  

    So, the answer is that you can make a call. You can't see signal strength bars (says No SIM), but you can make calls. Also tried field test and that worked, too.

     

    Only on CDMA, LTE requires the SIM same as GSM. I'll test this tonight and see if it works for me.


  16. it switches to 3g because voice over LTE is not supported yet

     

    Yeah I knew that, it was more about the signal bars... my earlier post was wrong about the bars displaying the CDMA 1X signal strength, they display the current signal strength for whatever connection is active so when LTE is active it is showing you LTE strength, even though in the background it's CDMA 1X connection is far stronger. It only shows that signal strength when it switches over to CDMA to make a voice call.


  17. I do get the AppleCare+ but that's only because my Wife is so prone to breaking devices and it covers water damage. But be aware it does *not* cover a stolen phone; the iPhone has to be present and in mostly one piece.

     

     

    Also be aware that Apple will almost always replace a broken device for the current subsidized price. This isn't an officially published policy but generally they will replace a broken 16GB phone without AppleCare+ for $199, they don't make you pay the full $600 or whatever. So one replacement saves you $50 ($100 + $50 deductible) and two replacements saves you $200. If you have a higher capacity model it can save you a lot more.

     

    AppleCare+ also extends your warranty so if there is a defect like battery not lasting it's rated lifetime, home button dying, etc then that replacement is free... the deductible only comes into play with accidental damage.

     

     

    Basically think of AppleCare+ as an extended warranty that also happens to cover accidentally dropping the phone.


  18. Odd... I ordered mine as a new line and it activated within 2 seconds without asking me anything other than the normal iOS setup stuff.

     

    I waited a day to call in to switch numbers around though - didn't want to wait for the huge rush. They had to transfer me to another department but that department was able to get it done fairly quickly. Only issue is you have to restore the phone and I had already done the restore the previous day (doh) but thanks to iCloud backup it was painless. I definitely noticed the restore speed slowed down thanks to the huge traffic spike, but it completed within an hour or so and all my apps, settings, data, etc was back up and running.

     

    They also seem to have sped up the activation time stuff because the phones were live with their changed numbers within minutes, none of this "may take up to four hours" business.


  19. I can confirm iPhone 5 is *3001#12345#* same as before. I can't get LTE lock long enough to take screenshots of the menus here at the house but I may walk up the road later and see if I have more luck.

     

    It also appears the new iPhone cannot connect to 3G over the Airave but given the flakiness quotient I'd lay that at the feet of the Airave.

     

     

    edit: actually it finally connected 3G to the Airave so no idea what the issue was there. I walked around outside but wasn't able to get an LTE connection again. I am starting to wonder if Apple built in logic to dampen the LTE connection if it keeps connecting and dropping to prevent it from wearing out the battery when in a marginal signal area. That may also explain why it wouldn't connect over 3G for a minute or two, it's physical location was the same so no point in hopping around between the same cells over and over only to lose signal moments later.

     

     

    Also Robert, I think my earlier post in the iOS forum was wrong about the bars displaying the CDMA 1X signal strength. I think they display the current signal strength for whatever connection is active so when LTE is active it is showing you LTE strength, even though in the background it's CDMA 1X connection is far stronger. It only shows that signal strength when it switches over to CDMA to make a voice call. I tested this a couple of times here at home and that seems to be it's behavior. I'll report back after further testing.


  20.  

     

    All LTE devices use SIMs -- micro SIMs, nano SIMs, embedded SIMs, etc. The question is whether the iPhone 5 has a removable SIM, as many other Sprint LTE devices do not. Regardless, it does not need a removable SIM to roam internationally.

     

    AJ

     

    Sorry, I should have clarified but in my mind (and most consumers) SIM means removable SIM. An internal SIM is no better than ESID and may as well not exist because it removes everything that makes a SIM useful.

     

    Also reporting that I am seeing interesting behavior here at my house. I appear to be on the edge of LTE coverage from a distant tower in certain rooms of the house. In those rooms I get 1-2 bars and LTE on the display, with download speeds of 6.5Mbps and -112db to -117db signal. *But* if I try to place a voice call it immediately swaps over to the Airave and the bars jumps to the full 5 bars... So I may be wrong about the bars, it may actually be displaying the LTE signal strength when on LTE, it just seems to prefer to jump to 3G if the LTE signal is marginal which would be the correct choice except for Sprint's awful non-NV tower situation. I also notice that it doesn't want to connect to my Airave on 3G (wifi turned off), after making a call it stays with the o 1X indicator for a while, probably looking for the LTE signal it lost earlier.

     

     

    I can also confirm that the *3001#12345#* debug code works on LTE and brings up an entirely different menu that seems to have more information. LTE was seen on Band Class 25, which I believe is the PCS G band. This debug menu does not seem to show the EVDO/1X info anywhere. I also noticed it has to connect somewhere, presumably it is connecting to the tower to download some of the information. It may be that the carrier is fully in control of what is on this screen, not sure yet.

    • Like 1

  21. ScuffGate! Apple is a failure, the iPhone sucks, shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders! (I kid, I kid)

     

    I do find it depressing and sad that iPhone fans would go into an Android forum and stir up trouble, it's something I would never think of doing.

     

    As for me personally, I have to have the new devices because I need to test my apps on them. If not for that, I wouldn't even think of standing in line or waking up early to preorder.

     

     

    That is one benefit from Sprint - they always seem to have more of the iPhones available on launch day though that window of time was shorter (way shorter on the 16 GB) than last year.

     

     

    Heading out around town now; wish me luck with the LTE fairy. Will she or won't she grant me LTE today?

    • Like 3

  22. I'd just love to test out LTE once. I'm so jealous of all of you right now that have tasted of the powerful new network. And Robert, seeing as you have the 1st 4 Sprint LTE phones, you have an advantage over those who only have the EVO LTE, and haven't used another phone to test with 1st.

     

    Hah, it's almost worse the way Sprint's coverage is in Dallas. It taunts you with LTE for a few minutes then yanks it away.

     

     

    I suspect the Sprint iPhone 5 is unlocked too, or at least has the same behavior when unlocked. It may actually be that Apple's systems don't have the capability to lock it only for domestic so once they unlock it for international use it completely unlocks it. I know my launch-day 4S is unlocked and can use an AT&T SIM card. We know the SIM card in the Sprint iPhone is a real GSM/LTE SIM since you can pay their ridiculous international rates if you have more money than sense. It also means there is no technical reason Sprint couldn't sign deals with GSM companies for roaming, eg Tmobile. I'm sure AT&T and Verizon are not interested for their own monopolistic reasons.

     

    Edit: I don't think it would happen but Tmobile wants the iPhone, yet they have a spectrum problem for 3G/4G. Sprint could use more PCS spectrum. In theory, they could sign a deal for cross-roaming and support any of the CDMA/HPSA/LTE frequencies for iPhone customers. They could also merge. Or both.

     

    Again, unlikely but no technical reason they couldn't. Heck, Sprint could even use their NV platform to host Tmobile spectrum, making Sprint a sort of outsourced provider of the network. That would give DT a door out.

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