Feature Article

June 07, 2010

Jobs Flustered When Apple 4G Demo Stalls; Too Many WiFi Devices at WWDC

For those of us who are eagerly awaiting the release of the 4G iPhone, Steve Jobs' demonstration today did not go quite as planned, as the AP reports. Instead of wowing the audience with the new technology, Jobs instead demonstrated what happens when too many people are sharing a WiFi - the system locked up and wouldn't allow the iPhone to do much of anything.

Despite three attempts to do a side-by-side comparison of the iPhone 4G's screen resolution versus its predecessor's, Jobs couldn't pull rank in the room and get the access to the New York Times he wanted. It is a case of too many smartphones using too little WiFi. Even a switch to backup phones didn't help overcome the problem.

The crowd seemed easygoing regarding the failed demonstration, laughing at Jobs' attempts at humor as he tried to overcome the problem. He eventually abandoned the demonstration while his staffers investigated the issue. Can you imagine the embarrassment? It's one thing when a demonstration does not go as planned, but one so highly anticipated?

Apple isn't the first to experience such an embarrassing demonstration of failure. Last month, a demonstration of Google's Internet television technology left Google representatives having trouble showing how easy it was to switch back and forth between browsing Web content and TV programming. Easy indeed?

While Google also pleaded with attendees to shut off their wireless connections - as did Jobs - and the performance after WiFi space became available did improve, but not all at WWDC was perfect. Network trouble caused another bail on a video-calling feature that requires a wireless Internet connection.

Apple events and demonstrations are generally quite closely choreographed so as to avoid such embarrassing displays. And, the most obvious problem here is that while there were quite a few hotspots in the room, the reality is that we should be able to do everything that would be on display over a 3G connection. If the 4G cannot handle it, just what is it we are waiting for? Maybe the questions regarding a Verizon iPhone aren't so funny anymore.

The new iPhone is said to offer video conferencing. A screenshot shared on the post demonstrates proof that the conferencing option is coming. Given the guarantee of the iChat video feature, all roads are pointing in the same direction.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for MobilityTechzone and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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