Thursday, December 10, 2009

Great launch .... but but... somethings left out!

Well well, so there we have it, we finally have an iPhone carrier in Uganda. If you already own an iPhone, you are probably wondering...."So what!?!". many things, afew of which are if you make the switch to an official carrier you get the benefits folk world over get...u know, after sales services and the like. I won't go into all the benefits ...mostly because this is not an advert!! haha. But there are quite a number and I must say before the conference I didn't have much mind to get rid of my old phone, as it still serves its purpose.

But somehow I feel swayed, especially after I actually understood the pay plans, which I might add on he website seem alittle daunting. But thats just because as a Ugandan, we don't think in terms of call minutes or sms'es sent. It all comes down to "airtime" and when they mentioned airtime worth...then it made the past 2millio price tag understandable. But most in part because if you are anything like me, you consider yyour iPhone as a minicomputer that can make calls and not a phone that is a mini computer. So in my world, calls come second. Functionality comes first.
Enough of that...let me delve into the purpose of the blog:

The Launch:

Started an hour late .... no points for that, but in Uganda u kindda get used to it. we had the mandatory speeches from Orange officials trying to explain to (from my observation) a predominantly Nokia crowd why the need to move with the times and switch from the national symbol of Finland to the soon-to-become national symbol of the US. haha

There was a live demo, as a sales attendant tried to extract gasps from the crowd present. Although he did a good job, in my opinion (hoping Bonita doesn't get fired! haha) he left ALOT out. ALOT!!!

The iPhone is indeed an amazing gadget that can only be proven by a select few applications, some of which he didn't show case.
Apart from the basics of calling, sms'ing and basic phone functions .... the iPhone is PACKED with functionality. Enough to have made the press GASP in adoration and start planning how to save to buy one.

Very little was said about Business apps which was odd considering the businessman is best suited to afford this phone. What a pity. Some brilliant apps that I personally use constantly to record meeting minutes, edit word/excel/powerpoint/pdf docs while stuck in traffic? Nothing. Nothing. Easy integration with MS Outlook that everyone uses? Nothing said. What a pity.

Entertainment. The iPhone is a killer entertainment gadget. The ability to have your music, games, novels all stored together for those times of boredom. Again, nothing if anything was mentioned.
I could go on, but won't. All in all, even though I was dismayed by those things, I was impressed with many others. When he launched the youtube app, It loaded some local song REAL FAST!!! I was only imagining if the network had failed at that moment how embarrassing it would have been! haha. If anything, a good job was done with showing the iPhone's supreme internet capabilities from browsing the web, social networking and even a funny moment when some odd reporter got a video clip of his taken and emailed to him, right there. That was sleek. You could see that the reporter guy was keen on getting back to his studio, opening his mail and showing that clip to everyone at the office. More demonstrations like that would have left the reporters talking about the iPhone all the way to the office!

Great job Orange, and thanks for bringing the iPhone to Uganda. My only suggestion is to have more direct demonstrations to the public at specific events. Two things are true about the iPhone.
1 - It's Expensive. No denying that fact.
2 - It's expensive for many many reasons. Its an very very incredibly useful and state of the art
"gadget". People need to understand that they are buying more than a phone for calling smsm and picture taking. There is sooooooooooo much that an iPhone can do. THIS can only be shown through demonstrations to the public. At select event or area's. Need ideas? Contact me and I'll show you how to do it!!!

For starters, Orange needs to work out a scheme with companies so that staff like me who are DYING for a 3GS can get the phone after the company pays for it then we make monthly payments that are taken off our paychecks. Like a car loan.

Okay, enough for now. And thanks for the lovely breakfast!! In the meantime, I need to figure out how to save for white sexy shiny new 3GS. Hmm.....

It's a wrap...

So its finally ended ... have many thoughts to air, but first, let me dash back to the office and blog from my computer.... will update shortly!


It has started!!!!!! Some guy in a pink shirt and French accent giving a speech ....

D Day

Okay. So here I am again. Got my butt firmly planted in the press room of the orange hq with a shiny iPhone 3GS on display. I must say I'm tempted to grab it and make a dash for the nearest bodaboda.
It's got some sort of looped video playing, that makes switching between apps SUPER fast. Is that how the new microprocessor works? I'm jealous. Takes me close to 3 seconds to launch an app on my 1st generation iPhone. Tut tut.

But I digress, back to the confrence. The press are late, and hence so is the launch. Time check : 0848hrs.
And I had to pass my breakfast to dash here. Dammit. Anyhow, there's a breakfast table with some edibles set up ... And the longer this takes I am growing less interested in the iPhone ... And more interested in the breakfast.
I'll keep you posted.

IT'S FINALLY HERE ...well at 11am tomorrow!!

.....but first, if you are like me and are already in possession on a jailbroken iPhone, the new iPhone 3GS from the Orange network will tickle your fancy...until you see the pay plans!

Well, short story first. True to apple's love for the fanboys, after pre-registering for an iPhone, I got a call true to their word prior to launch to let me know that if I showed up at certain select stores tomorrow at 11am, I would walk out with an iPhone 3G / 3GS of my choice.

Naturally I was giddy to be privy to such top secret info (sic! lol), not to ruin my anxiety, he forwarded me to the website to check out the pricing plans available.

Giddy no more!!

Get a glass of water, and take a seat:
Don't believe your eyes ... well, just to prove this ain't photoshopped, take a look:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

24 hours and counting ...

Hello and welcome to my rather impromptu live blog of the launch of the apple iPhone in Uganda.

I have always read and followed live blogs of product launches ever since the ubiquitous two-day queue's at the Fifth Avenue store in the big apple prior to the launch of the 1st gen iPhone. I have always wanted to queue up along with the other fanboys (Read: Geeks!) as we await to get our hands on some sleek apple embezzeled hardware.

Well, this is as close as it gets. I won't have a camping bag and wait over night with some Oreo's and Milk, I already have an iPhone so this sin't exactly a "launch". But rather, I intend on sneaking in for the press launch and hoepfully I'll get some of my questions answered.

I hardly doubt Steve or Phil will show up at a launch in a tiny East African country and woo the crowd with their charisma, but hey, apple is always full of suprises.

It all goes down in 24hours at exactly 0800hrs at the Orange Telecom HeadOffice in Nakasero, Kampala, Uganda.

As a footnote, or closing comment, I must say Orange are surely the best candidate to carry the iPhone in Uganda for one small personal reason.

I'm not even on the Orange network, but I do recall once and again walking past an Orange dealership and how it reminded me of the apple stores in Sandton mall in Jo'burg, which are world class and look just like the apple stores world wide.

As uncluttered as possible, with attendants wearing T-Shirts that also are uncluttered as possible usually plain white and sporting the apple logo or just plain.

The guys here at Orange have plain black tee shirts with a big "hello" on the front and a discreet orange logo on the sleeve. You could almost swear you were in an apple store if it wsant for one small detail that would never pass in an apple store.

The attendants here don one size fits all tee-shirts!!

I don't know how the apple guys do it,(attention to detail) but all staff have right size fitting tee shirts. Here its ...well, not as pleasant a sight especially for the skinny dude in a big tee unless ofcourse if the attendant is remisiscent of Anna Nicole Smith in the chest are and is donning a small teeshirt ... the "hello" imprinted on her shirt is suddenly alot more welcoming!!