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iPhone Informer — Touching the iPhone This Week

iphone-3gTime for our Wednesday feature that highlights some of the latest iPhone news! Apple is tooting its own horn today with the official announcement of over 100,000 apps available in the iTunes App Store. That’s definitely an accomplishment unmatched by any other mobile platform and adds to the appeal of Apple’s handset. While I wish there were more apps for my Palm Pre, I’m totally overwhelmed by the number of iPhone applications. As more are added, it’s becoming difficult to know what’s out there that’s new and useful — at least when I browse in iTunes. I’m learning more about the newest apps from reviews on websites and through Twitter suggestions. Will the App Store eventually get so big that it actually starts to turn consumers off because they just get overwhelmed? Hopefully not, but it’s worth watching as a potential trend. Even with all of these apps, some estimates show that only one-fifth of them are used by the masses. And I’m still worried that platform-specific “killer apps” could influence handset purchase decisions (subscription required), which is something I don’t want to see.

One killer app is more like a feature that we in the U.S. can’t officially have on our iPhones — Internet tethering. I’m still running iPhone OS 3.0 because the tethering hack won’t work on higher OS versions. Or at least it didn’t. MobileCrunch reports that applying the hack after jailbreaking the current iPhone OS does get tethering back. I’m not too keen on the jailbreaking scene, but I’m seriously tempted — I’d hate to upgrade and then lose my backup 3G connection. And I’m running into more and more apps that require a higher version of the iPhone OS than I have. :(

Although we tend to focus on iPhones for this weekly update, I wanted to expand the scope slightly. Yup, I’m going there with the Apple Tablet again. I had a guest video spot on the TechVi show this week and we talked about the possibility of Apple offering iTunes TV content for $30 a month. I have no idea if Apple is doing that (or planning a slate tablet), but there’s an interesting opportunity when you combine the two mythical ideas. What would you get when you cross a portable 1280 x 720 slate running the iPhone OS with a monthly iTunes all-you-can-eat plan? I’d call it a reasonably compelling product. Not only would you have access to various television content in high-def, but you’d have your music and 100,000 apps for bite-sized functionality too. Hmmm….

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