In the UK at least. Two examples from the last day or so. Firstly my long-time-industry-compatriot Marek Pawlowski was out shopping with his girlfriend, who was after a new phone – read through his excellent post until you get to the iPhone part, by the way – in the O2 shop there weren’t any iPhones on display because somebody had nicked the (tethered) display models and the staff were afraid to put in any replacements!
Next, I happened to be passing Carphone Warehouse and I couldn’t resist popping into the (customer-free) shop. Four iPhones, all working, tethered to the usual bare bones wooden tea chest (what’s that all about?). I started playing…
What the….? Google Maps was the old launch version! No pseudo-GPS-by-cell-tower positioning here. I queried this with the staff. “Why are these iPhones still on launch firmware?” “Oh, those are demo units, 4GB devices that won’t sync with iTunes or work with firmware updates”.
Now, I appreciate that the iPhone updates have been ‘incremental’ (to put it kindly), but the additions are very much worth having and, in the case of Google Maps at least, very noticeable. Just about the first thing I wanted to do, having walked in off the street, is try out the feature I’d read so much about a few weeks ago.
As the iPhone firmware advances again and again, are retail demo units across the world really going to be stuck on v1.0 firmware? It seems a crying shame.