1707: xkcd Phone 4

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xkcd Phone 4
The SpaceX system carefully guides falling phones down to the surface, a process which the phones increasingly often survive without exploding.
Title text: The SpaceX system carefully guides falling phones down to the surface, a process which the phones increasingly often survive without exploding.


The battery-life is listed as 18,000 μAh (micro-Ampere hours). The SI prefix "micro-" means one millionth, or 10^-6. One micro-hour is 0.0036 seconds, so 18,000 micro-hours is 64.8 seconds. The expected battery life of the XKCD Phone 4 is just over one minute.


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The current explanation seems to assume a constant current draw of 1A without explicitly stating it. 14:04, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

The 12 headphone jacks is probably referring to the rumor that the iPhone 7 may not have a headphone jack. 14:58, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

The 12 Jacks will support Dolby Surroundissimo. 10:57, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Fun fact: the Walkman II (the most popular variant) had 2 headphone jacks, so that two people could listen to music at the same time, but the second jack was removed from later designs. This has a few more than that, perhaps there is one for each voice assistant to make it "usable". (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

An alternative explanation of "onboard cloud" could be a file server that serves over WIFI, Bluetooth, and NFC, turning the phone into an effective NAS sneakernet Seebert (talk) 15:30, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

The "certified" feature probably refers to various certifications being used as marketing features. Joedetode (talk) 15:33, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

The Julian calendar is used by Orthodox Christians, but not astronomers. Astronomers use something called Julian day. --Mlv (talk) 16:27, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Its also used in banking and finance. I have to do the conversion every time we do a direct debit collection at work to verify that the dates in the file are what we need, so that switch would actually be useful to me. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
No, Julian dates in banking and finance (eg. day 47 being February 16) are a variation of Julian days (a serial number of days since some epoch), and has nothing to do with the Julian calendar.--Mlv (talk) 02:59, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

"Did you know '4' is 'IV' in Roman numerals?" is probably a dig on "Mac OS X", which is supposed to be pronounced "Mac OS 10". Apparently it used to annoy Steve Jobs that it was pronounced "Mac OS EX" by many people. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It could be also a reference to the Samsung Galaxy Smartphones, as they were called Galaxy S (1st Version), Galaxy S II (2nd Version), Galaxy S III (3rd Version) and Galaxy S4 (fourth version, which does not use Roman numerals anymore)

"The nickel–iron battery does exist, but it's terrible for most applications. Worse, this battery is non-rechargeable, meaning that it would have to be replaced to use the phone again after it is exhausted." is not supported by the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel%E2%80%93iron_battery. The first line of which begins "The nickel–iron battery (NiFe battery) is a rechargeable battery ... ".-- 17:11, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

The comment about the Nickel-Iron battery being non-rechargable is referring not to the Wikipedia article, but the battery annotation on the picture, which states clearly that the included battery is non-rechargable. Perhaps the explanation should be amended to clear up this ambiguity. 18:07, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

This explanation would be easier to read if put in a table, with the term on the left and description on the right -- 4jonah (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The drawing may be interpreted as if "software defined" applies to part of the case (or the whole case). That would be... interesting, if useless. Doable - although probably impractical and not worth the price - with e-paper for graphical motives, for actual textures or other material characteristics maybe Nobel-worthy (and still quite useless in this application). (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The inclusion of a parallel port may be a stab at Apple products such as iPhones. Apple seems to insist on avoiding otherwise standard connectors such as Micro USB, in favor of their own proprietary ones. 06:02, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Note that the parallel port on image doesn't look at all like Parallel port (IEEE 1284). Of course, it can still be parallel port in general sense, similarly as USB is serial (that's what the S in USB stands for) without being Serial port (RS-232). -- Hkmaly (talk) 11:57, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

It does look like "micro-centronics" (IEEE 1284 type C) female connector used on some printers - my old good Laserjet 1100 has such a connector. It may indicate that XKCD Phone 4 may be used as a printer by connecting it to a (fairly old) computer. What the phone would do with the data sent to it in this way is a mystery. Malgond (talk) 18:28, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Judging by the connectors present on the lower edge the xkcd Phone 4 is a fairly large device, like a tablet - 3.5 mm headphone jacks shall be spaced about 1 cm apart or a typical plugs won't fit into neighbouring jacks. This makes ~13 cm edge space. The micro-Centronics connector (parallel port) is approx. 4.5 by 1 cm. So I would say the shorter edge of the phone is at least 18 cm and the longer edge may be 24 cm or longer. -- Malgond (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It seems as if "Certified" may be a reference to #1096 13:49, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

I'm surprised there is no mention of Nickel–cadmium (a fairly common rechargeable type) as a possible component for the nickel-lithium-iron combination. 17:49, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Another possible meaning for "Software-defined" might be that the entire phone was designed entirely by a computer. Such things exist, but are uncommon and still very difficult to accomplish, but the idea is that a program is given a general guideline for a circuit or object to design, and then it comes up with all the details (including circuit layouts) on its own. A coworker of mine told me of such a program having designed a working transistor radio entirely out of a single wire trace that would have been virtually impossible to build in real life. The program determined that electrical properties in certain wire layouts with extremely precise tolerances would mimic the behavior of basic electronic components (e.g. resistors and diodes). In any event, such a thing would be pretty pointless here, as is most of this "phone". :) -- KieferSkunk (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

If the resemblance to sanitary towels is intentional, maybe it's supposed to be used together with the previous three? One phone for each hand, one for the wrist and one for down there... it is water resistant, non-porous and washable after all :P -- 13:52, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Don't forget the stinging jellyfish proteins built into the screen! That would make an xkcd Phone very stimulating for "down there". I wonder if the stinging sensation intensity is controlled by the phone?

would -> should; calenders -> calendars; will -> shall; Christians -> [Hæretics]. "onboard cloud" is not contradictory; it means the phone is a server. i.e. -> ; i.e.; nice < niais < nescius := not-skilled -> well, ass; Google -> Google,; while -> whiles; EX -> Ex; own proprietary: pick one; large -> great; 3.5 mm -> 3.5mm; 13 cm -> 13cm; 18 cm -> 18cm; longer -> further, greater Lysdexia (talk) 19:03, 25 July 2019 (UTC)