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06. 09. 2008

iPhone 3G, announced, but not available


Oh the ecstasy and the agony. The iPhone 3G is a beauty, and less expensive than its predecessor, but will not be available until July 11th. The current iPhone looks to be discontinued, but it's also out of stock, pretty much everywhere. Creating a hungry market much, Apple? Argghhh! Stay out of my way on July 11th. Oh dear, I guess I've gulped the Kool Aid.

Some highlights:

-3G - In the demo, the 3G downloads were almost as fast as wifi. Woohoo. At last...

-True GPS- Location-based services and applications will be very very big. Maps, turn-by-turn directions, and mobile social networking will be made a million times more functional with the addition of GPS. No more relying on "cell-tower triangulation" which, for me, never works.

-Great battery life- 10 hours of talk time with the 3G radio turned off, 5 hours with 3G. This certainly implies you can switch the 3G on and off to maximize battery life when you aren't using data. 7 hours of video playback, 24 hours of audio playback, 6 hours of 3G speed browsing.

-Great new price. $199 for the 8GB model, and $299 for 16 GB. As these were listed as "maximum" prices, expect that worldwide, some service providers may well offer even deeper discounts with a service contract. I think right now, I'm obligated to stay with various cellular carriers until the year 3000, but will gladly re-up yet again for the discount.

-There are many cool 3rd party apps which will become available through the new App store, for various prices, and some will be free. These will be true native apps, and not just Safari-based web apps. The App store will work over wifi and over 3G and even EDGE, when the application isn't a large download.

-Multiple message delete. The ability to search for contacts.

-New service called MobileMe will let you sync your email, contacts, calendar, even photos, with your computer (Mac and PC) automatically, over the air.

-There is international language and keyboard support. On the July 11th launch date, 22 countries will be getting the new iPhone, with most of the world to follow shortly.

-Complete support for Microsoft Exchange for businesses and corporate users.

-The headset jack is now flush with the body, so most headsets and adapters will fit.

-A SIM card ejector tool. This was my own fault, but I've broken about half a dozen earrings trying to get the little card out. Hurrah.

-Better sound quality. I hope this means much better call reception quality, not just audio pllayback and better speakers.

-Photo geotagging. When you take a picture, the iPhone's GPS will record the location of where the photo was taken.

Some disappointments/questions:
-No confirmation about Flash support in Safari.

-The camera remains the same, 2 megapixels, with no announcement about video recording or MMS (sending videos or pictures in the same way a text message is sent).

-It looks like you still won't be able to use the screen horizontally for email. Why, why, why? The keyboard is so much more usable when web browsing.

-No haptic feedback- meaning feedback that you can feel when you're clicking something.

-The design is somewhat streamlined along the edges, but the form factor is pretty much identical in size, weight, dimensions, and screen size.

-iPhone 1.0 has disappeared from the Apple site, so it looks like that's gone for good. However, the iPhone 2.0 software upgrade will be available for free for the older iPhones. It will cost $9.95 for iPod Touch users.

-Those "leaked" photos of a red iPhone? Fake. The 8 GB model will be available in black, the 16 GB iPhone will be available in both black or white.

All in all, pretty exciting, but no hands-on review for another month. How can I hang on?


Posted by Mia    Category: cell phones | devices
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