Apple Intros iPhone 3G, Evolves Features & Hides Price IncreaseJun 9th, 2008 | By James Lewin | Category: iPhone
Apple today updated the iPhone, introducing the iPhone 3G.
The iPhone 3G is an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary update. The phone’s network speed is about twice as fast, at least where AT&T has coverage, and Apple has added GPS positioning. Apple has also added Exchange support, to attract business users.
On the downside, Apple has effectively raised the price on the base model and didn’t add many hoped-for features, like video capabilities, larger memory or a higher-quality camera. The new iPhone is also slightly larger, so it’s incompatible with many accessories, and uses more plastic in its construction.
Last year, we identified 5 Things Apple Needs To Do To Fix The iPhone.
Did they fix them? Let’s take a look:
- Fix the pricing – pricing was identified as a problem for the iPhone months before the device went on sale.
- Fix Publishing From The iPhone – many people that buy a $500-600 phone want to not just consume media with the phone, but to create and publish media with it.
- Fix Typing On The iPhone – While the phone makes the cut as a laptop replacement, the virtual keyboard doesn’t. If you’re a touch typist, being reduced to tapping out a handful of words a minute is painful. Apple needs to work with accessory suppliers to develop Bluetooth keyboards that work with the iPhone.
- Fix The Phone – while the iPhone does a great job of meeting basic mobile phone requirements, it doesn’t have a lot of the calling features that other high-end phones have. Power users want to be able to search their contacts, do voice-dialing and have rules on how calls are handled.
- Fix Developing For The iPhone – The iPhone could easily be a platform for developers – there’s definitely interest – and more great apps would make the iPhone that much more desirable.
Looking back at these, Apple has addressed about half of the issues we raised:
- Fix the pricing – half fixed. Your cost to get an iPhone is now just $199, but your monthly fees will be $10 higher than before. Yep – you’re going to pay $40 more and think you’re getting a good deal!
- Fix Publishing From The iPhone – not fixed.
- Fix Typing On The iPhone – not fixed.
- Fix The Phone – half fixed. Apple has added contact searching in the iPhone 2.0 software. Other power-user features are still MIA.
- Fix Developing For The iPhone – Fixed. The iPhone SDK has been downloaded 250,000 times and an App store is on the way.
More iPhone 3G Details
Apple today introduced the iPhone 3G, combining the features of iPhone with 3G networking that is twice as fast as the first generation iPhone, built-in GPS for expanded location based mobile services, and iPhone 2.0 software. In the US the new iPhone 3G is priced at $199 for the 8GB model, and $299 for the 16GB model.
iPhone 3G will be available in more than 70 countries later this year, beginning with customer availability in 22 countries—Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US—on July 11.
iPhone 3G gives users faster access to the Internet and email over their cellular network with quad-band GSM and tri-band HSDPA for voice and data connectivity around the world. iPhone 3G supports Wi-Fi, 3G and EDGE networks and automatically switches between them to ensure the fastest possible download speeds.
The new iPhone 3G also makes it easier to multi-task with simultaneous voice and data communications, so with iPhone 3G you can browse the web, get map directions, or check your email while you are on a call.
iPhone 3G includes the new iPhone 2.0 software with both the iPhone SDK and key enterprise features such as support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to provide over-the-air push email, contact and calendar syncing as well as remote wipe and Cisco IPsec VPN for encrypted access to corporate networks. The iPhone SDK allows developers to create amazing applications that leverage the iPhone’s Multi-Touch user interface, animation technology, accelerometer and GPS technology on the world’s most advanced mobile platform.
iPhone 3G includes the new App Store, providing iPhone users with native applications in a variety of categories including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The App Store on iPhone works over cellular networks and Wi-Fi, which means it is accessible from just about anywhere, so you can purchase and download applications wirelessly and start using them instantly. Some applications are even free and the App Store notifies you when application updates are available. The App Store will be available in 62 countries at launch.
Additional features available with the iPhone 2.0 software include the ability to do real-time mapping and track your progress with GPS technology, mass move and delete multiple email messages, search for contacts, access a new scientific calculator, turn on parental control restrictions for specified content, save images directly from a web page or email them to your iPhone and easily transfer them back to your photo library on your Mac or PC. iPhone 3G delivers 10 hours of talk time on 2G networks and 5 hours using 3G, with up to 5 to 6 hours of web browsing, up to 7 hours for video playback and up to 24 hours for audio playback.
iPhone 3G takes advantage of MobileMe, a new Internet service that pushes email, contacts, and calendars from an online “cloud” to native applications on iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs. With MobileMe email, messages are pushed instantly to iPhone, removing the need to manually check email and wait for downloads, and push keeps contacts and calendars continuously up-to-date so changes made on one device are automatically updated on other devices.
iPhone 3G will be available in the US on July 11 for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 8GB model and $299 (US) for the 16GB model in both Apple and AT&T’s retail stores and requires a new two year contract with AT&T for qualifying customers. iPhone 2.0 software will be available on July 11 as a free software update via iTunes® 7.7 or later for all iPhone customers