Yes, we're really reviewing the iPhone 3GS 8GB, Apple's other huge smartphone release for 2010. It went on sale the same day as iPhone 4, in many more countries around the world than iPhone 4 did, and importantly -- in the US it's now $99 on AT&T contract.
Let that sink in for a moment. A couple weeks ago iPhone 3GS was still one of the best smartphones on the market. Since making it's debut in June 2009 (when we reviewed the original), it's stood the test of time against the Palm Pre, BlackBerry Storm 2, Motorola Droid, Google Nexus One, Palm Pre Plus, HTC Droid Incredible, and Evo 4G. Sure, other phones began pulling ahead in terms of raw specs and feature sets, but iPhone 3GS maintained its edge through a combination of overall elegance, usability, and ecosystem.
The only other thing that's changed between then and now -- aside from the price drop and reduction of storage that came with it is -- the arrival of iPhone 4.
For many people who want an iPhone, iPhone 4 will be the easy choice. But just like last year when Apple dropped the iPhone 3G to $99, it's not the only choice.
Total cost of ownership (TCO -- what you pay including the phone and the carrier contract) be damned, some people want a budget smartphone. Some people want to walk into the store, drop not a penny more than $99, and walk out with an iPhone. This year, those people can do just that and what they're leaving with is not only an iPhone 3GS, but an iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.
And that's worth a review.