[TiPb vs. TiPb time! In the blue corner we have Jeremy who tells us why he IS SO upgrading to the iPhone 3G S. In the red corner, Chad who tells us why he IS NOT upgrading to the iPhone 3G S. Two writers, one issue. Check them both out and tell us who's side you're on!]
There have been a lot of people out there who are very disappointed with the third generation iPhone — iPhone 3G S. They’re saying that it is pretty much the same phone as the current iPhone 3G, or that the upgrades are not enough to warrant purchasing the new iPhone 3G S. I’m here to say, they're right - the upgrades are not significant enough!
More after the break!
With all of the enthusiasm surrounding the WWDC 2009 Keynote, it is hard not to be let down; and some of us were. It can be a challenge not to get carried away with rumor and speculation around this silly season. However, beyond the hype and rumor lies the truth: Apple and AT&T are not delivering. How so? Let us look at the iPhone first.
Beyond aesthetics, the iPhone simply does not do much beyond it's little brother the iPhone 3G (after the 3.0 software update). What are we getting other then a little extra speed?
A digital compass: Sure this helps with Google Map orientation, but is it amazing?
Voice Control: Granted, this will be nice while driving, but beyond that, it isn't much more than a gimmick.
Video Recording: Now this is a nice feature, however, it is only VGA (640x480) and some of us already have a portable video recorder (like a Flip Mino, etc.)
There you have it, the three "new" features for the iPhone 3G S. Oh yes, there is the speed and battery life. True, things could be faster, but software 3.0 is already enhancing the speed of the current generation of iPhones and I am satisfied with the battery life of my iPhone as is. Why is this such a big deal? Why am I belittling these changes so? Two reasons: 1) We know Apple is capable of more/better and 2) AT&T is getting a little over-confident with strong-arming Apple to bend to their whim at the expense of customers. Let us look at number one first.
We know Apple is capable of more/better
Apple has filed several patents over the years that specifically references an iPhone interface (you can view some here and here). When are these coming to the light of day? I would really like to have some sort of "today" screen where, without turning on my device, I can see things at a glance; unread email, texts, etc. Oh, and what about iChat? Apple apps can multi-task now, why not an iChat app? Come to think of it, a front facing camera for video chats would be nice, but wait, AT&T doesn't have the bandwidth for such things... which leads me into point two...
AT&T is getting a little over-confident
I get the contract and subsidy thing, except that AT&T is charging an awful lot for having a slower network by comparison to Sprint and Verizon (sorry T-Mobile). The Palm Pre's data connection on Sprint's EVDO Rev A network is close to Wi-Fi in my tests and AT&T is a long, long way from that. AT&T announced that they will be adding the much needed bandwidth later this year, but combine this with the late launching of tethering and MMS, "customer loyalty" discounts for users not quite at the 18month milestone for iPhone 3G S pricing of $399/16 and $499/32, I am not feeling the warm and fuzzies I used to feel.
Who is really to blame here? It is a double whammy. If Apple delivered on a new, "fresh breath device", I could take the heat from AT&T. If Apple didn't deliver and AT&T was reasonable on their pricing, that would have worked too. As it stands now, there is failure on both sides. Sure users will be happy if they are eligible, but AT&T just sold a boat-load of iPhone 3G's within the last year, and now they are all let down, me included.
I am sticking with my iPhone 3G and enjoying the new life it will get with software 3.0. Until the next, great iPhone comes at WWDC 2010. Hey, at least my 2 year contract will be up...