TiPb vs. TiPb: Top 5 Reasons I'm SO Upgrading to iPhone 3G

Top 5 Reasons I\'m Upgrading to iPhone 3G

Now that the iPhone 3G has been officially announced and the details have been released, we are holding the first ever: TiPb vs TiPb. In the two articles we will detail reasons why we SHOULD upgrade and why we SHOULDN'T upgrade to the iPhone 3G. No hard feelings, No blood spilled, just good old fashioned point-by-point debate.

My first computer was an Apple II. Sure, I flirted with DOS (KDS 7860!), then had a fling with an Amiga before falling in with Windows 3.1 through Vista (now tucked safely away in a VM). But even in the Dark Days, I had a Mac Performa for a while, and now for the last year, I'm back on Mac full time. I say this to show that I don't believe in being loyal to company that just sees me as cash. I believe in a company being loyal to me if they want my cash. They have to earn it. And the moment another company, platform, car manufacturer, game system developer, or cola maker does a better, more innovative job earning my cash -- they get it.

So, for me, just because Apple released a new iPhone didn't mean they "had me at 3G". If they wanted my cash (and my enslavement to a carrier -- more on that later), they had to wow me.

And wow me they did.

Read on the top 5 reasons you SO need to upgrade!

5. Tech Waits for No One

Usually I'm not the guy that rushes out and buys every new toy to come down Tech Ave. Usually I wait until a new release, Apple or not, and then buy the last gen, often refurbished, so I don't suffer any first-adopter tax or retail premium.

Sure I write for an iPhone blog, but I really, truly love me some iPhone, and here's why: it's the next big paradigm shift for computing, every bit as much as the Apple II or the Mac, and I want in. Sure, 2.0 will run on the last gen device, but there are some tiny little hardware features to consider, like, say 3G HSDPA speeds, GPS location services, a flush headphone jack(!), among other things, not to mention the App Store apps which will certainly take advantage of, if not demand, an iPhone 3G, and being on the bleeding edge for this ride seems like a no brainer.

I don't always need the latest or the greatest, but when Apple combines both those things together in a gorgeously evolutionary little package like iPhone 3G, how can I resist?

The world is moving mobile, and who's driving that world now? Not Palm anymore, not Windows Mobile, not Symbian, and not even Blackberry. A UNIX box, always online, super fast, location aware, with next generation UI, all in my pocket?

Where do I sign?

4. Price.

$199, even though I'll probably spring for the 16GB at $299. It's just that simple. (Actually, it's not, but I detailed my thoughts on it already yesterday -- check them out!)

3. Speeds and Feeds

Steve Jobs' Keynote demo showed the iPhone's 3G speeds pasting EDGE and giving Wi-Fi a run for its money, and Engadget's and Gizmodo's early hands on helped confirm it for me: the iPhone 3G is a screamer!

Data transfer alone is only part of the picture, however. As we saw with the original iPhone rendering web pages of EDGE faster than some 3G phones could over HSDPA, processing power, HTML and Javascript engines, and a variety of software and hardware integration factors also effect overall speed. And this is where the iPhone 3G nails it.

Ubiquitous connectivity, where you're online all the time, moving seamlessly from WiFi at home or work to cell data when you're out and about is hardly seamless when you hit the road bumps that are EDGE. The difference between WiFI and EDGE is just too great, even on the iPhone, not to notice.

3G HSPDA may not be perfect, but it comes tantalizingly close to delivering that seamless experience. And it's an experience that will be more and more important, and sooner than we think.

Once you go fast, its very hard to go back. iPhone 3G, with its blazing HTML email and web page rendering, means I won't be going back, not after I upgrade.

2. GPS and the Cloud

I've mentioned the cloud before. It's real, and it's out there, and some analysts believe Google will use it to make more money next year than Microsoft does with Widows and Office. Google knows it, which is why they're pumping out Android. Microsoft knows it, which is why they're hyping Live Mesh even as they dally with Yahoo! and Facebook, and Apple knows it, which is why they're refreshing .Mac to MobileMe, and putting A-GPS in the iPhone 3G.

Location based services are going to be the Excel and Internet of the next big platform adaption, and the iPhone 3G is uniquely poised to leverage them, with the right guts, the right services, and Apple, who've proven to be the best guys on the planet at marrying software, hardware, and now services.

Google Maps on the iPhone was just the beginning; the App demo at WWDC 2008 just the appetizer. The cloud revelation is coming, and I want in now.

1. International Support

I'm Canadian. and that means I'm currently running a jailbroken and unlocked iPhone. I don't run any unofficial 3rd party apps, and I don't have any data set up. I simply have to have a cracked phone in order to use it in the country I live. While I take responsibility for my own actions, though Apple who wanted revenue sharing and Rogers who has a GSM monopoly and gouges for data rates to the point that oil companies find them obnoxious certainly need to take responsibility for their (previously?) myopic views as well. (And as of this writing, Rogers has not announced rate information for the iPhone, so there may yet be show-stoppers on my end).

I also don't have any warranty recourse should my iPhone develop any problems, no easy access to Apple Stores for fixes or even accessories. I'm a vagabond, like Bruce Banner always just one issue ahead of the army that hunts him.

And I'd like to come in out of the cold. I'd like to buy an iPhone in a regular store (I'd prefer an Apple Store, but I'll take Rogers if I have to). I'd like to have it under warranty and service, and be able to take it in if I have any problems. And I'd like a data plan, a real one I can use everywhere and anywhere, without $0.03 a kb overage charges, and no recourse with Rogers billing for using my SIM on an unsupported device.

For those who want more languages, including the ability to draw out Asian language characters right on the phone will also be huge.

Absent being part of the privileged few nations to have gotten the original iPhone, international support is my killer feature.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, my Top 5 reasons why I'll be lined up at a Rogers store on July 11th, waiting for my iPhone 3G.

How about you? Will you be lining up somewhere just like me? Or will you, like Casey, be watching us from afar, still content with your 2G? Let me know!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

TiPb vs. TiPb: Top 5 Reasons I'm SO Upgrading to iPhone 3G


i so agree with this article, the iphone 3g is everything a phone should be and then a little bit more. The scratching n the back shouldn't be a problem though, I'm getting me's a case.

I won't be lining up. Not if they keep the in-store activation rule that is. The wait will just be too long and it will be too headache causing. I will however be buying after the initial rush. If it is the first weekend, awesome; if it is the next weekend, not as awesome but still close.
I pay $30 a month for my BB plan, so $30 a month for the new iPhone won't hurt me one bit.
To get the same function as MobileMe on my BB would cost me a minimum of $55 a month in data charges, but more realistically, around $75, not including the minutes plan. No, the 3G iPhone isn't a necessity for this, but it will make certain aspects, like photo sharing, better.
I am a speed junkie. 3G is the one and only thing I really "needed" to see on this new rendition of the iPhone. Unlike the vast majority of complainers, I realize this isn't Apple's swan song. I know the 3rd generation iPhone will be the WOW device when compared to the 1st gen. The iPhone 3G isn't designed to steal away all the first gen owners, it is designed to attract the non-owners that are on the fence. I just don't understand why more people don't comprehend this.
This thing is unparalleled as a mobile computing device. It has more potential than any other device out there, and like you said Rene, much of this ties to the Cloud. Sure, the original iPhone has the same potential, but I don't own one of those and the 3G speeds will make that Cloud access all the more sweet.
I am actually capable of seeing the bigger picture. I don't nickel and dime devices by their "features." I look at devices based on their potential. I would have loved to see Cut/Paste or MMS, but I didn't. I am not going to let that destroy the rest of the beauty of the device though. If you are a person that can ignore all the good in the iPhone over the few absences, you need to either open your eyes, or just move on to a new device.
I also understand how Apple works. The iPhone was gen 1, the big bang. The iPhone 3G is gen 2, the slight improvement. iPhone gen 3 will be the next big bang. It is just their style. The missing software features are also more likely to come now than ever. Apple will not take all of their new features, load them into one device, and ship it all in one shot. Not their style. They will give you a few bones, make the majority happy, then they will give you a few more. They NEED stuff to put into software update 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc. Take it as you will, but it is how it works with them. Incremental increases followed by larger releases. Usually in the form of big release, software, software, software, incremental hardware improvement (iPhone 3G in this case), software, software, software, next big release, etc... (the "software" releases are not meant to show that it is always 3 software releases between hardware, it is just an example).
No, I am not complacent. No, I do not live on the "rope given" by Lord Jobs... I am just capable of realistic thinking and I understand the need for extended marketing. A product that shoots all of its ammunition in the first shot is dead.
The 3G iPhone was not meant to make every current iPhone owner run out and buy it. The funny part is, if it did happen to be a HUGE improvement and it did bring more hardware functionality, or software updates that required new hardware, to the table outside of 3G and GPS, I can guarantee that the complaints would be that they did it too soon, and what about the first gen owners that got screwed in less than a year...
No matter what Apple did with this release, they never would have been able to please everyone.
I for one like that the majority is complaining. Should make it easier for us realistic people to get one the first day/weekend.

I'm buying a used old version. Screw buying a shiny new one with fast speeds. I'm on the cheap.

I'm buying the new 3G for 2 reasons.
1) It has 3G, which is great because I'm always on Safari. EDGE can sometimes be a little slow and I'm never in a place that has any Wi-Fi. And where I live, there's alot of cities that have 3G network, which is great
2) It has GPS, which I might not use alot, but it's still a cool thing to have the the current iPhone doesn't.
Plus, it's either $199 or $299 versus the $599 I paid last June. But they did give me that $100 credit, which I'm hoping you can use on the 3G. I also like the fact that it's in Black, because I personally don't like the current back of the iPhone. I dropped mine twice and it's all scratched up, which really annoys me.

To hell with the cloud, video, cut& paste, 3G etc ad nauseam. Good God you geeks do go on: he had me at $199.

thom: that ignores total cost of ownership. assuming you keep it for two years and use the data plan AT&T wants you to, you actually pay more for the iPhone 3G than for the iPhone original.
If 'up front cost' is more important than 'how much it actually costs'...

anyway, I'm probably going to get one, but not right away. I want to see some real-life reviews to see if the 3G stuff is really really worth it. I have a GPS - which i almost bricked the other day, hah - so the gps part of the phone isn't making me thrilled... but then again, maybe 'location' services will become a sweet thing?

I'm not convinced... there's a lot of free WiFi around these days. Certainly everywhere I'm at (home, airport, cafes, etc.). I'm sure I'll upgrade my v1.0 some time, but it'll have to be a bigger WOW... or maybe when AT&T's franchise expires. What a poke in the eye with the new data rates.

Good points and I agree with them all, but the other that is huge is the improved audio quality. This was one of my biggest beefs with the prior iPhone. The call quality didn't match my old Treo and the audio for music didn't match the iPod classic. I hope the improvements are significant as I've been told. I also would say the tapered edge form factor is a plus as I'm guessing that it will feel better in your hand and less brick-like. I'm sold.

I cannot wait to get the iPhone 3G. I will be camping in front of my local rogers store at 4am. I cannot agree more with Tom's big speech... And i am glad i didn't get an old iPhone a week ago (I came a hair close to parting with $350 for a used 8GB) Does anyone know the low-down for rogers plans? Will it burn a hole in my wallet?
Please reply...
See ya July 11th!

According to Antonic's link, theres a 3 year contract attached. There'll be 2 or so new iphone's in that time! That means if Tom's right one would miss the wow 3rd gen if you play by the rules or fit into the low spend demographic of people that apple are now targeting with the $199
or is that (long contract length) normal in Canada?

I have likely flipped as many times as you can in 4 days.
Now after hearing the new $30 plan w/ AT&T I will be keeping my 2G phone because I don't live in an area w/ 3G and I already have unlimited texting on my family plan so the removing 200 texts wasn't a factor.
I just won't shell out another $200 for ANOTHER 2year contract, higher monthly data cost, and with less battery life.

If you live in an EDGE only area, you can use the toggle switch to completely disable the 3G chip, and you will have BETTER battery life. The talk time on the 3G iPhone is rated at 10 hours when using EDGE, as compared to the 8 hours of the 2G iPhone. The battery actually got better, but the 5 hour talk time represents 3G use.

I definitely want one, but I'm not going to wait in line in a lawn chair (no offense to those that do). I will show up shortly after the store opens to buy one, and if I have to put my name on a waiting list and wait a few days, that's okay. I've waited this long already, lol. Why I want/need it: Wikipedia and Dictionary.com in my pocket anywhere and everywhere! GPS using a Google photo satellite image! Organizer, Google/yellowpages/411, scientific calculator and all the other bells and whistles. Plus "the Internet in my pocket!" ... all at broadband speeds.

Reserving a second comment entirely for one topic: I am NOT happy that the cell phone bill will be $75 MINIMUM! (39.99+30+$5txt.msgs)

The minimum iPhone bill is probably less than $70 per person. I currently pay $60/month for an AT&T family-talk plan for me and my wife plus $20 for the iPhone data plan. After July 11 I hope to be able to simply give her my iPhone and add $30/month for the new data plan. That is a total of $110/month for two people with iPhones, which is only $55 each.

I am keeping my iphone 1.0. It's far sexier with an aluminum backside, it's not made of plastic. I agree that the 2.0 is the future, but I don't like the 3 year contract and the 100.00 monthly premium. I have my iphone 1.0 on a pay as you go package in Canada for $30.00 a month. Now that's more alluring to me. I use the wi-fi at the office, at my friends and at home.

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