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!