$99 iPhone 3GS - Apple's other huge smartphone launch
Though it got completely buried under the hype and hysteria of the iPhone 4 launch, Apple also released another "new" smartphone last week -- the $99 iPhone 3GS 8GB running iOS 4.
Sure it's "last year's model" in many ways, but a week ago it was still the best iPhone on the planet, holding up extremely well to much newer devices running other operating systems on other carriers. Now it packs iOS 4 punch with multitasking, folders, unified and threaded email, and all the other bells and whistles, and it's $99.
It makes absolutely no sense when you consider the costs of the accompanying voice and data plans under a 2-year contract run into the thousands of dollars, but getting below the magical $99 price point smashes a huge psychological barrier.
It also means Apple has something beyond competitive again in the budget $49-$149 smartphone space. For new entrants into the market wanting to upgrade from a feature phone (and quite possibly an iPod touch) to non-geeks of all kinds who just want a music, internet, and app phone, its going to be hugely appealing.
Since the iPhone 3GS shares the same basic design as iPhone 3G, accessory makers get a 3rd year on the market for their skins, cases, molded docks and chargers, and other accessories -- unprecedented in the modern smartphone space. More and more accessories will no doubt start targeting iPhone 4, just like a handful of apps are iPhone 4 only now, but a new iPhone 3GS owner will still find 225,000 apps and a mountain of gear available to them. Ad to that the integration into the rest of Apple's ecosystem, everything from iTunes media to Apple Store customer service, and appealing rapidly becomes compelling at the $99 price point.
And here's the one more thing -- unlike the iPhone 4 right now, it's available in many, many countries internationally, and unlocked in most of them outside the US. So, while a cheap, carrier subsidized iPhone 3GS is an option, so is a CAN$549.00, AUS$719, £419.00, €519.00 officially SIM-free, unlocked iPhone 3GS. It's an expensive option to be sure, but for those who hate contracts or love to travel, its cheaper than an iPhone 4 and around the same price as an unlocked Nexus One. That might also appeal to developers who want a second iOS phone but not the contract to go with it.
Apple launched two new smartphones last week and even though iPhone 4 sucked all the air out of the coverage, the $99 iPhone 3GS 8GB is just as important in its own right.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
Don't believe the hype about the iPhone 4 shattering, but then again, don't put yourself in the position of dropping your iPhone without protection like a case or something. I've rarely dropped a mobile phone in the +10 years I've been using them due to being extra careful in wanting to protect my fairly expensive investment and even when I did, it didn't do damage at all since it was in a protective case.
If you're still on 3.1.3 on the iPhone 3G you need to do yourself a favor and jailbreak using Spirt.exe. You will enjoy features that even the new iPhone 4 has. I just unlocked my 3G with ultrasnow and I will be letter my sister use it on her T-Mobile network. You are missing out on a world of possibilities if you don't Jailbreak. And by the way, OS4 is really not designed for 3G iPhones. I can't believe Apple even made OS4 compatible with it because from what I've heard like your story, it's a mixed bag of poor results. I will never update to it with my 3G since it already has everything it needs thanks to Saurik and the Jailbreaking Community! ;)
Trust me, the problems you're having with the signal aren't hardware related, they're software related as people with 3G and 3GS iPhones are reporting the same issues on OS4. Don't believe the criticism. Just hold tight and wait patiently for a resolution.
If it makes you feel any better, I was having the same issues with reception and signal bars on the 23rd but it never depended on how or where I held my iPhone 4. Around midday on the 24th the reception issues and signal bar anomalies were a thing of the past as it corrected itself after another software restore, a few reset Network Settings and the old tried and true having the patience to wait it out.
I am free and clear now and people are commenting on how clear I sound on the iPhone 4 with the same Motorola MOTOROKR S305 bluetooth headset I used on my 3G. :D
And there options if you don't want to be in the Apple world like a Pre Plus.
Next up, someone needs to convince the carriers that $40 month for however many voice minutes, typically 400, is highway robbery. $20 is reasonable. It's just ridiculous. Didn't the carriers charge $20 to $30 years ago? Anyways, it's a rip off.
Anyways, I wasn't aware that lowering the space inside a currently existing smartphone suddenly makes it a "new" smartphone.
My iPhone 4 is definitely better though. It is a huge difference from the 3G.
thank heavens apple is selling it unlocked
I'm going to get a few and pass them out to friends and family.
even a car is not an investment!! and saying you iPhone is an investment? do you even own a car?
i am from kuwait and i need to buy 3gs 16&32GB and 4G 16&32GB
If you have plz send to me your email and Pric