The skinny on the new iPhone 3G

At the 2008 WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs introduced the new iPhone 3G. As it turned out, most of the rumors about it were true. Here’s the rundown on the things that made it into the new phone:

  • 3G: YES. This was by far the biggest rumor, and it made sense for Apple to bring it to life. What’s nice is that it continues to support EDGE in addition to WiFi, so now users have three networks they can use.
  • Skinnier, hence the title of this post: YES, at the edges, which are tapered.
  • Less expensive: YES. $199 for 8GB or $299 for 16GB, BUT only with a 2-year contract with AT&T.
  • Built-in GPS for real-time mapping and tracking AND photo geotagging: YES.
  • iPhone 2.0 software, which includes support for third party apps, making it super easy to add functionality to your phone through the App Store: YES.
  • Enterprise features: YES. But we knew these were coming, because Steve Jobs and Phill Schiller had demoed them months ago. This includes support for Microsoft Exchange through ActiveSync, over-the-air push email, contact and calendar syncing, remote wipe and Cisco IPsec VPN.
  • Seamless integration with MobileMe, the replacement for .Mac: YES. We suspected this would happen when word got out last week that Apple had secretly purchased me.com for approximately 11 million dollars.

Now here’s what didn’t make it:

  • Unlocked phone: NO. I knew that sounded too good when people announced it. You can’t drop the iPhone to $199 and ALSO unlock it. It has too many features, it’s too advanced. When you have half-baked unlocked phones that cost $300 to $400, you’re not going to get an unlocked iPhone 3G for less. So, we’re stuck with AT&T, and with 2-year contracts.
  • Video chats through iChat/Skype: NOT SPECIFIED. This was my #1 feature request for the new iPhone. I’d really hoped they’d let us do video chats on the phone. After all, it has a camera, and it can record video. No official guidance yet on this. Does anyone have any specifics?
  • 5 megapixel camera: NO. That’s annoying. Still stuck with an underpowered 2 megapixel camera. Perhaps the photos it takes are better this time around.
  • Cut and paste: NO. I know of several people that were eagerly awaiting this feature. Apparently, it didn’t make it to the iPhone yet. But thankfully it’s a software, not a hardware issue, so it can be implemented later.

New features introduced without rumors:

  • 3G dock: YES. Apparently, faster, and will let you do speakerphone calls.
  • Compact USB power adapter: YES. It’s significantly smaller.
  • Bluetooth headset: YES. It’s made specifically for iPhone.

I was one of the people who held out for iPhone 2.0 –namely, this one — when the first version came out last year. Will I now purchase one? Not sure. I really wanted to be able to do video chats on the iPhone, and if it turns out that I still can’t, it may be a deal breaker for me. Plus, being hobbled with a 2-year AT&T contract is not the kind of commitment I enter into lightly. I don’t know, I’ll have to think about this. At any rate, I’ve got until July 11th to make up my mind.

Photos courtesy of Apple, Inc. More info can be found in Apple’s original press release and on the iPhone website.


3 thoughts on “The skinny on the new iPhone 3G

  1. iPhone 3G is simply the best phone that i have owned. It is very stylish and its nice features. I also own an N97 but i like the iphone.

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