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The New iPhone 3G – a detailed look.

Australia will be celebrating the launch of the new Apple iPhone 3G with 19 other countries on July 11th, 2008. About time too, considering that the launch of the second iPhone model coincides with the iPhone’s first birthday at the end of this month!

iPhone 3G

The new release has been announced to posses the latest 3G technology, giving it greater receptivity and faster download speeds. As well as this, the new iPhone 2 software update to be released in the coming weeks for old iPhone/iPod touch owners (and which shall be pre-installed on all iPhone 3Gs) brings much welcomed updates and tweaks such as multiple message/contact selection, contact search, Microsoft Exchange Support and Cisco VPN Cilent integration to further enhance the phone’s connectivity. This will prove useful for university students in particular who will now be able to connect into their university internet networks via the inbuilt Wi-fi and VPN. Another really cool feature is the integration of a GPS that Apple have attained in conjunction with Google Maps.

Now for the drawbacks that no one seems to be addressing – there is no profile for Data Transfer Bluetooth. There are approximately 25 different Bluetooth profiles that enable phones to connect wirelessly to other Bluetooth devices. The iPhone 1 and presumably the iPhone 3G can not connect via Bluetooth to computer, phone or other iPhone even for the sake of synchronisation/data transfer. It also cannot be used to stream music to Bluetooth enabled speakers or headphones. The only profiles loaded, are the handsfree and headset profiles to allow for connection to a Bluetooth ear piece.

Some mobile phones on the market offer up to 5MP cameras with zoom. The iPhone is stunted at 2MP, no zoom. There is also no video recording functionality.

The first iPhone was heralded as “the internet in your pocket”, but Flash and Java components of websites could not be loaded on it, websites over 10MB cannot be loaded, and Javascript code is limited to 5 seconds runtime. There is yet to be any announcement of these internet limitations being alleviated. There are also no resize or scrolling knobs/bars so websites get automatically resized according to the screen size.

It will be interesting to see if the iPhone 3G addresses any of these minor issues, even though nothing in regards to them were announced at the WWDC ’08 Keynote Launch.

I would also like to mention that the first Apple Store in the Southern Hemisphere will be celebrating their Grand Opening in Sydney this Thursday ( 19th June 2008 ) at 5pm. The Store is on the corner of George and King Sts.

How Much? Interestingly, Steve Jobs at the WWDC Keynote remarked that no one will pay more than their equivalent of US$199 for the 8GB model, and US$299 for the 16GB. So an entry level price point of around AU$210-250 is probably a good estimate. {note: these prices are not for outright phones but in addition, there will be phone plan contracts up to the discretion of the provider}

For the launch, only Optus and Vodafone have the rights to sell the iPhone, and this will mean that handsets will most probably be locked to their network. I have heard from a trusted source that Optus will be offering the iPhone as part of a Post-paid plan, whereas Vodafone will offer a Prepaid and Post-paid option. Strong evidence for this prepaid option being available is that retailers such as Dick Smith Powerhouse will be selling the iPhone, they even have iPhone cases and protective covers already in stock.

Either way, my current contract doesn’t end until December, so it gives me time to determine if buying the iPhone will be worth it, or if I should wait a few extra months for a future revision.


2 responses

  1. Briffa

    I think that $199USD price point is on like an $80 a month plan so I doubt it is as cheap as it seems

    June 17, 2008 at 6:36 pm

  2. methre

    Yes, that is probably correct.

    There is an interesting article here – http://apcmag.com/Content.aspx?id=2441 – that claims that a fully outright iPhone not locked will cost up from AU$700. However, this as well can’t be taken as fact yet, as I know for certain that new items like this (esp. with Apple products) usually are put into Point of Sale systems with placeholder values (for example at Dick Smith we have had Apple items with place holder value of $0.01 until the official release date when they are actually made available for selling at the correct price).

    June 17, 2008 at 7:28 pm

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