Almost one year after the original Apple iPhone went on sale, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has announced a 3G version of the device, finally putting to rest months of rumors and speculation. While some of the rumors panned out--the new handset will offer full GPS--other rumors, like the addition of a 32GB model, fizzled. But even with the long list of basic features that Apple still is denying us (hello multimedia messaging?), the addition of 3G support is a big win. If data speeds hold up as Jobs demonstrated (more on that later), the new iPhone really will put the Internet in your pocket. We also approve of the new price: $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB version, a pleasing price for all but the poor souls who shelled out nearly $600 a year ago. The new iPhone will go on sale July 11.
With support for three 3G bands (850, 1900, 2100) and both UMTS and HSDPA networks, the iPhone 3G is well positioned for using high-speed networks all around the world. Considering that Apple is promising to bring the device to 70 countries, it had better be. During his WWDC keynote, Jobs compared Web download speeds between the two iPhones. On the original model, which runs on a 2.5G EDGE network, a photo-heavy Web site loaded in 59 seconds, while the same site loaded in 21 seconds on the new device--impressive, but we take it with a grain of salt for now. After all, the demo iPhone in today's keynote was the only iPhone in the room using AT&T's 3G network. Once a multitude of devices flood the same network, load times may change.
Worker bees will be pleased to know that the iPhone 3G will offer support for Microsoft Exchange Server. That will bring push e-mail, contacts and calendar, remote wipe, global contacts access, and auto-discovery. That's another welcome change as it puts the iPhone in the hands of a whole new class of corporate users who now will be able to get their work e-mail on the iPhone.
This is one feature that was on our original iPhone wish list. While the current iPhone location services find your position via nearby cell phone towers and satellites, the iPhone 3G uses Assisted GPS supplemented by satellites. It also offers live tacking so you can monitor your progress as you drive (or walk) along. We're excited to see this feature as well, as it fills in another gaping hole on the original handset. You'll also find photo geotagging, but we're not sure yet whether the iPhone 3G or any third-party applications will support turn-by-turn directions.
Speaking of which, the iPhone 3G will indeed support the collection of apps available through the iPhone SDK--no surprise here. Apple promises to open apps store in early July (Apple didn't release an exact date); we're guessing by July 11. Gaming apps should feature prominently; many will integrate with the phone's accelerometer.
Last year Jobs said that Apple had not included 3G in the first iPhone because it would have made too many compromises with the handset's battery life. But now it appears that Apple has solved that problem. The iPhone 3G promises a solid 5 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of 2G talk time, 5 hours of 3G Internet time, 6 hours of Wi-Fi Internet time, 7 hours of video playback, 24 hours of audio playback, and 12.5 days standby time. The audio and video times are unchanged from the original iPhone.
Since the latest iPhone will support the 2.0 software, additional new features will show up at launch and beyond, including contacts search, iWork document support, the capability to view PowerPoint attachments, bulk move and delete, a scientific calculator in landscape mode, parental controls, and support for 16 languages. You'll also be able to use a graffiti-style application for entering characters in Asian languages.
Unfortunately, we hoped for an even larger bundle of features in this round. Apple still leaves multimedia messaging out of the mix along with voice dialing and video recording. We still don't understand why Apple can't include these basic features, many found in even the cheapest and simplest cell phones. We were also hoping for a landscape keyboard, the capability to cut and paste, Flash support for the Safari Web browser, expanded memory, and additional Bluetooth profiles. Apple, you left us hanging in a big way. It's also disappointing to hear that the dock is now sold separately for $49, but we suppose that helped cut the price. No, you don't need the dock, but it's nice to have. Even the power adapter and the SIM card removal tool that now come in the box won't make up for its loss.
If you're an iPhone fence-sitter, now's the time. The addition of 3G and GPS, the affordable price tag, and extra features from the iPhone 2.0 software update make the iPhone 3G a worthy prospect. Unlike the previous iPhone, which we liked and recommended with reservations, we're much happier with what this new handset has to offer. iPhone 3G isn't perfect, but there's a lot to like here and we approach the device with much anticipation. We'll update this page with a full, rated review once we get our hands on the hardware.
Latest News From O2 UK
iPhone is now free on selected Pay Monthly tariffs*There's only one thing better than an iPhone. The new 3G iPhone.
*Best of all, the new 8GB iPhone won't cost you a penny on our £45 and £75 tariffs. And it's just £99 on our £35 tariff and new £30 tariff.
All tariffs include unlimited browsing on your iPhone, unlimited Wi-Fi access, visual voicemail and reduced roaming rates with our International Traveller Service and are subject to a minimum term contract of 18 months.More information on the new iPhone will be available shortly so come back in a few days or visit http://www.apple.com/
Handset subject to availability. Connection subject to status, 18-month minimum term contract, credit check & direct debit. Data usage whilst roaming not included. Unlimited Wi-Fi is available at any of the 9,500 Wi-Fi hotspots from our partners The Cloud and BT Openzone (available from 11 July 2008). Excessive usage policy and full terms apply.
Yes Iphone 3g pay as you go in the UK .... yeeeeeessss.
iPhone is coming soon for Pay & GoCustomers will soon be able to enjoy all the great features of iPhone without a monthly contract with the iPhone for Pay & Go.
Just register your interest opposite and we'll drop you a line in early July to tell you what you need to do to be one of the first to get your hands on the new 3G iPhone.More information on the new iPhone will be available shortly so come back in a few days or visit http://www.apple.com/uk