Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Snapshot of iPhone 3G S

Smartphone Fanatics reader Rick C has sent in his first impressions of the new Apple iPhone 3G S after having watched the Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference keynote address that took place in California this past Monday.

One advantage of doing late shift support is that you get to listen to play by play of Apple WWDC and watch the live blogging. I am only focusing on the last 20 minutes of the presentation as this is Smartphone Fanatics after all.

The new iPhone is evolutionary not revolutionary. It has a faster processor, which I assume is why it’s the 3G "S". It also includes a 3 mega pixel auto focus camera, video capture, a voice control interface, and a compass. All this and allegedly longer better battery life. And the multitasking! Oh wait, still no multitasking. The iPhone 3G S will be available June 19th.

I have to say there are some impressive hardware features. The pricing is pretty sweet too, $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB. The existing 3G is going for $99.00. Not so sweet is that these are contract prices with AT&T. The same AT&T that is not supporting the MMS or tethering features out of the box that were also announced today. I am skeptical of the battery life promises, the 3g talk time is 5 hours and I suspect the numbers are based on all the other features being disabled. The 3G S is the same size as the rest of the iPhone line and while all the phone candy is cool, what is the power price? Having a lot of great features is wonderful till you are stranded in the middle of nowhere with a drained iPhone and no way to swap the battery.

Two other things you want to look out for, first the stability of the 3.0 software. I say that because two of the demos failed on stage at WWDC during the keynote. I would assume that Apple would have trotted out the most bulletproof apps for the keynote, so I wonder a bit. Second is the cost per user. Not a word was spoken about any pricing discounts with AT&T. When, and if, AT&T decides to support MMS and tethering for the iPhone how much is it going to cost the user over the life of a contract? That $199.00 iPhone can get pretty expensive over the life of a 2 year contract compared to Sprint.

At this point I would wait and see first how the Palm Pre does in the real world according to Alan, and second how the iPhone fares in real world testing as well.
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