To upgrade or not to upgrade…actually there is no question at all. The easy answer, IMO anyway, is a big NO.
That’s saying a lot coming from me, a guy who is always itching to get the latest and greatest in cool gadgets. I bought the original iPhone on the day it was released. I will not be getting this upgrade, which is being released tomorrow… in case you haven’t heard.
Why not? The cost of the new iPhone is half what they were when it debuted last year in June, and they are offering to cancel the previous contract agreement for first gen iPhone users and give them the subsidized price with a new agreement. The new 3G technology in it boasts much faster web surfing/mail downloads and it now has a built in real GPS for real time navigation and map features. The new software will allow for 3rd party applications to be downloaded and to run on the iPhone… which promises a lot of useful programs and cool stuff that will make the iPhone more productive and fun. So what’s the problem?
In short, not worth it. Not enough new and in the long run it’s much more expensive in terms of your phone plan.
Yes, the 16GB 3G iPhone is only $299.00, but the data plan for the new phone rises from $20 a month for unlimited internet to $30 a month. That’s an extra $120 a year for the same service, albeit faster IF you are in a 3G area. However, AT&T also quietly eliminated the included 200 SMS text messages a month that was previously included in all the different iPhone plans. Getting that back will cost another $5 per month, for a whopping $180 a year increase in service costs, $360 more over the two year term. You will pay more than 100% of what the iPhone itself costs in extra charges over the two years of your commitment (if you use text messaging).
Couple that with the fact that there is very little in the way of functionality changes specific to the 3G, and that extra $$ is way too much to upgrade. Most of the new software, at least that which doesn’t need the true GPS to function, will also be available and usable on the first gen iPhone which receives the same updated OS and third party compatibility. The new 3G has the same awful 2 mega-pixel camera, the same sized screen, the same basic form and function. No addition of MMS image text messaging, cut and paste,??á¬¨‚Ä† instant messaging or voice dialing… all glaring shortcomings of the iPhone. There is not a lot of new and shiny here. I just read one review of the 3G that claims the GPS antennae in the new iPhone is too small to give you true real time turn-by-turn map directions. That’s a key selling point gone for me.
In fact, the only other really substantial change outside of the 3G connection and the GPS? A non-recessed headphone jack so any headphones can be used without an adapter. BTW, I hope the moron at Apple who’s idea it was to recess that jack so non-apple headphones would need an adapter is bagging groceries for a living somewhere in out-state Nebraska right now.
Nope, this is one to skip. If Apple is smart they are already hard at work on iPhone 3.0, and it will be a more substantial advance in technology. Better camera, easier to access contact list, voice dialing, more memory capacity and horizontal-capable text and e-mail keyboards would be welcome. I’ll wait for that one. My iPhone 1.0 is still doing the job admirably.
4 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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