Acronym Update 07-11-08

Apple iPhone 3G Fast Facts

Here is all you need to know about the new iPhone being released tomorrow:

– This iPhone will be known as the iPhone 3G.  It is actually the 2nd generation iPhone, so you may be wondering…. why the 3G designation? In the past notations such as 2G have used in context of the iPod Nano — to mean 2nd generation.    However, in the context of the iPhone 3G refers to AT&T’s data network.

– The first iPhone, released on 06/29/07, was widely criticized for not being 3G data capable.   iPhone users had to use AT&T’s slower EDGE network — which was only slightly faster than dial-up Internet.

– Effective tomorrow, it’s a whole new playing field.  iPhone owners will be able to surf at an average of 400 to 800 kb per second on their favorite gadget and possibly — new best friend.   As a point of reference, dial up Internet operates at 56 kbps or less if your phone lines have been damaged by lightning / thunderstorms.

-The iPhone 3G promises to have an even more user-friendly on screen keyboard and sports a standard headphone jack so that you can use whatever brand you prefer.

-Lower initial cost.   The iPhone 3G will only set you back $199 for the 8 gigabyte model and $299 for the 16 gigabyte version.   This represents 1/2 the cost of the last EDGE based iPhones and less than half of the original price points set at $499 and $599 last June.

-Higher monthly cost.  You can still purchase an iPhone with a minimum individual plan of $39.99 (or higher) or a family plan, but the data plans will cost you at least $10 to $15 more.  A data plan is REQUIRED with the iPhone 3G, as it was with the first generation.   Last year, I really thought the iPhone data plans were quite innovative.   The cost was $20 for unlimited Internet and e-mail use.  They included 200 text/SMS messages for free.    This time around, be prepared to dig deeper into your wallet.   You will be required to take a $30 3G data plan with your new toy and text messages are extra.   If you are into the whole text message scene, you’ll want to get the $5 – 200 message plan at a bare minimum.

-Some sad realities carrry over.   Just like the original iPhone,  the iPhone 3G does not have a removable battery.  If you are the type who takes your phone everywhere, buy a car charger and buy a second plug in charger for the office.   Apple says the iPhone is good for about 5 hours of 3G talk time or Internet use.  Furthermore, the iPhone is still not capable of instant messaging or multimedia text messaging (MMS) or video recording.

-Good news for corporate warriors.  If you are used having a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile based PDA attached to your hip — the iPhone can also connect to your workplace Exchange server to sync email, calendars and contacts.   Check with your I.T. Department for specific instructions.   Enterprise data plans cost $15 more setting you back $45 per 28 to 31 day period.

-Final comments.  The iPhone 3G is ONLY available in the USA with AT&T cell phone service.   The $199 / $299 pricing will only be availble to new customers, previous iPhone owners, or existing AT&T customers due for an upgrade.    $18 upgrade fee applies.  This means…. you may be paying $200 more if you are not one of those 3 groups.

FYI,  I will not be one of those freaks camping out at the local mall tonight.  I am under contract with Verizon Wireless and quite happy with their service.  I have been a customer of theirs for 7 out of the past 9 years, and see no reason to change.   I haven’t written about it yet, but I actually demoed AT&T service for about 10 days in early May.  I had a chance to test it out extensively on a trip to NYC.  I was not impressed.  In my opinion, Verizon offers much better call quality in New England and Metro NYC than all other carriers.    There may be exceptions in certain areas and around the country……but I haven’t noticed these trouble spots personally.

I’ll be writing about golf next week.

Until then….

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