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  • Almost everything you wanted to know about the 3G Iphone
    Im not going to summarize because this really explains a lot and clears up what has already been said but feel a lot of you would like to read this. And it was well written so I wanted to keep it all in one place. This was posted on engadget.

    So, what's with the new iPhone 3G?

    Well, it's pretty much the same iPhone as before -- except now it's down to $200, and has way faster 3G data, A-GPS (which is even better than regular GPS), as well as a flush headphone jack (which is great for anyone who doesn't want to use Apple's bundled headphones). Oh, and it's also a little thinner around the edges, and a little thicker at the center. If you want to know what it was like to try out, check out our iPhone 3G hands-on.

    How'd they get the price so low? The iPhone used to be crazy expensive.

    Actually, depending on how you do the math it's not actually cheaper. Now, in some countries the iPhone is free when you sign up for service, and in the US you'll pay $200 for the 8GB model -- half what it was a month ago -- so you're definitely paying less up front. But the data plans cost more now, so you might wind up spending more money over the long run.

    Um, ok.

    Look, gadgets only get cheaper as time goes on, and Apple's sold enough iPhones to continue to lower their cost to manufacture each unit. But more importantly, Apple's re-arranged its business deals to get carrier subsidies. Basically, what that means for Apple is they've decided to stop asking their carrier-partners for a cut of your monthly service fees. In exchange, the carriers have agreed to pay a significant chunk of the cost of your new iPhone 3G in order to get you to sign up.

    So everybody supposedly wins: Apple sells more devices and still makes good money, AT&T gets more subscribers, and you get a cheaper iPhone. But there is a financial toll to this: AT&T estimates that helping you pay for your new iPhone will actually cost them $600 million through 2010. But clearly the numbers indicate that the short term cost will be worth it for them the long run.

    Does that mean Apple doesn't make as much money per phone?
    For all we know Apple might actually be making more money per phone now. With the original iPhone 3G, you paid "full price" for an iPhone -- $600 at its high point. Now you'll be paying no more than $200 (and as little as nothing in some countries) for the 8GB model, so we don't really know exactly how much of Apple's price the carriers are knocking off. We think it's fair to assume it'd still be in the $400-450 retail range, though, if it wasn't subsidied. Which it is.

    What's up with the data and SMS pricing?
    Well, Apple will be in 70 countries (and counting) this year, so you'll get different plans from region to region. But in the US, users will have to sign up for a minute plan that includes an extra $30 rate for 3G data access (and has no bundled text messages). This is $10 more than the original iPhone's rate plan, which was $20 for data and 200 included SMSs. Matching voice plans start at $40 per month, so you'll basically be able to get started at $70 per month. (We've also got a bit more on AT&T's new plans here.)

    I heard you can't activate the iPhone at home anymore, is that true?

    This is still a little fuzzy. Here's the deal: with the first iPhone, Apple used to let you buy it in the store and take it home to activate. This process is unlike almost every other phone on the market, but since it's Apple, and because you were paying full price for the device, if you never activated it with AT&T or just unlocked it and sent it to your friend in China or whatever, it wasn't a big deal. Apple made their money on the device, and AT&T didn't lose anything.

    But since now AT&T is basically picking up a huge portion of the cost of your iPhone 3G, they want to make damn sure you aren't going to unlock it or send it to a friend. From what we've heard, you'll likely have to start the activation process in-store (so Apple and AT&T knows exactly who's buying the device), and then you might be able to finish it off at home. It's definitely not ideal, but it's the only way they can prevent people from basically walking away with a few hundred dollars of AT&T's money. And at the end of the day, it probably won't be WORSE than buying any other kind of phone though -- anyone who's bought a phone from a US carrier in the last 10 years will be well acquainted with the process.

    I heard you have to turn over your iPhone when you upgrade, is that true?
    Naw, you bought it, it's yours to hang on to. But if you bought one within Apple's grace period, they'll let you upgrade it free. (More on that below.) But if you bought an original iPhone early on -- which means half of your two year contract is about up -- know that when you buy an iPhone 3G you'll be re-upping that two year contract from date of purchase. So if you buy an iPhone 3G on day one, your new contract will expire on July 11th, 2010.

    So if I bought an original iPhone, I can trade it in for an iPhone 3G?

    Yes, but only if you bought it AFTER May 27th, 2008. Anyone who bought theirs before that has to live with their purchase -- not that anyone can stop you from showing up to your local Apple store and raising a ruckus.

    Can I continue using my original iPhone? Will they still update it?
    Yes, and yes! Although the first gen iPhone is officially no longer being made, not even Apple would be so bold as to deactivate the 6m iPhones already out there. They intend to release their big 2.0 software release for iPhones and iPods touch on or around July 11th, which will be the same software running on the iPhone 3G.

    What if I decide I don't like the iPhone 3G?

    Apple and AT&T offer a 30-day money back guarantee (just in case you don't get coverage in the places you most often frequent). After that you pay a $175 early termination fee (ETF), which goes down each month over the course of your 24 month contract.

    Is faster 802.11n WiFi supported?

    Nope, it's still just 802.11b/g. Seriously though, you're a fringe case if you need more than 54Mbps to your cellphone.

    Can I use voice and data at the same time?

    Yes and no: unlike the original iPhone -- which did not support EDGE class A, and sent calls to voicemail while you were browsing the web -- the UMTS / HSDPA-based iPhone 3G should be able to handle data and calls at the same time when in 3G mode. So that means if you get coverage, you'll be fine. But if you're in a spot where there's only EDGE service, you likely won't be able to do voice and calls at the same time.

    I heard rumors that this thing can get up to 40Mbps over 3G, is that true?

    Right now AT&T's HSDPA network is supposedly capped out at 1.4Mbps for phones, but we hear the iPhone is rated for HSDPA 3.6 (3.6Mbps), and AT&T claims its network speeds will go even faster than that by next year.

    What did they mean by "greatly improved" audio quality?

    Well, we heard about it two ways: Apple claims they've both improved the audio circuitry and quality of the signal to your headphones, but also cleaned up the in-call sound quality. We haven't tested this at length though, so we'll let you know if that's the case once it launches.

    Can I use the iPhone on any carrier?

    It's not unlocked, so no, you can't. While we're sure that iPhone hackers will figure out a way to unlock it for the betterment of all mankind, you're pretty much expected to use it with your designated domestic carrier, and pay the usual exorbitant roaming fees when you leave the country.

    I hear that even though it has GPS I can't use it as a nav unit, what's up with that?

    According to the SDK agreement, it looks like Apple doesn't want you using your iPhone to replace your Garmin. But it should still technically be feasible, and they demoed their Google Maps app doing geo-caching, so it's really a matter of intended use. Apple, apparently, doesn't want the device to be used that way -- but at the end of the day it may just be a contract mishap. We'll know soon!

    Why doesn't it do video / MMS / A2DP / scrub my callouses / pick up my dry cleaning?

    Clearly Apple has the technological prowess to make (most of) that stuff happen, but for whatever reason they've chosen not to support it. Maybe it's because of battery life issues, maybe it's because Steve just didn't see the need. Either way, it's a philosophical decision for them, so they may never change it. Bummer, right?

    So what the hell do I do with my old iPhone?

    The funny thing about a $200 3G iPhone is that it makes it pretty difficult to sell your original iPhone. Unless you know someone who doesn't need the 3G, we'd suggest keeping it as a backup, or even jailbreaking and unlocking for use when traveling overseas (in places have GSM networks).


    iPhone 3G: everything you ever wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) - Engadget
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Almost everything you wanted to know about the 3G Iphone started by .:MirrorminD:. View original post
    Comments 96 Comments
    1. kadinh's Avatar
      kadinh -
      i just called the at&t store to ask some ?'s about the plans and stuff. i asked the guy "i have a ? about the new iphone coming out. you must have had a lot of ppl calling about it, right?"

      he said "yes, in fact im looking at it right now"

      i thought OMG it is there!!

      i asked him if it was there in the store and he said "no, im looking at it online on the at&t site"

      got me all excited for nothing. but he said nobody really knows about it yet in the stores, just what is online and from apple. still 1 month left....
    1. ijoel's Avatar
      ijoel -
      everyone who dosent want to extend there contract bestway to go is ebay.com
    1. rusty778's Avatar
      rusty778 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijoel View Post
      everyone who dosent want to extend there contract bestway to go is ebay.com
      Yeah, how would that work? since you have to sign a contract to get the iPhone who are these people going to post them on ebay?
    1. kadinh's Avatar
      kadinh -
      Quote Originally Posted by rusty778 View Post
      Yeah, how would that work? since you have to sign a contract to get the iPhone who are these people going to post them on ebay?
      buy them full price w/o the contract
    1. grimmwerks's Avatar
      grimmwerks -
      I'm curious -- will the iPhone 3g be able to be used as a modem to a laptop? I could never get the tethering to work....

      It's the only thing I miss my Palm about -- the ability to use it as a modem.
    1. tdub's Avatar
      tdub -
      Can't believe people complain
      Ok 1st Apple as a company should have not connected up with at&t ,but they did and like most companies nice contracts =good$$$. Keep past past , everybody knew this when the iphone came out. And as far as me buying $600 phone first time around, i could give a rat's *** . I am a tech junkie and have blown more than $600 on other devices in past to have the newest technology. Like my first DVD player 600+ , now you go to walmart and buy one for $35. Anyway to my point, either enjoy what you have or stop ******** about Apple and their newest device. Problem most people have, but don't admit is when the new iphone comes out their device won't be "it" anymore and your coworker john will up you one with his shiny new 3G iphone!
    1. Dust Busta's Avatar
      Dust Busta -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijoel View Post
      everyone who dosent want to extend there contract bestway to go is ebay.com
      Ya, for $700+
    1. reeko's Avatar
      reeko -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijoel View Post
      everyone who dosent want to extend there contract bestway to go is ebay.com
      ebay.com is pretty useless, seeing as america is the only place in the world where you cant buy an unsubsidized iphone.

      i suggest ebay.co.uk , where i will be listing iphones for you american folks to purchase.

      i guess your release date is more like July 13th/14th earliest ... unless you want a 24 month expensive contract
    1. thestrangestick's Avatar
      thestrangestick -
      Quote Originally Posted by reeko View Post
      ebay.com is pretty useless, seeing as america is the only place in the world where you cant buy an unsubsidized iphone.

      i suggest ebay.co.uk , where i will be listing iphones for you american folks to purchase.

      i guess your release date is more like July 13th/14th earliest ... unless you want a 24 month expensive contract
      How will you be selling phones on eBay without the o2 contract and what sort of price are we talking about here? I just paid 260 for my iPhone 2 months ago which was a good price, and if I sold it thanks to the iPhone hysteria right now I could get the same price back, nearly. Just look on eBay prices of iPhones have GONE UP (and this is the first gen)
    1. swedes_hack_iphones's Avatar
      swedes_hack_iphones -
      so you cant restore it at home then? or will you be able to and it will always be activated?
    1. jfmsam's Avatar
      jfmsam -
      Quote Originally Posted by holewheat View Post
      So I can get a new iPhone for $375 if I am on T-Mobile? $200 for the iPhone and $175 for the contract termination.
      Best bet is you stay with iPhone 1st gen if you are a T-Mobile user. Unless you really want the GPS feature, there is no real advantage for you to buy a 3G phone that won't work on T-Mobiles 1700 Mhz 3G network.

      Quote Originally Posted by .:MirrorminD:. View Post
      What's up with the data and SMS pricing?
      Well, Apple will be in 70 countries (and counting) this year, so you'll get different plans from region to region. But in the US, users will have to sign up for a minute plan that includes an extra $30 rate for 3G data access (and has no bundled text messages). This is $10 more than the original iPhone's rate plan, which was $20 for data and 200 included SMSs. Matching voice plans start at $40 per month, so you'll basically be able to get started at $70 per month.

      In all fairness:

      AT&T jacked up the prices in all of their data plans (Personal and Corporate). These apply to all 3G smartphones. Apple's iPhone 3G may have influenced this change but it is too much to think it was the sole reason for this price change.

      AT&T has updated their EDGE network to HSDPA for the most part of the country. You can't expect to pay the same amount for a data service that is now 2x to 3.5x performance of the previous EDGE and with up to 1.4 Mbps. Its like you expecting to pay Dial-UP rates for Broadband speeds.

      I tried to compare Verizon's and Sprint's rates for their EVDO and AT&T seems competitive with their new service.
    1. 88five-oh's Avatar
      88five-oh -
      so how much will it be at full price? will they even sell it that way?
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Quote Originally Posted by 88five-oh View Post
      so how much will it be at full price? will they even sell it that way?
      Certain countries in Europe (and Australia) have released non-subsidized prices for the 8gb/16gb models. They're around 400-500 in Europe and 350 in Australia.
    1. mattcai's Avatar
      mattcai -
      soo how much more will the plan cost if sms bundle is added on O.O?
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      I would like to know a few things myself.....

      1. What happens if the phones we have right now puke since they are not making the ones we have anymore?

      2. As far as buying from other countries... what may happen is when Apple goes to let these other countries get them they might be on a different type of contract with them and they might be able to only sell them by contract over there as well? I am sure that Apple tends to control what is what when they go to sell them to other countries as well...

      3. Someone said that Apple shouldn't have went with ATT... who do you think they should have went with? I felt Verizon but Verizon didn't want to and I hope they are bummed now that they didn't!

      4. With the 3G is it like the edge as far as being able to pick it up and sometimes not? Or will it be this way... if a area or state doesn't have it your out of luck trying to get out on the net etc?
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by teriyakiboy13 View Post
      Is there anyway to get the 3g iphone without making the plan longer? Im in a family plan right now and i dont want to change the plan just cuz of me upgrading my phone...
      you dont have to change your plan. it just changes the length of the contract.

      As far as the increased data price goes. AT&T has had the same data pricing for quite some time now. Their blackberry and pda plans have been 30 for a personal unlimited data plan and 45 for corporate data plans and none of them include messaging. The iPhone plan is simply the same monthly cost as any other smartphone you can get from AT&T but you are getting a FAR better, more responsive phone for about the same upfront cost or less in some cases(AT&T Tilt). I like blackberry but i would definately pay the extra $100 to get the new iPhone.
    1. PhaedruS's Avatar
      PhaedruS -
      you won't just be incurring an extra $10. i'm sure everyone here uses their text messaging as if it were Instant Messaging, hence the 300 page bill that got the delivered that first month (it was only the first month right?....go cancel paper billing! then come back & read.) the new 3G $30 data plan doesn't include any texting, so you'll likely add unlimited texting for another $20 or so.
      as it stands now, i have no motivation to purchase the 3G iPhone on the 11th. i really wanted video recording, & a laser beam type function.
    1. erix920's Avatar
      erix920 -
      AT&T and Apple really did the right thing to get money in the long run. With the new plan (3g) they will make $720 in two years. With the old plan (2g) it's $480 for two years (just comparing theres no 2 year contract price you missed). You may think $200 is cheap and it is, just remember the $30/m data plan you signed up for WITHOUT text messaging, that's another $30/m for unlimited.

      So yea i'd stick with the 1st gen phone for right now unless you are constantly traveling or are always away from WAN and need the 3g speed.
    1. PhoneLine's Avatar
      PhoneLine -
      the texting thing is what really irks me. I was set to buy one and will glady pay an extra 10 dollars a month, if that did include the texting.

      But without that, I'll stick with the first gen. 90 percent of the time I am on WiFi anyway, so the 3g is really not a huge deal. The GPS would be cool, but not at the cost of raising my bill 30-40 dollars a month.....(10 plus whatever texting would be) 10 a month yes, 30 a month or more.....I'll just buy a garmin.
    1. smitty92's Avatar
      smitty92 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      Certain countries in Europe (and Australia) have released non-subsidized prices for the 8gb/16gb models. They're around 400-500 in Europe and 350 in Australia.
      whats that equal in us dollars