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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. skyote's Avatar
      skyote -
      According to the leaked internal AT&T memo:

      "Customers intending to use the iPhone 3G for access to corporate e-mail, business applications, or access to corporate intranet are required to activate with Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone."

      So if I plan to use Microsoft Exchange to check my work email do I have to pay the other extra $10.00 for the enterprise plan? If I don't pay it, can they deny access to Microsoft Exchange?
    1. suprmallet's Avatar
      suprmallet -
      I think that's meant to be more for corporate plans (i.e. corporations buying phones for their employees or paying for employees to buy phones) and not individuals who happen to use their phones for a few business purposes.
    1. jaredb03's Avatar
      jaredb03 -
      there is no 3g around my area, the closest is about 200+ miles away so i don't plan on using the 3g. will i be able to get the new phone but keep my same data and text plan without the 3g feature for the same price?
    1. stewkat's Avatar
      stewkat -
      Quote Originally Posted by jaredb03 View Post
      there is no 3g around my area, the closest is about 200+ miles away so i don't plan on using the 3g. will i be able to get the new phone but keep my same data and text plan without the 3g feature for the same price?
      Or, would it work to get an unlocked 3g and keep your same data plan, but be able to get the 3g speeds? 3g is in my area but an extra 30 bucks a month for data and texts doesn't excite me.
    1. iBwizzle's Avatar
      iBwizzle -
      Yeah, I'ma just watch this 3G iPhone play out. Hopefully the OG Gangsta DEVs find out a way to unlock it so us 1st gen iPhone users can toss in our old sim card and be able to use our current data plan ($20 for unlimited data/200 text)!!! I speak for everybody when I say that we'll gladly donate if this can be done...
    1. smitty92's Avatar
      smitty92 -
      Quote Originally Posted by stewkat View Post
      Or, would it work to get an unlocked 3g and keep your same data plan, but be able to get the 3g speeds? 3g is in my area but an extra 30 bucks a month for data and texts doesn't excite me.
      your plan doesnt regulate ur speeds or edge unless its turned off, i used my sim card one time in a black jack in St. Louis MO and it still got 3g speeds on my plan
    1. smiska2's Avatar
      smiska2 -
      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.
      900 euros actually which is around 1600 dollars
    1. kilroy007's Avatar
      kilroy007 -
      wow, I think that explained everyone's questions.

      thanks a lot man.

      but it's not going to persuade me to buy the new 3G iPhone.
    1. reeko's Avatar
      reeko -
      Quote Originally Posted by thestrangestick View Post
      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)
      ye i sold mine last money for 275 quid.

      o2 are offering a pay as you go option, this means you pay the full handset price and no contract. im guessing prices will be around 269 for 8gb and between 300-400 for 16gb.

      ill be buying myself a 16gb, and buying 2 8gb on july 11th for ebay.

      btw, there are so many panicky people thinking that the iphone 1st gen is the way to go if you dont want the contract, which is so ill informed, and exactly why the prices are going up.

      the dev team will crack the new firmware, without a doubt, just a matter of when. my advice = get rid of your outdated 1st gen while you can, before its worthless and survive just a few weeks on an old phone until 3g arrives.

      Quote Originally Posted by kilroy007 View Post
      wow, I think that explained everyone's questions.

      thanks a lot man.

      but it's not going to persuade me to buy the new 3G iPhone.
      lets see, when the appstore releases tons of apps based around 3g speeds, and you cant download or use them because of your edge speeds, we'll see then.

      also, please dont be pursuaded. 1 less iphone 3g buyer = shorter queues so please, stay at home, walk the dog, go to the cinema, anything. just dont buy one. anyone.
    1. Josheesh's Avatar
      Josheesh -
      So I guess that when 2.0 is jailbroken my EDGE iPhone will be able to do everything the a 3G iPhone will be able to do? I just wondering because there is no 3G coverage anywhere near my area. Why renew my contract if it dosn't make a difference right.
    1. chido's Avatar
      chido -
      Quote Originally Posted by .:MirrorminD:. View Post

      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.
      That was my first impression, AT&T or (insert carrier here) subsidized the cost of the iPhone in exchange for a more controlled method of activation, and the savings were passed on to the consumer. This seems equivalent to the +/- $200 rebates they give with new 2-year contracts, it's just not spelled out that way.
    1. rckstwrz's Avatar
      rckstwrz -
      i'm currently selling my iPhone for $300 on Craigslist. people will pay a lot for an unlocked iPhone.
    1. trueheart78's Avatar
      trueheart78 -
      I had the 1st gen and it cost me around $67 monthly, in the Cincinnati area, using the very basic 450 minutes + data plan w/ 200 text messages built-in.

      Going to an iPhone 3G, I see that it's going to go up about $15 a month for me. $10 more to do the 3G data plan (my entire area I live, and the area I work in, are covered by it), as well as at least $5 for 200 text messages.

      Thats $82 + whatever extra taxes, so at least $15 more a month. But truthfully, I've had to carry my verizion razr even with a 1st gen iPhone. I mean, I drop calls like it's nobodies business on AT&T, and I am really hoping that the new 3G connectivity, as well as the plastic backing and antenna setup, improve my connectivity.

      Being able to shun my razr is my goal, and if I can get a better reception with the iPhone 3G, whether using EDGE or 3G, then it's worth the $15 a month for me.

      I've already sold my 1st gen, and got a decent amount for it on eBay. I'll be picking up an 8GB iPhone 3G on July 11th, and I figure, it can't be worse than it was before.
    1. krusher's Avatar
      krusher -
      Thanks for all the info. I am quickly trying to sell off my iPhone for as low as $250 here in India. Cause i know, once that baby is out everyone will have it.
      So i will have it too with the money earned.

      Btw I hope that activate in store then take it home thing is only for AT&T customers in States only. I hope i allowed to buy it regularly from a store in India and the unlock it at home.
    1. frankydabull's Avatar
      frankydabull -
      What I think a lot of you are missing is that the new firmware is going to be available for the phones that we have now. So pretty much the only thing you will be getting will be the hardware GPS and 3G

      As a TMobile customer, no, I'm not going to switch. My phone is straight how I have it. I use Locateme all the time, but I'm not going to sell my phone for a true GPS feature when my car has GPS and LocateMe has been fine for me so Im not tripping.

      3G? If you really need superfast internet, get wifi. Hell, get TMobile hotspot. But as a TMobile user I wont even have the 3G as an option, so I'm not even stressing it either.

      I think that its going to be the "WOW" factor of owning an iPhone. Its going the same route as the RAZR. RAZR came out, it was a $600 phone, but it wasnt close to as groundbreaking as the iPhone. But now I see 12 year olds with RAZRs. Now every 15 year old at the mall is going to have an iPhone.
    1. iKahuna's Avatar
      iKahuna -
      Here's the way I look at it.

      It has a phone in it. That's 10% of what it really is.

      It's the smallest, most portable, functioning palmtop computer ever made. It's only going to get better (not currently thanks to anything Apple is doing) and I see no reason not to use a 1.0 version iPhone as it sits for many years to come.

      It's the first phone PDA that I ever actually wanted to USE the PDA features of, and that doesn't even touch the 3rd party app stuff, Safari, and the ability to use it as a portable movie theater, artists' portfolio, and oh yea it plays music too.

      I mean come on, the new iPhone has nothing to write home to Mom about and personally I love the original look far better than the black plastic "Dark Helmet" from Spaceballs Look.

      Just my 2cents.

      iKahuna
    1. sdmojaydo619's Avatar
      sdmojaydo619 -
      ^^^^Agreed^^^^
      I'm going to stick with my 1st gen iphone. My carrier wont support 3g, thus no point in trying to upgrade. I love my iPhone!
    1. iPhoneMadness's Avatar
      iPhoneMadness -
      Unlocked?
    1. elmacm's Avatar
      elmacm -
      Thanks!
    1. sh4508's Avatar
      sh4508 -
      For 3G connectivity I am using a HSDPA USB modem with a 3G SIM card, and hook it to my Dlink 3G Mobile Router, which will give me a WiFi connection for all notebook and PC as well as all iPhones and a 3G speed. Sometimes, I plug a Sierra Wireless 875 card into the router, which give same connectivity as well.

      I have seen some new sample codes of iPhone beta 7, including SpeakHere, LocateMe, MoviePlayer etc which indicate enhanced features.

      Having all these, I still wanted to sell my 1st gen 8GB iPhone and waiting to buy the 3G black 16GB iPhone.