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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. ChrisfromthaDtothaPHX's Avatar
      ChrisfromthaDtothaPHX -
      Quote Originally Posted by sabanir View Post
      Seriously, Why would I want to buy this? I have a jailbroken original 8 gig. What would be my motivation to upgrade?
      3g? (Plently of wi-fi around)
      GPS? (sounds like a joke, I have navizon)
      MMS? (LMAO!)

      WOW, A product that IMHO was better the first time around. And I used to work for the company!

      Way to flop Cupertino!
      yeap. my thoughts exactly. Not to mention that fact tha whole " you must sign a 2year on tha dotted line deal "

      GPS...LOL.. is useless. why the **** would you want that? I guess everyone lives in No Man's land and needs to now how to get to Longitude 35 Altitude 2000.



      Also i think you missed one burning question.

      GoPhone Pick your Plan users.

      Will we be able to use the phone? Or not? I guess no one really knows, its just speculation at best until the 11th.

      LOL @ some of you clowns, who are telling people not to complain. Why wouldchu want to pay money for something that you dont like. You have the right to your own opinion but dont try and silence the people who want to get the FULL Bang for their BUCK.
    1. reeko's Avatar
      reeko -
      lol @ this thread.

      when a groundbreaking app comes out that requires 3g connectivity or wifi to use, the 1st gen iphone will be useless.

      slingbox on the iphone is enough by itself to make me switch, if you dont know what slingbox is google it.

      you cant do that over edge, lol
    1. alek's Avatar
      alek -
      u can sell the old iphone overseas ( a non iphone country, eastern europe) im sellin mine (8) to a freind for 400$ in poland. that means i can buy the 16gb and cover texting (200, i dont txt that much) for almost the hole contraact
    1. ripped53's Avatar
      ripped53 -
      No MMS or video in 2.0 what is Job's smokin.......
    1. Bleeditout2130's Avatar
      Bleeditout2130 -
      Quote Originally Posted by sabanir View Post
      Seriously, Why would I want to buy this? I have a jailbroken original 8 gig. What would be my motivation to upgrade?
      3g? (Plently of wi-fi around)
      GPS? (sounds like a joke, I have navizon)
      MMS? (LMAO!)

      WOW, A product that IMHO was better the first time around. And I used to work for the company!

      Way to flop Cupertino!
      Wow, bitter about your old company?

      Why would I want to buy this? Let's see, I had an 8GB jailbroken and all. I was able to sell it this past week for $370. I'll be getting the new 16GB iPhone the day it comes out. So, after taxes, I'll pocket maybe $50 to get twice the hard drive and on a 3G network.

      Ever try to use OrbLive on the current one? In essence I am getting $50 to get the 3G network and double my hard drive.....what's the tough decision there???
    1. bschucher's Avatar
      bschucher -
      Quote Originally Posted by ripped53 View Post
      No MMS or video in 2.0 what is Job's smokin.......

      My thoughts exactly.. I just dont get it.. makes NO sense to me why they would not include MMS at a minimum. Pisses me off.
    1. MrWang's Avatar
      MrWang -
      Well from all the information that i was able to gather....the new 3g iphone will not be for sale outright as of right now. The only way to get one is you will have to renew your two year agreement or sign a new one. Or be eligable for an upgrade? Pretty much since AT&T is paying $200 of the phones price when you sign a contract. You will not be able to cancel your contract untill you return your phone to an AT&T store. You will also not be able to use it on a pay as you go basis either. The new 3g will run just a couple secs slower that most wifi spots and for some reason it will drain the battery more on wifi that on the 3g network. Also the data plans for the iphone will be the same as all of AT&T's PDA phones. The 1st gen iphone data plans were the best for the price, so now they want to make some of their money back that they payed for your phone. I hope i have been able to answer some questions about this.
    1. LeeDude's Avatar
      LeeDude -
      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 I went to AT&T today to inquire about the deal with the contract. They informed me that my 2 year agreement is currently not up until July 2011. They said the only way I can get a 3G iPhone is if i'm eligible for an upgrade. Problem is i'm not eligible. The only way around it is to cancel my current agreement and sign back up for a new one, getting the 3G iPhone. Are AT&T employees uninformed, or is this true?

      [Edit] 2010, not 2011. I've lost all sense of time, I think insanity is kicking in and running its course. I'm doomed.... unless iPhones come pre-equipped with onboard antibiotics and caffeine. [/Edit]
    1. bjlawrence11's Avatar
      bjlawrence11 -
      Quote Originally Posted by 98camaro View Post
      Yea, buy it at full price.
      So you think we will be able to buy the phone at full price without signing into a full three year contract? I'm moving overseas...

      Any thoughts on whether I will be able to pay full price for the hardware and use it with my sim card overseas (in Taiwan)? Or will I need to look for a new iPhone on the blackmarket, and then wait for hackers to unlock the software for my use?!
    1. Uko's Avatar
      Uko -
      I'm going to sell my old one for $300
    1. Bleeditout2130's Avatar
      Bleeditout2130 -
      Quote Originally Posted by LeeDude View Post
      So I went to AT&T today to inquire about the deal with the contract. They informed me that my 2 year agreement is currently not up until July 2011. They said the only way I can get a 3G iPhone is if i'm eligible for an upgrade. Problem is i'm not eligible. The only way around it is to cancel my current agreement and sign back up for a new one, getting the 3G iPhone. Are AT&T employees uninformed, or is this true?
      I'm going to go with uninformed here. They'll probably just extend your current contract for 2 years. With all of the current contracts out there and people who will be "upgrading" to the 3G, it would make no sense for them to limit who can spend an additional $200-$300 for the new phone. They'd lose out.
    1. FliP76's Avatar
      FliP76 -
      I think 1 year to come out with a new, or even slightly different model of an already popular phone is great. If you look at other phones like the htc ppcs they dont change a whole lot when they come out with new models...
    1. atorres062's Avatar
      atorres062 -
      Will the 3g replace wifi or can you still pick up wifi hot spots? And since we might have to activate in store how would we be able to jailbreak? if jailbreaking will be possible.
    1. iPhoneMadness's Avatar
      iPhoneMadness -
      Quote Originally Posted by atorres062 View Post
      Will the 3g replace wifi or can you still pick up wifi hot spots? And since we might have to activate in store how would we be able to jailbreak? if jailbreaking will be possible.
      No, if anything, 3G is a replacement for EDGE. Wifi will more than likely stay the same as it is now.

      Jailbreaking/unlocking has nothing to do with the phone, it's all about the firmware. The new firmware will probably be jailbroken, but then you get into the new system Apple has in place.

      Seems like they will have their eye on everything that's going on with the phone. So who knows if they'll be able to detect jailbroken phones, preventing people from... who knows.

      I'm sticking with the first gen. Just not worth it.
    1. atorres062's Avatar
      atorres062 -
      so there is really no point of buying a 3g? Now the 1st iPhone gen. will be upgraded to 2.0 and possibly jailbroken but apple might detect it and...what? I really don't care for the 3g speed, I have a 4gb I'm only wanting a 16gb for more media space. And if the 3g is jailbreakable how will we be able to jailbreak it without restoring it? What do most of you experts recommend 1st or 2nd gen.? Remember, I just want more gig for more music.
    1. iPhoneMadness's Avatar
      iPhoneMadness -
      Quote Originally Posted by atorres062 View Post
      so there is really no point of buying a 3g? Now the 1st iPhone gen. will be upgraded to 2.0 and possibly jailbroken but apple might detect it and...what? I really don't care for the 3g speed, I have a 4gb I'm only wanting a 16gb for more media space. And if the 3g is jailbreakable how will we be able to jailbreak it without restoring it? What do most of you experts recommend 1st or 2nd gen.? Remember, I just want more gig for more music.
      IMO if you have a 1st gen iPhone on T-mobile network, there's little reason to get a 3G iPhone. T-mobile network at the moment doesn't have 3G, and even if it did come out, it wouldn't be on the same frequency as the att 3G.

      So if that's the case, I'd check ebay/craiglist for 1st gen 16 gigs. Your bound to find one for 250-300 after the 3G release, maybe even cheaper.

      Anyone activating, using appstore or mobileme might be a way for Apple to keep an eye on what people are putting on their phones. So they may be able to see if whether phones are jailbroken/unlocked/etc. And if they can, what, if any, penalties come with it.

      That's all just herese though... for now.
    1. yuntanman's Avatar
      yuntanman -
      once again I will state that if you purchased your iphone on or after may 27th, and you purchased it at an At&t store, you will not just simply return your iphone and get the iphone 2 for an even trade. I messaged Poetic Folly on this and he did not respond, so I am assuming he thinks that I am not a credible source. The way it is going to work as of right now at least is...

      if you bought your iphone from an at&t on or after may 27th, you can return your iphone and pay a 10% restocking fee and get then purchase the iphone 2 and renew or start a new 2 yr contract. This policy will be honored until august 1, 2008 (outside the 14 day return window that was originally enforced with the sales of the iphone).

      The reason why it isn't going to be an even trade from an iphone to the iphone 2 is b/c of the price gap, and at&t realizes that customers that recently purchased an iphone for 400 or 500 dollars will feel shafted, so to help those customers out they are basically extending the 14 day return window to August 1, 2008.
    1. enrigonz's Avatar
      enrigonz -
      I love technology, followed it from the early Apple II days, and new technology is always nice but like everything else, it's relative to what you need it for.

      The iPhone 3g has a few new things that might appeal to some but mostly useless by the majority, here's what I think about the 3 most noticeable upgrades:

      1. GPS - Basically a good thing to have but not so practical on a phone in my opinion, I prefer a dedicated unit from Garmin or Magellan, etc. I like the iPhone for it main uses such as a cell phone and iPod.

      2. 3G - not really worth $30/month to me, specially when you're limited to a small screen for browsing such as the iPhone's. I hardly ever see a need for faster speed when doing a quick browse over edge.

      3. Lower Price- Really....... you guys really think is good to pay less and be tied to a 2 year contract, no way! I rather pay the extra $200 and do what I please with the phone (unlocked).

      To much hype for Apple products, yes, the 3g iPhone is nice but not much nicer than the original. In my opinion the original iPhone was a much better deal. Love it or hate it, this is just my opinion.
    1. tonyjosh's Avatar
      tonyjosh -
      hey man it doesnt affect the 2 year service agreements of the other lines on your fam plan, just yours so feel free to get it
    1. norcalmike's Avatar
      norcalmike -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bleeditout2130 View Post
      I'm going to go with uninformed here. They'll probably just extend your current contract for 2 years. With all of the current contracts out there and people who will be "upgrading" to the 3G, it would make no sense for them to limit who can spend an additional $200-$300 for the new phone. They'd lose out.


      I work for regular at&t not mobility. But on our intranet it said 1st gen iPhone users can upgrade to the 3g even though the 2 years is not up but they will restart the 2 year cmt at the time of the upgrade.