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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. jot9011's Avatar
      jot9011 -
      From cnet...

      ".....certain AT&T customers who might not be eligible for the upgrade price of $199 or $299 will likely have to pay the unsubsidized price--or something close to it-- for the iPhone 3G. Current iPhone owners are eligible for the $199 price, as are new AT&T customers, but some AT&T customers who use another smartphone and have been with the carrier for a short time might have to pay the higher price."
    1. laz305's Avatar
      laz305 -
      Quote Originally Posted by enrigonz View Post
      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.
      agreed and let's not forget still can't record video and no stereo bluetooth. So still not an up to date cell phone so not worth it. my 3yr old Sony Ericsson w850i can do more than the iPhone.
    1. zacbro's Avatar
      zacbro -
      Okay Apple seems to have finally got the unlocking process chances to be way down with this new iPhone, but there is one flaw:
      Let's say I bought the iPhone 3G and signed up with AT&T (which I plan on doing on July 11).
      Okay now, let's say someone creates an unlock for the iPhone 3G (which will likely happen within 24 hours of July 11th by DevTeam or some other genius).
      Now that I found an unlock for it, I will want to keep mine and sell another one(I can only imagine how much an unlocked 3G iPhone can go for on eBay).
      I can ask AT&T if I can buy a new iPhone 3G with my current Iphone 3G contract because my first iPhone 3G got (lost, stolen, broke, you can make up something good).
      How can they refuse if you are willing to pay for a new one?
      There is no way they are going to be like "Nope, even though you bought an iPhone 3G with the iPhone 3G contract and someone has stolen it from you, we cannot replace it with an iPhone even if you pay for it."
    1. PhoneLine's Avatar
      PhoneLine -
      Quote Originally Posted by zacbro View Post
      Okay Apple seems to have finally got the unlocking process chances to be way down with this new iPhone, but there is one flaw:
      Let's say I bought the iPhone 3G and signed up with AT&T (which I plan on doing on July 11).
      Okay now, let's say someone creates an unlock for the iPhone 3G (which will likely happen within 24 hours of July 11th by DevTeam or some other genius).
      Now that I found an unlock for it, I will want to keep mine and sell another one(I can only imagine how much an unlocked 3G iPhone can go for on eBay).
      I can ask AT&T if I can buy a new iPhone 3G with my current Iphone 3G contract because my first iPhone 3G got (lost, stolen, broke, you can make up something good).
      How can they refuse if you are willing to pay for a new one?
      There is no way they are going to be like "Nope, even though you bought an iPhone 3G with the iPhone 3G contract and someone has stolen it from you, we cannot replace it with an iPhone even if you pay for it."
      Yep, that'll probably work fine, but you'll be paying full retail for the new phone which will be at least what the first gen cost when it was first released, if not even more. that, plus the initial 200 or 300 dollars for the one that your unlocking and 'losing' might not be worth it.

      Much will depend on if the phone, when unlocked will work on other 3g networks such as tmobile. If it won't, I don't think the efforts to unlock it will be all that worth it. Jailbreak yes, but the unlock we have to wait and see.
    1. iPhoneMadness's Avatar
      iPhoneMadness -
      Subsidized price?

      LINK
    1. kingofthechi's Avatar
      kingofthechi -
      will the apps take up memory? from the phone
    1. bretthartt's Avatar
      bretthartt -
      Quote Originally Posted by kingofthechi View Post
      will the apps take up memory? from the phone
      I'm pretty sure that it will. Notice in the 2G iphones you really didnt have all 4,8,or 16gb and that was due to the software that was on the system. Also if you have jailbroke your old iphone you'll also notice the amont of available space decreasing in size with each new/additional application that you download and use.
    1. NetMage's Avatar
      NetMage -
      I don't understand why some people think the 3G is much more expensive.

      Old iPhone 16GB: $500 + $20/month * 24 months = $980 for unlimited EDGE data, 200 text messages/month

      New iPhone 3G 16GB: $300 + ($30/month + $5/month) * 24 months = $160 for unlimited 3G and EDGE data, 200 text messages/month

      Since I paid $600 for my 8GB iPhone, it seems like the iPhone 3G is being introduced at a slightly lower price than the original 8GB iPhone. Of course, with a much less chance of a discount going forward though.

      Unless I can run a 3G iPhone on a $20/month plan, I will wait for a 32GB to upgrade (no 3G for 40 miles from where I live (which has a population of about 45,000 with another 60,000 surrounding)).
    1. stunna2095's Avatar
      stunna2095 -
      i already got my big plan to get the iphone 3g.....i have tmobile but my best friend and his wife have at&t. they are getting the 3g for themselves and he is opening up a line for his mom on a family plan and giver her his old phone. im gonna give him the money and hes gonna purchase it under her line. therefor i have a new iphone 3g. if its true that they will be connecting them in store. we will taake out the at&t sim and say it got stolen. everyone wins. now i just pray it gets unlocked soon!!!
    1. elnekis's Avatar
      elnekis -
      great thread. Clearly puts a lot of doubts to an end.
    1. seanobx's Avatar
      seanobx -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoneMadness View Post
      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.

      Yeah but mad, if you like myself and the thousands of others that had to DFU a phone because of some glitch or another along our travels from 1.02 to now we had to reactivate via iTunes. Will this now be impossible if we need to activate only through AT&T directly? or once the phone be activated will that carry over to iTunes and be able to re-activate? That I thikn is what was meant. If not flog me now
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      I believe even when they do "in store" activation it will be done via iTunes just like it's done now.
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      I believe even when they do "in store" activation it will be done via iTunes just like it's done now.
      Yup, and if what the rumors I've been reading are right, they don't even need to physically remove the iPhone. They'll have a scanner that can read the back of the box (where your serial/IMEI and other information is), get your account information and you're done. You plug in to iTunes and it'll connect to AT&T or Apple or wherever it is it connects now for verification and you're done.

      I really don't think the in-store activation will take as long as some thing. Especially on contract extensions since they already have your information.
    1. alexloo's Avatar
      alexloo -
      i'm surprised that apple will not sell the phones individually like they did before. Despite that there will be enough people getting the 3g iphone, i feel apple will lose money by not selling it individually, which might change regardless if they have a partnership with at&t. i myself am indecisive whether or not to renew my contract with at&t. i think i "try" to be patience for a month to see how things progress
    1. kyikeda's Avatar
      kyikeda -
      Wait Does This Mean That The Itunes Store Will Work Over 3g? Well Since It Has Nearly The Same Speeds?
    1. dualcorex's Avatar
      dualcorex -
      this is a nice guide. very useful.