Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New iPhone: Twice as fast and half the price

There's undeniable status to being one of the first to own a cool new toy, but leading edge and bleeding edge technology had its price, both in tech glitches and prices.

I've generally made it a rule to wait for gen-two and save some money and avoid some headaches (but I found Blu-ray too compelling to delay).

Yesterday Apple boss Steve Jobs revealed the second generation iPhone. As with most things in electronics, it's smaller, better and less expensive. It will probably piss-off a lot of the early adopters who were on line at midnight to buy the original iPhones at twice the price when then they first became available.

Despite the ample coolness of the original iPhone, there was considerable criticism of the slowpoke internet speed using AT&T's EDGE network, when WiFi was not available. With the "3G" (third generation network) iPhone, peak download speeds should reach up to 1.4 megabits per second, about 10 times faster than what iPhone users had been doing with EDGE, but still slower than a typical wired connection. AT&T said its 3G wireless network was working in 275 markets. They expect to have it operating in 350 areas by the end of the year.

Other improvements that may make you put your old phone on eBay include a thinner body (with a cheaper plastic back), built-in GPS, support for Microsoft Exchange software, a new Web-based service called "MobileMe," which Apple describes as "Exchange for the rest of us," a consumer-friendly way for people to link their iPhones to their home and work computers so updates entered into one device automatically appear in the others.

An 8-gigabyte version of the new iPhone will sell for $199 when it goes on sale July 11, and a 16 gigabyte model will sell for $299. Current iPhone owners who buy a new model and sign up for a new AT&T contract won't have to pay any penalties to get out of their current contract. Anyone who bought an iPhone in an AT&T store after May 26 can return it before Aug. 1 for full credit against a new one, less a 10 percent restocking fee. (some info from AP)

No comments: