The Buzz - iPhone 3G S and 3.0 OS update

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iPhone 3G SThe big news this week is the new iPhone 3G S, launching June 19. The device is not a huge improvement over the current generation, but there are some things to like:

  • Improved speed. Apps load faster, on the whole, and Web browsing should be faster too once AT&T upgrades its network (though some may not realize this benefit until as late as 2011!). A dedicated 3D graphics chip speeds up graphics-intensive games, but publishers will likely not abandon the iPhone 3G installed base - so expect games to be zippier but - for the most part - not designed to fully exploit the added graphics processor for a year or more.
  • More storage. A 32GB model is available for those who, like me, have already filled 16GB.
  • Better camera. The 3-megapixel camera works better in low-light and includes auto-focus.
  • Video recording. You'll be able to shoot 30 fps VGA-quality movies and edit them with an included app.
  • Voice control. Not just for dialing, but for launching and controlling apps too.
The good news is that if you're not currently on AT&T or have a contract that's expired, the 32GB phone will only cost you $300 with a 2-year commitment. If you're upgrading, you will have to pay $200 more ($500) and sign a new 2-year contract.

Current iPhone 3G customers can get the iPhone OS 3.0 update free starting June 17 (iPod Touch owners have to pay $10). This won't give you the spiffy new camera or the other hardware-specific features but adds:

  • In-app purchases (including add-on items and levels for games)
  • Peer-to-peer networking for multiplayer games and other apps
  • Cut, copy and paste
  • Landscape keyboard
  • Search
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Parental controls
  • Push notifications from supported apps
  • And, if AT&T ever agrees to support these: MMS multimedia messaging and tethering (use your phone as a network connection for a laptop)

1 Comment


I am seriously on the fence about getting the iPhone 3G S. Since I picked up my 3G last December, I'm some 18 months away from getting offered a subsidized phone (and if I pay the full price now, I have to start a new contact and reset the clock!).

On the one hand, I'll get many of the features I want with the free 3.0 OS update. But I could really use the 32GB of storage, and I would love a better camera (since the iPhone has become my de facto snapshot device). Improved speed and video and just nice bonuses.

What I don't like is being raked over the coals on price and being forced to reset my contract and being denied features such as SlingPlayer over 3G (not to mention MMS and tethering). I'm an accidental AT&T customer; we landed with them when they bought Cingular. So far, the service has been decent - slightly better than Sprint was when we left several years back.

Bottom line: If AT&T met us halfway (say $100 more rather than $200), I'd be there. I'm assuming this isn't a trade in, so we'll keep the old phone (which could be useful as a backup should the 3G S ever get damaged or lost). Though you'd think they'd want it back (for, say, $100 off the price of the 3G S) so I don't sell it to someone who will just jailbreak it.

Looks like I won't be in line on day one, but I might just pick one up as a birthday present in July. Maybe.

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This page contains a single entry by Gamewatcher published on June 9, 2009 11:00 AM.

Wii and DS Stuff - Swords & Soldiers, Genghis Khan, Mario vs. Donkey Kong and Iron Maiden was the previous entry in this blog.

Whoops! - Prototype for PS3 install glitch is the next entry in this blog.

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