What would [[[Shakespeare]]] do?

To 3G or not to 3G: that is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler after July 11th to suffer
The contracts and entrapments of outrageous carriers,
Or to take arms against locked platforms,
And by jailbreaking end them?

Seriously, though, with a free update to iPhone 2.0 software around the corner for all current [[[iPhone]]] owners and knowing that people have already figured out how to unlock it before its release, we know that the current iPhone will have many of the features of the new iPhone 3G *and* will be jailbroken so you that you can run all those free homebrew applications that you already love to run. The only real difference between the regular iPhone and the iPhone 3G is speed, GPS, and form-factor and battery improvements. We can already fake GPS with the wireless triangulation. The battery improvements are great, but will probably be offset by the increased drain of the faster 3G connection. Also, that connection is going to come with an extra $10 per month cost. Considering how often I’m near WiFi connections, do I really need a 3G iPhone, even though it’s only $199? Do you? Let me know what you think in the comments.

6 thoughts on “iPhone 3G or stick with the first gen?

  1. I thought about this a lot as well, but I realized I really want that GPS. Partly for having an actual GPS for the first time, but more because of all the slick location-based services and apps that are going to hook into it. Yea, those apps can probably still tap into the 1G iPhone’s triangulation abilities, but for $199, the addition of 3G, what is reportedly better call quality and reception, and a true GPS is completely worth it for me.

    And FWIW, I’m getting the $299 16GB, as I plan on installing a looootta apps.

  2. I’ll be sticking with the first-gen for sure – nothing about the 3G iPhone is revolutionary enough to make upgrading worthwhile, and since you apparently won’t be able to buy one without activating it in-store, it’s not even an option for someone running it on T-Mobile, like me. GPS would be the only thing that would interest me if I didn’t already have good-enough-GPS with the cell-tower triangulation.

  3. Since the jailbreak/unlock (via the pwn tool) is software based – will it work on the 3G iphone? Btw, your jailbreak page doesn’t have links to the pwn tool – why?

  4. The iPhone 3G is worth it for numerous reasons for me. I got the 8GB model, mostly because it was the only ones left in the store that fateful Friday, but I don’t regret it as I know come September there will more than likely be a 32GB version coming out so I’ll upgrade then.

    I just sold my first-gen iPhone for 300$ so I actually made 100$ over the price I paid for the new 3G one. True, I did pay 400$ for the original one, but I enjoyed it all the long.

    So what about the 3G iPhone is worth it? That depends on what you value and use your phone for; however, why would you have an iPhone in the first place if you didn’t plan on using some of the ‘advanced’ features (basically, the non-phone parts like web and navigation)?

    The form-factor is a great improvement. Flush headphone jack (yeah I know, simple but an improvement), sleek plastic (improved reception) that not only looks better but feels better in your hand with the nicely tapered edges. The speakers and mic now feature a fine mesh to guard them instead of the corrugated holes. These are mostly aesthetic but I definitely have noticed an improvement in signal reception.

    3G vs EDGE? Well, I can definitely tell a difference here. True, more bandwidth doesn’t mean instant improvements, but in this case I can’t deny that web download speeds are much faster. Mind you, these speeds count for a lot more than just your typical web surfing. Your email syncing (and pushing), google map rendering, app store downloads, and much more all depend on some kind of wireless data. EDGE really hurts sometimes when downloading large files (like images) and emails (especially attachments).

    For the price point that Apple/AT&T is offering, I don’t see why this isn’t a reason to upgrade. The 10$ extra a month for data is a slight downer, but I think it’s worth it. 3G is proving to be quite speedy and reliable over EDGE, but do remember that 3G coverage is mostly metropolitan areas, so if you’re out in the boonies… your reception may vary. However, it can fall back to EDGE if necessary and 3G can be disabled if you want to preserve battery (read on).

    The battery is the next improvement. It’s a double edged sword here, if you use EDGE, you’ll notice the battery is a great improvement (give it a few full charge and discharge cycles before trying to ‘benchmark’ it). If you use 3G you might notice that the battery performance is slightly ‘worse’ than the first-gen on EDGE. 3G is power hungry, there is no doubt about it and that is why Steve Jobs was weary about putting it on the first generation model (amongst other plans I am sure). As for movies/audio, I haven’t used my iPhone for that as I have a 80GB iPod that I take with me to work, school, home, and in the car, so I don’t really know how it fares with that.

    GPS. A lot of people underestimate the usefulness of this. Yes, cellphone tower triangulation is good and quite accurate — if you’re not moving and have a few seconds to spare while it syncs up. The GPS is very quick to acquire and seems to be quite good at retaining signal, even while indoors sometimes. My parents’ house is a ranch house (single floor) and I get near-full signal there and even GPS was steady while I was indoors. However, at my friend’s house (two-floors) where I get virtually no signal, the GPS was unable to get a signal even while near a window indoors. In my car, the GPS was able to not only get signal but keep it and track me live with a very quick update speed on google maps. I was impressed to say the least.

    The App Store is where a lot of these features will shine, and of course also downloading applications over 3G vs EDGE. WiFi is becoming more ubiquitous but still not everywhere, especially in certain areas or on the road (as a passenger hopefully). More and more applications will take advantage of internet-access and even GPS. I can only imagine some social networking sites integrating a “where am I?” feature that lets you see where your friends are at all times (provided they allow you and have signal).

    In summation, the new features aren’t a huge new slew of things hardware wise, but that’s not what us iPhones users want anyways. It’s the same phone, made a bit more comfy and sleek, and tweaked for performance, functionality, and versatility. Are the features worth it? Considering the price and resale value of the original phone, I say surely.

    Anyone with an iPhone either likes style, gadgets, or both. In that case, whats holding you back? :)

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