Iphone? Should be....My Phone!
March 18, 2008 3:24 PM   Subscribe

I've been waiting for months now for the 3g Iphone to come out....should I continue to wait?

So....I've lusted after the Iphone ever since it was released....however, I was financially unable to acquire one until recently....so, now that the phone is financially available and the desire to get my hands on one grows every time i see one, i'm stopped by only one thing....the 3G Iphone....Iphone 2.0. Yes, I know, if we always waited for the next big new technology we'd never buy anything - but I believe this is different. I think there's a good shot the waiting could pay off. Rumors, as always, are flying everywhere about when it will come out and for how much...my question is...are you waiting? if you decided to just go ahead and pick one up now, why? have any insight into decoding all of the info/rumor/mystery surrounding the 3g release?
posted by Hogermite to Technology (25 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If 3G is the deciding factor for you (and not other rumored improvements, such as GPS), then the question is: how much time do you think you'll want to access the web (not email) when you don't have WiFi access? If it's not very often, then I'd say go for it now.

I personally don't really mind the relatively slow EDGE speeds, because I'm never doing heavy browsing over EDGE... just looking up the odd restaurant web site or reading AskMeFi in the dentist's office, or whatever. Of course, if I were to use 3G I'd probably wonder how I ever lived with EDGE.
posted by mpls2 at 3:32 PM on March 18, 2008

The Mac Rumor Guide says buy, meaning, don't expect an update soon.
posted by aubilenon at 3:35 PM on March 18, 2008

iPhones are definitely affordable now -- $200 for a refurbed 4GB/$250 for the 8GB from AT&T. Last time I checked the rumortubez nextgen phones may make an appearance during WWDC this June.

Honestly, I've never gone through AT&T, so I don't know how their data service is, but I hear EDGE, depending on where you're at of course, is "just fine" (like 20KB/s just fine).

You brought up the point in your post though -- if we always waited for the next big technology we'd never buy anything. You may just have to wait a couple of more months to hear the details of the nextgen iPhone in terms of capacity and 3G-ness. Although I have a feeling the underlying software, with the SDK just being released, is going to be much of the same.

In other words, really how important is 3G and higher capacities to you?
posted by booticon at 3:37 PM on March 18, 2008

my question is...are you waiting?

posted by rooftop secrets at 3:37 PM on March 18, 2008

You will buy the EDGE version, and then shortly afterward they will release the 3G. That's how it works. If you buy the EDGE version now, they will release the 3G in two months. If you torture yourself and wait a year, you will finally cave in and buy the EDGE version because it looks like they will never release the 3G. Then two months later they will release it.

Worse: your cousin, who knows nothing about technology or computers, will have finally just gotten around to buying the iPhone just after the 3G comes out. She will show it to you and she will say, it has 3G, whatever that means.

The trick is to not care. Practice shrugging your shoulders and saying, whatever. Be happy.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 3:42 PM on March 18, 2008 [8 favorites]

I'm waiting, myself.

I loves me some Apple user interface, but I'm assuming that a new model will be announced in June at the WWDC. Of course, it may not be immediately available then, but if there's going to be a significant change -- or even an insignificant one, really, since WWDC provides a bully pulpit -- that's when I'd expect it to be trumpeted.

It helps that I don't need it. My cell phone still works fine, as does my iPod nano. I have no interest in watching video on a device that size. I'm a mostly stay-at-home loser, so I'm not clamoring for news-on-the-go or Google maps or whatever. I would enjoy having the technology to play with, but I can resist its siren song. And the whole jail-breaking/third party/controlled platform bs bugs me, so I'd like to see what happens with the SDK and App Store etc. I'll wait. For a few months more, at least.
posted by mumkin at 3:49 PM on March 18, 2008

I second what mumkin has to say.

All signs point to the 3G (or, rather, version 2.0) iPhone to be announced at WWDC in June. It makes sense. The 2.0 software update for the iPhone is going to be released in June, and, what's more, one of the newly touted features of that 2.0 update is the ability to download applications developed through the SDK over the air via cellular connection. I would be rather shocked if they weren't going to accompany a service to distribute 1000s of new applications with a new hardware revision with super-fast ethernet.

My friend Brandon has been hemming and hawwing about this for months and months. Should I? Shouldn't I? In the time he's spent, brow furrowed, trying to figure out whether he should or not, he probably could have developed a cure for cancer. He literally mentions it to me once a day. Meanwhile, he sits there with his shitty phone and laments how he wishes he could just figure out waht to do. It's not worth the frustration. I mean, it might come out in June. It might not. You want one? You have the money? Take the plunge.
posted by kbanas at 4:08 PM on March 18, 2008

supa-fast ethernet?

Sorry. It's been a long day. You know what I mean.
posted by kbanas at 4:09 PM on March 18, 2008

I just broke down and ordered a refurbished model today. I was also waiting for 3G, but decided that $250 was cheap enough to just take the plunge. I needed to get a new phone anyway, so I figured I might as well go for it, rather than get a lesser phone that I know I won't like much.
posted by Eddie Mars at 4:13 PM on March 18, 2008

Anyone who tells you that 3G is not worth it has more than likely never experienced it. These were probably the same people who didn't see what all the fuss was about over broadband internet when their dial-up worked just fine. It is awesome and my experiences with HSDPA have felt exactly like the dial-up to cable jump.
posted by saraswati at 4:15 PM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Since the iphone is always connected, I would think 3G would be real important. They only released it without 3G because they knew most people who would buy it weren't heavy data users and wouldn't be turned off by the slowness.

Be aware that there are many 3G handsets on the market and available now, with the N95 by Nokia being the current winner in terms of web browsing, and it has many feature the iphone doesn't have, such as a fully-functional SMS and IM client that can send multi-recipient messages, and since it runs the Symbian OS, people have been developing apps for it for quite some time, instead of just now getting started with the crippled iphone SDK.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 4:28 PM on March 18, 2008

Since the iphone is always connected, I would think 3G would be real important. They only released it without 3G because they knew most people who would buy it weren't heavy data users and wouldn't be turned off by the slowness.

This is wrong. They left out 3G because 3G technology in 2005, when development first began for the iPhone, was both bulky and a huge battery suck. Now that it is not - or, rather, is less so - it's obviously in the cards.

As your point, Mr. Gunn, that they knew the people who were going to buy it weren't heavy data users, is kind of silly. All 3 calling plans for the iPhone feature unlimited data by default. One of the major selling points was "the internet in your pocket". The mobile version of Safari is touted as Apple by the most sophisticated mobile browser ever released. It was all about being data heavy.
posted by kbanas at 4:36 PM on March 18, 2008

I'm waiting, mostly because my current phone is still under contract and works fine. I know something better is coming down the pipe (3G, ponies, whatever) so I'm good with waiting. I also know when it does I will balk at the price and possibly continue to wait.
posted by chairface at 4:52 PM on March 18, 2008

I broke down and bought mine last month and all I can say is, if I get hit by a truck tomorrow, I will be glad I spent the last month of my life in possession of my iPhone and not waiting around for the perfect iPhone. Its awesomeness is awesomely awesome, 3G or no. Some poor young girl, a non-English speaker, was walking down the street the other day, obviously lost and asking strangers what bus she should take to the community college. Nobody knew. I whipped out my iPhone, looked up the address of the college, then got on the metro site, found out which bus, where, and when, and sent her on her way. Took a couple of minutes because it was on the EDGE, but still--so cool!
posted by Enroute at 5:08 PM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'm waiting... though I don't really have a lot of choice, given that it's not out yet in Australia. It's supposed to launch later this year though, and I'm hoping that we might get a 3G version.
posted by web-goddess at 5:12 PM on March 18, 2008

So I just broke my smartphone (it fell under the seat of my car, and I power seated the wrong way and it smushed the LCD). This thread just gave me a brilliant idea. My idea is this. I will go buy myself an iPhone right now. Then when the new one comes out, I will give my wife my current iPhone and go buy myself the new hottness.

posted by jeffamaphone at 5:30 PM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]

Whenever they announce a new model you will still have at minimum a six month wait pending FCC approval, as I understand it.
posted by sourwookie at 5:49 PM on March 18, 2008

So even if they announce one in June, you still got about nine months from now.
posted by sourwookie at 5:53 PM on March 18, 2008

his thread just gave me a brilliant idea. My idea is this. I will go buy myself an iPhone right now. Then when the new one comes out, I will give my wife my current iPhone and go buy myself the new hottness.

I was just thinking the same thing. That way my wife will eventually get another hand-me-down upgrade, just like last time;-)
posted by Rafaelloello at 6:00 PM on March 18, 2008

Here's another data point to consider. I'm waiting around for a few advances in the iPhone, 3G being one of them. My buddy spoke with the local AT&T rep about waiting for 3G and the rep told him that there are several tiers of 3G and our smaller market wouldn't be getting the super fast 3G , but the somewhat-faster-than-EDGE-3G-network, so waiting for one wouldn't do him much good.

I haven't investigated this but ask about it if you live in a smaller market. and no, I'm not Kbanans friend.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 PM on March 18, 2008

Response by poster: @ sourwookie -

from what i've read, the original release of the iphone was kept confidential through the fcc, keeping everything under wraps for most of the waiting period until about a month or so before it was released....so, i think june, from what most people are saying, is still a pretty good possibility...i think i'm gonna hold out until then.....maybe.... ;)
posted by Hogermite at 8:26 PM on March 18, 2008

I'm going to be the pragmatist here and introduce the "do you need it" track of thought. Are you someone who needs the ease of the back and forth syncing between iTunes, iCal, and the Address Book? Do you need an all in one solution for that and can live without IM? Basically, if you need it, get it. There will always be something bigger and better just around the corner. You just have no way of knowing when it's coming around said corner.

As a point of reference, I just upgraded to one from a T-Mobile Sidekick 3 this weekend. I can agree with Enroute in that I think its the best thing I could have done, 3G or not. The internet speed is much faster than my Sidekick ever was. With the Sidekick, I had to sometimes wait a good 2 minutes until a page would load. On the iPhone, the most I'll wait is 10 seconds. And that's when the page is going to time-out anyhow. Likewise, the lag between email being received on my laptop to when it came to the Sidekick could sometimes be 3 hours. With the iPhone, I get it no more than 5 minutes apart.

Also, I'm using mine on T-Mobile's network, for what its worth.....
posted by arishaun at 9:54 PM on March 18, 2008


They announced it in mid-January '07; released it in late-June '07. They essentially announced it the day they filed it with the FCC. FCC approvals are public record, so if they filed it before the announcement, Apple rumor-hounds would have broken the news before Steve did.

As a result, when it comes to cell phones, they have to announce it before they file it for approval (which takes six months) if they wish to keep it secret. A move to 3G is a significant enough hardware revision to make it a new, separate device. So FCC approval is required. You will know about the next iPhone long before it's available.

So, no, there won't be a "And one more thing...boom...and it ships today (next week, next month) moment concerning phones.
posted by sourwookie at 10:21 PM on March 18, 2008

I mostly agree with kbanas (i.e. iPhone 2.0 OS seems to imply iPhone 2.0 hardware), but sourwookie makes an excellent point on the FCC thing: you will have at least 6 months advance warning, making a likely date around the end of the year, if at all.

So I guess it depends if you can wait 9+ months, or more importantly, if you will be able to afford to buy the 3g one when it comes out if you buy the EDGE one now :) Additionally, I'd reccommend you check out ZiPhone rather than committing yourself to an 18+ month contract. I've been using it for the last few months and it completely flawlessly activates/unlocks the latest 1.1.4 firmware without any problems and minimal hassle.

Finally, in my experience, EDGE speed is just fine... however in this country (UK) EDGE coverage is teh suck and outside of London you're going to be running on 3kb/sec dialup speeds.
posted by jon4009 at 3:44 AM on March 19, 2008

I was also waiting. Then in January I just bought one anyway. All I can say is I wish I'd been queuing outside the Apple store on release day. I'm writing this on my phone. I'm on a train going home, no Edge connection, intermittent mobile reception. I just hit "preview" and it took 3 minutes to load the page (luckily I had music to listen to while I waited). Now I'll have to wait until I can get reception again before I post. It's the best thing I've ever owned. And I own, like, a house.
posted by brighton at 11:43 AM on March 19, 2008

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