A week ago today the iPhone 3G was announced at WWDC and I’ve been following the developments ever since. I was in London for work at the time, so I decided to wait a few days before blogging about it…
Well time’s up and frankly, I’m disappointed with the iPhone 3G :/
Now don’t worry, I’m still going to purchase the iPhone 3G on July 11 (probably the white 16 GB model), because I like my iPhone, and with 3G and the App Store, it’s finally what the original iPhone should have been from day one :)
And therein lies rub #1. The iPhone 3G is really just a minor improvement over the original iPhone. Sure, GPS is useful and SDK 2.0 is a significant update over what Apple shipped with a year ago, but look at all that’s still missing:
- Cut & paste
- Video recording
- Bluetooth/USB tethering (DUN)
- Bluetooth stereo audio (A2DP)
- Bluetooth file/contact transfer (ObEx)
- Voice dialing
Of course, some of these missing features (video recording) can be addressed by third-party developers via the App Store. Some are not important to me (MMS). But some are essential to a 3G device (tethering), and I don’t see Apple approving alternatives like JoikuSpot anytime soon. Furthermore, the missing Bluetooth profiles (A2DP, ObEx), being low-level, are likely impossible to implement using SDK 2.0.
As for the camera, I was not expecting much, but it’s unfortunate that the hardware was not improved. Where’s the auto-focus and macro? Where’s the proper 2-stage shutter button and the flash? Look at the difference these features make, even with just a 2 megapixel sensor!
And here lies rub #2. Now that Apple and AT&T’s revenue sharing agreement is apparently over, where’s my optional, unsubsidized, unlocked iPhone 3G? I don’t care if it costs $200 more, I want to be able to swap my AT&T SIM for a prepaid foreign SIM when I’m travelling. There’s no major customer attrition risk for AT&T since it’s the only 3G network compatible with the iPhone 3G in the US.
Whatever happened to keeping things simple? An unsubsidized and unlocked iPhone 3G would be as simple as inserting a SIM, and simple is Apple’s mantra. But with the subsidized and locked iPhone 3G, it’s not even clear who amongst existing AT&T customers will be eligible to upgrade to the iPhone 3G, other than existing iPhone customers.
Since the iPhone 3G is subsidized like all other locked AT&T phones, will I be able to use any AT&T SIM with the iPhone 3G or will it, like the original iPhone, only function with the SIM used during activation?
Then there’s the artificial pricing for the iPhone 3G data plan. I’ve never been duped by AT&T’s arbitrary pricing differences between data plans, like MEdia Net Unlimited ($15 per month, $20 with 200 text messages) and PDA Personal ($30 per month, $35 with 200 text messages). Both data plans provide the same service and work with any device, 3G or not.
So why is AT&T pricing the 3G iPhone data plan differently than the original iPhone data plan, other than pure profit?
Yeah, I’m disappointed. Sosumi.