Should you upgrade to the new Apple iPhone 3G?
I have a RAZR with Verizon and keep lusting after the Apple iPhone. Now that they have a new 3G phone coming out, do you think I should terminate my contract a few months early and get one?
I should admit up front that I have an Apple iPhone and got it just a few days after they were introduced last summer. Unlike other phones I have owned, this is the first cellphone that's remained fun and functional a year later. Just today I was waiting for the bus while listening to music, sending Twitter updates on the Internet and waiting for a phone call from a colleague. No prior phone I have owned supported that level of usability and functionality. Not by half.
I switched from Verizon to AT&T/Cingular the beginning of 2007 because they were offering a deal where they paid the cancellation costs. And those were significant, especially with three different lines involved. Nowadays that's not an offer you can get from AT&T, so termination costs need to be factored into the equation and they can be hundreds of dollars.
Further, the monthly cost of running the iPhone is doubtless higher than what you are used to paying for your phone service. Last I checked, it was about $75/month and that's without the ability to hook it to your laptop and use it as a full data connection device (AT&T/Apple, when are you going to offer that capability already?). There's also the cost of the phone. The cheapest model is $199 along with a two-year AT&T/Cingular commitment.
Still with me? It *is* a wicked cool phone. If you don't have one but have an iPod or other personal information device, you'll find that the iPhone really is a harbinger of the future of highly portable data devices. And fun too.
If you already have an iPhone, you already know it's cool, and your question is more related to "are the new features worth the cost and hassle?" The key features of the new 3G iPhone are that it's able to utilize a much faster data network called 3G and that it has a built-in GPS mechanism that will let you replace your Tom-Tom or other portable GPS devices and never get lost again (guys, you paying attention?).
There are other features, like the upcoming ability to browse the App Store and download new software, games, etc for what looks like will only be a few dollars or less, but those I expect will be available on all iPhones, not just the new ones.
And so, finally, should you get an iPhone, or, if you already have one, should you upgrade to the new 3G? I can't answer that other than to say that Apple has succeeded in creating a status symbol. Good enough answer? Dunno.
Maybe I'll see you in line next month when the new ones are released!
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