Over the past month, everyone who knows me has been asking me about the next iPhone. Usually, it includes the obvious question, “Are you getting the new one?”
For me, the answer is simple. “No.”
Here are my reasons:
- Many people are excited about the 3G speeds for the network, but the coverage is still pretty scarce. Yes, it is in my area, but I don’t have to drive too far to be outside of it.
- Many people are excited about the GPS chip in the new iPhone, but it is not a replacement for a turn-by-turn directions device, like a Garmin or a TomTom.
- Running the 3G and GPS will kill your battery life, and Apple recommends turning these off when you don’t specifically need them. Chances are that in the moment that you want to quick check a website, the 7 seconds that you will shave off from having 3G speeds will be replaced with 20 seconds to turn on 3G and then jump back to find the link and then… oh, never mind. I’m willing to trade a few seconds here and there when browsing the web on my phone for all day battery life. Not to mention that WiFi is very pervasive and faster than a 3G network.
- The new pricing plans are significantly higher than the existing plans and text messages are not included. If did the same exact plan that I have now, I would pay an extra $360 over the 2-year contract plus an $18 upgrade fee plus the cost of the phone itself. Yes, the plans are still reasonable compared to Blackberries, but I like my current deal.
- With the original iPhone, Apple revolutionized the activation process by doing it through iTunes. My experience was flawless and it took less than 8 minutes while I was surfing the web in another window. With the new iPhone, activation must happen in the store. If you want to try to avoid the 30 minutes of annoyance that it takes to purchase and activate a cell phone, AT&T has provided a “Get iReady Checklist” PDF file.
- The compelling feature of the new iPhone is the 2.0 software update, specifically ability to have third-party applications. And the original iPhone will run these perfectly. There may be some applications that will benefit from the precision of a GPS chip compared to cell tower triangulation, but I will be able to live without that. I’m most excited about the productivity apps and games (not-so productive apps) that will run locally on the phone.
All that said, the new iPhone will be great and I highly recommend it. But if you have the current original iPhone, wait for the 3.0 iPhone that will probably ship sometime in July of 2009.