The Bottom Line
The second-generation iPhone is bound to be an even bigger hit than the original. In fact, the iPhone may well become the third major development platform for applications, behind only Windows and OS X.
The iPhone 3G’s ability to operate as a mobile computing platform could easily reshape the entire mobile computing and smartphone marketplace. It’s not a bad phone, either.
- 3G speed: Loads Web pages and downloads email twice as fast as the original iPhone.
- GPS: Built-in GPS for location-based services.
- Push email: Uses Microsoft Exchange to sync mail, calendar, and contacts.
- Third-party applications - Built-in App Store for buying and downloading applications.
- Good battery life: 300 hours standby time
- Limited carrier choice: In the USA, the only carrier is AT&T.
- No mechanical keyboard: Touch-based soft keyboard only.
- No camera flash: Taking pictures in low light will be a challenge.
- Available in 8 GB ($199) and 16 GB ($299) configurations
- 3.5” widescreen multi-touch display with 480x320 resolution
- UMTS/HSDPA (850/1900/2100 MHz) cellular
- GSM/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) cellular
- WiFi (802.11b/g) and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR wireless
- Built-in GPS
- 2-megapixel camera
- Supports H.264 and MPEG-4 video formats; 640x480 pixels, 30 fps
- Accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
- 300 hrs standby, 10 hrs 2G talk time, 5 hrs 3G talk time, 7 hrs video playback
Guide Review - iPhone 3G - Preview of the iPhone 3G
The iPhone 3G really needs a better name. Sure, ‘iPhone 3G’ tells you at a glance that this is a faster version of the iPhone. But thinking of the iPhone 3G as just a mobile phone is like saying the Mac is just a computer. They’re both so much more.
In addition to the same great features as the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G delivers faster cellular voice and data connections, via the newer 3G network that cellular providers like AT&T are deploying. The 3G service should allow you to access data at nearly the speed of a good WiFi connection. This means you can surf the Web, manage your email, and make a phone call, all at the same time, and all at speeds approaching what you would see if you were sitting in Starbucks, enjoying a coffee, and using the available WiFi network.
To help you find Starbucks, or that new restaurant or bookstore you’ve heard about, the iPhone 3G has built-in GPS to drive location-based services. It comes with Maps preinstalled, so you can always figure out where you are and get directions to where you want to go, as well as check current traffic conditions along the route.
Apple opened up the iPhone to third-party software developers, so they can now use the same tools that Apple uses to create iPhone software. Enthusiastic developers have already created everything from games to medical imaging applications, essentially turning the iPhone into a truly mobile computing platform. And it can only get better from here.
Enterprise customers will find much to like about the iPhone 3G. In addition to the basics (push-based email, calendar, and contacts), the iPhone 3G supports global address lists, certificates and identities, enforced security policies, global device configurations, and remote wiping of the iPhone’s data, in case it gets misplaced or stolen.