Lots of folks will be trying to lay their hands on an iPhone tomorrow. And as impressive as the phone looks (and there really seems to be lots to like about it), I am not getting one. What killed it for me was the decision to tie it to the older slower speed data networks instead of Cingular’s 3G network. I use my phone extensively for web browsing and other forms of data transfer, and now that Cingular has rolled out their 3G network to the point that I am really appreciating the benefits of it, I am not going back to a slow speed data network, no way. I assume that Apple/Cingular made the decision because of battery life concerns, 3G network access really drains battery power. But still, A) make that a user choice then (allow users to turn 3G on and off as needed), B) allow users to carry spare batteries. So, nope, no 3G means no iPhone for me.

11 thoughts

  1. No 3g on the iPhone? This is the idea that I read from Robert Cringely, back in January… I think he could be right…
    From: http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_20070111_001476.html
    "And there’s the problem — Cingular Video, which is based on RealVideo, NOT QuickTime or H.264.
    Apple wants the iPhone to get its content primarily through iTunes, ideally by syncing with a Mac or Windows PC. Apple doesn’t like Cingular Video and doesn’t want its customers to know it exists, much less use it. But it would be very hard to introduce a true 3G iPhone, have Cingular promote it strongly, only to say that it can’t be used to view the mobile carrier’s own video content. So instead Apple falls back to the slower EDGE network, which can support email and widgets and surfing, but which also forces iPhone users to get most of their higher-resolution video through iTunes, where Apple makes money and Cingular doesn’t.
    It comes down to an accommodation. Cingular wants an iPhone exclusive and is probably paying Apple money for that privilege. Apple doesn’t want Cingular Video. So the only elegant way around that problem is to make the iPhone incapable of operating on the 3G network. If you watch his Macworld keynote you’ll notice Jobs says that Apple may eventually make 3G iPhone models. Yeah, right: I’m 100 percent convinced that all it would take to turn an EDGE iPhone into a 3G iPhone is a firmware upgrade, if that."

  2. I was really excited to get an iPhone, until I realized it was only EDGE compatible. It’s such and odd thing given that the browser is one of the biggest, if not the biggest feature of this phone. When I read reviews where it took 70 seconds to load up the New York Times and such I realized that this phone is going out into the marketplace crippled.
    Oh, and the fact that you can’t have one on a business account really did it in for me too.
    Now, I just have to figure out what I want to replace my aging SMT5600 with.

  3. Almost a next generation phone. The interface looks snazzy, but if I have to go backwards from my 3G BlackJack to an Edge iPhone … I think I will hold off. I have also heard there is a lack of tight Exchange integration. If that last one is true … it is not good for the average business person.

  4. I agree with Jacob, I am sure the phone does support 3G, it’s just locked. I highly doubt that in overseas markets such as Europe and Australia they will launch the phone on anything less then the 3G network. The iPhone will be significantly more expensive in these territories (like most USA produced IT products are), so operating on a cheap 2.5G network, it just wouldn’t make any sense.

  5. I picked one up and I can’t be happier with performance. Sure Edge is slow but when you consider that a)it’s the real web and b) if you <em>really</em> need the web on your phone then you should maybe realise it’s your for the taking and practice a little good old fashioned patience. The wifi performance is stellar, the virtual keyboard only takes a few minutes to get used to and everything else is nearly flawless. Having a fully realised email client is probably the coolest feature so far.
    I have to admit as much as I knew I wanted an iPhone I was really scared the data plan would just be more than I wanted to spend. Having that problem out of the way ($20 unlimited data) it was a no-brainer.

  6. Your explanation of the 3G power drain is interesting. Its really great to come over to the USA for CFUnited and not have to mess with phone settings. My 3G phone latched on to Cingular as soon as I arrived and has worked fine for the trip but it seems to be draining the battery much quicker. Normally will last 2 – 3 days before a charge but I am having to charge it every day. Incidently my Nokia N73 does everything the iPhone does and has a 3Megapixel camera has 1GB storage for pictures and MP3s. I like the user interface too. What was that iPhone supposed to do? Oh yes it makes calls too!

  7. I have no interest in any "phone" device that does anything more than make or take a call. I can even do without the camera feature.
    Personally I think the iPhone, as cool as it looks, is going in the wrong direction for the future. To me, the phone of the future will be like a bluetooth ear bud by itself and all voice controlled with programmable shortcut commands. Put in on in the morning like you would a pair of glasses and forget about it.
    Texting, photos, files, email, browsing, tunes, and everything else will be on a device like the Blackberry or BlackJack. Separate from the phone; you do want to surf and talk at the same time, right? Thats just the way I see it.

  8. You can surf and talk at the same time now with the BlackJack at least. Talking either on speaker phone or bluetooth and surf the browser. But yet it would be nice to have the bluetooth be the phone. Although if I was going to carry a separate device for mobile internet/texting then I suppose having it still provide phone functions would be more logical then carrying to separate devices.

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