Tag Archives: iPhone

[Featured Review] InvisibleShield for the iPhone 3GS – Sponsored by InvisibleSkinz.com

Thank You Note
Before I begin, I’d like to personally thank Jake from InvisibleSkinz.com for providing me one of these lovely iPhone covers. I would also like to thank him for being the first vendor to approach me for a product review and giving me a shot at promoting his business!

Click the jump to read more!

Continue reading [Featured Review] InvisibleShield for the iPhone 3GS – Sponsored by InvisibleSkinz.com

Snippet: Blizzard’s World of Warcraft Mobile Armory app is LIVE!

Found this little gem via Kotaku, that the big reason Blizzard was killing all the pay-to-use and free-to-use Armory apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch was that they were working on publishing their app for free to the masses!

For you WoW + iPhone/iPod Touch folks… Click this link for the World of Warcraft Mobile Armory to get your copy for FREE!

One Month with The Killer Phone – iPhone 3GS review

Last week, I was one of the lucky individuals who got their iPhone 3GS at launch day. My initial plan was to get the 16GB but I opted for the 32GB. I for one am glad I made the better choice… For the most part, I had slight difficulty with AT&T slightly messing up my activation. That is mostly AT&T’s issue… So no fault on Apple’s part on that.

I will say that 1 week with the iPhone has been a unique experience… I know for the last 2 years, I was one of those on the harsh camp of iPhone “haters” because Apple didn’t quite fix security issues that most smart phones had resolved. At the time of the iPhone’s inception, it was a mediocre phone, a widescreen iPod, and small duty internet tablet. However… When you have problems with things like SSL encryption, Safari being crippled… It makes for a very unsafe smartphone from being an effective Fort Knox of information.

Then there was the iPhone 3G that came out last year… It was mainly a few fun toys like actually bolting a GPS chipset into the phone and some bigger storage options. The bigger issue was that the iPhone’s pricing was significantly reduced… Mainly because AT&T and Apple forged an alliance for reduced prices: The 8GB model of the iPhone 3G was to be priced at $199.99 and the 16GB $299.99. Of course, this would cause an influx of users to jumping to AT&T. Of course, with more users means more in the pool to experience problems… And boy did they problems hit hard…

When it rains… boy does it pour… Users started venting frustration… especially one odd group that Apple had been gunning to sway over: business enterprise users. If there was one thing they couldn’t live with out…. it was Microsoft Exchange server connectivity. Slowly Apple began to add supports for various online mail servers like G-Mail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, Exchange… Calendar support expanded to support CalDAV. Eventually things that your “common place” users wanted finally saw support with the iPhone… Yet security issues still remained.

I will say that I was still enough to sway me against the 3G… Even more so when things like the A2DP/AVRCP bluetooth profile, Nike+iPod compatibility, lack of encrypted SSL e-mail transactions, and a few other things just didn’t seem like a huge overall big deal… I could see how it was a big deal for first generation iPhone users.

Even still, I decided to wait…. Even on the envy of friends of getting brand new iPhones for Christmas… My gut feeling said Apple had a trick ace up their sleeve. A few blogs speculated that Apple was coming out with a brand new model iPhone… Some said it was a “nano” version to make it cheaper for the masses. That was all floating in the blogosphere until late May… Apple broke news saying something close to “The 3G will be reduced in price… AT&T is to sell remaining units at promotional pricing!” That was the big cue to look for a new iPhone on the horizon… Soon after Apple made the big press release, the iPhone 3GS was coming. Features being a slightly better battery, a faster processor, more RAM, a warmer toned LED screen, a oil resistant coating on the face of the iPhone, a compass chipset with the GPS, a brand new graphic chipset… To sweeten up the deal, they even decided to add a new 3.0 software update for both the iPhone 3G and GS models. This would be the crux of things as a slew of security issues were fixed and more functionality was added. I had been meaning to convert to AT&T for the sake of school… and this was my cue.

For background purposes… I was the “hardcore” business user. I used many of the “smartphone grade” operating systems: Palm OS Garnet, Symbian UIQ, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry OS… I understood the high learning curves from these devices, but on getting my iPhone 3GS… I ran into a unique experience…

A bare and minimalistic information pamphlet basically labeling out how to use the gestures and essentially throwing the user into the water. It was something else compared to the 50-60 page manuals I was used to with all the other phones. To be honest, I was skeptical.I had thought to myself… “Can it really be THAT easy?!” I jumped in and got to check it out…

Apple really refined everything… They didn’t use super high end parts or anything wild… I dare say, the pooled a group of users from 18 – 35 and said “What makes you fear a smart phone? What would you, the consumer, want in a fun phone?” The phrase “fire and forget” basically sums up how easy it is to use.

If you need to make a call, tap the “Phone” app icon and you get your standard phone options of the keypad, recent/missed calls, phonebook, favorite contacts, and the visual voicemail. Want to listen to music? Tap the iPod icon and you have categories of music… Want a more visual approach to your music? Turn your phone sideways and you get album covers of your music almost like a remix of an old jukebox. As a friend put it best… “It’s stupidly simple and Apple hit the mark for a mass market.”

The response of the phone with the new hardware is impressive… There’s almost no lag when in side-by-side comparison to an iPhone 3G. As many blogs such as Gizmodo iPhone 3GS review matrix show, the consensus is that the [S] does equate to speed or “snappiness”. I can definitely see how this will affect future games and applications slated to hit the iTunes App Store. So far most games are generally suited for the iPhone 3G and have minimal issues with the faster chips for the 3GS, but give it time and some developers may make games to utilize the faster chips.

As a media player, it works well… I will gripe and say the stock headphones blow. They work ok if there’s a necessity… I will say if you want to go wireless… The Motorola S305’s (MRSP $50) work rather nice example for a Bluetooth stereo option. There’s also the wired options like V-Moda or Shure but be prepared to pay a premium for their options ($80+). I do wish that movies could be displayed via the “Cover Flow” style that the music gets… I think it’d be cool to have that option and have the DVD/Theatrical poster be laid out for you rather than the bland list option. The Bluetooth profiles are still under work and Apple realizes they need to get into the game quickly. The A2DP (Advance Audio Distribution Profile) works alright as far as streaming 2-channel stereo music to Bluetooth headphones or car stereo systems, however the AVRCP (Audio-Video Remote Control Protocol) abilities of play/pause and volume+/- work but not the track skip commands. The rumor is the “hot fix” 3.1 update should resolve this, but I will report when the 3.1 public release comes out.

As a phone… I have come to love the simplicity. Making calls is idiot proof, I have yet to test it with my family borrowing my phone… but if I do, expect an update, as they are as tech fearing as most people are. The Visual Voicemail is absolutely charming as I have always hated voicemail messages where the person is trying to leave a message as quick as possible and I can’t catch the details… With normal voicemail, I’d have to wait for the end and press the replay command to listen again. Now with Visual Voicemail, I can just drag the slider back and catch the part I need with little to any fuss.

Texting and e-mail are much more refined now as landscape keyboards have been added to the 3.0 release. The e-mail encryption issue has been fixed properly and they do support SSL encryption to boot. All in all, I will say that the IM style for the text conversations is nice. Setting up your own e-mail however is a little tricky if you are not using a MobileMe, Microsoft Exchange, G-Mail, Yahoo Mail, or AOL Mail account… I found that out when I was trying to get my mailbox set-up but once I found the tips from the DreamHost Wiki, the rest was easy.

As a mobile internet tablet… I find it to be sufficient at the task. The only thing that Apple needs to get with the times is Flash support, but at this moment… They are basically trying to force content providers to push content to the phone for things like embedded video and a few sites support this. More and more mainstream sites however are relying on Flash to deliver site content and add the fact that the Android platform is pushing Flash when the next and final build of Android is due to be released… Apple will be the ones lagging in this vector. About 2 years ago, they claimed they couldn’t support Adobe’s endeavor because Adobe’s code probed too far into the internals of the iPhone, but that leaves many wondering “How much longer, Apple?” The irony to this is a Google/HTC phone is coming to AT&T around August depending on how AT&T will be tolerant of the Android open principles. I would dare to call that an assault on “home” territory and would hope that this spurs some competition with Apple to cooperate with Adobe.

I will say that the apps really do make the phone plenty useful and fun. Things like WordPress, Pandora, LastFM, Facebook, Amazon, AT&T myWireless, Google Apps are great! I can agree with many of the bloggers out there that the apps really make the iPhone quite a treat. As far as load speed, the new 3GS hardware has barely any latency with application loading which is great as I have “gotten used” to slow loading apps on my previous phones.

I will say probably my big compliment to the iPhone 3GS is it is one phone I have not had to reboot like clockwork. This was a problem on my Windows Mobile phones, Sony Ericsson P990i, Nokia smartphones, and even my Blackberry as the RAM/pagefile just gets blocked up in garbage which lags the phones out to a snails pace. I haven’t turned my phone off since I got it back on June 19th and it runs just as snappy as it was then.

As far as my final consensus goes for the phone… I will highlight the big points to consider before you sign with the Death Star or sign for an early upgrade should you be on the fence with getting an iPhone.

  • Have you been considering an all-in-one solution and have a dying previous generation iPod? – Yes
  • Fan of a minimalistic design? – Yes
  • Are you a contact synergy fanatic that wants rapid access to your phone book but don’t mind some work? – Yes
  • Are you upgrading from an iPhone 2G? – Yes
  • Do you want more software freedom and open source? – No, consider an Android phone like that HTC Lancaster coming soon to AT&T and the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G due August 3rd.
  • Do you want expandable and hot-swappable memory cards? – No, consider other smartphones that give this privilege.
  • Do you want a high end camera on your phone? – No, Consider the Samsung Memoir or Sony Ericcson CS905 or Xperia X1 for 8.1 megapixel camera phones
  • Do you want an easier way to combine all of your contacts from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc with little to any work? – No, consider a Palm Pre.
  • Does your work require that your phone must play nice on their VPN? – No, go with what is best for your company’s requirements.
  • Are you upgrading early because you bought your iPhone last year or in the last few months? – No, unless you’re foolish enough to pay the ridiculous upgrade $499 (16GB)/$599 (32GB) price.

In closing, the experience for a brand new user is pretty good and probably much easier . A 3G user not due to upgrade would be an idiot just to upgrade for a few perks. For any iPhone fanatic, I would advise sticking to the 2 year revision cycle. By the second year of ownership, the “newer” model will have huge upgrades for you. For a business class user, the iPhone 3GS is tricky and you’d have to check with your IT department if they can provide secure VPN support for you so “caveat emptor” is my warning to you. Overall my opinion is rather good for AT&T’s killer phone, but I will say I await what the Google Android team has to offer when they hit nearly every provider in America with Android phones. My reason is I love seeing competition and I want to see how Apple responds to what will soon be coming to Android.

A Fun Phone to Remix Zero – Apple iPhone 3GS

So some of you who keep up with this blog knew I was mulling over either the iPhone 3G versus the 3GS models. The more and more the wiser tech geek spoke out… The 3G is the “bare bones” model now and I still remember what happened to me when I bought the first generation Mac Mini and cheaped out. I was left miserable and bitter as support kept vanishing and vanishing for my product and it basically became a glorified paperweight.

So I decided to phone around during the pharmacy “lunch” period and see if any shops had them… Wal-Mart was probably the worst cause some of the reps were shady and sounded like they were trying to hoard the phones or they were sick of the “Do you have the iPhone 3GS in stock?” calls. I decided to give an odd long shot to Best Buy. Sure enough… I got a lead… 8 of the black 32GB and 5 of the black 16GB iPhone 3GS models remained. I made haste and went to wait…

The waiting game wasn’t bad as I expected… The worst part was probably the credit check and paper work. It was a bit tedious and boring… All went well until the submission of my stuff ran into a computer glitch. As the sales rep put it best “I’ve never see it do THIS before…” so time was whittling away… It was bad as the rep was afraid the system may have glitched and set me up with 2 separate contracts. Thankfully everything resolved itself and then came down to deciding the phones. By the time I got done with “check-in” There were only the 32GB iPhone 3GS models left. I figured to just go for gold and get the best of the lot because of the fact that I worked hard for my spoils and I should enjoy the small victories.

The 3GS is the phone that the iPhone should have been at the get-go. The “speed” that the [S] portion of the iPhone 3GS name definitely is well merited. The other features like the 3 megapixel camera with auto focus/adjustment is a trip down memory lane for me and my old Sony Ericsson P990i. The compass, oleophobic screen, and the 3.0 software update are things that make it a joy to use…

My only gripe at the moment would probably have to be AT&T corporate’s attitude with roll-outs. MMS is not due to hit until summer’s end. Then there’s the staunch “We can charge whatever we want” attitude that AT&T has been pushing that isn’t helping their case. The dramatic irony gets worse as you have people with in the ranks that also do not like the pricing and wonder what’s stopping Apple from taking their killer phone from AT&T’s clutches.

The inner audiophile in me will say that if you do want to make the most of your headphone listening pleasure… Do not use the stock iPhone headphones. If you use Bluetooth stereo headphones, then you could probably use the Jaybird JB-200 or the Motorola S9-HD. If you like cords, I would say the Skullcandy Full Metal Jackets are great as a budget pick, especially if you can get the iPhone/Blackberry model ones with the in-line microphone.

Give me a week or so and I can give you my comprehensive thoughts on my new device.

I will say that to go from a long line of business phones to now a fun phone… it’s quite a change and I think I could get use to it!

[Help/Technology] The Dark Side Beckons… With a Vengeance!

Alright… Most of you technologically wild folks know that the big tech shows are going on. Apple’s WWDC, E3, (I think) Computex etc… These are all industry breaking shows in which manufacturers and developers get to show off their works in progress or even finished products pending release. However… for me, things got interesting.

Almost 1 years ago, I had blogged about the iPhone 3G finally hitting all of the global carriers… yet that it was still flawed from not supporting things many basic features that even standard phones have supported for the last few years. Things like MMS (picture/video messaging), video recording, A2DP Bluetooth stereo streaming, encrypted e-mail were just some of the issues I had with the iPhone 3G being balked as the update the phone needed… Another thing later on when the iPod Touch revision came out was the support for the Nike+ system. Somehow… the iPhone missed out on that and it would basically hose any interest I had as I would love to track how much I run be it for classes or just working out. The final nail in the coffin would be that I had friends who noted iffy phone service on the iPhone via AT&T because I feel that BASIC functionality is very essential.

Yesterday and Monday’s updates on the gadget and tech blogs were quite an eye opener, however. Most of them had pointed to Apple’s new iPhone 3G [S] site and had noted that a lot of my grievances with the 3G version have been resolved. Phone calls seems to have gotten better with those who are using the leaked Developer version of the iPhone 3.0 software/firmware. The phone also has improved with things like faster processor, the addition of a compass with the GPS chips, and a few other features. The Nike+ system finally got added so it sweetens things a little bit more. Sure $200 – $300 for a phone is a bit steep… but at this moment… That’s basically the price point I am looking at for phones.

To thicken the plot… When I had left Commerce on dorm check-out on May 7th, my BlackBerry was showing I had weak T-Mobile service throughout all of Commerce. The few times I have been back in the past couple weeks, my signal has diminished to T-Mobile going to Roaming Mode on Cellular One’s backbone. This is rather crippling… The reasons for that being 1) When I am on roaming, I have asked my BlackBerry to kill my data functions to prevent roaming charges and 2) I get charged extra for taking calls while roaming. Point #1 is a killer because I have become really data centric with my BlackBerry especially when I am without my laptop. Point #2 is just murder for me as a college student, especially considering I got TONS of calls from classmates with AT&T during the day time hours with my already small minute pool.

AT&T seems to have a stranglehold for the area, as my friends have noticed. I have heard some hearsay of the Commerce area AT&T users mentioning that 3G service is unrolling soon or already present. On top of that, AT&T is killing the 2G towers in favor of the 3G revolution. Sadly, the only BlackBerry on AT&T that is 3G ready is the BlackBerry Bold and it’s not quite what I am looking for. T-Mobile’s signals are diminishing and sadly their BlackBerry devices are just rehashes of my Curve 8300 or the Pearl 8100 series. Call me odd but the fact that just about any smartphone supports Lexi-Comp, including the iPhone, is a huge impact to me as a pre-pharmacy student.

For now… I am in no rush really to convert or anything of that sort yet. I am roughly 2 weeks away from my current T-Mobile 1 year contract finally expiring and I also need to see where my own family stands as far as service goes. I know my own family is debating on if they may be switching carriers or staying and doing month-to-month with T-mobile. If they are switching, then it makes a little more of a big sell point for me to jump ship with them… If they stay, then I’ll really need to sit and talk with them.

Anyone who has insight on this… Post away and let me know!

Google May Have Android eDrama – Editorial

A few days ago, I stumbled upon [H]ardOCP talking about a “front page” article saying that Google may have inadvertently pushed some Android developers to the iPhone SDK… This is rather an ironic tale of karmic shock as about a year ago, there were some whispers in the grapevine that Google was proposing to OpenMoko prospective programmers with a rather gutsy move to say “Come to our project, cause we are Google after all! We have tons of capital and our project is more financially stable.” So naturally, most programmers do want a buck for their efforts and most basically said “bye” to the OpenMoko Project and hopped on the Google Android bandwagon. In the midst of all the hub-bub of Google vs. OpenMoko, the Apple iPhone crowd was rather disappointed that their shiny $500+ toy had no clean API layer to play with like Windows Mobile or PalmOS. They managed to juryrig their own method of installing applications onto “jailbroken” iPhones by apps like iPwn or WinPwn to free the phone’s certification of applications in a means of giving the device a gray zone to play in. Of course, the problem with that was Apple’s coders releasing new firmware builds for the iPhone would render these “jailbroken” iPhones into paperweights unless the unofficial teams such as the “iPhone Dev Team” found ways to circumvent Apple’s check-sums. That somewhat changed with the iPhone 2.0 software release and the offical push of the iPhone Software Development Kit (or SDK for short).

Let’s delve into the background of the 2 “major” projects…

The Android project (in my observation) almost is a deceptive concept of “open source” as depending on how you rank with Google, you get certain layers of access with Android. What do I mean? Like if you’re an amateur coder who wants to make an application for fun, you would have basic access to the API. Now… let’s say you did something like won the “Google Summer of Code” competition or you are dumping millions of dollars to Google’s Android venture, naturally, you get premium access to the newest SDK builds and even API access to even control device functions. That could get some users who have slaved hours on Google’s Android project pissed! This is really the pressing concern from the article highlighted by AppleInsider, actually. Imagine that you and a few friends of yours make a killer app that just requires you to know the exact pressure sensitivity readings of the touch screen for an Android phone, but the caveat is none of your “staff” are big name commercial people or Summer of Code winners… This could be the one failing crux to your masterpiece to ever find completion. However, someone who won the Summer of Code competition may have an all access pass to all functions of the phone and could create a killer app that could rival yours. End result: Your team loses out on a chance to monetize on your killer app, yet your competitor gets a chance to dominate the market. Could you imagine the frustration to know your competitor’s app would be up for sale in Google’s Android App Shop for $2.99 a download while you’re going “If only Google let us access code on touch screen sensitivity…” with your friends?

Apple’s iPhone SDK is much in the same spirit like Google, an illusion of open source, but I feel they have mitigated drama by allowing all users certain levels of access. There’s the “Free” SDK which is just basic tools to build and test apps for personal use. But to get your name out there… Apple wants you to pony up $99 for a Basic Developer license which gives you the right to distribute your app to other iPhones via WiFi and also sell/give your app away at the iTunes App store. Should you sell your app, you do get 70% of the revenue. Then there’s the “Enterprise” license for $299 which allows you the power to make in-house corporate apps for the iPhone, like a trippy app that monitors and plays with your custom ECU for a tuner shop or other endless things your corporation wants to use the iPhone for. This license in particular is recommended for firms employing 500 people or more.

In my opinion, Apple’s rules are a little more concrete than the undefined access rules that Google has imposed on it’s users… We’ll have to sit and see how things brew down. The fact that Google’s been dawdling with producing a real and hard phone is making their time slip, while Apple and even OpenMoko have live phones to play with! Sure, Google has a deal with HTC to have a phone created as well as make it so that users with HTC phones can do a firmware update to have Android operational on their phones… Add to this that they are trying to fight between T-Mobile USA and Sprint|Nextel as official providers… You have a concept that may simply have trouble breaking the market in a solid fashion. I guess in a sense I am saying… Google better give everyone an “eHug” and get their crap straight or come up with a better strategy quickly unless they want to let Apple take more limelight from them..

[Preview] Google’s iPhone Killer Project May Be Dying…

Apparently, even though Google’s Android project drama with weasling away OpenMoko devs and other Lin-phones has been good and well… Google may be in quite the tizzy internally.

Unfortunately, I have work soon, so I’ll have to dissect this argument later tonight.

I have quite the musing on it…

The Second Coming of the Jesus Phone – 7/11/2008 – 3G iPhone

With the summer here, all your big and essential technology shows are abound. You have the Computex show out in Taiwan being the big one for computer hardware and E3 for the gaming folks. However, if you’re an Apple fanatic, WWDC is the most noteworthy to you. This year has been no slouch either. If you are a big phone fanatic like yours-truly, then obviously you know that this year’s WWDC has the second revision on Apple’s new “killer handheld”, the 3G iPhone.

iPhone Announcement

For some, this is the boat that a number of frustrated Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Nokia S60 users have been waiting for. The inclusion of 3G cellular baseband chips, A-GPS functionality, and a few more things are just a few of the things that many iPhone naysayers and bashers had picked on the first iteration iPhone. This announcement has not shaken down some of the other competitors just yet, as far as I know. I have not seen any price breaks from manufacturers like HTC et al from the WWDC announcement, but then again, it may not matter to them because they may have a pocket ace up their sleeve thay may not be known to the masses yet. (The Touch Diamond is rather prohibitive at $700+ at the moment, eh? – Zero)

iPhone Profile Shots

Notice this time that there’s a curvature to the back of the iPhone, much like a Palm Treo. The device comes in two colors, black and white. The colors signify the device’s storage capacity: black being an 8GB and white being 16GB. This also signifies a change in how the device is built. The aluminum back of the first iPhone is a thing of the past, the back of the 3G iPhone is plastic. Some fans on the web have speculated the curvature and plastic back are more to accomodate the fun new additions of circuitry inside the phone.

The new iPhone boasts that it will be using the new 2.0 software improving the user experience with features such as a customizable Home Screen, the App Store, a Map App that can use BOTH A-GPS and cell tower and/or wi-fi hotspots to triangulate data. For those enterprising corporate users who are jonesing for a tricked out phone but were sadly disappointed in the lack of support for Microsoft Exchange server for their jobs, the new rendition of the iPhone has added support for syncing up to Microsoft Exchange servers. Early or late first generation iPhone owners can still get in on the some of these features with the new iPhone 2.0 software update, so they are not quite left out in the cold.

If you want to behold more of the features about the iPhone, check out the Official Apple iPhone page (Link)! Need more visual porn? Check out the new iPhone gallery link here.

What about the pricing information? How bad will AT&T rape me for service?” are probably the next questions for curious 3G iPhone buyers seeing to get their hands one one and possibly escape their old provider. Let’s break into the leaked confidential bulletin posted up by Boy Genius Report and find out, shall we?

Before we pick through the plans… Let me make this one point from the confidential bulletin loud and clear for you curious readers: In America, there is no way to buy the 3G iPhone without committing to AT&T and GoPhone customers are not permitted to buy them for GoPhone use either. I repeat, you cannot just buy an iPhone without a plan even in the Apple Stores. In other countries, you may be able to purchase an unlocked iPhone due to anti-competition agreements, but not much information is known on that. The caveat for the American market is that due to this closer partnership between AT&T and Apple is that now AT&T can finally subsidize the iPhone to an entry price of $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB model. A very gutsy move as this puts the iPhone right at the same price points as AT&T’s corporate communicator market. HTC, Pantech, Palm, and RIM Blackberry devices be damned, AT&T basically created an internal smartphone war within their ranks! This has me curious as to how RIM, Palm,and HTC will play their cards in America, but that’s another discussion… 😉 for later this week.

Let’s go over the major points quoted from the Boy Genius Report post:

  • iPhone 3G will be activated at point of sale when the device is purchased in store.
  • Return period has been changed from 14 days to 30 days
  • $199 and $299 pricing is for new activations or qualified upgrades with a 2-year agreement
  • 2G iPhone data rate plans will remain available for 2G device suntil further notice
  • The new iPhone 3G data plan is $30/month and includes unlimited data and visual voicemail
  • There is not a no commitment price. This means you can’t just walk in and bang $500 on your credit card and walk out.
  • If you are an existing iPhone customer in good standing, you will be able to extend your contract for two years when the iPhone 3G launches and get the ill-na-na $199/$299 price point. Doesn’t matter when you bought an iPhone either.
  • AT&T and Apple stores “unbrick” the iPhone 3G at time of purchase, but for some reason if that doesn’t happen, you’ll be required to use iTunes at home.
  • Pre-paid and Pick Your Plan will not be allowed on iPhone 3G
  • Device purchase limit remains at (3) per customer in AT&T stores.
  • Launch day will mirror last year’s launch. This includes extended store hours, crowd controls, etc. Security will be provided to stores requesting armed police or guards.
  • AT&T is working with Apple to roll out GPS-enabled applications.

One of the first things I noticed as a definite step to progress is the in-store activation. I had read a few accounts online about some people having trouble with doing the activation at home due to the servers timing out and having to activate their phones a few days after purchasing an iPhone. This ensures that end users will have a working phone on purchase instead of angry users griping that their new toy is useless until the server can activate their device.

The purchase of an iPhone will require an iPhone data plan. The unlimited personal plan starts at $30 with any qualifying voice plan, however if you need to link with corporate e-mail accounts… you’ll need to front $45 per month for the enterprise data plan. My assumption is that a “qualifying” voice plan is a plan that is priced at least $39.99 and has 600 anytime minutes. As far as the press release from AT&T goes, there’s no mention if the unlimited iPhone data plans will include any text messaging… but that could change come July 11, 2008. As far as AT&T’s texting plans go, that could range from $14.99 – $19.99. So about $30 (estimated) for the lowest qualifying voice plan, $30 for the unlimited personal e-mail, web and visual voicemail package, and then $15 for the texting plan. A rough grand total of $75 before miscellaneous taxes and service charges would be due on the billing date; possibly around $80 – $82 after those charges. That’s decently competitive to an individual corporate user with a smartphone or Blackberry configured in the same manner. This combined with the subsidized price of the iPhone actually gives AT&T some leg room to fight. If they combine texting with different tiering of iPhone data packages, like the unlimited personal data plan being able to also get unlimited texting for a total of $80 before taxes, this may give providers like T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon more incentive to step up to the plate and really be creative.

Tune in tomorrow when I’ll play Devil’s Advocate and spin my thoughts from the anti-iPhone camp from the eyes of the T-Mobile/Sprint/Verizon/HTC/Palm/RIM side of things. This will actually be a 3-part series of things. The floor is now open to any pro-iPhone comments. If you have hate or bones to pick with the iPhone, save your energy for tomorrow.