Iphone 3Gs announcement review – ups and downs

So last week Apple announced their new model Iphone, called the iPhone 3Gs. This phone will of course be running iPhone OS 3.0. I already covered the announcements of iPhone OS 3.0 back in march, let’s now review the whole package of the new hardware and software. iPhone 3G or even iPhone 1.0 users can upgrade their phone starting jun 17th, but will miss out on some of the features of the 3Gs that involve different hardware.

Hottest newest features of 3Gs:

  1. better camera
  2. faster CPU and more memory
  3. better battery life (both by improved hardware and software)
  4. video recording and editing
  5. voice control

The coolets thing about iPhone OS3.0:

  1. Cut-copy-paste
  2. MMS (but who uses this anymore?)
  3. Push notification (no background processes though, but workable other solution)
  4. Spotlight search on your Iphone
  5. Thethering (using your phone as a modem for your computer)

So what about disappointments with the new iPhone 3Gs:

  1. Evolution not revolution: faster? better camera? video? No brainers I’d say. BTW camera is only 3 MP, in contrast the 2 year old N95 already had a 5 MP camera.
  2. In majority of countries the iPhone 3GsĀ  is only sold together with a rate plan from the local telco (AT&T in USA, T-mobile in the Netherlands). So you have to agree to a 2 year contract to get your hands on an 3Gs, even if you already have an iPhone. Guess I will be going down to Belgium, where by law this practice is forbidden and phones have to be available also for sale without a contract. Expect to pay 600-700 Euro for a phone. Yes, a lot of money.
  3. Tethering works on the phone, but the telco may not allow it. Why? Because they are not ready yet, network wise. And of course they sell separate 3G receivers for computers with a big fat contract.
  4. Standard apps are the same. Yes landschape keyboard message typing, but no major upgrades
  5. No development phones :(. So 1. you have to get a contract to get a phone, and 2. no special phones with you can play around with, like restoring an OS image any moment you want to. In contrast, for Android there is a special Dev phone, no lock and completely customizable. You can restore specific OS images, or even toy with the OS and it’s system’s libraries if you want to. Fear of misuse of development phones has been cited to be the reason for Apple not to put out developer phones. I’d say make them as ugly as the Android dev g1, and you don’t have a problem. And sell only a limited number to registered developers (only 50.000 world wide in March)
  6. Still missing: Flash!

Overall verdict: better than the previous model, but no big surprises. Let’s see what cool Android devices will show up, so that real competition arises.

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