I am really a gadget freak and I think the iPhone is one of the coolest inventions ever. It changed the paradigm of mobile software and design forever. It pushed expectations to a new level, and forced other mobile vendors to create better phones. For the most part phone designs have improved, but mostly on the hardware front. On the software side things nobody has even come close to producing the user experience that is achievable on the iPhone.
Some people will beg to differ saying that the touch keyboard is awful and the BlackBerry devices are much better when emailing and texting is the major criteria. I would have to agree that the BlackBerry is better at email, but I do not agree that the touch keyboard is poor. In fact the software learns what you are typing and begins to make very meaningful suggestions that help to expedite the process as you continue to use it.
I will not even mention the Samsung products, which are no more then really bad clones. Having used Samsung phones, I can tell you that they do not get it. Hardware design is critical but no where as important as having great software to compliment the hardware. Just look at the Samsung Instinct to see what I am mean.
So on July 11th,2008 Apple will launch the 3G iPhone and I am going to tell you it is an absolutely amazing device, but I do not think you should buy it. Here are my reasons why.
The Real Price
This has been flaunted all over the internet the last weeks so I will not dwell into this too much, but the real price of the iPhone 3G is much more then its predecessor when factoring in the monthly costs.
You have to sign up for a Contract
This is horrible. One of the best things about the previous iPhones was that you could buy it and take it home. If I wanted to void the guarantee I could then unlock the iPhone and use it with any mobile provider. This of course is what I did, and I was fortunate enough to be able to use it with my existing provider without enduring the prices that the official mobile provider was asking for.
GPS is still not good enough
The GPS works differently then you might expect. It is not a turn by turn kind of GPS system that you are used to with your car navigation systems. Rather the GPS turns itself on periodically calculates your position and then powers itself down. This is done in an effort to conserve battery life. My point is that while GPS is really cool, it will not be in its classical sense. Rather a new class of applications will take birth, but it will take time for them to mature. So for me there is no rush here.
I must admit that I am intrigued very much by this device which is begin positioned to compete directly with the iPhone 3G. I think its wise to wait and see what RIM will produce. I expect to see something really unique and cool. If I know RIM they have had this design in the plans since they first heard of the iPhone last year. This means that it will go the distance and provide a viable alternative. In Canada, that might even mean much better contract rates, since RIM is a Canadian firm.
The big thing here about the new iPhone is really the software guys. All the cool Enterprise features, updates and Applications will work on an updated iPhone. So just update your old phone and enjoy the new experience.
One More Thing
Oh yeah, I bet money that Apple will come out with the next version of the iPhone early next year that will add some significant milage to the iPhone design. What might this be? Well let your imagination go free. Apple wants this to be the one device everyone carries with them. Could this be the device that we use as Electronic Cash? Or think of it as a device that talks to other computers telling them who you are. There are a ton of applications that could be developed around that. However, I think the real improvements will come in the area of touch technologies where Apple will strive to have more hand gestures. Think Copy and Paste, there is a reason why its not there and I think its not a software issue but rather a hardware issue.
So I highly recommend to wait a few months at the least and see how things develop. In the meanwhile update the software to the original iPhone or buy yourself an original iPhone on eBay where you are going to get a really good price for an older model.