Thursday, June 11, 2009

iPhone 3GS - Will I or Won't I?

So the latest iPhone has been announced. And the Internet is buzzing about it. Some folks are trying to decide whether they'll purchase an iPhone 3GS, or a Palm Pre. Personally, I don't think I'll be switching to Palm. In fact, I can't, since I don't live in the US anymore, and the Pre is only available on Sprint -- at least for now. So the question is, will I drop my iPhone 3G in favor of an iPhone 3GS?

Short answer, No. I don't think the 3GS offers enough benefit to me to justify the cost. I'm happy with my 3G. It was a huge improvement over the original iPhone, both aesthetically, and functionally. It's fast enough for my needs, and it offers 99% of the functionality I want. Yes, video is a cool new feature, and one I'm sure I'd make use of. Yes, a built in compass is cool, and I could potentially make use of it. It'd be nice to have a better camera, too.

However, I'm disappointed in Apple. I was expecting some really significant advancement. Where's the front-side camera enabling video calls? Why didn't 802.11n make it in? Why didn't they change the case even just a little to make it better? It's just not enough of an upgrade to make it worth the upgrade.

I'm not specifically ruling out the possibility that I'll upgrade. My current iPhone 3G is still locked to AT&T, since I updated it to the latest firmware and modem baseband before I knew I'd be moving to Panama, so it doesn't work as a phone for me here. But I'm holding out hope that hackers might soon release a software unlock that'll work even with the new iPhoneOS 3.0. If not, I have plans to purchase a Rebel SIM, which could give me a hardware unlock solution. The 3GS's arrival at Movistar (Panama's only iPhone carrier) will probably take a couple of months, and let's face it, Movistar SUCKS! They're probably even worse than AT&T. They give me very little motivation to sign a contract with them, even for a working iPhone.

Of course, if I can't get my iPhone 3G unlocked, then I'm forced to either purchase a Movistar contract and iPhone 3GS, or abandon the iPhone. I will never return to Windows Mobile (Microsoft is dead to me since I switched to the Mac two years ago). I'm not a real fan of Blackberry. Palm hasn't yet announced a GSM version of the Pre. And to my knowledge, Android hasn't yet made it to Panama, although I'm sure it will eventually. So what's a bleeding edge technophile like myself to do with so little access to bleeding edge tech? I guess I just have to wait and see. I'll probably end up getting a 3GS, but maybe, just maybe, I can get my 3G to last me another year until the 2010 iPhone comes out!

I just hope Apple doesn't disappoint me again in 2010!

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