iPhone 3G: Don’t Believe the Hype?

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Blogger Erica Sadun, writing for The Unofficial Apple Weblog, says there are several good reasons not to bother getting swept up in iPhone 3G fever.

Calling the phone “horribly priced,” especially in view of pricey carrier data plans that run upwards of $30 per month “to visit a few websites,” Sadun says everyone waiting in the rain right now outside the Apple Store in New York, the hordes of people in the UK who have already bought out O2’s supply of pre-orders, and the masses of customers worldwide who are expected to make Friday Apple’s biggest retail day ever – will be paying “the early adopter tax” for something that will be better and cheaper soon.

Acknowledging the upgrade to browsing speed promised by connectivity to the 3G network, Sadun believes unless “the speed issue [is] do-or-die for you, this is the upgrade to skip.”

44 responses to “iPhone 3G: Don’t Believe the Hype?”

  1. bender2008 says:

    Erica’s brilliant, but she’s a whiner at times, too.

    The new AT&T iPhone plans are actually the same price as for all its smartphones. We v.1 iPhone users got a pretty nice data price for the first year- too bad that’s over, but fact is, the new pricing level is totally mainstream for a 3G smartphone.

    Plus you spend $200 less upfront – considering the time-value-of-money issue, it ends up being a pretty small price increase for 3G. Plus the GPS will rock with new 3rd-party apps.

    The iPhone has been and remains a lightning rod for criticism because of its high profile. The “early adopter tax” is a cliché and a canard in this case. There’s no cooler phone in the world, but you’re not paying extra for it – 3G iPhone pricing is completely mainstream…

  2. Andrew says:

    Sadun’s not worth reading.

  3. leigh says:

    I don’t get the complaint about the data-plan thing…

    Folks act as if this “data plan” is some new invention just screw iPhone users out of more money.

    It ain’t.

    Blackberry users (like myself), as well as Palm, and even Windows Mobile (although they probably deserve it) have been paying 40-80 extra a month for unlimited data plans for YEARS —ON ALL CARRIERS, NOT JUST AT&T

    The point for those of you upgrading from Motorola Razrs is: this ain’t just a phone, it’s a mobile computing platform, if you want it to do all the nifty things it does, then you have to subscribe to the data plan.

    Duh.

  4. Camperton says:

    @Leigh McMullen

    I could not agree more.

  5. crg says:

    @Leigh,

    The complaint isn’t that the data plan is some newfangled thingy that iPhoners haven’t ever heard of. The complaint is that AT&T has nearly doubled the price of their existing iPhone data plan (while at the same time have eliminated the commission they’ve been sending Apple each month, so it’s not as though they had to raise prices to stay profitable).

    Sure, you get 3G, but only if you live in one of the 25 or so cities where it’s available.

    I have to agree with Erica Sadun. I feel absolutely no need to upgrade to the new 3G model.

  6. kermit says:

    get a life and live in the real world. Who needs all this? Who needs an iphone? Just buy a regular cellphone.

  7. Dev says:

    @kermit-

    the iphone has never been about -need-

  8. Craig Grannell says:

    “Who needs all this?”

    People who run their own businesses, for one. I know a bunch of people who have iPhones largely for email and web, despite being Windows users, simply because, in their words, this is the first time the tech. has worked properly (in terms of UI also, rather than just de-facto access).

  9. kender2008 says:

    Erica’s brilliant, but she can be a whiner at times, too.

    The new AT&T iPhone plans are in fact the same price as for all its smartphones. We v.1 iPhone users got a pretty nice data price for the first year- too bad that’s over, but fact is, the new pricing level is totally mainstream for a 3G smartphone.

    Plus you spend $200 less upfront – considering the time-value-of-money issue, it ends up being a pretty small price increase for 3G. Plus the GPS will rock with new 3rd-party apps.

    The iPhone has been and remains a lightning rod for criticism because of its high profile. The “early adopter tax” is a cliché and a canard in this case. There’s no cooler phone in the world, but you’re not paying extra for it – the 3G iPhone pricing is completely mainstream…

  10. jamie Bishop says:

    I’m not so sure pricing is an issue, I already have an iPhone and pay £35 a month, so on Friday I will upgrade, unlock my old phone sell it and probably end up with money in my pocket.
    No brainer

  11. bender2008 says:

    So you’re censoring basic comments.

    Pretty unimpressive. Cult of Mac continues its slide downhill.

  12. Doug says:

    Kermit/Craig:

    Absolutely true. I’m a professional photographer and own my own business. The iPhone has given me so much more freedom and flexibility when it comes to serving my customers. Visual voicemail, functional email and the Maps features all greatly facilitate my business. The rest of the features (iPod, Web, etc..) are just a very nice bonus as I don’t have to carry around additional units.

    The iPhone scratched a serious itch! As for 3G, I’m skipping that upgrade. Too expensive and not enough new physical features to warrant the extra cost. Just gimme 2.0 on my 1.0 and I’m g.o.o.d.

  13. Craig Grannell says:

    “So you’re censoring basic comments.”

    More like a whole sh*t-load of comments ended up in the moderation queue, and I haven’t had time to deal with them, due to being on deadline today for a major article. Sorry about that.

  14. kermit says:

    Using an iPhone for email and web? What an experience on such a small screen… I think you end up being the slave of technology. At a certain point you need to balance between serving you customers and being hooked up to technology and actually get some jobs done. After all, in Euope it’s extremely expensive to use those web services. Not all customers are worth that.

  15. Andrew DK says:

    “I think you end up being the slave of technology.”

    Uh, then turn off your computer…

  16. phoenix says:

    I really don’t understand all the chatter about pricing over the iPhone 3G. It’s $199, and you need a data plan. How is that different from any other smartphone on the market, especially considering how many are more expensive and others are less? It’s kind of in the middle of a pratty wide price bracket, isn’t it?

    Seems to me the pricing “debate” is much ado about nothing.

  17. Doug says:

    Kermit:

    1st off: I didn’t say I use it for “email and web”….I said I use it for: “Visual voicemail, functional email and the Maps features all greatly facilitate my business. The rest of the features (iPod, Web, etc..) are just a very nice bonus”

    2nd off: How is being able to get back to my clients sooner via email, checking my voicemail quicker and using the maps feature on the go to find clients homes and other locations……being a “slave to tech.”??? If anything, this has given me freedom I didn’t have before. Believe me, I get more work done now than pre-iPhone days.

    3rd off: Don’t flame the iPhone just for the sake of it. You presume to know my work habits and offer me advice on striking a balance when you don’t know the first thing about me or my work. If you comment on a site, be willing to concede a point when you are wrong or new information is offered.

    4th off: get you grammer more gooder before commenting.

  18. kermit says:

    1st off: So what?
    2nd off: One day you will understand.
    3th off: I didn’t presume anything, but now I do… What an attitude, hopefully your clients don’t read your posts.
    4th off: Ik doe tenminste een poging om te converseren in een andere taal dan mijn moedertaal. Mensen met de moedertaal Engels kennen blijkbaar maar één taal en eisen de perfectie van iemand anders. Wat een belachelijke manier door naast de kwestie iemand te antwoorden.

  19. charli says:

    geesh. childish. I wish Craig was deleting posts. starting with the inane digs at each other. when will folks learn that taking potshots at someone else just makes them look as stupid as the person they are trying to make look stupid.

    frankly I don’t get the issue really. if you don’t like ATT, don’t change services. but if you want an iphone, get over the ATT issue. the plans are no worse than any other ATT smartphone plan, you can’t guarantee that T-Mobile etc would have ‘dicked us over’ if they were the ones with the power, and what smartphone wasn’t exclusive for the first few years. heck Sprint just brought out an exclusive smart phone (they are trying to call an ‘iphone killer’) and the sidekick is still t-mobile only.

    so what’s different about the whole iphone gig. or maybe the issue is that cause it is Apple, folks expected them to break the rules and be different and they aren’t, thus the griping.

    whatever.

  20. Craig Grannell says:

    “folks expected them to break the rules and be different and they aren’t, thus the griping”

    Mm. There was a lot of bitching on British forums when the iPhone price was revealed, and I was shocked at it. Unlike Apple’s usual conversion rate, it priced iPhone here at half the dollar value. Sterling’s been between $1.95 and $2.05 for most of the last year, but that’s still a surprising move for a company that usually prices here at around $1.70. In addition, Apple didn’t price plus tax, meaning iPhone is effectively 17.5% cheaper in the UK than in the US (17.5% being the UK’s VAT rate). And yet people still complained.

    I think the problem is what people have already stated: users are upgrading from normal cellphones and simply don’t understand how the market works for smartphones. Instead of making comparisons with Blackberry plans, they’re making comparisons with their free low-end Nokia, and that’s a really dumb thing to do.

  21. Petes2cents says:

    I new that this time around was going to be more of the same. Huge line, no service, no inventory, horrible customer service, etc…AT&T couldn’t get it right the first time, what makes you think they would get it right the second time around ? I think if you never had an iPhone maybe go through the trouble, but if you already have one, why go through the headache for another one. Makes no sense. Apple always launches news products with very low inventory to create excitement and demand. I did it once with the mini me, and never again. I can wait, if I really want an Apple Anything.

    petes2cents.com

  22. jjacobhousen says:

    I love this…Exactly the same thing is going on right now with the iPhone 4S and people are still freaking out. iOS 5, Assistant, and new notifications are great jumps for Apple, but this hardware upgrade is just a mere speed bump to keep people’s attention before a redesign in 2012. If the iPhone 4S is all it’s made up to be, I’m sure my iPhone 4 will run just fine on iOS 5.