Friday, June 27, 2008

iPhone 3G

Finally it's here. At WWDC 2008 Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 3G, which will begin shipping on June 11th to many countries. I'm not going to discuss about the iPhone coz there are lot of blogs about it and I too have published an article about the old iPhone on this blog. So I'll focus on the main differences between the original iPhone and iPhone3G and how will it effect us, Sri Lankan iPhone fans.

Please note that I still haven't used an iPhone3G and these facts are from what I read on the web. I recommend reading my previous post before reading this because that includes much information about the iPhone than this post. If you are in a hurry to buy one, I suggest reading Buying an iPhone3G section at the bottom this article.

Features in addition to the original one (Hardware wise):

iPhone will support 3G + HSDPA. But it doesn't have a front camera, which means No Video Calls. Apple hasn't announced the maximum data rate. But it'll be significantly faster than GPRS.

GPS is included in addition to the cell tower triangulation.

Size and Color
It's a little thinner than the original one. 8GB has a polished black backside which means it'll be more sexier than the orignal one. 16GB also has a white color model.

According to what apple has mentioned, battery will have more power. The original iPhone featured a 5hrs talk time on 2G. The new one offers 10hrs of 2G talk time and 5hrs of 3G talk time. Audio and Video playback times are pretty much the same. 7hrs Video and 24hrs Audio.

Audio quality
Apple has said it has increased audio quality. Just play a 256kbps (or more) mp3 on the iPhone. It's an amazing experience.

Features on regular phones but are missing from the iPhone:
(These are also the features on which my iPhone gets criticized)

Bluetooth support
Most hoped apple would ship bluetooth support with their iPhone OS 2.0. But as it seems that's not the case. The phone will still only be able to connect to bluetooth headphones and car audio systems.

Copy and Paste
Adding a clipboard to the OS wouldn't hurt. Would it? But if Apple doesn't like it, users get nothing too. So far apple has mentioned nothing about this feature. It seems it's missing from this software version too.

SMS Acknowlegements/Reply Notifications
The GSM modem driver in the iPhone doesn't support SMS reply notifications. So if you are a heavy user of it, think twice. 3rd party SMS applications also won't have this feature because they depend on the SDK provided by the OS.

FM Radio
iPhone doesn't have an FM radio. You know what? I don't give a damn. I'm perfectly happy with my iTunes music library and 8 giga bytes to spare.

iPhone OS 2.0

The new OS will also be available to the original iPhone as well as a software update. These are some of the new features that c with the OS.

AppStore provides a store of (official) 3rd party native iPhone applications. This means the iPhone will get various productive applications and games from worldwide developers (but for a price of course). Actually 3rd party apps weren't a new thing for hacked iPhones due to the huge community base around the iPhone. But the AppStore will certainly introduce some quality apps which will be accessible from any iPhone.

But Sri Lanka most probably won't have access to AppStore. Much like you can't buy music from iTunes store from Sri Lanka.

Exchange Server support
This is not so important for regular users. But corporate users can have access to the global address list and email through direct Exchange Server support. Companies can directly connect iPhones to their internal networks. it supports features such as push email, push contacts and remote wipe. Remote wipe is a security feature which allows system administrators to remotely erase down all data on the iPhone protecting company specific data.

Buying an iPhone 3G

Now for the really interesting part. Most ask me how can they buy the new phone. Up to now the news I've heard isn't good. I'll explain how I got my iPhone and the new buying procedure of iPhone 3G.

The Old way
Like the new iPhone, the original one was dedicated for one service provider (AT&T, US). The Phone had online ordering system. You can order it from the internet and it will come to your home (within US). The bundle included an AT&T sim (I still have it). Then you have to "Activate" the phone by buying a monthly plan from AT&T and acquire the phone number all through the internet and iTunes. What my friend at US did was buying the iPhone and sending it to me without "Activating". I received a locked iPhone (with an AT&T sim) which could be easily unlocked from ZiPhone (a nice piece of software). The cost of the phone was $399 + $26 (tax)

The New way
With the new iPhone, they don't offer online ordering. You have to go to an Apple store or an AT&T store and buy the phone there for $199. Yes, the price is significantly reduced. But you also have to buy a monthly plan from AT&T and "Activate" the phone within the store. So the person who'll be buying the phone will receive a monthly phone bill from AT&T.

The only releif with the new iPhone is that, it'll be available in many countries (but not in Sri Lanka). In India, they are offering it with Airtell. Price will be the same. Let's hope Mobitel (not Dialog!) will sign an agreement with Apple and provide iPhones to Sri Lanka.

Initially they will ship it to 24 countries on June 11th. Asia will begin to receive it on a later date.


iPhone home page :
Tech specs :

Updated (02-Apr-2009)

A lot have changed since the original post. Now you can actually buy an iPhone 3G in Sri Lanka. Dialog officially brings it (price is bit high) and there are places which unofficially brings iPhone3G here. Since Dialog is officially in the business, EPSI iStore (Apple authorized dealer) is supplying iPhone accessories too. You can buy applications from the Sri Lankan AppStore in iTunes. Everything works well.


Anonymous said...

it's a shame that we can't buy it from Sri lanka.

how much do you think it will cost if it was here?

Thiwanka Manamendra said...

"Let's hope Mobitel (not Dialog!) will sign an agreement with Apple and provide iPhones to Sri Lanka"

Yeh, I wish it too. You know machan, Dialog 3G like Hell. New Sim.New Number And New Bill with Extra Rent(What the f-- machan)You know most of the time this sim says "No Signal" then machan what the use of that connection. Its only for waste your money with bad and dam service.( I know this much of things because i got one 6 months ago when Dialog 3G came to Sri Lanka, i think you already one extra side effects that i got form this sim. My Complaint with them still pending -4 months old)

But Mobitel 3.5G is Maxxx. I brought Mobitel 512K Data Sim in last month. They give fantastic number for me.Then Fast of internet is max. I'm getting 512Kbps up link and 128k downlink just Rs400/mo with 250MB free data bundle. And Extra 10MB == Rs 10.00 How cheap.

Most important thing is Mobitel Coverage. It working well form Fort - to - Maharagama with out any interruption.(If dialog,it work only in towns)
Then if this area has not 3G facility on this tower it work on EDGE or GPRS. What a fantastic man.
Now im getting 1MB for Rs 1.00 anyplace inside the Sri Lanka. With dialog (GPRS/3G 1MB == Rs 25.00) Remember Not to use Dialog GPRS or 3G. The cost will be same.

And Mobitel 3G is Fast. Really Fast.It speed more than SLT ADSL. I recommend it only.

I'm writing this post form my house , which located very far form colombo. No 3G/No EDGE. But i have now GPRS for same price.And more that fast SLT Dual Up. So its great.
Keep Remember if you buy Apple 3G phone. Get Data Sim form Mobitel. Not form Malaysian Dialog .

poohdedoo said...

everything except bluetooth!!!!! How do u expect to transfer data(music/vedio files) frm one device to another(lets say u lost the cable or u r just in the road doing underworld transaction - u know wht i mean :) )
and another thing dialog has more possibility of signing the agreement they are soooooooooo good at it!!!

Unknown said...

For Tharindu:
If someone brings the iPhone to Sri Lanka officially, the price will be the same. That means equivalent of $199 (8GB).

For Thiwanka:
Yeah, lot of people don't understand how good Mobitel is.

For Amani:
Hmmmmm, I HAVE to agree with you! But as for your question, I DON'T expect to transfer data from my phone to any other and I'll have to eat my hat if Dialog signed it. Anyway, I'll hope for the worst!

girishadurrel said...

Apple iPhone does not have a radio :
Ravin says : man I don’t need a radio as I have 8GB of music.

Apple iPhone does not have the blue tooth facility :
Ravin says : man I don’t need to transfer files using blue tooth

Apple iPhone does not have a front camera to support video calls :
Ravin says : man who needs to take video calls?

Well, I’ve just got one thing to say about your article Mr Ravin. You remind me of a story that I heard when I was small. The story was about a fox that was trying to reach some fruits to eat and ultimately failing to do so, made a comment stating that the fruit was raw.
Finally to tell you the truth I don’t have so much of money to buy a iPhone. But my Nokia N70 has a radio, has blue tooth, supports video calls, and has the cut/copy paste function as well.

Unknown said...

For Girisha:

Well just tell me for how much time do you use your phone except for making calls. How often do you listen to music or radio on your phone? How often do you play games on your phone?
On the iPhone, with it's great interface and quality I use my phone extensively throughout the day (other than making calls).

What I'm saying is I'm USING the great facilities available on the iPhone to the max while U r using YOUR phone for the primary purpose of making calls (1hr/2hr!). So your phone is as good as a normal phone MOST of the time.

For example, the Copy/Paste would be USEFUL if it was available. But I don't mind that because I don't need to copy/paste often. I'm not authoring books on the iPhone. I would use it IF it was available. But for now I'm perfectly happy with great features I already have on my phone.

Another thing is that those advanced features are not even comparable to what u have on your phone. Just to let you know, I can play a 3D shooter game while listening to 192kbps mp3. I can hear both game audio effects and music at the same time (thanks to OpenAL). Those are the things which are impotant to me than FM radios and Video calls.

It's not a matter of what facilities are available on a device. It's how often do u use the facilities which are already available.

බ්ලොග්කාරයා said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Girisha, Why don't you bye Apple iPhone?
Ravin, Why don't you bye Nokia N73 ?
Then both parties will balance.....

Anonymous said...

Dear Warring Parties

I agree with the last comment by anonymous. It is even better if Ravin could get rid of his Apple iPhone and Girisha could get rid of his Nokia N73. Guys, there are more important, wonderful and enjoyable things happening around you. Pay attention to those things or else you will one day regret for falling love with mobile telephone technology. Don't let your youth go waste!



Nishantha said...

Hope DIALOG will provide iphone g3g. Meantime, radio is something I also prefer but definitely apple technology is amazing with respect to the iphone

Anonymous said...

Hi, do you know someplace where I could buy an unlocked iphone 3G in Sri Lanka?

Unknown said...

Sorry, there's nowhere in Sri Lanka you could buy an iPhone 3G. If u have someone in US he can buy an officially unlocked iPhone for over $500. You can get a locked iPhone 3G for $200 from AT&T but you can't unlock it since no iPhone3G unlock is available yet.

Only solution for now is buying an officially unlocked iPhone3G for $500 from US. (but still I'm not sure whether they'll work for service providers in Sri Lanka)

For latest iPhone unlocking information, visit:
iPhoneDevTeam Blog

Mario said...

Nope, iPhone is just not worth it. If You wanna play games buy a gameboy :)
I'm on a Mac, simply love my Macbook Pro and I have no trouble accessing the App store. Just select the Sri Lankan store at the bottom of the iTunes Store and you are good to go, but you are out of luck if you want music.
I find it really silly that all these Engineers get together and try to jam everything under the sun into one device. I never use the camera on my mobile, instead I take my digital camera since the quality is way better. I have my mp3 player if I wanna listen to music. Jamming everything together is an utter waste of resources since the quality you get is not all that good. It's always missing something.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the interest, but as you can see it has been some time for this post now. So we ARE using the AppStore here without any problems. I have to disagree with you since having a separate device for each and every task is not easy to live with.
When technology evolves we tend to carry only one device for every task. That's what computers have become. Engineers should cramp things in, if the technology allows them to do so. For the average user, having normal quality facilities is enough for casual use.

For others, now there are places you can buy iPhone3G in Sri Lanka. Price is arround Rs.60K upwards.

ashan said...

nokia N97 is so gonna blow all the ipoo users away. but the problem with nokia is they release new devices almost monthly so the value of the phone drops. anyway even HTC is waaaaaay better than ipoo. i dont have any of these. but ive been reading phone reviews and specs and viewing videos like everyday for almost and year now. i phone is for americans. since their networks are supposedly weirder than other networks. i dont think ppl in usa care about fm, vid calls or bluetooth

Unknown said...

I agree with u. Feature wise Nokia and many other phones are better than iPhone. It just recently got copy/paste and MMS and video recording where any basic phone hv them. But if u take the QUALITY of the available features no other phone can match the feature quality of the iPhone. The biggest example is applications/games/music/films and the UI itself. I kind of use my iPhone as an entertainment box and I know I can't get that experience from any other.

But if u need a phone with many features (FM/vid calls/bluetooth) iPhone is definitely not for u. In that sense, it's a dumb-phone rather than a smart phone!