Wednesday, June 25, 2008

First Impressions: iPhone 3G Preview-Serious Game-changer...

I think I have finally had a chance to digest all the details from the Apple World Wide Developers Conference that took place in San Francisco a few weeks ago where Steve Jobs showed off the soon to market 3G iPhone, so I thought I would share my insight with you. The new 3G Apple iPhone will be available to purchase in 70 countries.

If you are new to the iPhone, please understand while it is a superb phone, it is really more of a mini laptop that easily fits in any pocket and can go anywhere with you. The iPhone is also the best iPod and with the new version might become the new ideal portable gaming platform.

The new iPhone is roughly the same size as before but the edge curves have been enhanced to make it more ergonomic. Apple will offer the 8GB model for $199 in black only, and the 16GB for $299 in black or white.

Some people say the new iphone is not that much different than the original in look and that is true, but the real game-changer is the opening of the Apple iPhone Application Store which will allow you to run all kinds of cool new application on both the original and 3G iPhone.

I think the upcoming 3G iPhone looks like an absolute winner. In a year the price for a 8GB model has dropped from $599 to $199. Lowering the price to $199 Apple has successfully eliminated all price resistance and that is a very important factor for ubiquitous adoption.

Since the iPhone now operates on the 3G network, the speed increase should be at least twice as fast, if not three times as fast. The Safari web browser will benefit most from this increase. Also Apple added Global Positioning System (GPS) Satellite technology, which means the phone will always know where it is, so if you are using Google Maps, it will navigate you similarly to a car GPS system.

According to Steve Jobs, they significantly improved the sound quality of the external speaker, which was much needed, but they did not update the software to Bluetooth A2DP so that you could listen to music wirelessly, which I think is a huge blunder. I hope they update the Bluetooth software to A2DP soon after launch. I can't stand the cabled headphones, particularly when I am working out–they always get in the way and get tangled when you try to store them.

I think the black back version look much better than the white back, because it makes the phone look smaller and more streamlined and modern. By changing the back from metal to plastic Apple reduced the weight of the iPhone and significantly increased the quality of radio reception.

Apple eliminated the dock as coming standard with the iPhone and significantly reduced the size of the power supply as seen below.

Apple added a live search find feature to the address book, which will make many people happy. My Uncle Chris literally refused to buy an iphone and stuck with his Treo because the first generation iPhone lacked this highly useful feature.

Apple had build in support on the iPhone for Microsoft Exchange Server which will allow enterprise to easily integrate the iPhone into the enterprise environment. The two most significant obstacles Apple has over come with the 3G are making the iPhone affordable at $199 and adding support for Exchange Server.  Doing so is a sea-change game changer.

Apple is replacing their .Mac service with a new service named Mobile Me which the refer to as Microsoft Exchange for the rest of us. Mobile me used the cloud computing paradigm to keep contact and calendar information synchronize between all your computers and your iPhone–very cool and very useful feature. Also, Mobile me offers a new push email client that should be interesting.

Another significant feature missing from the iPhone has been the lack of a to-do list that syncs with your computers. I did not notice this in Mobile me, but I hope they include it.

I believe the most profound innovation of the 3G iPhone is that Apple developers with make the iphone much better through the iPhone Application store. This is were most of the innovation will come from on the iPhone.

There are still some gaping hole features like the lack of cut and paste, and the camera is still only 2 megapixels!?! This in my mind is the biggest blunder of the iPhone 3G. It should be at leas 3.2 Megapixels. I did however notice on photos that are not on this review, that the camera lens appears larger on the 3G, so hopefully it will take better quality photos.

The whole beauty of carrying one device is that it does everything well and I don't want to have to carry a separate camera around with me to get good snapshots. Also, the iPhone lacks video, which also seems like a mistake to me.

I hope that either Apple builds in software for Voice recording or a developer builds it. I would love to be able to take voice notes and dictation with the iPhone.

I think it is pretty much game over for Palm, Motorola and Nokia & Everybody else. As far as I can tell Apple has the competition in Check Mate.

If you want to watch Steve Jobs WWDC Keynote video to see the introduction of the 3G iPhone and learn much more about this fascinating piece of history click here.

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