Ok, so we have the original iPhone, which is now called iPhone 2G (even though there’s no such thing as a 2G network), iPhone 3G, which makes more sense because it actually supports 3G connectivity, iPhone 3GS which is essentially the same as the 3G except the ‘S’ stands for speed, so the phone operates much faster and now we have iPhone 4, which is not called 4G for a reason. Confused yet?
With all this talk about an iPhone for Verizon going around, it’s interesting to note that the iPhone 4 is not called the 4G. Of course all this tells us is that the new phone won’t be 4G, but that’s simply because neither Verizon or AT&T have their 4G networks up and running.
iPhone OS 4/iOS4
As expected with any new iPhone release, us older iPhone users are going to get treated to a brand new operating system that is so lovingly called iOS4. If you’ve ever wondered what the ‘i’ actually stands for in all these Apple products, you might be surprised that it originally meant Internet because it all started out with the iMac after being marketed as the easiest way to get connected to the Internet. Over time, the ‘i’ has come to mean individual, interactive or simply I and is you. Ok, I’m losing my mind now!
Anyway, I bring up this naming convention because I wanted to point out an interesting fact about Cisco Systems. It looks like it happened again–Cisco owns another trademark that Apple wishes to use! It happened before when we all learned that Cisco owned the trademark for the iPhone name and now it appears that Cisco also owns the trademark for iOS as it pertains to its own software. Because of this, Apple has been authorized by Cisco to license the name iOS for its software. This seems like a lot of trouble (and possibly money) for something that doesn’t really need a fancy name.
The software does look fancy though. We can now multi-task our apps, so things like Pandora can keep playing music while we’re browsing the Internet
Steve Jobs opens up a keynote about the new iPhone with “Stop me if you’ve already seen this.” and gets a huge laugh from the crowed while standing in front of a large photo of the new iPhone that was originally leaked by Gizmodo.
After seeing the new phone during the leak and now officially from Apple, I must say that I really want it. Of course, it might just be one of those new gadgets that I think I need, but really doesn’t offer me anything new (at least that I might use) or maybe I just always want to have the newest phone from Apple. Whatever the reason is, this thing is slick.
Engadget has a full spread on the new phone with what appears to be confirmed pricing as well as a launch date. In the past, Apple has generally released a new phone with a new major version of the software, so if that tells us anything, we can expect this device by June 21st. There are also reports of the phone coming out June 24th. If you’re interested in pre-ordering your new device, it appears as though AT&T just added it to their website!
Another interesting note is that AT&T is allowing early upgrades for anyone whose contract expires anytime in 2010. This should help those who bought the 3GS last year. Of course, there seems to be one provision to this deal: an $18 upgrade fee. I don’t mind considering this upgrade fee saves me about $2-300 for not buying the phone at retail. The other downside? You still have to pay the tax on the phone…yes, the tax on the full retail price! By the way, I think that should be against the law! We’re only supposed to pay taxes on products we buy at the prices they sell for. Just because AT&T buys the phone at retail and wants to give upgraders and new customers a discount doesn’t mean they should pass on that cost to us! Ok, I’m done ranting!
New AT&T Information
As we all know, AT&T is no longer offering unlimited data plans for $30 per month. This has upset quite a few people, but now that I looked into it, I don’t really see why. For one, AT&T has stated that only about 2% of their iPhone users are “heavy users”, so unless you’re streaming a live webcam feed to your blog 24/7, you’re probably not one of these people. Secondly, you’d be surprised how often you use the wi-fi connection and didn’t even know it.
You can always go to AT&T to check your data usage. I did on my account and I’m a fairly active user, but my highest month in the last 6 months was only 431 MB. This means that I can squeak by with the 2GB data plan for $25 per month, save a little bit of money and never even hit my cap.
Of course this all changes if I add tethering to my account for an extra $20! Imagine how fast 2 gigs will go when you’re on a laptop! There’s also a 200MB plan that goes for $15 per month.