Wednesday, July 9, 2008

3G Apple iPhone Available For Sale On Friday

For those of you who care, and I am certainly one of them, Apple's new 3G iPhone will go on sale this Friday at Apple retail stores. How will the process work? According to Bloomberg News, Apple:

... will start selling its new iPhone at 8 a.m. nationwide on July 11 and plans to activate U.S. customer accounts with AT&T Inc. within 15 minutes.

``Our expectation is that in 10 to 15 minutes, you'll be set up and ready to go,'' Ron Johnson, Apple's retail chief, said today in an interview. Apple's more than 185 retail stores in the U.S. each aim to handle about 100 customers an hour, he said.

Here's WSJ's Walt Mossberg bottom line review:
If you've been waiting to buy an iPhone until it dropped in price, or ran on faster cell networks, you might want to take the plunge, if you can live with the higher service costs and the weaker battery life. The same goes for those with existing iPhones who love the device but crave faster cellular data speeds. But if you already own an iPhone, and can usually use Wi-Fi for data, you probably should hold off and get the free software upgrade before deciding whether it's worth getting the new hardware.
And a 38 minute Apple 3G iPhone guided video tour on You Tube. Also, NY Times Bits review of the iPhone reviews.

My primary concern with the iPhone has been the perceived inferior area coverage of the AT&T service and this from Mossberg's review does not help:
But I still found that calls regularly broke up on some major streets. In New York City, riding in a taxi along the Hudson, one important call was dropped three times on the new iPhone. Finally, I borrowed a cheap Verizon phone and got perfect reception.
But I am looking forward to many new innovative and useful third party applications.
If things go as Apple hopes, third-party software could be the biggest attraction to the new iPhone 3G, and to upgraded older iPhones. By some estimates, there will be hundreds of these programs, some free and some paid, almost immediately.
My bottom line on the iPhone. I am going to wait at least until next month when my current Verizon Wireless cell plan expires. By that time I hope most of the kinks are worked out of the iPhone and 3rd party applications. Then I will buy it.

UPDATE: 7/10 - AT&T is getting ready for the big Apple iPhone 3G day. According to Forbes:
Since many customers are likely to be first-time AT&T subscribers or new to the iPhone, AT&T is trying to educate consumers ahead of the launch. It has posted answers to frequently asked questions, such as whether the phone can be used internationally. It also produced three how-to videos that describe, for instance, how customers who already own iPhones can give their old phones to friends and family if they buy a new one
UPDATE - 4/23/09 - I have had my IPhone since last September and am very pleased with it. Also, the AT&T service has improved greatly over the last few months so that it works just fine on Roosevelt Island and the rest of New York City in my experience.