I’ve always admired the iPhone purely because of it’s sleek looks and elegant design, but it was encumbered by an excessive price tag, a lack of 3G (which for the price was scandalous), and a ridiculous telco tie-in that meant you could only (officially) use it on O2 here in the UK, which made it even more useless to me since O2 do not operate where I live.
However, the new 3G instalment which made its widely anticipated appearance at WWDC 08 is looking much more interesting. Obviously there’s the 3G support, which really should be a given in a modern high-end phone, although I can understand that since the US cell phone networks have been very slow to deploy it, it might not seem as important across the pond. GPS is in too, which is good, and Exchange support is probably for those who are wedded to it. But more importantly, they’re slashing the price; it’s half what it was last time ($199 for the 8GB model). Even better, Jobs is claiming that people are not going to pay an inflated price outside the US - they’ve promised that you won’t pay more than the converted price. Of course, given the fluctuations in the dollar rate, I’m not sure what rate they’re going to pick, but it would be a refreshing change not to get ripped off so badly here in Europe if they deliver on it.
The final issue is whether they’re going to lock the phone to a provider again, something I considered to be manifestly stupid from an adoption point of view. In the US they’re still doing this, via AT&T again for a pretty inflated monthly price which I guess is the point of them doing it. If they repeat this in the UK with O2 they’ll once again make it pointless me getting one. Sure I could try to bypass the locks, but the potential for my device to be bricked by a future update isn’t exactly enticing.
So if they lock to O2 again it will be a shame, because otherwise the new iPhone would be a likely purchase for me. It’s a great device, and if I have an excuse to have one I’d love to get Ogre running on it - the SEGA Super Monkey Ball demo in the video was certainly pretty cool 😀