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3G iPhone on the Way? 191

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the still-waiting dept.
mooseman93 wrote to point out Forbes is suggesting that if you haven't purchased an iPhone yet, you may want to wait just a little bit longer. Supposedly the next generation of iPhone will offer some substantial upgrades, including 3G capabilities. "To be sure, a 3G iPhone likely won't pop up over the next several weeks. The Unofficial Apple Weblog reported this week that Apple is hiring a television production firm in preparation for a high-profile late February announcement. That event, however, will likely detail the widely anticipated release of a software developer's kit for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch. But the wait can't drag on much longer. AT&T is building out its high-speed wireless network as quickly as it can, announcing Wednesday that it will expand its 3G wireless broadband service to more than 80 additional cities by the end of the year for a total of roughly 350 markets."
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3G iPhone on the Way?

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  • by AdamReyher (862525) * <adam@nOSPAm.pylonhosting.com> on Saturday February 09, 2008 @04:42AM (#22358692) Homepage
    There's a lot larger of a difference between a 3G iPhone and one that isn't than, say, between an 8800GT or 8800GTS. If this is, indeed, coming out, it would definitely be a good idea to hold off for a bit.
  • by nbert (785663) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @05:13AM (#22358804) Homepage Journal
    The question mark isn't even necessary: AT&T's CEO said in November that a 3G iPhone is coming in 2008. [engadget.com]

    Makes me wish for a job at Forbes though - I could predict such great things like Vista SP1 coming in march ;)
  • Apple SHOULD go 3G (Score:3, Informative)

    by snuf23 (182335) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @05:38AM (#22358864)
    Whatever the validity, Apple should release a 3G iPhone soon. AT&T's 3G network works great. I get 700kbps on a Samsung Blackjack. It would be nice to have a phone with a decent browser to use on the network. 3G beats the crap out of Edge and there is no cost difference in the data plan (at least for a black jack).
  • Re:iPhone in Japan (Score:2, Informative)

    by imasu (1008081) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @07:00AM (#22359098)

    Check out softbank and docomo's web pages. My "free" handset from Softbank has a 320x240 display, two 2-megapixel cameras, bluetooth (duh), and is of course 3G with a nice high speed data connection. The current gen of phones, before you even have to pay extra, have "PC-style" (stupid marketing term) image capable web browsers, QC-code readers, kanji dictionaries, and do on. Then come the phones you pay extra for, which get super awesome pretty fast. [nttdocomo.com] (Link is for a phone series with a TV tuner, DVR, 3" 16x9 VGA+ display, GPS (and sweet-ass moving map app), 4Mbit data rate, etc).

    Docomo is offering FOMA, a 4-7Mbit data service, which pretty much renders wireless hotspots superfluous, since you can buy PC-card FOMA modems that work with your docomo data plan at lots of places, even convenience stores I think.

    That said, Apple is missing out on a major market here; the iPhone would sell like crazy.

  • by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @08:06AM (#22359310) Homepage
    You're missing the point. iPhone over EDGE is a premature product, because the phone is meant to serve as both mobile phone and internet browser. You won't get that benefit before you reach 3G speeds.

    Over here in the UK, where 3G coverage is really very good, a 3G plan can *replace* wired network connections. Speeds of 180kB/s are pretty common, and the bandwidth limits are pretty high too. (Enough for me, and I'm connected for about 14 hours a day.)

    This just isn't the case with EDGE, so you end up having to pay for both a mobile plan and DSL/Cable/whatever which makes it much more costly. Being able to tether a handset to your laptop wherever you go, avoid high wifi charges*, and probably get a speed jump over your existing 1mbit DSL for the same price makes 3G really attractive.

    *In the UK even hotels charge for WiFi.
  • by xaxa (988988) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @08:42AM (#22359454)
    There are some coverage maps here [coveragemaps.com]. The world map has a big yellow 3G blob over Europe, but not the USA. The detailed European map shows almost universal GSM coverage (even in middle-of-nowhere places) and 3G isn't limited to cities. (The detailed USA map is a couple of years old, so it's difficult to compare directly.)
  • by anothy (83176) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @09:56AM (#22359838) Homepage
    in large part that's because the term "3G" has been diluted in common use. the US has nearly-ubiquitous EVDO and EDGE coverage; both of these are 3G technologies as defined by the ITU in IMT-2000. both the 3GPP and 3GPP2 recognize IMT-2000 as the definition of 3G that they're working in. five years ago, nobody questioned that EDGE was 3G; now, the marketing focus on how ubiquitous 3G would change everything has just stuck around (since very little changed with 3G's arrival), pushing 3G perpetually into the future.

    what people seem to mean when they talking about 3G's "pending" arrival is that data rates will increase. this has nothing to do with the underlying technology, really; with EDGE, for example, it's simply a matter of how many channels the operators would like to dedicate to data traffic.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @11:30AM (#22360570)
    You're missing the point. iPhone over EDGE is a premature product, because the phone is meant to serve as both mobile phone and internet browser. You won't get that benefit before you reach 3G speeds.

    That's odd, because I seem to be using maps, browsing the web, and checking in for flights online just fine today and I have been ever since I bought the phone at launch. Both over WiFi and Edge. A few million other people seem to agree with this assessment.

    Yes 3G will make some of those things faster, but Google Maps is already plenty good as it is on Edge. Hardly missing any kind of benefit thanks.

    Will I upgrade to the 3G phone when it comes out? Probably not, I'll wait a year or two for further improvements. 3G is not as required as some would like to believe, even if you buy the device for constant network connectivity.

  • by GlobalEcho (26240) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @12:08PM (#22360956)

    In the UK even hotels charge for WiFi
    Here in the USA, with our refined senses for extracting money from customers, only the good hotels charge for internet access. Go to a Quality Inn, or whatever, and it's usually free, but at the New York Palace, paying $700/night, it'll cost you an extra $20.

    That's annoying when your employer is eating the $700 on a last-minute trip, and you're in a fine hotel feeling rich, and you don't feel like trying to justify the extra $20 on your expense report.
  • Re:3G +/- (Score:3, Informative)

    by Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @01:20PM (#22361512)

    Well, if your phone and networks support it, the transition goes from 3G to EDGE to GPRS, and of course other ways round, from GPRS to EDGE to 3G. In Finland we have 3G networks in all towns and urban areas, and when leaving to more rural areas you get EDGE and when being in the middle of nowhere you get GPRS. To a user the switch from network to network is seamless. Of course in some countries, as it seems in USA and UK, it's either 3G or EDGE and there are no previous generation techniques like GPRS available. So it's more about have the operators invested to networks and thus can provide ubiquitous cover.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @02:30PM (#22362098) Journal

    five years ago, nobody questioned that EDGE was 3G.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_Data_Rates_for_GSM_Evolution#Technology [wikipedia.org]

    "EDGE/EGPRS is implemented as a bolt-on enhancement for 2G and 2.5G GSM and GPRS networks, making it easier for existing GSM carriers to upgrade to it."

    EDGE is explicitly a 3G technology.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_Data_Rates_for_GSM_Evolution#Classification [wikipedia.org]

    "Whether EDGE is 2G or 3G depends on implementation. While Class 3 and below EDGE devices clearly are not 3G, class 4 and above devices perform at a higher bandwidth than other technologies conventionally considered as 2G as 1xRTT). Because of the variability, EDGE is generally classified as 2.75G network technology."

    While EDGE qualifies as 3G because it can reach a set minimum speed, AFAIK EDGE is based on 2G technology, not 3G.

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