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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 alxtoth (914920) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @05:37AM (#22358674) Homepage
    You have a choice: you buy a product NOW, or you read the news: oh, there is a quad-GPU graphics card scheduled in 6 months. By the time it's ready, you read again: there is another one with 64 GPU's ready in one year. So, if your choice is to never be happy, don't blame it on tech.
    • by AdamReyher (862525) * <adamNO@SPAMpylonhosting.com> on Saturday February 09, 2008 @05:42AM (#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.
      • As I wrote back just two months ago [isights.org], just 38 states have some form of 3G support, and in most of those access is limited to just a handful of major metropolitan areas (read one or two city centers at most).

        So the real question isn't whether or not a 3G iPhone is coming, but is one coming, and will you be able to use it? If your town or area isn't going to be covered until late '08 or even '09 or '10, then who cares?

        Besides, it isn't even public yet, so if they DO announce it in late February we still have t
    • by eebra82 (907996) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @08:07AM (#22359122) Homepage

      You have a choice: you buy a product NOW, or you read the news: oh, there is a quad-GPU graphics card scheduled in 6 months. By the time it's ready, you read again: there is another one with 64 GPU's ready in one year. So, if your choice is to never be happy, don't blame it on tech.
      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.

      You are obviously correct that hardware is under constant development, but put my point above to consideration and add the really expensive hardware you must plunge out cash for, suddenly some advice does come in handy.
      • by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @09:06AM (#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.
        • a 3G plan can *replace* wired network connections. Speeds of 180kB/s are pretty common,
          Huh? I get 750KBps (that's 6Mbps) sustained and 1500KBps burst over my $50/month cable modem. I can't imagine cutting my speed by a factor of 4 (or more), and paying more, with bandwidth caps on top of all that! No, I'll keep my wired connection, thanks.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Troed (102527)
            ... and in Sweden we have HSPA mobile broadband - that's 7.2/1.4Mbit.

            Oh, yes. The cost.

            $25/month.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Tumbleweed (3706) *
              ... and in Sweden we have HSPA mobile broadband - that's 7.2/1.4Mbit.

              Yeah, but the downsides! You have to live in Sweden, speak Swedish, and deal with all those blondes.

              Okay, so 2 out of 3 aren't bad, but still...
              • by cyborch (524661)
                ... AND live with the horrible fact that TPB is legal... ohh the free stuff and the high speed connections... it must be terrible!
        • by ZorinLynx (31751)
          In my experience, the 3G network where I live (South Florida) is utter shite compared to Sprint and Verizon's EVDO RevA networks.

          EVDO cards almost feel like local Internet connections, and are fast as hell. With my laptop I can fire up Google Earth and use it almost as well as I can on a DSL or cable modem. File transfers are fast, and coverage (in a moving vehicle) is excellent. This is on both Sprint and Verizon, though I go with Sprint because they don't whine about transfer limits.

          Meanwhile, AT&T's
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by GlobalEcho (26240)

          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.

        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          "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. "

          Unless I'm mistaken...they still won't let you tether an iPhone to a laptop as a 'modem'. That's one of the deal breakers for me actually on the iPhone, that and waiting

          • You can now get an iPhone under a business plan - click "Rate plans and activation" on this page [att.com].

            You're right that you still can't use it as a modem though.

        • 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.)

          Over here in Japan, 3G is exorbitantly priced and you pay by the packet for network connectivity. I don't touch the browser button on my phone anymore because the last time I did I payed 2300 yen (about USD 20) to read an MSNBC article. Ability to hook up to a PC, if possible, is completely unadvertised. And I pay about USD 70/mo.

          The only benefit I can find to having a 3G phone in Japan is that it's the only way to get a GSM phone that works in any country (Japan is mostly CDMA). That's exorbitantly

        • by LKM (227954)
          You do realize of course that a good Edge connection is way faster than 180 kbps, don't you?
      • no, it really is no different. This is being sent from an iPhone without 3g because I needed a phone with these kinds of capabilities now. That the phone does exactly what apple said it would makes it a fully mature product (as opposed to, say, releases of Microsoft software that require service packs to get you functionality that was in the betas)

        There are only a few times when it's worth waiting for tech, and that's at the usual consumer release times - back to school, Christmas, macworld, etc. Otherwise
      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @12:30PM (#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 shmlco (594907)
          Same here, but for me it's mostly email, movie showtimes, and the occasional argument-settling Google/Wikipedia search.

          And if I'm going to use Google maps for directions I tend to do the search at home first when I'm still connected to WiFi. I kind of like to know where I'm going BEFORE I leave.
      • by tgibbs (83782)

        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.

        My iPhone seems to be about as fast in browsing the internet as the average laptop of maybe 5 years ago, when we were all rather pleased with our 802.11b wireless access, even if it took complicated web pages a while to load.

        I find that my iPhone is perfectly adequate for most of the web browsing that I do on

      • Edge is faster than people think. My edge connection often reaches 200 kbps, which is actually not noticeably slower than what I used to get using UMTS. Downstream speed is perfectly usable for internet browsing; what I often find is that slow roundtrips is what makes Edge seem a bit poky.
    • A better analogy would be someone who is stuck in the stone age on dialup and wants to have broadband. You aren't seriously suggesting that people buy the iPhone now and then buy another in a few months?
      • by shmlco (594907)
        Sort of makes the false assumption that you need to upgrade on the very day an upgrade becomes available.
    • Yep, iphones will be 4G so don't buy one now, wait till they are even better.
  • by EjectButton (618561) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @05:46AM (#22358710)
    What is with all of these articles (particularly Apple articles) that have absolutely zero substance? I read the summary and the article, this looks more like guerrilla marketing in the form of speculation piled on rumor piled on speculation via anonymous tip. I'm not trying to flame here but sites like Engadget, Gizmodo, and Digg are completely flooded with this crap and it's sad to see it seeping into Slashdot as well.

    It's as though any headline ending in a question mark has a better than 50% chance of being an advertisement or a troll/flamebait piece.
    • by nbert (785663) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @06:13AM (#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 ;)
    • Agreed. Let's analyze this:

      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.

      So Apple hired a production company for some sort of announcement. Naturally that means a 3G iPhone. I don't see the connection other than wishful thinking on some people's part. Apple m

    • by gravis777 (123605)
      Our apple rep told our company to expect this in June. I assumed Apple knew what Apple was doing.
  • We're supposed to trust this entirely unfounded speculation, when they use logic like this?

    "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."

    Why in the world would Apple prepare a high-profile media announcement for an SDK? That's just about the LEAST Apple-ish move anyone familiar with them could imagine! Consumers

    • by jaysones (138378)
      I don't think that was clear. Apple hires these people to shoot their webcasts. They didn't mean it was going to be on TV. Apple does this for almost all of their announcements. But yeah, I think they are going to make a big deal about 3rd party software & the SDK.
  • Apple SHOULD go 3G (Score:3, Informative)

    by snuf23 (182335) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @06:38AM (#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).
    • by anothy (83176) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @10:45AM (#22359756) Homepage

      3G beats the crap out of Edge
      this is totally non-sensical; it's like saying "Hybrids beat the crap out of a Prius". EDGE is 3G. IMT-2000 sets the definition for 3G overall, and the 3GPP and 3GPP2 (stupidest organization name ever) do it for GSM and CDMA technologies respectively. both of those organizations recognize that they're working within the IMT-2000 framework, as defined by the ITU (the telecom standards people).

      the market use of these terms has changed over time. five years ago, nobody questioned that EDGE was 3G. the marketing hype was that once 3G (by which everyone meant EDGE) was ubiquitous, it would change everything. well, we got EDGE, and very little changed. so they kept the same marketing message - once we get 3G, everything will change - and just obliterated and precise meaning of what 3G was.

      EDGE is explicitly a 3G technology. the speeds found in real-world applications are dependent on far more things than the underlying technology used. one can run EDGE slower than RTT (a clearly 2G technology) if you allocate few enough cells, or faster than EVDO if you allocate enough. if what you really mean is that we want HSDPA, please just say that. if what you really mean is that you want >300Kbps, say that.
      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @03:30PM (#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.
        • by anothy (83176)
          i work in the telecom industry, and wikipedia is the first place i've seen 2.75G used. EDGE is most certainly not "generally classified" that way.

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

          my point is that you're exactly wrong. the ITU has explicitly defined what "3G technologies" are, and EDGE makes the list. both the 3GPP and 3GPP2 refer to this definition in their standards. it's true that EDGE is implemented as a "bolt-on" in some us

      • OK. In specific we are discussing speeds on one carriers networks - AT&T. We are discussing which service on said network the iPhone can use. AT&T brands their earlier, slower sped network as EDGE. AT&T refers to their upgrade speed network as 3G. Within the context of discussing this carriers MARKETED SERVICES these terms are what AT&T uses.
        When my phone is connected to the lower speed network it has the letter "E" displayed for "EDGE". When it connects at AT&Ts higher speed it displays
  • by nanoakron (234907) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @08:15AM (#22359146)
    I am a classic Apple fanboi, and a UK resident. Often, I find these two facts in opposition with each other - particularly over the iPhone.

    Apple's continued US-centricity is a ridiculous holdover for such a large company with even larger intentions. Their insistence on selling first to a US market which has always lagged behind the rest of the world in terms of mobile phone infrastructure is a case in point.

    If Apple instead decided to throw their weight behind launching the iPhone that the rest of the world wants, it would force the US phone market to modernise, kicking and screaming on the way.

    We already have data that iPhones exist (illegally and unlocked...) in most countries around the world, even some surprising locations. This shows what a strong global brand and product Apple has sitting ready to be unleashed. But instead, they insist on catering to the often backwards, domestic US market first.

    Even worse, they have then tried to force a US-based model for phone subscription services on the rest of the world, where such practices don't exist.

    I posit that the slow uptake of iPhones in Europe is due to a combination of initial outlay for the phone, high subscription rates not in keeping with the service provided, limited number of networks you can legally sign up to, and ultimately network lock-in. Each of these devices exists in the US. The do not exist in Europe for any phone other than the iPhone, and this is what the market is finding hard to swallow, even though we really love the product.

    So my final message is this - Apple, get your head out of your arse and realise that there is a world outside the USA.
    • by jonwil (467024)
      Forget Britain, France and Germany, how about rolling it out in all the countries that DON'T have iPhones yet.

      Come on apple, there are a lot of people here willing to pay 100s of dollars for an iPhone in countries like Australia (I personally know a few people who would probably at least consider if not purchase one and my circle of friends isn't exactly very big)
    • Well if you blokes would actually buy an Apple product or two, they might have more incentive to sell products there. I really liked the Apple Store in Manchester, and they did a really good job at pointing out the strengths of Mac OS X, but the stores in Leeds and other cities were really lame (and expensive!). As far as I could tell, the three years I lived there (2004-2007), Apple computers were about as popular as NASCAR racing and American Football are in the UK.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GreyWolf3000 (468618)
      At the same time, Apple may become the catalyst for broad 3g adoption in the US, which is good for the whole world, because cell phone companies can then develop the same phones for the North American market as they do for Asia and Europe. Of course, our 'version' of 3g may be so butchered by marketing types that all functionality is reduced to the sharing of digital photos (why is it that marketoids seem to think all we want to do with small devices is share photos?).
    • You can't "force" 3G radios to become smaller, or use less power just because you have purchasing power. That is something thats taken radio manufacturers until now to do. Apple did not go with EDGE because AT&T wasn't ready. It's strictly a technological issue. I have a 3G phone, the radio in it is thicker than the iPhone itself, and suck down juice like a Las Vegas hooker. For an Apple fanboi you certainly don't know the facts. It's certainly better in this instance a cellular engineer made the decisi
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nanoakron (234907)
        You raise an important point but it's not really an issue.

        Broadcom, who manufacture a vast percentage of all the 3G radio chips in use, have forseen this issue and the new chip purported to have been sourced by Apple for the next-gen iPhone can use all international 3G frequencies.

        My original point of a US company trying to force a US subscription model on Europe as their major failing still stands however. It's business arrogance, plain and simple.
      • by G-funk (22712)
        I've got a KRZR, it's miniscule for a 3G phone, and they've been out for about a year now.

        But then again, the iPhone is already a brick, I wouldn't use any other phone that size. But I'm definitely buying an iPhone when they're available in Australia, I've got a Touch and it's basically ruined all crippled mobile browsing. Even on my old n-series nokia which was miles ahead of anything else it's still terrible compared to mobile safari. And I'm never giving up my iTunes iPod synching for ratings, podcasts,
  • Forbesian Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lancejjj (924211) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @09:02AM (#22359288) Homepage
    Here's why Forbes pretends it knows what its talking about:
    • AT&T announced that it will expand its 3G wireless broadband service
    • Broadcom, last year began "cranking out" samples of the BCM21551 3G chipsset
    • Apple "quietly" upgraded the storage on its highest-end iPhone to 16 GB
    • Jobs "complained" about the slow pages of the nytimes.com

    Here are some questions that Forbes should have asked:
    • Is the AT&T's 3G expansion really about the iPhone, or is it about AT&T advertising the fact that it wants high-value data-centric corporate accounts to come on board?
    • Does the Broadcom chipset fit Apple's need? Yes, it is designed to be a low-power 3G chipset. But does it deliver, and is it designed well enough for a product like the iPhone? Is it stable and reliable?
    • Does a memory upgrade of the iPhone merely mean that Apple thinks users will pay for more memory if offered?
    • Was Jobs complaining about EDGE, or about the busy NYTimes page? After all, he was using WIFI, and he wasn't loading the simplified NYTimes mobile page.


    Again, Forbes shows that journalism takes the back seat. There are plenty of great articles that could be written. Instead, we get an article that isn't even worthy of an unpopular rumor blog. Like mine.
  • by HumanEmulator (1062440) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @09:33AM (#22359414)

    This only point of this article seems to be don't buy an iPhone. Even the headline is designed to taunt people that already bought one.

    What evidence does the article provide?

    - AT&T said a new iPhone was coming in 2008. Of course this leaves 10 more months assuming that AT&T even knows what Apple is working on which previous reports have said they don't. http://www.wired.com/gadgets/wireless/magazine/16-02/ff_iphone [wired.com]

    - Apple recently hired a television crew for... something. According to a Mac rumors site.

    - Broadcom has started sampling a new lower power 3G chip. Which is implied to be a panacea, completely ignoring that redesigning the iPhone is more complicated than popping in a new chip -- there are antennas to redesign and software that has to be rewritten just to start -- and the chip isn't even shipping yet.

    - "Apple can't wait much longer." The author uses this argument several times, backing it up with AT&T's plans to roll out 3G to more cities by the end of 2008.

    Hasn't it occurred to anyone that it's going to take 6 months for the FCC to test a new iPhone and no one has turned up anything to show the FCC has even started this yet?

    • by p0tat03 (985078)

      - Apple recently hired a television crew for... something. According to a Mac rumors site.

      Exactly. People seem to be forgetting that Apple has OTHER product lines that it continues to expand. Hiring a television crew could mean ANYTHING.

      I'm willing to bet that the February event won't be a 3G iPhone. It'll be the SDK and maybe a surprise (small MacBook Pro, PLEASE!). The 3G won't come until later this year, when AT&T's coverage is more complete, and the chipsets actually EXIST.

  • iPhones are pretty (Score:4, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @09:33AM (#22359416) Homepage
    But if I can't save or work with attachments from email or even do simple things like copy and paste, it gets pretty worthless.

    If people want a reason to wait, then they should wait for the "business iPhone" that has been predicted by some previous iPhone related article that made its way here some time ago. As a Blackberry user, I have grown accustomed to certain levels of functionality that, if not duplicated, will make iPhone feel broken somehow... and I'm sure one will come out because Blackberry has been working on competition for iPhone and I can't imagine it will take long to release.
    • by Morky (577776)
      I have to wait for the business iPhone, as I need more or less full Exchange support, plus my company pays for my Blackberry and phone service. As soon as they have an exchange solution, I'm jumping ship. You could actually run a remote desktop client from a 3G iPhone and it would be usable. The iPhone could potentially beat the Blackberry as a business device, but they MUST come up with something to compete with BES. Jobs has to get his head around the idea that Apple can compete in the enterprise. They ju
  • It's always the same, wait for the better version etc..

    But the difference here is that you're locking yourself into an 18 month contract typically. The iPhone is a bit behind the times now, in 18 months it will be way behind.

    There are some things you can wait for and others you need. For instance you might decide to wait for a new model of a car, but if you don't have a car then you can't really wait.
  • Stupid Title (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @10:45AM (#22359762)
    FTA: "Sorry, First Adopters--Better iPhone Is On The Way"

    What am I to be sorry about? I've been using a really great phone since August. My option was to not be using a really great phone over the past seven months. Gee, Forbes really nailed this one!

  • if i could pick someones brains.

    if you leave a 3G region will you just switch to a lesser protocol or do you lose connection completely?
    my wife has one of the original iphones(waited for the price to drop) and has really liked it.
    now I'm thinking about getting another for me and i'm wondering if this new one would be useless on long trips or will it just drop down to a slower speed.

    the new chipset sounds like it will extended battery life which is awesome. that was one of my complaints of the current one
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      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 avail

  • 3G != iPhone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fruity_pebbles (568822) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @12:05PM (#22360366)
    In the last year I've owned three cell phones that were all capable of 3G and all worked fine on AT&T's 3G network.

    AT&T currently offers about 18 different phones that are 3G capable. While I'm sure that AT&T is looking forward to a 3G-capable iPhone, I think it's much more likely that their ongoing 3G expansion is more about supporting their current customers and current product lineup than about supporting future products.

  • by Tumbleweed (3706) *
    Go with the HTC Touch on Verizon's very nice network next month (next month according to rumour, anyway). Oh, and spend a lot less on it and not have to worry about whether you're in a '3G roll-out city'. And I'm assuming the battery life will be better, what with not having to power the RDF and all...

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