iPhone faithful get a new OS and a new iPhone


Iphone-3g-s Today, as expected, Apple announced a slew of improvements to existing iPhones with the third major release of the iPhone operating system, a new iPhone: the 3GS, and a new entry-level price for the iPhone 3G 8GB.

Though the announcements were all welcome tidings, Apple hasn't delivered any knock-out punches today.

Here's the low-down on what Phil Schiller and the rest of the Cupertino gang had to say:

iPhone OS 3.0

  • Faster, multi-threaded performance
  • Copy & paste available universally between apps
  • MMS capability on carriers that support it
  • Universal search through almost all data on the phone
  • Movie purchase or rent, TV show purchase, audio books and iTunes U courses on the phone
  • Parental controls on TV/Movie content, website access, and app control by age group
  • Tethering: your iPhone can now connect your PC or Mac to the internet via USB or Bluetooth
  • Landscape typing in email, text messages, browser
  • Safari processes JavaScript 3x faster, support for HTML 5, HTTP streaming. Still no Flash.
  • Find my iPhone: a new app that lets you locate a lost iPhone via MobileMe, and even wipe the data remotely if it looks like it has fallen into the wrong hands

iPhone 3Gs

  • Faster processor: 2x faster than the 3G, with double the RAM
  • Support for HSDPA, the latest and greatest 3G platform which every major Canadian carrier should have by next year.
  • Stills and Video: Now users can select between two different modes when using the built-in camera. The video is captured at 30fps at VGA resolution, with the ability to edit the clips on the phone. The still camera now lets you tap on the screen to select which area of the image you want in focus if you're not happy with the auto-focus selection. It can also handle macro-focus as close as 10 cm from the lens. Oh, still resolution is now at 3 megapixels.
  • Voice Control: speak into the phone to dial contacts, activate iPod playlists or certain artists, or to have the phone speak back the track information for the song that is currently playing. Just like the new iPod Shuffle.
  • Compass: The 3Gs comes with an on-board compass that will show you your orientation, and allow apps like Google Maps re-orient their map displays according to the way you are facing.

Cheaper iPhone

The original iPhone 3G with 8GB of storage now sells for $99 USD on a contract with AT&T. No word yet on what Canadian pricing will be, but I would imagine it will be in the $120-130 range.

Update June 11, 2009: Canadian pricing has just been announced: The phones will retail at Rogers & Fido for the same dollar value in $CDN as the U.S. pricing. Rogers will continue locking in new customers to 3-year contracts, which is 1 year longer than with AT&T.

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10 comments

  1. Mike

    So here we are, less than a year after the iPhone is finally released in Canada, and already we are looking at a new, better handset. This is all great and everything, the new features look really slick, but in the end, they're not much good to those of us who signed three year contracts with Rogers. By the time our contracts expire, how many generations of handsets will we be behind? Will further generations the OS will still be compatible with the original iPhone 3G? Yes, I know that the new 3.0 OS is compatible, but how long will that last?

    I hope Rogers is paying attention and will make some changes. If the rest of the world can work off a two year contract, why can't we?

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  2. Shawn

    Mike makes an excellent point, most countries don't even use 3-year contracts anymore, it's usually 1 or 2 year contracts, and you can usually get the same services on prepaid plans. It's just another example that the Canadian phone companies (Rogers, Telus, Bell) just don't get it. I've traveled for years around the world and it's just frustrating to see how far behind Canada is with its cellular system. Phones are updated so quickly nowadays the Canadian phone companies really need to change their way of thinking or lose out on a lot of potential revenue.

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  3. Matt

    Boohoo. Why did you sign the contract in the first place? You just played right into Roger's hands with the rest of the rubes desperate for the latest and greatest. As long as all the idiots keep signing their lives away, why should Roger's ever care about what the rest of the world does? Here's an idea: stop buying into the Canadian telecommunications monopoly game so that the industry *has* to change. Otherwise, sign the contract and accept the fact that you're about to get worked over.

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  4. Jesse

    Touche' Matt. However, there has to be some point where they (Providers) gotta start actually caring more in depth about their clients and not just their stock levels and wealth as a company. Thus the 2 year contract was born! Canada is behind….but give it a year or 2 and it'll happen.

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  5. KanareK

    Dear Mr. Cohen
    A little jaded today are we?
    Which phone even comes close as far as design,innovation, and originality? It seems if there are any contenders they are playing catch-up, or just reinventing the iPhone's wheels!

    peace for '09 and beyond

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  6. Simon Cohen

    @ KanareK: I guess I am little jaded :) But if that's the case, I blame Apple! Their iPhone is such a solid product, that most of these 'enhancements' are, for most people, items that should have accompanied the first two releases. Believe me, I'm not knocking the new (or the old) iPhone, but this announcement was clearly missing Steve Jobs' famous "one more thing" razzle-dazzle.

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  7. kitned

    Clinton once said: – Canada, a Third World country. One of his rare true statements.
    Now, consider the following list of countries and their internet speed (min, max, median, average). We can see that Canada (immigrants call it Kenjada, which means Ka-ka-nada, something of ka-ka value) is BEHIND Zair:

    1 Korea, Republic of 427 96,417kbps 270kbps 9,568kbps 19,619kbps
    2 Estonia 444 99,166kbps 151kbps 6,093kbps 15,768kbps
    3 Sweden 2,075 96,883kbps 11kbps 9,401kbps 13,722kbps
    4 Finland 802 99,838kbps 59kbps 7,032kbps 10,037kbps
    5 Latvia 281 62,932kbps 179kbps 6,108kbps 9,361kbps
    6 Iceland 20 27,321kbps 471kbps 7,563kbps 8,881kbps
    7 Slovakia 230 55,465kbps 69kbps 5,147kbps 8,827kbps
    8 Netherlands 1,556 99,166kbps 35kbps 5,860kbps 8,366kbps
    9 Hong Kong 2,191 97,848kbps 32kbps 5,132kbps 8,348kbps
    10 Denmark 470 78,749kbps 273kbps 8,100kbps 8,240kbps
    11 Romania 1,184 94,398kbps 43kbps 5,592kbps 8,076kbps
    12 Slovenia 137 62,798kbps 484kbps 8,194kbps 7,900kbps
    13 Portugal 2,196 98,833kbps 10kbps 6,612kbps 7,638kbps
    14 Germany 2,679 95,199kbps 14kbps 5,412kbps 7,417kbps
    15 Greece 1,885 89,794kbps 24kbps 6,742kbps 7,226kbps
    16 Bulgaria 606 43,697kbps 126kbps 6,031kbps 6,939kbps
    17 Belgium 585 75,519kbps 40kbps 5,816kbps 6,835kbps
    18 Norway 435 75,325kbps 82kbps 5,178kbps 6,472kbps
    19 Austria 304 99,166kbps 42kbps 5,612kbps 5,971kbps
    20 Zaire 14 11,909kbps 519kbps 4,857kbps 5,661kbps
    21 Czech Republic 851 96,664kbps 52kbps 4,896kbps 5,544kbps
    22 Russian Federation 184,195 99,997kbps 1kbps 4,316kbps 5,518kbps
    23 Macau 123 9,034kbps 261kbps 5,730kbps 5,481kbps
    24 Switzerland 465 96,664kbps 39kbps 4,631kbps 5,263kbps
    25 Canada 4,381 89,521kbps 24kbps 4,700kbps 5,112kbps
    26 United States 16,337 98,503kbps 15kbps 3,839kbps 5,001kbps

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  8. feshelu

    sorry all iphone fans but apple is still playing catch-up to the market leader NOKIA!
    and for those who sign contracts, suck it up; in this day and age when you can buy the best devices (sorry, that isn't the iphone either) from the internet unlocked why would you sign up to get a phone at "$0" when you can buy a cutting edge, unlocked phone AND still get the so called chip (it's called a SIM card too) from the phone company? Canada's behind, the US is behind when it comes to mobile phones, take a trip to the UK and see how these things are done!

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  9. stepseven

    The reason cell phone providers want you to take a 3 year agreement is to make sure that you pay back the phone (the unsubsidized price) and then generate revenue. An average cell phone user will generate revenue only after 18 months. Rogers has a COA(cost of acquisition)of about 504$(q1 2009) if you add the commission of the sales person, the marketing cost the price rebate of the unit and such.

    So if you have the 400$ plus to drop for a phone stay without a contract and wait till the CDMA crew catches up in 2010 so you can swap companies.

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