iPhone 3G: Apple Still Doesn’t Get The Whole Battery Thing…

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Walt Mossberg, perhaps the most highly respected technology writer, has written his review of the iPhone 3G, here are some excerpts:

“…There are two big hidden costs to the new iPhone’s faster speed and lower price tag. First, in my tests, the iPhone 3G’s battery was drained much more quickly in a typical day of use than the battery on the original iPhone, due to the higher power demands of 3G networks. This is an especially significant problem because, unlike most other smart phones, the iPhone has a sealed battery that can’t be replaced with a spare.

Second, Apple’s exclusive carrier in the U.S., AT&T Inc. (T), has effectively negated the iPhone’s up-front price cut by jacking up its monthly fee for unlimited data use by $10. Over the course of the two-year contract you must sign to get the lower hardware prices, that adds $240, overwhelming the $200 savings on the phone itself. If you want text messaging, the cost rises further. With the first iPhone, 200 text messages a month came free. Now, 200 messages will cost $5 a month, or another $120 over the two-year contract…

…In daily use, I found the battery indicator on the new 3G model slipping below 20% by early afternoon or midafternoon on some days, and it entirely ran out of juice on one day. I overcame this problem by learning to use Wi-Fi instead of 3G whenever possible, turning down the screen brightness and even turning off 3G altogether, which the phone permits.

The iPhone 3G’s battery life is comparable to, or better than, that of some other 3G competitors. But they have replaceable batteries. The iPhone doesn’t…

Bottom line: 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.”

Great, another Apple product with lackluster battery life and no replaceable battery.   But don’t worry, if you just turn off the 3G you’ll be fine…

Excuse me?

The only important difference between the iPhone and iPhone 3G is just that, the 3G! (Well, and the higher rates)

I would’ve picked up the incredible Macbook Air in an instant if just it had a removable battery.  But who would buy such an expensive product meant for traveling without the ability to carry a spare battery?  Surely a company like Apple can come up with a way to fashionably design a product with a removable battery?

Regardless with the cheapest ATT iPhone 3G plan (just 450 minutes) with unlimited texting starting at a whopping $90+tax, I’d be caught in a Yankees jersey before being seen with an iPhone 3G…

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11 Comments On "iPhone 3G: Apple Still Doesn’t Get The Whole Battery Thing…"

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justshmooze.com

well, first things first: GO YANKS!
after that, go down to http://www.sprint.com/sero
put in your zip code, and the email address savings@sprintemi.com

pick your plan.
get free data
free txting
free roaming
free caller id
nights at 7 (or 6, sometimes)
all for less then *anywhere* else.

enjoy!

rover771

sprint sero has texting?

Daniel

On the SERO site it says Unlimited text messaging included with all plans through 7/13/08- does that mean in a few days the offer will no longer be available with free texting?

Sternlight

Mossberg misses a class of user who are mostly near wifi but can’t deal with glacially slow edge when out and about. Such users can turn on 3g when out and end up with even longer battery life than the original iPhone over a day.

Mordy

Sternlight, that’s not saying much. The original iPhone’s battery life alone would be reason enough to avoid it.
I have a 3G PDA with push email enabled, and a full day of use for work leaves me with roughly 50% battery when I go to sleep.

Just reiterates the point that these devices are more fashion than function. That’s cool to some people, and Apple has managed to cook up a great strategy to make those people part with their money on an annual basis. Yes, I’m starting to suspect Apple is releasing requested features one-at-a-time on purpose to make you upgrade every year.

There is a list of complaints that people had with the original iPhone, and they usually had 3G at the top of that list.
More on that here:
http://mobile-enthusiast.blogspot.com/2008/07/well-ive-successfully-avoided-subject.html

So they fixed 3G, but that’s it? What about the rest of the stuff people are complaining about (lack of video recording, no mms, no stereo bluetooth, no expandable storage… things that even “free” phones nowadays have).

Watch, I’ll bet next year Jobs will announce an iPhone with expandable storage, and then after that an iPhone with a removable battery, and after that, maybe one with a keyboard… And people will keep coming back to buy them!

BTW- Sero plans are changing! Its all over the blogosphere, google SERO changes to read more about it… apprently, as of now there are no more $30 all you can eat data, but only $59 “everything plan” that throws in BB server, GPS nav, and unlimited Sprint TV as well as all the previously mentioned stuff. You can’t get just the $30 or $49 plan with voice + data anymore.

The website will still let you do it until the 13 or 14 of this month. Get SERO now, people!!!
Dan, might want to post about this!

justshmooze.com

sprint sero has been saying that they are going to cancel free texting since forever

Its still free, though

macdan

Dan, I don’t have an iPhone cause ATT sucks a lot. I will never support them. Once the iPhone is made for Verizon I *might* consider getting one. The battery issue is a big one, which is why I carry around that extra power adaptor you once blogged about. it works!

Mordy

Justshmooze, its not the free texting I’m talking about.

The PLANS are different, and its going to be bad…
Luckily whoever is in is grandfathered…

Dan- check this
http://wmexperts.com/articles/rumors/sprint_sero_plans_not_changing.html

Bz

A solution to the removable battery issue: http://www.mophie.com/pages/iphone-details

But no solution to the AT&T issue….

but if you’re gonna be in israel, cellcom will give you 2.8 down 1.4 up 3g unlimited for 129 NIS a month

OBT

The iPhone 3G also has built in GPS, so there is another difference. The design of the case feels better in the hand too.

Mordy

OBT, that’s because the device is bigger.
GPS is fun and gimmicky, but I don’t think that alone is reason enough to wait in line and drop money on a new device.

The real new feature that I would think is worth upgrading for is the 3rd party app support that comes with firmware 2.0- finally the iPhone is a smartphone as opposed to a toy!

However, the 2.0 firmware is an update for the original iPhone as well, and since AT&T only has 3G coverage for 10% of their network (I tested the iPhone 3G yesterday only 20 minutes north of NYC, and it went back to Edge!), the original iPhone will give most people the exact same experience. Same processor, same OS, same speeds most of the time…
Would you go through all that trouble for the gimmick of GPS? I guess some people would…

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