so apple announced the new iphone. wohoo. they also lowered the price on the current model by $100.
as a number of people know, I’m awaiting with trepidation the arrival of a natively, legitimately unlocked iphone 3g from Russia. This phone was bought for 21k rubles about a month ago, which came to about $625. at the time, this was the cheapest unlocked phone you could get anywhere on the planet – apple sold the phone themselves for $700+ in hong kong, and european prices, after currency conversion, approached $800, which was absolutely ridiculous.
what’s interesting to me is to watch what will happen now. apple’s new price for the phone in HK is ~$550 (of course, I have no method of either buying it there, or getting it shipped back to the US, so that’s a bit of a moot point). none of the Russian carriers have updated their sites with any of the new info; the prices remain unchanged from this past winter. there is no mention of 3GS pricing or availability either.
i’m curious to see how this plays out. i have very minimal regrets about getting the phone before the announcement – exchange rates have since become much less favorable to the transaction, and the 3GS doesn’t seem like a very significant upgrade and won’t be available in Russia until August anyway.
it will be interesting to see how long it will take for people to figure out how to turn on Voice Control and Video on 3G devices, as I see absolutely no hardware limitations on this, especially on the voice component.
finally, i really wish people would stop talking about ditching ATT and going to verizon when the “4G” phone comes out. People are basing this on two things – strong internal wishes, as well as some
” that when an iPhone with LTE comes out, Verizon will offer it. But then something interesting came up – Verizon claimed it could offer the Palm Pre in 6 months, and Sprint had to come out and deny this
to prevent people from waiting. You know what this smells like? Sort of like that whole foods CEO talking shit about wild oats. Seems to me like Verizon is afraid of people leaving it to go to Sprint and ATT, so they are tempting them with “oh, just wait a little, and you can get these phones soon too!” Yeah, I don’t think so. The fact that the iPhone is a single, world-wide device with one OS simplifies things a lot for Apple. And it doesn’t seem like they are hurting for more customers – if that was the case, the phone would be available on TMo by now. For whatever reason, Apple has shown that they will do non-exclusive contracts only in places where they are required to do so by law. The US isn’t one of those places, so keep dreaming folks...
edit: one thing I realized just now: the iPhone is advertised as having UMTS/HSDPA. note the “D” in that acronym – it stands for downlink. this is interesting because it means that upload speeds on the device are only at UMTS levels, which is 384 kbit/s max. That’s pretty slow for uploading that great video you just made, and only a tad above type 1 EDGE speeds (236 kbit/s) (and actually *slower* than type 2 EDGE, at 474 kbit/s). I find this odd – you would have thought that with the iPhone 3G Speed
they would have gone ahead and supported both HSDPA and HSUPA @ the 7.2 mbit/s rate. oh well.