In the Blog

iPhone hype?

July 9th, 2008     by Mir Verburg     Comments

This being the last Wednesday before the iPhone’s (insanely over-hyped) release in Canada I thought I’d cover the issues that surround the sleek little 3G hockey puck.

First things first - what exactly is 3G and why is it so important? 3G refers to third generation wireless capability. The little cellfriend you have now is probably (unless you bought it somewhere in Asia where 3G enabled phones are the standard) a 2G machine, which is why when you hear ‘internet-enabled’ what you really get is ‘darn slow transfer rates’. 3G phones change all that because as Wikipediastates:

“3G technologies enable network operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved spectral efficiency. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephony, video calls, and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment. Additional features also include HSPA data transmission capabilities able to deliver speeds up to 14.4Mbit/s on the downlink and 5.8Mbit/s on the uplink.”

Wicked cool right? 3G iPhone users will literally have no down time away from the internets. That is, not if they carry their phone with them everywhere they go (and don’t we all?)

Which brings us to the hype issue. Yes it’s 3G, yes, it’s pretty, yes it plays music, surfs the web and takes pictures, yes, yes, yes. Is that really so important? I am not going to go find a blog that asks the same questions as me for the simple fact that such posts are getting thin on the ground, the closer we get to zero-hour.

Heck, even my friend who still uses a reel-to-reel answering machine is considering getting an iPhone, which not only boggles the mind, it could mean a victory of unbelievable proportions for the Apple PR and design teams in charge of the iPhone.

Except for the fact that Rogers, the service provider in charge of bringing telephony to your ibrick (affectionate terms for an unactivated iPhone) are charging such inflated rates for data transfer via the 3G iPhone, it almost cancels out the benefit of having such a robust network behind your device.

Let’s compare a Telus recent smartphone offer launched this summer(not that I am schilling for Telus, I actually kinda hate them too). At Telus you get unlimited data for at most $45/month. That’s right, 45 clams compared to Rogers iPhone plans, which starts at $60/month for a mere 400mb of download.

Basically that’s like owning part of a fat pipe that dribbles Dom Perignon, a bad idea in any situation.

Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair on internet and ecommerce in his post titled: iPhone Arrival Places Spotlight on Canada’s Wireless Crisis, sums up the fact that the dilemma of the iPhone is inevitable, given that we live in telecommunications landscape dominated by a few major players.

Of course there’s been fallout, from a petition online to reluctance from Apple to stock the new phones in their stores.

What’s your take on the new iPhone? Love it leave it, hate it or all three?

This little bit of Indy-style business and tech blogging was brought to you by Will It Blend:


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