Due sometime today, the iPhone 3G unlock is compatible with firmware 2.2/baseband 02.28. This contradicts the previous recommendation to iPhone 3G users to NOT update to firmware 2.2, but is a welcome bonus allowing the latest software to be unlocked. The package will be released through Cydia and requires the use of Quickpwn to get the iPhone into a jailbroken state with Cydia installed.
Just to repeat what has been stated many times before, this is free software, so don’t be conned into paying for it on any of the rip-off sites. It’s also beta software, so there may still be bugs. Thanks to the iPhone dev team for their work and continued support of the jailbreak community.
From 16th September you can officially own an iPhone 3G on a pay as you go tariff, but it won’t be cheap. O2 has announced that the 8Gb version will cost £349.99, with the 16Gb at £399.99. That price includes twelve months of ‘unlimited’ browsing and WiFi, with this service costing £10 a month after the first year. Topping up each month will earn you free calls but only to a landline or O2 mobile from a registered postcode’. Sounds a bit restrictive to me.
So how much does this cost compared to a contract iPhone? Here are some numbers based on an 18 month term.
- iPhone 3G 16Gb on £35 a month tariff – total cost over 18 months is £789 with 600 minutes and 500 text messages a month.
- iPhone 3G 16Gb on PAYG adding £10 credit a month – total cost over 18 months is £639.99 with 500 free minutes and 100 texts (£10 at 10p per text) plus £10 a month for browsing and WiFi after first year.
- iPhone 3G 16Gb on PAYG adding £20 credit a month – total cost over 18 months is £819.99 with 1000 minutes and 200 texts (£20 at 10p per text) plus £10 a month for browsing and Wifi after first year.
- iPhone 3G 16Gb on PAYG with no monthly credit – £459 total cost over 18 months for browsing and WiFi (£60 for months 13 to 18) plus whatever calls and texts are required.
These costs are based on the Favourite Place tariffs that an iPhone PAYG sim uses by default. Other tariffs can be selected once a month. So looking at the prices above, who will want a PAYG iPhone? Those looking for mobile web, apps and email will save money over the cheapest contract. Anyone with light call and text requirements could save, but if you use all the tariff minutes and texts on a contract deal the PAYG prices are higher. I’m looking forward to seeing the sales figures for the PAYG iPhone.
Apple has said on its web site that it sold one million 3G iPhones over the launch weekend, a feat that took 74 days with the original iPhone. Given the problems people had actually buying and activating the device I can’t help wondering how much higher the sales figures would be if all the systems had worked as intended. O2 UK is reporting all iPhones are sold out, more stocks will be arriving weekly but are expected to be in short supply for the next few weeks. Not bad for a computer companies second phone.
Once again Steve Jobs has delivered an impressive set of updates and new products that managed to surprise. We already knew the 3G iPhone was 99% certain to be unveiled, but who would have guessed the price would be $199 and $299? I’m hoping that will convert to £129 (more likely £149) and £179 (again, probably £199) for the UK. If the 3G iPhone is hacked to run on any network as quickly as the original there’s no way I will be able to resist for long.
The MobileMe service answers several requirements I have found recently, and synchronising across iPhone, Mac apps and Outlook is genuinely useful for those of us who have to use Windows at work. Once 3rd Party Developers start building on this there’s no telling what will be possible. 20Gb of storage still doesn’t look very generous for $99/£69 a year, but the rest should make up for it. The web apps look useful, but you will be at the mercy of your ISP. The UK boasts some fast services but the reality is that a 20Mbit connection is swamped by more than one task at a time.
Perhaps the most surprising news for me (after the 3G iPhone price) was the cost of the games. $9.99 seems low for something like Super Monkey Ball that costs several time that on other gaming platforms, even portable ones. This could help Apple make the iPhone King of several markets, Pocket Gaming Console, PDA, Smartphone, GPS navigation, Media Player and Social Networking. Is this the device that takes Apple from being a computer manufacturer to a Consumer Electronics giant?
One of the biggest surprises of the WWDC keynote was the price of the 3G iPhone. Starting at $199 for the 8Mb version, with the 16Mb at $299. With the same 3.5 inch screen and a plastic back, new features include GPS and a flush headphone socket. 3G talk time is stated as 5 hours, with 5-6 hours of web browsing, 7 hours of video playback, 24 hours of audio playback and 300 hours standby. The 8Mb version is black, 16Mb is available in black or white. There’s a 3D rotating view here.
The new version will be available from 11th July in 22 countries, increasing to 70 countries over the coming months. From the Apple spec page:
Size and weight
Height: 4.5 inches (115.5 mm)
Width: 2.4 inches (62.1 mm)
- Depth: 0.48 inch (12.3 mm)
- Weight: 4.7 ounces (133 grams)
- 8GB model: Black
- 16GB model: Black or white
- 8GB or 16GB flash drive
Cellular and wireless
- UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
- GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
- Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
- Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
- Assisted GPS
Camera and photos
- 2.0 megapixel camera
- Photo geotagging
CrunchGear has a leaked promotional ad for the second gen iPhone, which i’m guessing is real given how close we are to the launch. Looks good, and the front facing video camera for iChat AV looks very useful. Apple needs lots of easy to use features like this to keep them ahead of Nokia and the like, so this is one device I can’t wait to see. And given the speed of hacking the iPhone so far, as well as Apple’s seemingly indifferent attitude to un-contracted devices, this could be a killer gadget.
UPDATE Looks like this one had been thoroughly discredited at a lot of sites, so we’re back to waiting for the announcement tomorrow.