Apple and AT&T have finally been letting those of us in the US in on their iPhone 3G launch plans. As it turns out, unlike last year’s 6:00 PM iPhone launch, the iPhone 3G is going to be available bright and early at 8:00 AM. AT&T confirmed that their stores will be opening at 8:00 sharp to start selling the new iPhone - and it makes sense. Since people need to sign up for lines of service, things may go a bit slower this time around. Oh, also, an 8 AM launch doesn’t mean there will be any less of a line. That line will just grow huge overnight instead of during the afternoon. Break out the sleeping bags!
Hit the link below for the full release from AT&T.
Read More | iPhone 3G launch info press release
It seems that there is a bunch of confusion surrounding the price of the newly announced iPhone 3G. I spent a while on the phone the other day chatting with my pal Chris Aarons over at Buzz Corps, and we debated how pricing would work. At the end of the conversation, I realized how silly it was that, despite a price being announce on stage at WWDC 2008, that people still weren’t sure if they would be able to get the phone for the $199-299 that was quoted.
So, where does the confusion lie? Well, when dealing with cell phone companies in terms of subsidized phones (and the new iPhone 3G is a subsidized phone,) it all comes down to qualification. Don’t believe us? Head on over to AT&T’s iPhone 3G splash page. Next to the price of the phone, you will see a neat little asterisk. Scroll down to the fine print, and what do you find? The following:
*Qualified customers only. 2 year contract required. Based on 3G and EDGE testing. Actual speeds vary by site conditions. Based on iPhone 3G (8GB) and first-generation iPhone (8GB) purchases. Requires new 2-year AT&T rate plan, sold separately.
Did you get that? Qualified customers only. And yet, there is no mention of who qualifies. There lies the conundrum. When Steve Jobs announced the price of the iPhone 3G, he made no mention of any sort of qualification that had to be met, and many believed that $199 was the price anyone should expect to pay for the new iPhone. Luckily, InformationWeek was able to get some information out of AT&T’s Mark Siegel, which should help in clearing all this up. Looking at what Siegel had to say, here is what we know to be true:
Get this - Fortune is saying that AT&T is going to be subsidizing the cost of the 3G iPhone by $200, which would mean that you could get one of the new phones for $199 USD with a 2-year contract. Now, that isn’t as crazy as it seems, as they do this with just about every other phone that they offer. They just haven’t been doing it with the first iPhone. Now, to be clear, if you made the decision to buy the phone from an Apple Store, you would be paying the full price.
Other tidbits in the Fortune article state that the new phone will be 2.5mm thinner than the current iPhone (which itself is 11.7mm thick), and that it will also include a GPS chip. Pricing will be $399 for the 8GB version, and $499 for the 16GB model, before subsidies. As with all Apple rumors, we take this one with a grain of salt, but hey, it’s Fortune, right?
Read More | Fortune
AT&T‘s CEO Randall Stephenso let slip that a 3G iPhone is indeed on it’s way sometime in early 2008. This is an obvious evolution for the platform and is no surprise, but hearing it ‘right from the horses mouth’ certainly is a nice reassurance. While the exact timing of the release is unknown, he did indicate it would likely be prior to May. Based on AT&T’s HSDPA technology the 3G iPhone would feature the same blazing download and upload speeds as other 3G devices currently on the market. Apple has yet to comment on Stephenso’s early-announcement.
Gear Live’s prediction: the announcement of the 3G iPhone will come hand in hand with a more proper unveiling of the SDK at Macworld, likely with a bump to 16GB of storage to match the current generation iPod Touch. Gear Live’s predicament: we can’t wait.
AT&T just announced their USBConnect 881 - an HSDPA/HSUPA modem for Macs and PCs that connects via USB. The minuscule 1.25oz modem claims to give an average download speed of 600kbps to 1.4Mbps, with uploads clocking in at 500kbps and 800kbps in HSUPA markets. While it may not be as slim and sexy as an Expresscard modem this looks like a great option for those with an older laptop, or a Macbook looking to quench their hankering for high speed laptop data on the go.
Available now for $50 with a 2 year contract, or for $299 without a commitment to AT&T.
Read More | AT&T
Apple has finally gotten around to posting the details on how early iPhone owners can claim their $100 Apple Store credit. You know, the one that was a response to the backlash the company received after dropping the price on the iPhone by $200 - or 33% - just 61 days after it’s launch? It takes about five minutes, and Apple has done it in a way that makes it so only people who actually have the purchased iPhone in their possession, and activated with AT&T, can claim it. Here’s how it works:
- Head on over to the iPhone Store Credit page
- Input your iPhone’s AT&T phone number and serial number into the fields on the site
- You will receive an SMS which includes an access code. Enter the code into the site
- Print the result page, which includes the codes you need to redeem the credit at any Apple Store location, or at the Apple Online Store
To be safe, we’d recommend claiming right away, as you only have until November 30 to do so. If you bought your iPhone between August 22 and September 4, skip straight to the Apple Store itself, as you aren’t eligible for a $100 store credit - instead, you’ll just receive $200 in cash. For those who receive the credit, you can purchase just about anything sold by Apple, except another Apple Store Gift Card or an iTunes electronic Gift Certificate. You can use up to six credit codes when making a purchase at an Apple Retail Store and up to four credit codes at the Apple Online Store.
George Hotz decided to spend some time this summer unlocking an iPhone, so that he use it on his own network, T-Mobile. Partially inspired because his friend had just gotten one, the change of service fee, and the $20.00 monthly fee from AT&T for using an iPhone, he soldered two wires together and replaced the SIM card, although we are sure that the project is more complicated than he makes it sound in this CNBC video. It took about 500 hours to complete with the aid of four others online.
Being the kind fellow that he is, rather than selling his idea, he has posted it for free on his website, just in case you want to give it a try. Although he planned on selling one hacked iPhone on eBay, complications arose so he traded it for a Nissan 350Z and three 8GB iPhones. George left this weekend to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology where he will major in neuroscience or what he calls “hacking the brain.”
Read More | cell phone digest
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
One unique aspect of the iPhone is that you, as the buyer, get to activate it yourself using iTunes, rather than having the phone activated in-store. We figured we would activate the phone on camera to show how seamless (or non-seamless, depending on how you look at it) the iPhone activation experience is. Watch the video, and let us know what you think.
Numbers are finally starting to come out in regards to how the iPhone performed at launch. While no sales figures were given, AT&T is reporting in it’s second quarter financial results that 146,000 iPhones were activated in the first two days that the product was on the market. While this number seems pretty low to us, we have to keep a few things in perspective. First, this accounts for June 29th and 30th. The iPhone went on sale at 6:00 PM on June 29th, so this is really a measurement of a 30-hour period rather than a full 48 hour one. Secondly, as we all know, iPhones are not activated at the point of purchase. We are sure plenty were bought as gifts or to be resold, and thusly weren’t activated right away. Last, it was widely reported that there were plenty of activation issues surrounding the iPhone launch. We got emails from people who purchased at launch and weren’t able to activate for over 24 hours - some even longer than that.
Another interesting tidbit about AT&T’s report is that 40% of the 146,000 activations were for subscribers new to the AT&T network. That’s a high percentage, all thanks to Apple‘s first foray into the mobile phone space. Very impressive.