Until the moment that the lights dimmed and Phil Schiller walked on stage, the rumor mill was still hard at work. Video calling, more RAM, and FM transmitter, and an illuminating logo were all there. But Apple seemed to keep things simple with the update, even giving Jonathan Ive and his team a rest by keeping the exterior design the same. Disappointed? A little.
A matte-black back was quite a confident rumor. The majority regarded it as a sure bet, and I can’t recall a single rumor that suggested the exact same design for the new iPhone. We did see video capabilities, improved performance and graphics, enhanced GPS and compass all feature as part of the iPhone 3G S. But remember the WWDC poster that we saw? It read “light-years ahead.” I don’t know about you, but no part of the iPhone 3G S is light-years ahead. Nothing amazed me.
Don’t get me wrong here—the updates made to the iPhone are great. They were much needed, and adding the features of the iPhone OS 3.0, it’ll be an even better device. But the Palm Pre is right behind Apple. This update puts things on a more level playing field, and Apple still has the advantage with the App Store and trusting fan base. We’ll have to wait to see how things pan out with the Palm Pre—whether people like it in the long term. But I feel Apple could have done more with the iPhone, and a launch just a few days after the Palm Pre would’ve been the perfect time to do so.
I’m certainly tempted to upgrade to the iPhone 3G S, but there’s no specific reason why. There are no must-have features available; the majority will be free to iPhone users as part of iPhone OS 3.0.
The fact that Apple can now afford to sell the iPhone 3G at $99 shows just how cheap the technology inside was to build. There’s nothing special there. I feel there are two things keeping Apple at the top: a certain logo stamped on the back, and 50,000 amazing applications for just about anything.