Hearing new iPhone's call: TECHNOLOGY
(Houston Chronicle (KRT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jul. 11--Apple's iPhone 3G, the successor to its groundbreaking smartphone, goes on sale today. But if you've got an older model, you'll get a new phone of sorts just by plugging it into your computer running iTunes software.
While some folks may be standing in line awaiting the newer model, owners of the iPhone released just over a year ago will be receiving iPhone 2.0 software via download. It brings many of the features found in the newer model to the original -- for free.
The new phone will be available at the six Apple and more than 50 AT&T stores in the Houston area starting at 8 a.m. today. Apple and AT&T representatives were unsure whether the same kind of lines that formed last year for the iPhone would reappear this time around.
On Thursday evening, there were scattered reports of some people starting to gather at AT&T stores.
The iPhone 3G gets its name from the network to which it connects for data. AT&T's 3G network is markedly faster than the older EDGE network, which is what the original iPhone uses.
The new phone also can determine its position on the ground using the Gobal Positioning Satellite system, or GPS.
The hardware itself is also cheaper -- at least if you're a new AT&T customer, an owner of the original iPhone, or an existing AT&T subscriber who is eligible for a phone upgrade. For folks in those categories, it will cost just $199 for a model with 8 gigabytes of memory and $299 for the 16-GB model.
If you're not in those groups, you'll pay $399 for the 8-GB and $499 for the 16-GB models. In all instances, you'll need to sign a two-year contract. The iPhone 3G will be available without a contract for $599 and $699, but neither Apple nor AT&T are selling it that way yet.
The original iPhone sold for $399 and $499. When it was first launched a year ago, the 8-GB model was priced at $599. Two months later, the price was cut by $200.
Though the hardware costs less, the new phone's data plan costs more. AT&T requires iPhone 3G users to pay $30 for unlimited data, and that doesn't include text messaging. The least expensive voice plan for the iPhone 3G is $39. The original iPhone was sold with a one-price plan for voice and data, the cheapest of which was under $60.
More information about data plans and a checklist you can bring to either AT&T or Apple stores to speed the process can be found at www.att.com/iphone.
Unlike the first iPhone, which was activated by owners connecting them to computers running Apple's iTunes software, the newer version must be activated in stores. Apple and AT&T hope that transaction will take between 10 to 15 minutes, but you won't be able to leave the store with an unactivated phone, and you can't buy one online.
In preparation for today's launch, Apple on Thursday released a new version of iTunes for both Windows and Macintosh. The software, available either through Apple's Software Update feature or at www.apple.com/itunes/download, updates the original iPhone's software for free. Owners of the iPod Touch -- which is like an iPhone, only without the phone -- must pay $10 for the upgrade.
The new software enables some new features, including the ability to get e-mail, contacts and calendar information from the Microsoft Exchange servers used by many businesses; better support for e-mail attachments; and support for MobileMe, a new Apple service that lets you sync computers and iPhones over the Internet.
The new software also lets the iPhone and iPod Touch run third-party programs. The Apple App store was visible Thursday in iTunes, but until the iPhone 2.0 software is installed on an iPhone or iPod Touch, the applications can't be installed.
The programs run the gamut from games to remote controls to social networking clients to news and e-book readers. There were more than 550 programs available in the App Store on Thursday, and about one-fourth of them were free.
To see more of the Houston Chronicle, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.HoustonChronicle.com.
Copyright (c) 2008, Houston Chronicle
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
For reprints, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.
[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]