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I'm Thinking About Not Upgrading to the New iPhone When it Comes Out

Like a lot of people I've been eagerly awaiting news on the new iPhone. I love my iPhone and it's definitely been the best phone I've ever had. That said, there's a good chance that I won't be upgrading when the new iPhones come out. I still haven't decided 100% or not yet, but in my book the upgrade path seems like a pretty crappy deal for the Apple faithful who purchased iPhones from the beginning.


The best that I can tell, the only thing I'd be getting with a new iPhone is faster internet speed. Apparently the 3G speeds are about twice as fast as the Edge network speeds (which royally suck). Other than this though I don't really get anything. There's no GPS in the new phones. There's no video. I don't use my iPhone for corporate email so I don't benefit from that. And I'm just not sure a slight boost in speed is really worth the upgrade price.


Now I'm not 100% totally versed on how the upgrade deal is going to work yet, but from what I've read it seems like I'd be eligible to upgrade, but would need to buy a new $199 phone, plus pay $10 extra per month, plus lock into a new two year contract.


So let's do the math. $199 (plus California sales tax I'm sure) = $215.92. Then I've got to pay an extra $10 per month for 2 years or another $240.


Now, I just checked my history on my iPhone for the last week and in the last week I accessed 46 web pages on my iPhone. I should use my iPhone's browser more but AT&T's network just sucks so bad that I hardly ever do.


Interestingly enough, of those 46 pages that I loaded in the last week, 28 of them were loaded at McCarran Airport on Sunday in Las Vegas where they had free wifi. So in the last week I really would have only benefited from a faster internet connection for 18 pages. Now right now it takes anywhere from about 15 seconds to 15 minutes for a page to load on my iPhone. I just tested a load page on my iPhone in order write this post and it took 63 seconds for my iPhone to load my Flickr Recent Activity page in downtown San Francisco.


So best I can tell, assuming I use the iPhone internet stuff the same way I am now, in the last week I would have saved about 9 minutes of waiting time with the new iPhone. 9 minutes per week is about 468 minutes per year or about 8 hours per year in internet browsing savings time.


So in order to save 8 hours of internet load time per year I'm going to have to pay $455.92 more than I'm paying now over the next 2 years. As much as I love my iPhone and Apple products, I'm just not so sure that this is a good deal.


Of course with a faster internet connection I might use my iPhone's browser a lot more often and the deal might be better because of that, but what if the 3G really is only 2x faster than edge? Or what if, even worse, it's barely faster at all? And what if free public wi-fi gets easier to hop onto over the course of the next 2 years and so the extra speed boost from 3G doesn't get used as much as I think it might. Already lots of places like Starbucks are talking about free wifi.


A lot of people say the new iPhone is cheap, but I'm not sure it's so cheap for people looking to upgrade who already shelled out $600 to buy an iPhone the first time. I know, Apple gave us $100 rebate back, but even after I activated my $100 rebate when I tried to use it at the Emeryville Apple store to buy Photoshop CS3 they refused to honor it so I still feel like I paid $600.


I'm still up in the air on whether or not I'm going to upgrade. Maybe I'll just do it anyways just for the excitement of the new phone and all, but then again maybe I won't. I would have thought that Apple would have treated it's existing early adopters better than that.


Update: Apparently GPS is included in the new iPhones. That might make things more interesting. Still not sure it's worth it though.

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Taken on June 10, 2008