iPhone 3G is the Second Generation

I’m the proud owner of an Apple iPhone 4 GB. I’m very happy with my decision. I was really tired of my old Nokia, and the iPhone suits me perfectly. I love everything about it, and I can type very quickly with the on-screen keyboard. The only difference between the 8GB and 4GB models is the amount of memory– a difference of 4 GB. I don’t miss it at all. As I type this, my iPhone has 2.7 GB available.

I bought my iPhone on the day it was released, going to the Santa Monica Apple Store on 3rd Street Promenade about 1 hour after they started selling them at 6 PM. There was still a line. Apple was nice enough to give out free water to those waiting. That means it was about a year ago, and my phone is well out of warranty now. So the question is whether I will be getting an iPhone 3G. But before I get to that, one interesting thing just struck me.

Some of the people I meet look at my iPhone and ask, “What model is it?” I tell them it’s the 4 GB model. Then they’ll often ask, “Is it the old one or the new one?” Sometimes they’ll ask this even without inquiring as to the model. This has always puzzled me.

The question makes no sense at all. The iPhone I have is the only iPhone in existence, as of today. Apple has only released one model. It has been a year, and there has been a lot of hype, but there are still only two possibilities for an iPhone. It’s not like the iPod, where there are myriad options and many generations. There’s a 4GB iPhone. There’s an 8GB iPhone. That’s it. No guessing. No other possibilities. (I should note that in February Apple released a 16GB iPhone at $100 more than the 8GB model, but the only difference is the storage; no other changes.)

But now I realize how some people could easily be confused. With the iPod, the nomenclature was always something like “iPod 3G” or “iPod 5G”, with G standing for Generation. But with the new iPhone coming out tomorrow– July 11– the actual name of the phone is iPhone 3G, and G does not mean generation of iPhone. There was no iPhone 2G, unless you want to call the normal iPhone that (but nobody does). The iPhone 3G will be the 2nd release model of the iPhone.

Hopefully that clears things up for some people.

One thing worth noting is that, despite the fact that Steve Jobs says the iPhone 3G is cheaper, it is actually more expensive. You pay less upfront– $199 if you qualify for a new AT&T plan– but you pay more in the long run. You sign a 2-year contract and the monthly fee is $10 more for the cheapest one– and $15 more if you want it to have as many features (200 text messages) as the original iPhone. So it’s more expensive, but twice as fast. Yet it has been a year later.

In conclusion, I would probably not buy the iPhone 3G. I don’t like their practice of sneakily raising the price but making it sound cheaper. And I am extremely happy that I bought an iPhone when I did. I’m sure the resale price of the original iPhone will remain quite high– easily above the $199 number, because that includes a subsidy from AT&T– and I really hope Apple gets their act together and releases an iPhone that actually is cheaper than the original.

2 Responses to “iPhone 3G is the Second Generation”

  1. David Long says:

    Well I wouldn’t blame apple for the monthly cost increase – in the UK the monthly fee is the same but the phone is £180 less than what I paid for my 8GB iPhone on release day.

    I get a lot of people asking if my iPhone is “the new one” too – even though they must know it’s not out yet. I guess in the UK we are used to getting stuff months after everywhere else and so we often can import stuff way before it’s released but not this time.

  2. jake says:

    ty very helpfull..

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