For the most part people either love or hate the iPhone. Fans of the device appreciate its simple elegant interface, multitude of apps and numerous functions. Opponents like to point out the absence of features commonly found in other smart phones such as a removable battery, memory expansion ports and lack of a physical keyboard.
There are several valid arguments for and against the iPhone which can be found here and here. With the recent release of the iPhone 3GS, Apple has addressed several issues presented by the pro-Windows Mobile OS camp.
Yes, Apple still holds back features that can be found on other devices and then makes a ballyhoo about them when they are added on during one of the many yearly Apple events. Still, the iPhone is the hottest selling cell phone to date and it is hard to see it losing ground.
The original iPhone, now known as the iPhone 2G, was introduced in January of 2007 and released in June of the same year. It was distributed exclusively by AT&T in the United States and originally worked on the even at that time, slower EDGE (2G) network.
At its initial release it was a limited device with a camera phone, a video capable iPod, web browser, email client, Wi-Fi connectivity, text messaging capability and visual voicemail among its features.
It was exclusive to AT&T and the United States until November of 2007 and was slowly introduced to additional countries in the world. At this point the iPhone was lauded but in many people’s opinion it did not make the transition to killer device until the introduction of the OS 2.0.
With this OS update came the App Store; this released the powerful genie out of the proverbial bottle. Now company’s big and small were able to make applications to run on the iPhone OS platform. These apps as they were called came as free and paid programs, and could be installed through the App Store on the phone or via iTunes.
3G and GPS
Released in July of 2008 OS 2.0 came out at the same time as the next version of the iPhone “ the 3G version. As with other Apple device updates, the iPhone 3G was given features that should have been present on the initial iPhone such as working on the 3G network and GPS functionality.
Network Capabilities- Voice Dialing “ Video recording
As most fan boys know and don’t like to admit, Apple is notorious for holding back features in their early iterations of products and then making a big deal of them when finally added “ see Jobs Reality Distortion Field
The iPhone 3G was a bigger success than the original model. Lines to buy the new version were found all over the world on the day of it release. Unfortunately in the United States the iPhone remained available only on the AT&T network. Unlike the original iPhone which was unsubsidized by AT&T, this newer model came in at a much lower price point but with a locked in contract and a small increase in monthly fees to offset the upfront cost.
Besides upgrading the network capability, Apple altered the form factor slightly and changed the construction materials. Available in 8GB and 16GB versions the iPhone 3G sold phenomenally well. It sold over a million phones over the first weekend of availability. The iPhone 3G sold 10.5 million units since its inception in mid 2008. To date 26.3 million iPhones have been sold across all versions.
It was certainly an improvement in terms of network speeds compared to the EDGE model yet it definitely did not perform as quickly as Apple advertised. In addition the 3G capability drained the battery at a faster rate than the earlier model. Despite these issues people loved their Apple phones.
Not to rest on their laurels and to entice the Apple fans to upgrade their phones and lengthen their contracts, in June of this year the iPhone 3GS was released in conjunction with OS 3.0. The phone boasted even better network speeds and missing features such as voice dialing, video recording, compass and three megapixel camera.
OS 3.0 “ GPS And Future
While the OS 3.0 update added the holy grail for many “ cut and paste, dozens of missing features including voice memos, stereo Bluetooth, Landscape Keyboard, improved Calendar function and MMS capabilities (not yet available in the US, thanks AT&T) were added.
Exciting apps are being introduced on a regular basis. In fact TomTom, the GPS maker has just released a GPS app that replaces the need for separate GPS units. It is expensive at around $90 in the United States but this is another indication of the untapped capabilities of the iPhone.
As of July 2009 approximately 1.5 billion apps have been downloaded by iPhone users across the world. The app store now contains over 65,000 available apps and it’s growing in number all of the time thanks to the growing number of developers. There’s over 100,00 developers out there right now creating new and exciting apps for iPhone users to enjoy.
The future for the iPhone is very bright as it seems to be Apple’s biggest seller to date.
The incorporation of iPhones into user’s lives may increase the purchasing of Apple computers, which is healthy for Apple’s bottom line.
It is safe to say that the iPhone has not reached its fullest capabilities and it is safe to believe that Apple will announce in the near future an iPhone 4G which will make the current iPhones seem antiquated.
What do you think how iPhone is going to change in upcoming years?
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