My Thoughts On iPhone4

I’m currently using the iPhone 3G. My original upgrade date was August 31st, but AT&T, in it’s attempt at customer service, has updated the date. I can now upgrade at the iPhone4 release date. Do I need to take the plunge?

The “techie” in me say “Without question, you need to get the new iPhone”. My Scottish ancestry says “Your iPhone 3G is operating flawlessly. You don’t need the new iPhone”. Here we have it; the classic battle between “want” and “Need”.

As a Software Engineer, the IOS4 software update is my current primary interest. I will be able to get the update on June 21st, although some of the features, such as multi-tasking, are not directly supported for the 3G [read that any way you wish].

I had planned to skip the 3G, but my original iPhone stopped working at the end of 2008 and I made the move to the 3G at that time. The loss of my original iPhone threw my basic upgrade schedule off kilter. I had planned to update every other year. Using that schedule, my next iPhone would be iPhone5 not 4.

Another factor I must consider is my recent purchase of the iPad 3G. After adding the iPad to my inventory, I find that the iPhone has been demoted to a secondary device for such things as email and web browsing. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is still a vital part of my data strategy, but, if my iPad is available, I tend to use it instead.

My current plans are to update my 3G to IOS4 and assess overall performance and functionality. Is the 3G capable enough to deliver?

When we look at the new iPhone from a hardware standpoint, there are a number of compelling features.

  • Battery Life
    The iPhone4 advertises a substantial improvement in battery performance. This feature, however, is not so critical for me. I currently use the Mophie Air so I already have 2X battery performance for my 3G.
  • Camera
    The upgrade to the camera (5 megapixel with LED flash) is enticing , but I just purchased a 12 megapixel point-and-shoot camera. I really don’t take too many pictures, but the camera is a definite plus. Not so much for the camera itself, but the geo-tagging features of the iPhone software.
  • Display
    Now here we get into a compelling feature. The display seems to be a tremendous enhancement for the iPhone or for any other mobile phone for that matter.  Only the iPad with it’s 1024×768 screen tempers the display as a “must have” iPhone feature. I may certainly change my mind when I get to see the real thing.
  • CPU & Memory
    I considered this as well when the iPhone 3GS surfaced last year. I have been able to continue with the 3G without any negative effects in this area.
  • iPhone Antennae in Case
    The fact that the new iPhone is 24% thinner is not too important to me, but the new arrangement for the antennae is. My strongest complaint with my iPhone 3G is poor cell reception at work. The poor reception became even more apparent  when the iPad came on board. The iPad consistently has better 3G performance that my iPhone. The new configuration promises increased cellular performance. It this indeed plays out, this may be enough to trigger the update.

My plan is to go at this issue with a “wait and see” attitude; calmly evaluating the new IOS4 software on my current 3G platform. I freely admit, however, that this “wait and see” concept may rapidly turn into a “see if I wait”  situation.

Stay tuned.