New iPhone praised, but should iPhone users upgrade?

Apple’s new iPhone 3GS hardware has been praised by tech analysts and reviewers, but some remain cautious of the upgrade while saying the extra features aren’t worth the price. The new model features a larger 32GB hard drive, an in-built compass, a three megapixel camera, video recording and tethering capabilities. The new phone is also being marketed twice as fast as the previous iPhone 3G.

Tony Cripps, principal analyst at telecommunications analysis firm Ovum, praised the new phone and said Apple has helped lead the market by relying on regular software updates, rather than frequent expensive hardware upgrades.

“For consumers, the end result is a device that improves over time and isn’t rendered redundant by the next update or uber device from a rival.”

Nilay Patel wrote at Engadget that the “good outweighs the bad”, although he criticised Apple’s price increases for the new 3GS – the device will now cost $US699 outright.

“We’d have loved to see some external design improvements and maybe some more surprising features that weren’t rumored, but overall the iPhone 3GS is definitely in the “good” column. It’s a solid set of improvements to an already very good platform.”

Joseph Hanlon from ZDnet wrote that the device is a welcome upgrade, but isn’t the ground-breaking device some had been hoping for and that Apple is leaving itself open to competition.

“The upgraded camera and digital compass will strike a chord with some, but the landscape keyboard, voice dialing, universal search and increased capacity will keep a lot of people happy.”

“Compared to other smartphones in the market, and importantly to the iPhone 3G, the 3GS is an uninspired upgrade on paper. Apple refers to its position as ‘light years ahead’, but a year without an exciting iPhone announcement is just what companies designing phones with Nokia’s Symbian and Google’s Android platforms have been waiting for.”

Kent German from Cnet wrote that the new model is an improvement, but isn’t a major upgrade and current iPhone users should think carefully about purchasing the new 3GS.

“Like we said earlier, the iPhone 3GS offers some notable feature improvements, but it doesn’t offer quite the same leap that the iPhone 3G offered over the first-generation model.”

“If you don’t own an iPhone yet, and you’ve been waiting around to see what happens, now is the time to go for it. But, if you’re a current iPhone 3G owner, the answer isn’t so clear.”

Meanwhile, Optus, Vodafone and Telstra have all confirmed they will carry the new iPhone 3GS when it is released on 26 June, but no pricing details have been announced.

Telecommunications, Information Technology, Internet, Retail, Sales, iPhone, Optus, Vodafone, Telstra, Google, Android, Nokia, Symbian, iPhone, Apple, iPhone 3GS, Joseph Hanlon, ZDnet, Engadget, Nilay Patel, Tony Cripps, Ovum, Kent German, Cnet

New iPhone hits Australian stores on June 26

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