I am not upgrading to an iPhone 3G at this time. The reason for this is one I haven’t seen mentioned before, so I’ll mention it for others to consider if they haven’t already.
First, I have numerous reasons to upgrade:
- I live smack dab in the middle of AT&T 3G country; I would get great benefit from the faster speed.
- I long for GPS turn-by-turn directions, which I’m convinced are coming within six months.
- I use the speaker phone all the time, so the improved audio would be appreciated.
- My phone is already full, the additional 8GB would be great.
- I could sell the old iPhone to fund a lot of the purchase price.
So with all the reasons above why am I avoiding the upgrade? Well, the fact is us original iPhone owners get one “free pass” shot at a subsidized iPhone before we have to wait ~18 months for another one.
In short, if I get a subsidized 3G phone now, then I cannot get another one subsidized for perhaps 18 months (based on AT&T eligibility requirements). That’s a long time in the iPhone world, and I’d rather save my one free pass for a bit more improvement.
For example, I think this Fall when Apple does their annual iPod revamp for the holiday season, there’s a reasonable chance a 32GB iPhone will be available. As someone with over 70GB of stuff (and growing) in iTunes that’s a lot of extra memory I can use.
Also, while I doubt we’ll see any iPhone hardware changes this year beyond extra memory, it may very well be that at next year’s MacWorld the next iPhone will be announced. If so, it may be weeks or months from availability, but at least I’d know what it is and can plan my next upgrade accordingly.
Right now, with an unsubsidized iPhone, I can walk in and get a new iPhone at the subsidized price any time I want. I don’t want to blow that free pass on the first pretty iPhone I see. If I got one today and in three months there was a 32GB version, and in six months a new model announced — both not unrealistic possibilities — I’d be kicking myself for not being a little more patient.
Understand this isn’t about waiting for something better — there’s always something better coming — but rather being wise about the best use of my “free pass” at a subsidized iPhone price.