Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPhone 3G S and iPhone OS 3.0: Great products get even better

Buy a Mac, Get a FREE Olympus 10MP Camera“This week, Apple is introducing two new products designed to consolidate and increase its position as the leader in this new generation of hand-held computers. I’ve been testing both and I like them a lot, with some minor caveats,” Walter S. Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“One of the new products is a refreshed model of the iPhone itself, called the iPhone 3G S. It looks the same, but offers more speed, more memory, more battery life, and a few new features, including video recording and a better camera for still photos,” Mossberg reports. “The second is OS 3.0, the third version of the iPhone’s operating system, which comes on the 3G S and also can be installed on all prior iPhones and Touches. It includes a much longer list of added features, some innovative and some long overdue catch-ups to other phones.”

Mossberg reports, “The new, free operating system is available for download starting June 17. The iPhone 3G S will go on sale June 19 for $199 for a version with 16 gigabytes of memory, and $299 for 32 gigabytes of memory. Those memory capacities are double the amounts offered on the previous model last year at the same prices, and far exceed the built-in memory on most competing smart phones.”

Mossberg reports, “These prices are for new U.S. customers on the AT&T network, plus current owners who are eligible for what AT&T calls a ‘standard’ upgrade. If you already own an older iPhone, you could pay $200 more to upgrade, depending on how far along you are in your two-year service contract and how much you spend monthly. But AT&T, stung by criticism in recent days, has just decided to offer the lower, new-customer prices at launch to iPhone 3G owners eligible for upgrades at any time up to Sept. 30 of this year, even if they were originally told they’d have to pay the $200 premium.

Walt Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPhone 3G S and iPhone OS 3.0:

Direct link via AllThingsD here.

“In my tests, both the new phone and the new operating system performed well, with a few small exceptions. I believe the two strengthen the iPhone platform, make it likely the iPhone will continue to attract scads of apps, and are good for consumers,” Mossberg reports.

“Current iPhone owners can get an improved product by merely sticking with their existing phones and upgrading to the feature-laden new operating system, which is free (it costs $10 for iPod Touch owners), rather than shelling out at least $199 for the new iPhone 3G S. And many new iPhone buyers can opt for the $99 3G model, which is not only cheaper, but also greatly improved by the new OS 3.0,” Mossberg reports. “On the other hand, power users will crave the new iPhone 3G S’s much-better performance, battery life, storage and other features. And some will want the new model because, unlike the current model, it’s capable of handling a new cellular network feature that, in the next few years, will offer double the current data speeds.”

Mossberg reports, “Both the new iPhone and iPhone OS are packed with features that make a great product even better. But, for many users, the software may be enough of a boost to keep them from buying the new model.”

Read Mossberg’s full review here.

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