Apple stores are preparing for the feeding frenzy Friday morning as the new iPhone 3G hits the shelves all across the country. Last summer the first generation sold out of stock the very first weekend; has Apple prepared better for this new release?
If you are determined to catch this first wave and not chance the iPhone 3G selling out before you can get one, you may wish to park yourself outside the Apple stores the night before and wait for the doors to open like an eager concert fanatic camped out on the sidewalk, waiting for the tickets to go on sale for their favorite band’s next show.
If lines aren’t your thing, or if you are just too busy or cool to wait in such a fashion, you could give the AT&T stores a try, where lines are likely to be much shorter with more locations to spread the business between.
Bear in mind that the lower starting price of $199 for the eight-gig phone comes with an extra price tag attached in the form of a two year service contract with AT&T along with mobile data service (EDGE/3G depending on location) starting at $30 per month — a good 50% increase over the starting plan of $20 for the first generation.
The new generation of iPhone is expected to be substantially harder to unlock than the first, and even if you were to manage to unlock the phone, you would be missing out on much of what makes it so attractive — the native applications which are tied to the App Store, and therefore unlikely to work properly with unlocked phones, at least for the near future until such time as the “hacking” community catches up with iDevice OS 2.0…..
The cat-and-mouse game between Apple and the hackers will no doubt continue, and continue to be a source of hassles for those who can’t be satisfied with the supported/official offerings.
This means that over the course of the two year contract, consumers will end up spending about
$40 more than they did for the first generation iPhone if they were lucky enough/had enough foresight to wait for the initial price drop to $399.