How to get your hands on the new handset and firmware ahead of time.
It has been a busy few days since the somewhat low key iPhone 3G S was unveiled and the storm created by the expensive O2 tariffs have seen a combined total of over 170 comments hit the site and counting. So what’s new?
First up the iPhone 3G S has hit pre-order in the UK with both O2 and the Carphone Warehouse now happy to take your money ahead of the 18 June official launch. O2 has also defended its pricing saying a) the iPhone 3G S isn’t subsidised to the same level as the iPhone 3G and the unsubsidised nature of the original iPhone was the only reason customers were able to upgrade early in the past.
The under fire network has also revealed that its ‘Priority Lists’ will allow some customers to upgrade their handsets. The rather messy system means Platinum (£80+ spending per month), Gold (£50+ pm) and Silver (£35+ pm) will enable contracts to be renewed six months, three months and one month early respectively. If your spend is below that you’re out of luck.
That said if you really want to get back at O2 buy the iPhone 3G S on PAYG and take out a Simplicity contract. Do the sums, the life time cost is virtually identical to a £35pm tariff, plus you’ll get double the minutes and only be held to a rolling 30 day contact. If you can afford the initial outlay it’s one way to take the power back.
Elsewhere T-Mobile Netherlands has (s)deliberately(/s) briefly leaked the hardware specs inside the new iPhone 3G S revealing 256MB of RAM (doubling the first and second generations) and a 600MHz CPU (up from 412MHz). Naturally enough these details have now been pulled.
Finally, for those of you feeling impatient the Gold Master (retail distribution version) of iPhone OS 3.0 has leaked onto torrent sites. Following verified reports I’ve taken the plunge myself and can happily report all is well. First impressions of the new firmware are much snappier performance in Google Maps and Safari, while the new unified messaging works a treat (MMS is automatically set up by O2). There is also far less keyboard lag, Email search is a godsend and handset search is fast.
So if you’re willing to hop aboard ahead of the 17 June official firmware release, then the files you’ll need are ‘Phone1,1_3.0_7A341_Restore.ipsw’ for the first generation iPhone, ‘iPhone1,2_3.0_7A341_Restore.ipsw’ for the iPhone 3G or ‘iPod2,1_3.0_7A341_Restore.ipsw’ for both iPod touch models (which saves the upgrade cost too). File size is approximately 230MB.
So at least that’s some consolation for those of you (s)still spitting blood(/s) feeling frustrated…