Blog Post

iPhone: Does 3G Matter to You?

ScreenshotWhen I see folks like AT&T Mobility’s CEO say the iPhone “totally and completely mobilizes your data” now that it’s 3G-capable, I know we’re not quite living in the same world. Ralph de la Vega may view 3G as a ubiquitous technology, but spending a few minutes with the AT&T Coverage Viewer will convince you otherwise. Here in Evansville – 300,000 people – it would take hours for me to drive to the nearest 3G coverage. Overall, AT&T 3G is only in about 200 cities nationwide.

If you’re in one of those major metro areas, this won’t be an issue. But there are plenty of web workers who have moved to one of the empty spots on the map to improve their quality of life. Personally, I like the “work anywhere” face of web work and the freedom it gives me. A dependency on a tool that only works in highly populated areas doesn’t attract me. How about you?

13 Responses to “iPhone: Does 3G Matter to You?”

  1. I agree about the europe coverage (also here in Israel) – 3G is everywhere, yet keep in in mind that 3G as a whole is not a “huge” success, operator are striving to have something that will make people use (aka spend money) iPhone (because technology, because hype….) starting to look like a “killer device” (rather then killerapp). I guess apple heard it from Orange, Vodafone et. al. and together with it’s enterprise oriented initiatives (e.g. exchange, vpn) the 3G iphone can be a great business sector money generator

  2. Here in Europe, 3G and unlimited data plans are vital. And help explain why the iPhone sales have been minimal to date. Now we’re waiting to see what the pricing plans will be here….

  3. I’ve been ranting about this the past two weeks on our True Tech Life podcast – first in the WWDC preview and then in the special episode we did last night about the keynote announcements.

    JamesVG is right – there are 12 states without 3G coverage and other states that supposedly have it only have it in about 2 metro areas and that is it. Where I live we don’t have it. And yet if we become a 2 iPhone family by buying a second one and try to do a family plan you can bet AT&T will probably ding us for the upgrade to 3G service on the plan we already have. That’s $10 a month more for service we don’t even HAVE.

  4. I’ve a first-gen iPhone, and I’m leaning towards not upgrading, even though I’m in the SF Bay area. AT&T’s EDGE coverage is spotty, and a bit worse recently. I also have a BlackJack on AT&T (for work email), and 3G coverage on it isn’t really that much different.

    Current iPhone owners get the software upgrade for free, so the only hw features in the new iPhone are 3G, GPS, and longer battery life, right? I’m not sure those are worth the extra $10/month data plan.


  5. I can say from experience that, even when you’re in a city with 3G coverage, it’s not 100%. For example, from the front of my house I have a weak 3G connection. Move to the rear and I’m back on EDGE. Aweful.

  6. PXLated

    Verizon EVDO isn’t any/much better, get outside the metros and you’re lucky if you can even get 1x service (all depends on whether it’s a native Verizon tower).

  7. Not knowing what the 3G coverage was like in the US, I wodnered why on earth Apple released a phone without 3G support. Seemed so archaic. The iPhone 1.0 was not released here in Australia. I can’t speak for the whoel country, but for people I know – if it’s not 3G, it’s not worth looking at. Can’t wait for July 11.

  8. I don’t live in a major metro area and only got broadband cable about 3 years ago. Now my friends near Philly and NYC have FIOS and I most likely won’t see it until 2010/2011.

    Why would a company spend resources to build infrastructure in a location without being able to fully recoup their cost quickly?