5 Reasons to Buy the Apple iPhone 3G

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3. Greater International Support

From a multilingual keyboard that you can change out on the fly to a user-removable SIM card (a SIM-card ejector comes with the iPhone 3G), new features in this model make it much more viable for international use. Whether you need to access the Web while overseas, or you want to swap out your SIM card (presumably, after an unspecified period of time, AT&T will let its customers unlock the phone for international use, as the company has allowed with its more standard phones), this model is better than the original.

4. Applications Galore

Based on what I saw at the WWDC Keynote, Apple's approach to application development may pay off in spades. Developing applications appears simple, limited only by the constraints of developers' imaginations. Distributing the software through iTunes is genius--turning to a single repository to procure content is far easier than scouring the Web for random Symbian, Palm, Windows Mobile, or BlackBerry apps you may want to download.

I see tremendous potential for useful--and downright fun--applications to come out of the development process now that the iPhone software developer's kit is available. The potential for future apps, coupled with the iPhone's existing programs--its iPod video and audio capabilities, its photo album, its easy e-mail, its Google Maps and YouTube apps--makes the iPhone 3G a unique offering in the mobile arena.

5. iPhone: Still at the Head of the Class

A funny thing happened in the past year: For all the hoopla, for all the assertions that the iPhone was a game-changer, the truth is, not much has changed in the landscape of the cell phone universe in the past year. It's almost as if Apple is so far ahead in its innovation and thinking that it has a seemingly insurmountable lead over its competitors, and is in a realm of its own as a result.

The reality is, none of the so-called iPhone killers have come close to challenging the iPhone's media handling and ease of use. That could change in the coming months as more cell phone vendors introduce updates to their lines (RIM, for example, is rumored to be working on a touch-screen interface, though its next flagship model, the BlackBerry Bold, does not have a touch screen). In the meantime, however, Apple will just be building on its solid head start.

Admittedly, not everyone will want--or need--to buy an iPhone 3G. For one thing, the much-anticipated iPhone 2.0 software upgrade that will enable the App Store for downloading applications, announced earlier this year, will be free to all first-generation-iPhone owners.

Furthermore, some people may want to hold out for a more substantial hardware upgrade, such as additional storage, a better camera, or other heretofore unimagined hardware bonuses.

I may queue up for an iPhone 3G. Or I may be patient and wait for the next big thing--which for me would be inclusion of features like 32GB of memory.

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