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The Age are reporting: iPhone 3G review: now more work horse than show pony
The mobile device dubbed the Jesus Phone is about to have its second coming.
The iPhone 3G, the new incarnation of Apple's first foray into the mobile handset business, will go on sale in 22 countries on Friday.
And Australians will be among the first in the world to witness the buzz surrounding this much-hyped touch-screen device that is part phone, part iPod and part pocket computer.
Even before it goes on sale, there's every indication that the new model is going pick up where its predecessor left off.
In the US, queues of eager consumers have already started forming outside Apple stores and in Britain, a surge of pre-orders on the website of one carrier caused the site to buckle and crash under the strain.
Apple's share price, meanwhile, is flying high, having almost doubled in value since the phone's first public airing 18 months ago.
For the past couple of weeks, I've had an opportunity to poke and prod the iPhone 3G, putting it through its paces to see if this phone really does perform the kind of miracles that earned it the Jesus Phone moniker.
I have used it at home and at work; in a bus and train and car; by the sea and in the highlands; in both Sydney and Melbourne and in many points between those two cities.
And I have tested it on the networks of Optus and Vodafone - two of the three carriers (Telstra being the third) which will be selling the iPhone come Friday.
The phone is not without its flaws. It is not - repeat, not - perfect. And Apple has chosen to omit features which are standard in many other less high falutin' phones.
Moreover, in the year since the first version of the iPhone went on sale, many other phone manufacturers have launched or are about to launch similarly featured so-called smart phones - narrowing the technological lead that Apple enjoyed a year ago.
But to give credit where it's due: this sudden spurt of innovation only came about because of Apple's dive into the mobile business. Without the iPhone, other phone companies might not have picked up their game so quickly.
Apple's engineers and designers are no doubt already working on the next version of the iPhone to restore that advantage.
In the meantime - and possibly for the next 12 to 18 months - what you see with the iPhone 3G is what you get: a powerful, multi-featured, music and video-playing, internet- and email-capable mobile phone with a crappy camera.
The good news for Australian consumers lusting after iPhone is that there is a choice. The fact that the phone is being offered through three carriers means that there are a dizzying array of plans and deals available with the competition keeping everyone honest