You have an iPhone, should you buy a new one

If want faster speeds and GPS and you talk a lot, the answer is probably yes

If you're one of the people who bought the 4GB iPhone model before Apple discontinued it last fall, this could be a major upgrade for you. It might even be needed, depending on how many photos, music files and videos you're taking with you. In today's media-filled world, 4GB isn't a lot of space to begin with, but each iPhone update that Apple has shipped has used more of that space for the version of Mac OS X powering the iPhone; it's no stretch to imagine that the iPhone 2.0 update will take up more. And I'm not even taking into consideration the space you sacrifice to download and install third-party applications. When you consider that over half a gigabyte of space already gets used, the prospect of losing more for system and application files can make the choice between sticking with a 4GB iPhone and upgrading choosing between a studio apartment and a town house.

Is the price right?

New features aside, price may be the ultimate factor in determining whether you upgrade. Starting at US$199 -- $299 if you go for the 16GB model -- the iPhone 3G will be priced lower than any iPhone model to date by a sizable margin. The price point is also very close to or lower than that of most current iPods. The lower cost and combination of new features make a compelling case for upgrading -- and an even more compelling case for those who waited until now to buy their first iPhone.

Sure, those who paid US$599 for an iPhone just a year ago will feel the sting, as will those who paid a little less later in the year. As for me, the 4GB iPhone I bought last fall is going to someone else in slightly used condition. Having weighed the advantages and costs, I'm upgrading to the 16GB model in black.

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Ryan Faas

Ryan Faas

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