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That $99 iPhone 3GS…Don’t Even Think About It!

by Travis Harvey | June 8, 2010June 8, 2010 2:49 am PDT

In the same move Apple pulled last year for the release of the iPhone 3GS, they’re again pushing last years’ model down below the $100 mark.  A sub-$100 iPhone might sound appealing, but you’d be thick to give the offer the time of day.  Here’s why.

The jump from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 is so much more substantial than was last year’s hop from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS.  The iPhone 3G carried a 412 MHz processor which was upgraded to a 600 MHz processor to put the ‘S’ in 3GS.  Now we’re jumping from 600 MHz to the 1GHz A4 chip.  That increase is enormous, something that should make the snappy 3GS seem not so much.  Sure, the iPhone 4 is pushing a lot more pixels but the same chip is powering the iPad, a device with even more pixels than the 4.  You’ll notice a speed difference and as someone who made the jump from the 2G to 3GS, that alone is worth the extra $100.

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What about the new camera components?  The 3GS sported 3 megapixels while the 4 jumps to 5.  Sure it’s not the 8 megapixels found on the EVO 4G but megapixels aren’t the only thing to make a good picture.  The iPhone 4 can record 720p video at 30 FPS, easily competing against some of the dedicated Flip Video cameras.  The iPhone 4 also packs an LED flash for those late night excursions, something the 3GS fails miserably at capturing.  Don’t forget the front-facing camera that’ll allow you to video chat with all your iPhone-owning friends.  A novelty for sure, but it’s all included in that extra hundred bucks.

Finally, you realize you’re essentially committing two years of monthly service charges for either model.  No, the iPhone 3GS doesn’t come with a cheaper data package or any free texting.  You’re paying about $70 per month for a cheap, individual plan over the course of 24 months and $70 is being conservative.  That two-year contract is going to cost you upwards of $1,700 so why not make the most of your commitment?  Drop the extra $100 now for a more enjoyable, full featured life of the device.  Besides, the iPhone 3GS is soooo 2009.

Remember kids, friends don’t let friends buy last year’s iPhone.  Know anyone thinking about the cheap 3GS?  Be a friend and steer them into the 4th direction.


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