iPhone 3GS? Not Enough to Justify the Cost (and AT&T Sucks)

June 20, 2009

iPhone 3GSAsked my Twitter peeps whether or not they were buying the just-released iPhone 3GS, and 175 replies later, the response is a pretty solid NO.

Almost 80% of respondents are passing on the 3GS mainly because they don't think the upgrade is worth the money, they're not eligible for the upgrade pricing, they think AT&T blows, they're waiting for next year's model, or they're simply happy with their current phone. The other 20% were thrilled about getting their paws on the 3GS' speed and video camera. Yes-folks said the 3GS finally feels "feature-complete," that the device replaces their GPS, point and shoot camera, and in some cases, their laptop, and others said it was the perfect reason to ditch their current crappy phone.

Out of 175 responses, 138 said they were not getting the 3GS, and 37 said they were. (Since I'm an Android user, I attract non-iPhone types, so these results are skewed by who follows me.) Here are the best replies I got, with the cleverest quips and insights highlighted.

Yes

megnut says, "Yes, iPhone = my computer, and $399 is worth it. Haven't bought new laptop since late 06 and don't plan to for long time."
kyleejohnson says, "getting 1. Have held out for 2 revs, but this one finally seems feature complete. Except for the bug with carrier options. '-)"
laydros says, "Already got my 3GS. I've wanted 32GB for a while, don't need to carry P&S camera (SLR when I can tho), and the speed is nice." Second tweet: "In other words, iPhone is coming closer to leaving my iPod classic, laptop, and P&S camera at home."
gmankono says, "Yes, for the speed, space, & video recording. Now just have to find the $."
ericjlubbers says, "I'm switching from a quickly beloved Palm Pre to the iPhone for non-essential reasons: Music support (podcasts) and the camera"
ryan_price says, "I picked up the 3GS this morning b/c I caved! I couldn't avoid having an iPhone any longer"
allynedmonds says, " I did get a 3Gs , because I'm addicted to this crack phone. I need an intervention!"
KOLLETTcommaN says, "Yes! I've been waiting for this version of the iPhone to work out all the kinks. I never buy generation 1 of anything..."
Ceruleanesk says, "finally decided to jump on the bandwagon. The 32GB was what did it for me, looking for a phone/music player for a long time"
revjim1stUMC says, "I have one pre-ordered. This upgrade is significant enuf for me a 1st gen iphone user"
jmooy says, "yes, verizon has failed to produce anything better over 3 versions of the iphone."
evilIT says, "Getting a 3GS because we've been wanting iphones but we were just waiting for the new ones to come out."

No

kevinpurdy says, "Not upgrading, because my G1 has a great personality. And GV."
eszter says, "friend of mine said to me recently: figured you wouldn't have an iPhone, you're too independent for that"
justinmwhitaker says, "I think it makes more sense to get the 3G."
jasonfitzpatric says, "because I *heart* my HTC Touch Pro and its physical keyboard."
kevinthompson says, "Nope. It was a toss up between the iPhone 3Gs or a Honeymoon. I decided I'll try and start the marriage off right."
smartgoat says, "Nope, won''t be eligible for the upgrade price till March. At which point I may as well wait for the next version."
TomDavenport says, "I'm not getting an iPhone 3G S, because I don't pour money from my arse."
birdmonster says, "nope, just bought a banana to talk on instead."
evantravers says, "I am not, I have an android phone. :-D "
binarywolf says, "Not today AT&T, I already gave at the Blood Bank."
TheRealEdwin says, "Price if upgrade (eligable in Feb), and laid off so not smart to spend anything at the moment. I'd like one though."
lvdjgarcia says, "Thought about it, but the $$/upgrade cost are too high."
daniellenelson says, "no, because I love my G1. ;) "
metsfan says, "nope, because I just got a Pre :) "
dmkanter says, "not anytime soon. Have had my 3g for less than 1 year and it's prohibitively too expensive right now."
sstrudeau says, "I am NOT for two reasons: AT&T coverage sucks in NY & has terrible service; & I'm opposed to the App Store gatekeeper model."
K1ngB00 says, "Nope, because my WinMo phone can do everything it can plus more like tethering, MMS, and has a full browser (Skyfire)."
AtmanRising says, "Hi Gina, I am not. I have a G1, which does everything I need and more (incl. video). T-Mobile is also more reliable than AT&T."
thebuma says, "Not until it comes to Verizon."
AndeeD says, "No to iPhone. Can't afford it/monthly service. Work bought my Blackberry what I have/stuck with. I'll live."
brokentv says, "Not getting an iPhone 3GS, because I've used the calculator on my iPod Touch to work out the aggregate cost of one."
RockDoggy says, "Not getting a 3GS. Monthly bill is too much."
rcphq says, "I'm not, im tired of apple restrictions and having to bother fixing my phone. Id still love 3.0 to fix my crappy 2.2.1 wifi"
kekil says, "I wish, but no iPhone mainly b/c of carrier: AT&T is way more costly than my Sprint plan which has unl txt/data/GPS 4 less $$"
jdorfman says, "no. AT&T is horrible (in SoCal). =( http://myloc.me/4v42"
robwar0100 says, "No. Going to wait for 2nd-3rd generation Palm Pre."
ckieffer says, "No 3gs for me. I do a lot with my 3g, but don't need faster processing. Not a gamer or full-time social media addict."
finkeegan says, "I have no money :( "
dartdog says, "why would I want to go backwards from a G-1 Android to a Iphone 3gs?"
TesTeq says, "I will not buy beautiful #iPhone 3GS because my #Nokia E71 has better functionality and looks very stylishly."
TJrnr says, "No, don't need it that's why I have a blackberry"
medebe says, "Not (getting iphone). Turns out exact same plan with AT&T on BB Bold is cheaper by about $40. I can do something with $480/yr"
eric_adler says, "Nope. No Java support, no buttons. Still not a good phone."
flpatriot says, "nope, stuck on Alltel in N. Dakota. AT&T doesn't even have service up here. *grumble*"
LadyTourmaline says, "I'll get an iPhone as soon as I can get it on Verizon. Until then I'm completely happy with my crackberry."
JoshuaRJones says, "Nope. While the speed boost is nice, I can't justify dropping the money for a digital compass/better camera."
edwilde says, "seems likely there will be something special around this time next year and 18 month (UK) contract means I wont b able 2 get it"
andr says, "No, it still lacks such basic phone feature as sms delivery reports"
dmw7 says, "Bought an iPhone last year & the 3.0 update gets me the new features I care about for free."
melindabyerley says, "no, not worth the money, not enough value added to pay the extra. I don't use video. battery life would have to double."
adam807 says, "AT&T svc sucks, esp in NYC. Lots of Palm Apps (eg Pocket Quicken) not replicated on iPhone yet. Hurts me as Apple nerd but no."
jdonels says, "I can't get the upgrade-from-3G low price till 12/13, and by then I might as well wait till the 4G, so what's the point?"
arbhalerao says, "Not buying because I have a Nokia N82, way better than 3GS (well in most cases)!"
RolfSchewe says, "Not willing to lock in 2 more yrs for a few features. I'd bet next year's will have OLED, HD features, possibly alt carriers."
peekah says, "no. I love iphone, but not for me. My comps are all customized, i need options. Cant do that on iphone. G1 has 4 Home options.."
will_ph says, "nope. Nokia's UI may look ugly, but it does out-of-the-box what an iPhone dreams of doing someday."
tjlytle says, "Staying with the G1. There's not much you can't do once it's rooted."
tanzora says, "I'm not. I don't even use a data plan. My cell phone is for calls and texts, and only when necessary."
TrevorBramble says, "Not. Last Year's Model works for me! (OK, 2 years ago.) And anyway, my upgrade path leads straight to Android."
stompson says, "not a compelling enough upgrade this year. I think of it as 'the credit crunch update' :-) "
txgowan says, "Not. Still w/Verizon. Get new phone in Dec. May get Pre when they become avail on VZ in January."
aergonaut says, "If my 1G weren't already serving me so well and if it didn't cost an arm and a leg, I would consider it."
johnny9k says, "No. Waiting for "One More Thing" and the Verizon dude walks onto the stage."
pluggpro says, "No iphone for me. I can't deal with touch-screen keyboards. I'm perfectly happy with my G1."
rachaelr says, "nope, no 3GS upgrade yet, still got 8 months or so on my current iphone 3G contract, and the upgrade isn't really worth the $"
jim_rubenstein says, "no, im eligible for the best subsidy price but im sick of the high plan prices! im going to kick it with an idiot phone for now"
lmjr says, "No upgrade for me this round. I'm happy with the 3G. Skipping the 3Gs and holding out for 3GSx. #iphone"
tarajo says, "I want one but I just got the 3g last year so I will wait a while I guess..."
katrinaarcher says, "No. My own iPhone is too recent and the 3.0 SW upgrade will tide me over until the budget police loosen their grip on my wallet"
esoneill says, "Too much money for not enough change."
markprestash says, "not getting the iPhone because of AT&T's awful CSR's, bad coverage in my area, and their terrible pricing schemes"
inthemiddle says, "I'm not. My interest is the updated camera, but it's not worth the money when I already carry a Canon PowerShot G9 with me."
lemiffe says, "No. It's compelling, nonetheless rather expensive."
CYMR0 says, "no 3GS for moi. Not paying a premium for this one as they'll only come out with a new one next year!"
brentajones says, "Not until 3G contract's up, maybe not then. Don't need vox ctrl, already have flip cam...killer app is compass (aug. reality)"
heniadis says, "perhaps too late, but I won't be getting a 3GS. I don't like att enough for an iphone. Perhaps if verizon gets it."
michaelwendell says, "- Not getting 3GS, solely due to AT&T's assinine mid-contract upgrade pricing. #iphone"
zanshin says, "I would love to get one, can't justify the data plan cost however. Sigh #iphone"
burakerdem says, "Will not get the new iPhone 3Gs because only video and compass are not enough. I need more to purchase a new toy for myself :) "
serenium says, "Nope. Not worth the expense to upgrade from the 3G, afaic. I'll wait for the next one."
jonathansheely says, "Don't care about rec video. Speed isn't that much faster. Compass would be nice for Gmaps but not worth 200 dollars."
thomaswilburn says, "Nope: can't afford to let AT&T know I'm using a smartphone on their old medianet plan..."
SidneyClay says, "that is NOT! It's not worth it! Hmm. Maybe, if it's got intention-support. Now that would be worth some of my money!"
racheldonovan says, "nope my 3g does the trick for now"
SidneyClay says, "cause I have an iPhone 3G and the upgrade is definately worth it. My jailbroken phone's already os3 too, so that's moot."
mcduo says, "not getting it. Can't justify 300$ for few features over my 3G 16gb."
VatePowell says, "DIY 3G S = Gluing compass to back of 3G I already have."
hatchethead says, "I have a GoPhone iPhone 1G. If I went for the 3GS, I'd be locked into AT&T. Gonna wait for Verizon."
michaeljones says, "Not getting 3GS. Not eligible for lower price until January 2010."
martlev says, "Because its apple, doesn't do much more than android phones do and is network specific."
noahpurdy says, "No. My 3G does everything I need and will for as long as it doesn't die on me. Plus it has some wicked battle scars. #lastyears"
erikbmi says, "I am not getting an iPhone 3GS yet. The doc says I have to wait a while before donating another kidney,and it may be 'unwise' ;) "
brawr says, "I'm not, compass + camera + faster CPU don't justify breaking my contract in the same way that 3G + GPS + app store did."
madichan says, "No, because I just got my iPhone in August, and I'm trying real hard to not be an Apple whore ;) "
jordo37 says, "speed would be great, but it's not good enough to upgrade and pay for it"
works says, "Not enough of an upgrade over the 3G IMO until AT&T rolls out higher speed network. The video and new camera are tempting tho."
419onscene says, "Nope, Apple doesn't get to decide what I can do with my phone"
Nosgoroth says, "Student here - no monies for the device, much less for the monthly assault."
davidamcclain says, "I would (and I will) but I'm supposed to be saving towards quitting the 9-5. A new iPhone has to take a back-seat for now."
JeremiahFelt says, "AT&T - don't approve of their business practices, lack of support, and their network blows (in my area). Otherwise, I'd have 2."
flamsmark says, "Why get a locked-up, mediocre phone, when I have a gorgeous unlocked Nokia N85 that does everything?"
jbarbel says, "iPhone is more than I need. If Evernote would hurry up with a BB app my Pearl is enough for me and cheaper."
webpoet73 says, "No...i can't bring myself to align with the big blue death star...if the iPhone 3GS (or the iPhone 3G) were on Verizon... SOLD."
altrenda says, "still no iphone, can't find anything I need it to do that my G1 can't, and it still can't do everything I can do with Android"
bithaze says, "No 3GS; staying with my WinMo iPaq. iPhone has some nice features but it's still catching up and simply not for power users."
specialdave197 says, "im not, due to the ridiculous upgrade plan here in the UK"
tenofziger says, "Am not getting 3GS because don't qualify for reduced price with ATT and already have 3G"
mrhaydel says, "I won't be getting a 3GS (and I hope you're aren't either). I'm a super happy Android user who doesn't need Apple's antics."
mcflossy says, "nope...in the middle of a 3G contract...not enough 'newness' in the 3GS...all the goodies are in 3.0...I'll wait till next June"
FriarTech says, "just bought iPhone 3g In may because I actually thought apple wouldn't discount it. My fault to look at history. So no 3gs now!"
daftviking says, "no 3GS for me, no 3G, not even 1G: no GSM coverage anywhere near where I live. Stuck with my prepaid CDMA dumbphone. #whinge"
petty5320 says, "nope, still waiting to get the Pre!"
rangerwinslow says, "No iPhone 3gs here - price would be my top THREE reasons, and AT&T would be the next SEVENTEEN to round out my top 20. :) "
beeare says, "NOT getting an IPhone in UK - too expensive , too complicated, too Apple. Can you make calls with an Iphone?"
andyburke says, "not for now, too little better than 3G to justify cost. Maybe in 6 months when cheaper if 3G's battery continues to decline :( "
karelj says, "No multitasking, no physical qwerty, crappy 3mp camera, non swappable battery, better version coming out next year."
egra says, "No. Got a 3G last year. Value of speed + compass + video < price of upgrade."
karelj says, "and the main reason.... every Hipster idiot has one and God knows I want nothing in common with those people."
ickthegeek says, "No 3GS for me. I'm lovin multitasking on the #pre. WebOS looks to be a more open platform IMHO. But Apple app store cant b beat"
bill_clark says, "Not worth $399 to me. 3.0 on my 3G gives me everything but voice dial, video & xtra speed. I'd love v.dial, but not for $399."
GeoAggie says, "Not yet, my 3G is still going good."
ozwash says, "I'm waiting for next year's iPhone, and sticking with the 3G"
Matthew_Adams says, "No 3GS for me... not enough revolution to make it worth switching. Plus the camera resolution is still poor."
stephensauceda says, "nope. I'm happy with my 3g and 3.0. Just hope to jailbreak soon to get back video recording."
johnketner says, "Still can't justify the cost of AT&T plan. My TMobile plan for blackberry is 1/2 the cost."
carmine978 says, "I'm waiting for the iPhone to come to Verizon. Currently, I use my iPod Touch 2G as a phone via Skype. Works great with my MiFi"
barleyguy says, "Nope. I use a lame prepaid phone, because I don't like monthly bills or contracts. Prepaid Iphone I would be all over."
TIMCALLOW says, "because my company has locked out iPhones from the exchange server (not secue enough)."
rerunaround says, "I'm not getting a 3GS. I'm bored of my iphone and turned off by the fascist itunes software. Android, here I come! :) "
gjacykowski says, "No. 3GS is not a milestep - some basic features still missing. I think Apple should be aware of Android."
falcolas says, "No, no ATT service in Montana. Wish I could, though."


As I said on Friday, I'm not getting the 3GS either. It's tempting, but I'm happy with my G1 running Android. Thanks to everyone who replied! (Here’s more on why and how I’m using Twitter to run surveys like this.)

I just had this thought, and I have no idea if it has ay validity, but is there something to the fact that Steve Jobs was not at the helm for the past several months and this release was lackluster? With Jobs being more active at the company, would we have seen an iPhone video instead of the 3GS?

Jordan Buller [+3]
Jun 20 09 at 7:53 pm

Wow, I was reading about this apparent slowdown, as people aren’t hitting the malls/stores like in years past. I enjoy my Android phone and have no interest in the iPhone/iTouch.

Migs [+15]
Jun 20 09 at 9:01 pm

AT&T = less bars in more places.

drmelho [+28]
Jun 21 09 at 7:49 am

Interesting responses, nice to hear some different perspectives. (Too many of my Twitter contacts are iPhone users and there’s too much chatter about it in my feed for my taste.)

I’m sorry my tweet didn’t make the cut for interestingness.:-} I thought the way my friend summed up why I don’t use the iPhone was interesting:
“friend of mine said to me recently: figured you wouldn’t have an iPhone, you’re too independent for that (posting re Q by @ginatrapani )”

It’s in line with some of the comments above.

eszter
Jun 26 09 at 11:28 pm

@Ezster: I loved your response, so much I almost RT’ed it (but didn’t because I didn’t want to skew the responses even more!). For some dumb reason it didn’t get included in my reply list, which is a problem with the tool I’m using to compile these. I’m going to add it right now, thanks for reminding me. :)

Gina Trapani [+195]
Jun 29 09 at 2:26 pm

For all the people not buying an iPhone because it’s closed – jailbreak it and it’s not.

Also for those thinking about a 3G instead of a 3Gs now – Why??? It’s only $100 more and the contract price is the same. The benefits you get from a 3Gs are worth more than that. I can certainly see where people would want to wait to upgrade until there was not an upgrade penalty, but when getting a new phone the phone cost itself is a small percentage of the contract cost.



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