Hype or the Real Deal?

An Interview with an iPhone 3G Owner
by: Jerry Liao

It was July 31 (Thursday), I was at ABS-CBN waiting for our weekly technology segment (TJ’s Tech Talk on Mornings@ANC) to begin. Our topic for that day was the iPhone 3G, and our guest was Mr. Elbert Cuenca.

While waiting, a young looking guy came in and sat on one of the chairs inside the studio. I was sitted in front of him actually. I noticed that he was holding a white colored phone and I asked him “Is that an iPhone”? The guy said “Yes, it’s a 3G iPhone”. My next question was “Is it working on a Globe SIM?”, He said “Yes”. That got my curiosity.

The guy turn out to be Mr. Aldrich Dayrit, popularly known as “DubEdition” in the world of cyberspace. Aldrich is an active member of Philmug (www.philmug.ph) and AppleI (www.applei.ph).

Aldrich was showing me the new features of the 3G iPhone and then showed me another 3G iPhone that he got from the U.S. Aldrich got the white colored iPhone from Belgium which turns out to be the 16GB version, and the black 3G iPhone from the U.S. is the 8GB version. (Aldrich may not be the first person to own an iPhone 3G in the Philippines, but he must be the first person to own TWO iPhone 3G in the country).

Aldrich was kind enough to allow me to play with the 3G iPhones, and to take some pictures with the phones as well. I asked Aldrich for his email so that I can do an email interview. I was able to send the interview questions in the afternoon of the same day. Minutes after sending the email, Aldrich texted me and said “Got your email. It’s on my iPhone already. I’ll reply as soon as I get home”. Now that’s what I call mobile technology at work.

Here’s my email interview with Aldrich regarding his thoughts of the 3G iPhone:

1. How were you able to make your 3G iPhone work here in the Philippines considering it has not been launch in the country?

Aldrich: My 3G iPhone was already unlocked when I got it. My friend from Belgium upgraded his line and got me an iPhone which is legally unlocked.

2. Did the 3G iPhone meet your expectations?

Aldrich: No. There are functions that I would like to have on my iPhone like cut and paste, sending business cards and SMS forwarding.

3. Based on your experience, what are the good points of the 3G iPhone?

Aldrich: It has a faster Internet because of the 3G and the Appstore where I can download free/buy games and productivity applications.

4. In what areas do you think the 3G iPhone needs improvement?

Aldrich: It has a short battery life when I use the Internet.

5. Do you think the current charging scheme for data (time based and file size) is the right scheme for the 3G iPhone considering that most of the applications of the 3G iPhone needs Internet connection?

Aldrich: No. I suggest telecoms offer unlimited data.

6. What can you say about the much publicized Mobile Me?

Aldrich: It’s a great invention. I like the idea on how you can back up files, sync contacts and calendars and Push email on the web.

7. What are your favorite applications on the 3G iPhone?

Aldrich: Push email, Instant Messenger, Internet, Google Map and Games.

8. To whom would you recommend the 3G iPhone? To what type of users and needs?

Aldrich: Businessmen and corporate executives. Easier and faster access thru the net because of the push email and Microsoft Exchange applications.

9. Is it worth the wait?

Aldrich: No. There’s not much difference from the first generation iPhone.

10. What will be your advice to first time users of the iPhone 3G?

Aldrich: Be a Mac user so you can see the potential of the iPhone. It’s a wonderful device!

First let me thank Mr. Aldrich Dayrit for taking the time to answer my questions. Thank you for showing me and for allowing me to try the 3G iPhones.

Now let me just say that like any other device, the iPhone 3G is not for everyone. If you want to have a phone that will give you the style and/or the power of the Internet in your hands, then the iPhone 3G is for you. If money is not a problem then go ahead buy an iPhone 3G.

But if you have some budget constraint and you won’t be using much of the iPhone 3G functionalities like you don’t send emails, you don’t browse the web, then perhaps it would be better for you to shop for a more affordable phone that will best suit your needs.

I am logging off. God Bless us all!

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