Gold'en Rant : Do you really want an iPhone 3G?

I used to find it one of the most desirable mobile phones going, but now I'm beginning to hate it. Yes, I'm talking about the iPhone. Or rather, the 3G edition, which is due into O2 and Apple stores next week.

After initially getting excited about the iPhone 3G, I'm disappointed - and a tad angry - as, apart from giving the handset a satnav function (which it should have had from day one) and 3G voice/data, the mobile still has a miserable two megapixel camera and is still unable to exchange SMSs (picture messages) properly.

The casing on the new iPhone 3G is also a lot tackier than on the original and, just to round things out, there are reports from North America that the carriers there are placing draconian limitations on the data downloads their packages will include.

In Canada, for example, punters will be allowed to download a maximum of two gigabytes of data a month on the most expensive plan - which is on (wait for it) a three year contract.

O2's deals in the UK, in contrast, look positively benevolent, although you'll still need to spend more than 400 pounds a year on your airtime to get a sensible deal. That's a lot of dosh.

But what about mobile broadband and some networks' claims of speeds of up to 7.2 megabits per second (T-Mobile and Vodafone)?

You can forget it on the iPhone 3G as the handset is not HSDPA-nabled. This means it will trundle along at around 600 kilobits per second - not bad, but it could be so much better.

O2's WiFi hotspot coverage leaves a lot to be desired, as well. And my own experience (as a punter) leads me to believe that the O2 hotspots ill only support data speeds of around 200 kilobits per second.

Ugh! More style than substance. There are much better - and faster - specified mobiles at lower pricesn better mobile deals from other vendors/networks.