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iPhone feedback

Apple stores opened their doors Friday morning to throngs of eager shoppers waiting for Apple’s latest product, the iPhone 3G. But consumers should decide whether the new version is a good improvement or an electronic vice before falling for the tempting new gadget.

Apple’s new iPhone model comes with either 8 gigabytes or 16 gigabytes of memory. The $199 8-gigabyte version comes only in piano black and the $299 16-gigabyte version comes in piano black or white.

The inner workings of the new model are the same as the first-generation iPhone, but the iPhone 3G lives up to its slogan: “Twice as fast. Half the price.”

The 3G network is double the speed of the EDGE network, with download speeds of up to 1.4 million bits per second. It includes unlimited data for e-mail and Internet access.

Other significant improvements include global positioning system (GPS) capabilities, access to additional applications and contacts that are easier to manage. The iPhone GPS uses the 3G network, Wi-Fi and cell phone tower technology to pinpoint an owner’s location.

The App Store is a technology on the iPhone 3G that allows users to download phone applications. Applications are available for download by selecting the new App Store button on the phone or by connecting it to iTunes and downloading applications from there. Some applications are free while others are strictly for purchase. Game companies such as Sega and Electronic Arts, which usually release games on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, have released several games for the iPhone.

Those who have first-generation iPhones and decide to upgrade are expected to have little trouble migrating their information. These owners can sync their phones to iTunes and transfer data including photos, videos, music and e-mail messages to the iPhone 3G.

But what promotions fail to mention is that new iPhone customers cannot leave the Apple Store without a two-year AT&T contract in hand.

The Apple Store is not allowed to sell an iPhone 3G without activation. The cheapest activation plan will cost owners $69.99, a $10 dollar increase from the original monthly plan. That rate does not include text messaging. Each text message costs 20 cents without a plan. An additional $36 activation fee may also deter potential owners.

As long as they can afford it, avid fans of the latest technology will be satisfied with all the iPhone 3G has to offer.

For more information on the iPhone 3G and to find Apple Store locations near you, visit