You’ve heard the hype, seen the commercials, maybe even used one in a store or that belongs to a friend. Now that you’ve had your hands on it, you’re sold. You’re buying an iPhone 3G.
But buying an iPhone 3G isn’t as simple as just getting the phone. You’ll also need to consider accessories, warranties, and other items that can make your use of the phone more enjoyable.
iPhone 3G – Obviously you’re buying the phone. Not much to decide here, except how much storage you want and whether you want to a white or black one. Always buy as much storage as you can afford, since the phone will last you longer and will hold more music, data, and programs like games.
AT&T Service Plan – Because the iPhone 3G is just that – a phone – you’ll need to get a service plan from AT&T, the exclusive U.S. carrier, with it. All plans include unlimited 3G data and visual voicemail.
Case – After spending hundreds of dollars on your new phone, you don’t want to risk scratching it, or damaging it more seriously, by not protecting it. Get a case to prevent scratches to the phone and absorb shocks from jostling and drops.
Screen protector – The iPhone has been touted since before the release of the original model as having a strongly scratch-resistant screen. Unfortunately, that’s been proven not to be the case. The screen of the iPhone 3G also picks up smudges from the oil on fingers and faces very easily, making the screen constantly look kind of dirty. Protect the iPhone 3G’s very appealing screen with a thin, plastic overlay screen protector.
You don’t absolutely need these things when buying an iPhone 3G, but you may enjoy your phone more with them.
Extended Warranty – The iPhone 3G comes with a 2-year phone support, 1-year hardware support warranty, but you’re probably going to have your phone a lot longer than that. Extending the warranty with AppleCare to a total of two years for all kinds of support – probably the life of an iPhone, or close to it (will you be able to resist upgrading before that?) – will cost you just US$69. Not too much to invest in the smooth operation of your phone, if you ask me.
App Store Programs – The key appeal of the iPhone 2.0 software that the iPhone 3G runs on is its support for the App Store, Apple’s repository of official third-party programs such as games, blogging tools, and productivity aides. While the iPhone itself is great, expanding its functionality with App Store programs will make it infinitely more fun. Most programs range from free to US$9.99.
Check out these accessories if you plan some specific uses for your iPhone 3G.
Dock – While not a strict necessity, some people prefer to stand their iPhones up in one of these little plastic stands while syncing. The first-generation iPhone came with a dock, but Apple now sells them separately.
Bluetooth headset – If you talk on the phone a lot while traveling, especially in the car, you’ll want a Bluetooth headset. Apple sells one, though so do lots of other manufacturers, so shop around before making your choice.
Speakers – Your iPhone is likely to be stuffed full of music and you may want a better-sounding way to play it than over headphones. If so, check out the many speaker docks that are available to deliver the home-stereo experience from your phone.
Headphones – Though the headphones that come with the iPhone 3G are perfectly serviceable – and include a way to use the phone – you may want a higher-quality means to listen to your music on the go. Third-party headphones will cost anywhere from US$50-$500.