iPhone 3G S: What You Need to Know
The iPhone 3G S is at AT&T and Apple stores across the country this morning. Here's the low down on new features, software, pricing and more.
The iPhone 3G S arrived in AT&T and Apple stores this morning. (All images via Apple.)
June 19, 2009 by Steve Crowe

Horizontal Keyboard — The iPhone 3.0 software update brings a horizontal keyboard to more than just the Safari browser. Mail, notes and messages will all now be easier and faster to type.

Find My Phone — Lost your iPhone? The Find My Phone feature allows users to log-in to the MobileMe online service ($99 yearly subscription required) to activate an alert that will play from your iPhone. If your phone is nearby, surely you will hear it. If not, data can be cleared remotely.

Accessibility Options — The operating system in the 3G S has built-in closed captioning and TTY support for those who have trouble seeing or hearing. Mono audio can route both the right- and left-channel audio into both earbuds for easier hearing.

There’s also VoiceOver (different from Voice Control) that will give you a description of what’s under your finger on the screen and give you control of the phone. VoiceOver is available in 21 different languages.

Tethering — Tethering essentially turns the phone into a modem for Internet access for laptops and other mobile devices. However, again, AT&T will not support this feature right away.

How to Get an iPhone 3G S
Apple and AT&T stores are sure to be mobbed all day today. So AT&T has released this shopping guide to help those in search of an iPhone. Here are the highlights.

New AT&T customers who want to keep their phone number from another carrier should bring a copy of a current bill and the following information:

  • Account number
  • Name of the account holder
  • Account holder’s Social Security Number or Tax ID
  • Billing address
  • PIN or password (if applicable)

AT&T stores will initially only sell one iPhone 3G S per person for new customers. Existing customers may purchase one per eligible telephone number. Online shoppers may purchase one device per household.

If you preordered an iPhone online, it should be shipping to your home or office as we speak. You should have an email that confirms the date of arrival. If you bought an iPhone 3G between May 9-June 19, Apple will take it back for a restocking fee so you can get the iPhone 3G S.

An iPhone, of course, requires a two-year contract. If you’re an existing AT&T customer, click here to check your upgrade eligibility. For first-time buyers or those who fulfilled a previous contract, here’s the pricing:

  • 16GB iPhone 3G S — $199
  • 32GB iPhone 3G S — $299
For those who haven’t fulfilled their current contract and are looking to upgrade, prepare to dig a little deeper into that wallet:
  • 16GB iPhone 3G S — $399
  • 32GB iPhone 3G S $499

Monthly plans start at $69.99, which is $10 less than what the lowest price plan used to cost.

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