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New iPhone Not as Awesome as Steve Jobs Claims

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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When Apple's Steve Jobs unveiled the new iPhone back in June, he promised us that the upgraded version would be cheaper and have better battery life than its predecessor. Not quite, says uber-influential Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg. Mossberg's been tinkering with the thing for the past two weeks, and he punches two pretty significant holes in Jobs' claims about the new phone's supposed superiority.

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Yes, the new iPhone will cost half of what the old one did. But to get the $199 discounted rate, you have to sign a two-year contract with AT&T—which is fine, except that the carrier has jacked the monthly fee for unlimited data by $10 bucks a month. Do the math and you find that you end up spending $240 more over the course of the contract, or $40 more than the $200 Apple slashed off the front end. Throw in text messaging—a necessity these days, and not included in the unlimited data plan—and you're even deeper in the hole.

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