FAQ: The new iPhone brings changes to activation, price plans

Apple, AT&T change the game with in-store activation, higher monthly fees

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For instance, O2's £35 tariff (about $69 U.S. a month at the moment) will still offer unlimited data, 600 minutes of talk time and 500 text messages, just as it has since the first-gen iPhone appeared in the U.K. last November. A new £30 tariff (about $59 monthly), meanwhile, has been added to the low end to provide unlimited data, 75 minutes of talk and 125 text messages.

Maybe it's the whole lousy exchange-rate thing. Next thing you know, the Canadian loonie will be lording its value over the almighty dollar. Oh, wait ... never mind. Different FAQ.

Presumably, rate information for the other 20 markets set to get the iPhone 3G on July 11 will be revealed as that date nears.

The first-gen iPhone could be returned -- and the contract canceled -- only during the first 14 days after purchase. Is that the same? No. iPhone 3G owners will have a more-traditional 30-day grace period to decide whether they like it or not.

One point worth noting, however, is that AT&T will demand that the iPhone 3G be returned to the place of purchase before it will cancel the contract. That's another barrier erected to prevent unlocking and exporting of the new iPhones.

So what's the 3G coverage like in the U.S. now? AT&T said back in February that it would add another 80 cities to its 3G coverage during 2008, making the faster network available in nearly 350 cities by year's end.

To see what coverage is like in your area, the best bet is this AT&T coverage map. Click on the "Data" tab to see 3G and EDGE coverage in your area.

Remember, although the iPhone 3G is 3G-capable, it will also connect to the older and slower EDGE network, just like the first-gen iPhone. Word to the wise: Check the map before you commit.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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