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There are two big hidden costs to the new iPhone’s faster speed and lower price tag. First, in my tests, the iPhone 3G’s battery was drained much more quickly in a typical day of use than the battery on the original iPhone, due to the higher power demands of 3G networks. This is an especially significant problem because, unlike most other smart phones, the iPhone has a sealed battery that can’t be replaced with a spare.
Second, Apple’s exclusive carrier in the U.S., AT&T Inc., has effectively negated the iPhone’s up-front price cut by jacking up its monthly fee for unlimited data use by $10. Over the course of the two-year contract you must sign to get the lower hardware prices, that adds $240, overwhelming the $200 savings on the phone itself. If you want text messaging, the cost rises further. With the first iPhone, 200 text messages a month came free. Now, 200 messages will cost $5 a month, or another $120 over the two-year contract.