iPhone 3G: guts, plants, and free SMS

Craziest thing, Apple apparently launched some sort of device being loosely coined as a "cellular telephone" last Friday. The darned thing makes calls, keeps track of contacts, and even receives messages -- all right from your pocket! Wild, sci-fi caliber stuff, that. We're catching up on the latest iPhone 3G buzz, and here's what we've got going on at the moment:

  • Jonny Gladwell, better known as the first iPhone 3G owner in the world thanks to his perfect storm of location (New Zealand) and line position (first), has been outed as a plant for New Zealand's Yellow Pages. Turns out the guy was hired by the directory service to see if he could "survive" the brutal multi-day sitting experience using nothing but -- you guessed it -- the Yellow Pages to get by. Ironic that you don't need a friggin' Yellow Pages when you have an iPhone, isn't it? Hmm, Jonny?

  • Portelligent has sacrificed an iPhone 3G to conduct perhaps the most thorough teardown thus far, finding some incremental improvements, largely to accomodate 3G and bring the design in line with the iPod touch, while carrying over a good deal of componentry that had no reason to be upgraded. Infineon and Toshiba had big wins here in the radio and flash memory departments, respectively.

  • AIM acts as a conduit for sending text messages by allowing users to add phone numbers as "buddies." The iPhone has an AIM client. See where we're going with this? Yep, it's a cheesy way to avoid shelling out for a text messaging plan, if you want to go to the trouble of using AIM in place of the native SMS app.

  • The plot thickens in the yellow screen issue. As we'd mentioned yesterday, Apple claims the warmer color temperature seen in the iPhone 3G was a purposeful attempt to make things prettier and sharper -- but now, Ars Technica reports that forcing an update in iTunes from the 3G's shipping firmware of 5A345 to the ever-so-slightly newer 5A347 pushes things a little bit back toward the blue end of the spectrum. So what's it gonna be, Apple?

[Thanks to everyone who sent these in!]