What is 3G?

The Media is clueless on what 3G means. Some news reporters claim that “the three-gigabyte iPhone” was released. Some report that it’s the 3rd Generation iPhone. Ugh. I asked people over at Friendfeed just what exactly they think 3G means. The answers are interesting, for sure.

To be honest, I don’t even know what 3G means. 3Ghz band? – Aaron Brazell

Aaron- it stands for ‘Go wait in line while a Get a burrito because we’re going to be here all night. Goodnight…’what? they’re sold out?’ Greeeeat. – Ryan

That’s 4G! 🙂 – Aaron Brazell

I’ll take a guess – 3G refers to the iPhone using the 3G or 3rd generation high-speed mobile phone data network? – Tad Donaghe

Yuck. I’ve seen this, too. Luckily our reporter didn’t even get into it, but I made sure I looked at her copy before the story was released. It’s not just the media though — lots of buyers are saying ridiculous things. Like, they’re buying this version of the iPhone because the OS is more of an open platform than the previous model. Ehhhh. I cut that quote, along with a quote about "speedier cell phone service." No, the phone service is not faster. – Kevin Hessel

iPhone 3G doesn’t mean 3G. – Chris Qie

I heard a Canadian reporter call it a G3 iPhone. Nice try lady, but you’re about three processor brands too late. 😉 – Cecily Walker

LOL @ 3rd Gen iPhone! Had that same discussion with the three iPhone users in my office. They swore this was the third gen phone, thus 3G. Ugh… – JA Castillo

So what DOES it mean already?!?! – Lisa L. Seifert

Gee, you mean ordinary non-technical people get confused by the mobile industry’s vast array of acronyms, and don’t even bother to try to comprehend? You don’t say? Seriously, you can say 3rd generation high-speed mobil phone data network but now try to explain what THAT means to someone who doesn’t really care. – Jason Wehmhoener

its the mobile phone standard/technology between 2g & 4g – mike dunn

G is for generation The original iPhone used the 2G GSM standard, but, because it took advantage of some updated standards for data, it was called a 2.5G phone. GSM and other 2G standards like CDMA are all digital, as distinguished from the first gen analog phones. 3G (of which there are a few competing standards) offers faster data transmission than the the fastest 2.5G data standardsstandards, and in theory can support higher quality voice too. 4G will be faster still. WiMax is sort of a 4g preview. – Erik S

People tend to lose interest when they hear an acronym explained with more acronyms. What’s the difference between GSM and CDMA? What makes 2.5G different from those? Why are there so many different incompatible standards? (I follow this stuff and have answers to these questions, but most people are just irritated by the whole mess) – Jason Wehmhoener

@Jason, (a) Not caring doesn’t excuse a journalist’s obligation to get the facts right, (b) a journalist’s job is to cut through the mumbo jumbo to make it understandable, (c) one would hope the reporter covering such an event is either a biz or tech reporter and they DO understand it. If that’s not possible, it doesn’t negate a and b, (d) they can avoid the issue and just call it faster because the average *reader* of an iPhone story as a news story (rather than as a tech story) probably doesn’t care – Kevin Hessel

Kevin I want to agree with you but the mobile phone technology space is fragmented beyond reason. I don’t expect a reporter on a culture beat to get it. – Jason Wehmhoener

Most people are clueless about 3G — they don’t care about the things we think they do. – Mitch Ratcliffe

The main stream media is generally clueless about tech. It never ceases to amaze me how lazy some reporters are. If they did just 5 minutes of research before writing or reporting on a story they would be 100% more informed and not look like idiots. Even here in silicon valley we still have reporters that fit this MO. – Jeff P. Henderson

1 – Who would want a 3 gb iPhone and 2 – All most people know about 3G is that its faster than whatever was on the 1st gen iPhone (EDGE). – Ethan

Well, they are THE media.. What do you expect? They are not geeks, like us. =) – Winston Teo

That’s almost as funny as their use of the word ‘hacker’ – Rob Fuller via twhirl

OHH…and i thought 3G stands for three grams. – Nir Ben Yona via twhirl

And they tell that old media are very careful about fact checking. As a blogger I at least have a habit to google everything I’m not 100% sure about. I have a feeling they are connected at least. – Svetlana Gladkova via twhirl

The reporter on the culture beat who isn’t sure talks to either the tech colunist or looks it up. That’s his or her JOB. – Cyndy

@Jules- wow, that has to be the worst. – Jake (aka Jawee)

Are this people even human? – Jim Williams

Here’s a wikipedia entry for 3G: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3…imabonehead

What does 3G mean to you? I don’t want to see more of Wiki’s answers, nor something lifted from Apple’s website. What do you truly think?