iPhone 3G7-Eleven has a real problem on its hands: Apple fans will forever equate the number with the launch date of the iPhone 3G, not the convenience store chain. So much for branding!

Not that we care, mind you; we’ll take the phone over a Big Bite Hot Dog any day of the year.

Unlike the first iPhone, the 3G version has everything you could possibly want in a phone. That means it has 3G high-speed connectivity (vastly faster than the EDGE connection of the original iPhone) and GPS, the two most glaring omissions of iPhone 1.0.

It can also run what will soon be thousands of applications (see our iTunes 7.7 post) and is available in almost every country that capitalism thinks matters (i.e. those with people who can actually afford an iPhone).

Our only problem? As original iPhone owners, we’re not sure the $199 (8GB) or $299 (16GB) is really worth the cost of upgrading. Those handset prices are reasonable, but the iPhone 3G has different service plans. You’ll pay $10 more 3G data ($30 vs. $20 for EDGE) and no text messages are included (it’s $5 for the 200 messages the original iPhone included free, or $20 for unlimited). Add up those two extra costs, plus tax, and you come out to about $20 a month extra… or $480 over the two-year contract.

Of course, if you didn’t jump on the iPhone bandwagon in the last year, the decision is simple, even if finding one is less so: they’re only available in retail stores at launch, but will soon be sold through the Apple Store online, no doubt.

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