The iPhone 3G S has landed

Yes, the major media figure on the Internet has an iPhone 3G S. On initial examination, I’d safely say that this if you’re planning on getting an iPhone with a new contract, go ahead. The price is right and the features are great.

Everything on this phone is snappier – Maps especially – and the auto-focus and video uploads passed the wife test who said that this is what she’s been looking for from the iPhone from the beginning. Looks like someone is going to have to upgrade someone.

Overall, this is a good, evolutionary upgrade. As we said at WWDC, this is about getting the iPhone up to speed and making it the de facto way to share video. The Pre is dead in the water compared to this release. I’m sorry. Video will be the next killer app and look for YouTube to groan under the weight of new videos and users.

One other great feature is the compass. This doesn’t make sense at first but if you’ve ever tried to follow iPhone walking directions in a strange city it makes perfect sense. In Maps, the iPhone shows where you’re headed instead of just a little dot. This added bit of information ensures you don’t walk the wrong way before you even start your trip. I can just imagine tourists – and me – popping up from the subway in New York and consulting their iPhone compass programs like Lewis and Clark in Tevas and cargo shorts.

Interestingly, the trade dress is completely the same. I mean to the point of confusion. Do you have an S? A regular one? I’m going to be digging around and pulling some Kremlinology on this because quiet clearly this means something – they didn’t make it look EXACTLY like the 3G for reasons of economy. Something is up.

Otherwise, we’re going to put this through its paces this weekend and we’ll have a full review after that.

Interesting note: We’re in the car right now and I’m tethered via the iPhone using our magical tethering tricks. They work and this is probably the fastest I’ve seen the MacBook Air load web pages in all the time I’ve had it.

UPDATE – This is hilarious. I have had this Air for months now and the Wi-Fi has sucked consistently. Tethered to 3G it’s as fast as any other laptop when it comes to browsing.