Do you remember how Microsoft gave first-gen Zune users all the features that could be properly implemented via software update? Apple should be doing this for the iPhone 3G.
Let's look at what's new in the iPhone 3GS. Magnetometer for the compass, an improved camera, video recording, voice control, faster processor, faster 3G and and a 32GB storage bump. Obviously, we're not talking about the hardware stuff (processor, camera, etc.), but the software things like voice control and video recording? That could easily have been ported to the 3G.
Apple's official reason was that the iPhone 3G doesn't have enough power to run those two features. Really? They're saying that on-the-fly voice control (albeit one that doesn't just match what you say to a pre-recorded sample on your voice) can't be done on the iPhone 3G? You mean the same feature that's been available for Windows Mobile FIVE phones for about half a decade now? This can't be done with the iPhone 3G's processor?
And there's the question of video recording. Check out the video below.
This was taken on the iPhone 3G with the Cycorder Cydia jailbreak app. As in, you can do this right now if you jailbreak your phone and install the app. And this is a jailbreak app that doesn't have as great access to the phone as Apple's own internal team with their first-party video libraries. The 7-15FPS of Cydia isn't as good as the 30FPS of Apple's own recording on the 3GS, but it's not bad either. It's something.
So yeah, we're not asking for the impossible here. We just want for Apple to let actual hardware upgrades be the reason for people to upgrade to the 3GS, not for them to have arbitrary software distinctions to separate their products. [Gizmodo's WWDC Coverage and Roundup]