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article imageApple Launches 3G iPhone Available July 11, Price Slashed to $200

By David Silverberg     Jun 9, 2008 in Technology
Apple’s landmark announcement today proves the iPhone is a work in progress: at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple will launch its 3G iPhone on July 11, cutting the price in half and loading the smartphone with impressive features.
Digital Journal — It was an early Christmas for Apple fanatics. Steve Jobs gave the world a peek into the next iPhone coming to market, highlighting the main draw: a 3G network. Bringing 3G to the iPhone addresses one of the smartphone’s main setbacks: AT&T’s cumbersome EDGE network, which calls up Web pages slower than most Web browsers.
The 3G iPhone will be available July 11 in 22 countries (including Canada). More countries will be added later, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced.
But what about the thorny issue of cost? Apple also addressed that concern, saying the 8GB 3G iPhone will cost $200, down from $400 for the previous model. The 16GB version will set you back $300, down from $500.
On stage, Jobs displayed a slide comparing the download times for each network: iPhone using EDGE took 59 second to bring up a site. The 3G iPhone took 21 seconds. Jobs compared the 3G speeds to Wi-Fi, saying "It's amazingly zippy."
Apple s iPhone 3G
New iPhone 3G displaying eBay's Auction app.
Courtesy of Apple PR
To further impress the audience, he highlighted the new iPhone's battery life: standby is 300 hours, and 2G talk time is 10 hours (up from 8 hours).
The upgrades don’t stop there: the next-gen iPhone will also allow users to use location-based services. Blending data from cell towers, Wi-Fi and GPS, this tool can track where an iPhone user is driving on a simple Googe Maps interface.
Visually, the 3G iPhone doesn't depart too much from its original look. Jobs said the new phone is thinner, has solid metal buttons and comes equipped with a flush headphone jack. It will also be available in white (wow!) sometime soon.
iPhone users can also look forward to MobileMe, a Web app offering a suite of programs based on Ajax. If you get an email to your MobileMe account, it’ll be shuttled to all three devices -- iPhone, Mac and PC. You can upload photos to the account and see them online. Essentially, it's being billed as .mac 2.0 and is available for $100 a year with 20GB storage.
As a press release explains:
With MobileMe email, messages are pushed instantly to iPhone, removing the need to manually check email and wait for downloads, and push keeps contacts and calendars continuously up-to-date so changes made on one device are automatically updated on other devices.
At the sold-out conference (5,200 attendees, Jobs said), Apple also confirmed rumours about its “applications store.” Similar to Facebook’s outsourcing idea, this service allows third-party developers to create programs for the iPhone and sell them directly to users. It’s a break from Apple tradition and shows how flexible the company has become in the face of user-generated content trends.
Senior vice-president of iPhone software Scott Forstall demonstrated how to create an interface for the iPhone using its Interface Builder tool. He made a sample app that filters contacts based on proximity to the user's location.
To offer the audiences some visuals, Sega introduced their own app -- the game Super Monkey Ball will be available for $10 when the Application Store launches. Also, there are apps coming from eBay, allowing users to easily access auctions, and from TypePad, offering a blogging app featuring picture uploading.
One of the most applicable apps for fans of citizen journalisms comes from Associated Press, launching their own tool for the iPhone. Its app can find local newspapers for iPhone users depending on their location, acting as a cool news-fetching program. Intrepid citizen journalists can also send in first-person news accounts to AP from their iPhone.
There are several other features: contact search, bulk email delete, the ability to save email messages to your photo library, and the inclusion of Word, Excel and PowerPoint support. Many more languages are available, including many Asian languages.
iPhone 2.0 software will be released in early July and will be free for all iPhone owners. It will cost $10 for iPod Touch owners.
The upcoming iPhone could fulfill Apple's promise of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. Jobs said it had shipped 6 million units since its release last June. In the fourth quarter of 2007, Apple captured 28 per cent of the smartphone market, trailing Research in Motion's 41 per cent market share.
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