Jobs unveils 3G, $199 iPhone

Computerworld |  Mobile & Wireless, Apple, iPhone

Apple Monday unveiled a second-generation iPhone that offers access to faster 3G networks, more features and a lower price. The new phone, called the iPhone 3G, is similar in design to the first iPhone, but features built-in GPS, a black backside and a revamped headphone jack.

The new iPhone 3G, which is also .7mm thicker than the old one, will be priced at US$199 for the 8GB model, $299 for a 16GB model. It will be on sale on July 11.

The new iPhone had been predicted for weeks by analysts and those who keep close tabs on Apple's plans. Apple fans also kept the rumor-mill humming in the days leading up Monday's announcement.

By allowing access to 3G networks, the new phone can load a Web page in about 21 seconds, just 4 seconds lower than when using WiFi and almost three times faster than using AT&T's slower EDGE network, Jobs said during his keynote address at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.

The iPhone 3G offers standby time of 300 hours, talk time of five hours over a 3G network, 10 hours of talk time on an EDGE network, and between five and six hours of Web browsing time.

That wasn't the only news: Jobs also announced a new version of the company's operating system, Mac OS X 10.6. Details about the OS were expected to be revealed later Monday.

Dressed in his now-traditional black turtleneck sweater and blue jeans, Jobs started off his address touting the software that's designed to expand the features and functions available on the iPhone.

iPhone 2.0 consists of three main parts: enterprise integration, the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) and new features that will be enabled by a firmware update. The SDK, he said, has been downloaded some 250,000 times, and 25,000 beta testers -- including the U.S. Army -- helped test out various features.

iPhone 2.0 will be released early next month and is free for current iPhone owners. Those who have the iPod touch, which offers most of the same features sans the phone, will pay $9.99 for the firmware update.

Pointing to enterprise interest in the iPhone, Jobs said new features include Microsoft Exchange support out of the box, providing push e-mail, contacts and calendars as well auto-discovery and remote wipe. The phone, once updated, also offers location-based services that could, for instance, be used to allow a person to find the people in their address book based on location.

Showcasing the phone's accelerometer, which is used to change the display as the phone is rotated, Jobs demonstrated a Sega game, Super Monkey Ball. The game will sell for $9.99 through Apple's new App Store when its released.

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