Does this morning feel like Christmas morning to anybody else? Did anyone else have trouble falling asleep last night waiting for Jobs to announce the second coming of the Jesus phone?
The worst kept secret in technology — Apple's 3G iPhone — was announced this morning while we slept (well, most of us). The ever-slimming Apple CEO Steve Jobs made the announcement to open this year's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and detailed some of the goodies we can expect to find gift-wrapped in the glossy plastic shell. He also announced that the new iPhone will be available in a bunch of countries including Australia on July 11.
3G data speeds and GPS location services are the stand-out improvements, and with the current trends in mobile devices, they are "no-brainers" according to Jobs. Everyone hoping for truly mind-bending changes like nifty new motion-sensitive navigation or holographic video-calling will have to wait until the new Star Trek movie to see that type of tech in action.
A few key specs remain the same, despite rumours of them having been adjusted. The iPhone still features a flash-less 2-megapixel camera, but in combination with the GPS chip the iPhone can now geo-tag your photos. The 3.5mm headphone jack now sits flush against the handset making it possible to use any common headset with the phone.
The biggest surprise, and the most welcomed for some, is Apple's new iPhone pricing. In fact, the only part of this announcement which rings of "Jesus phone version 2" is the loaves-and-fishes price point of US$199 for the 8GB model, and US$299 for the 16GB heavyweight which also comes in white.
For the white sheet scanners amongst you, detailed specs for the second-gen iPhone are as follows:
- 133 grams
- UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100MHz)
- GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
- Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
- 3.5-inch Multi-Touch display (480x320)
- Assisted GPS
- 2-megapixel camera with geo-tagging
- 3.5mm headphone input port
- Battery life: 5 hours (3G), 300 hours standby, 24 hours audio playback
There is a few notable absences from this list, particularly a front-facing camera for video-calling and A2DP stereo Bluetooth for pairing Bluetooth stereo headphones to the phone.
Australian pricing is yet to be announced, but both Australian carriers Vodafone and Optus have indicated that the iPhone will be available on prepaid plans. Eager beavers wanting to express their interest can do so on either the Vodafone or Optus websites.