The wait is over -- Apple has announced the launch of the 3G iPhone.
The phone was announced at the Worldwide Developers' Conference in San Francisco today, signalling the end of the wait for iPhone obsessives around the globe.
The iPhone will be available in the UK on 11 July, the Carphone Warehouse has confirmed. The UK is one of the first 22 countries to get it, and it will be launched in 70 countries in total over the next few months. The phone will still be exclusive to O2. It'll be $199 for the 8GB model; $299 for the 16GB model, which is also available in white. UK prices will be available tomorrow morning -- the Apple store is back up but there are no prices yet.
It's going to be a thinner handset, and the 3G connectivity is apparently almost three times faster than that experienced using EDGE. And according to Apple's internal tests, the new model loads pages over 30 per cent faster than official UK specifications show that the iPhone 3G includes HSDPA, the fastest mobile system available.
GPS has been thrown into the mix, too, meaning no longer are iPhone users solely reliant on phone-tower triangulation. Combined with the faster Internet connectivity, this helps iPhone 3G load maps over three times faster than the previous model. It boasts simultaneous voice and data, so you can browse the Web, check a map or look at your email while you're on the phone.
There's good news for battery life as well. On standby, the iPhone 3G will last for 300 hours. 2G talk time is rated at 10 hours, 3G at 5. You should also get 5 to 6 hours of Web browser too (probably over 3G, not Wi-Fi), 7 hours of video playback and 24 of audio. Not bad.
Gone is the recessed headphone socket. Instead, the new flush connector will work with all models of headphone.
The 3G handset has been rumoured since the launch of the original iPhone in the summer of 2007.
Apple CEO claimed, "We've sold six million iPhones worldwide until we ran out of them a few weeks ago." Yes, we noticed, Steve.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US are the 22 countries deemed worthy of an 11 July release.
Expect more updates shortly. We're talking about it over on the forums. -Nate Lanxon
Update: According to O2, the 8GB version of the Apple iPhone 3G will be available for £99 on a new £30 monthly tariff and the existing £35 per month tariff. Additionally, you can choose from two other tariffs -- £45 or £75 per month -- and get the 8GB version for free.
For the 16GB version, it will cost £159 on the £30 and £35 tariffs, £59 on the £45 tariff and it will be free on the £75 tariff. Also, all customers will continue to receive unlimited data -- although will be subject to O2's excessive use policy -- browsing over O2's HSDPA network and unlimited access to 9,500 Wi-Fi hotspots through both The Cloud and now BT Openzone.
Further update: Read our full Apple iPhone 3G review.
The front face may look familiar, but that slimmer form factor is certainly a fresh change.
The new iPhone applications make the handset even more useful. And businesses will certainly find one or two uses for Exchange, we'd wager.
Maps now work in tandem with GPS and 3G, making the experience even more precise and enjoyable.
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