The rumors promised and Apple delivered: the old iPhone 3G priced at $99, and a new, much faster version of the device, the 3GS, with a 32 GB version for $299 and a 16 GB version for $199.
The iPhone 3GS (the “S” stands for speed) apparently will be two to three times faster than the iPhone 3G, according to Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco today. The new phone, available in black and in white, will be available on June 19.
The new phone includes a 3-megapixel camera with autofocus. The new camera includes a feature called “tap to focus,” which allows users to tap the area in the photo that they’d like to focus on and the photo’s light balance is reset. As expected by many, the new camera captures video, something the iPhone 3G didn’t include.
Scott Forestall, senior vice president of iPhone software, began the iPhone portion of WWDC by spitting out the well-known string of impressive stats for the iPhone: 2.0 SDK has been downloaded more than 1 million times; over 40 million iPhones and iPod Touches sold; more than 50,000 apps on the App Store. And of course, more than 1 billion applications downloaded from the App Store. All of that in just nine months on the market.
But that’s what has been, and WWDC is definitely all about the future of Apple’s iconic devices. Forestall introduced the new iPhone OS 3.0 by outlining some of the features the new OS will offer the iPhone. Among the more notable were the long-awaited cut-and-paste, Spotlight universal search across the phone and landscape keyboard in all key applications, including mail, notes and messages.
To the delight of the crowd, Forestall said that the iPhone 3.0 will enable MMS, allowing any app to send text and multimedia. Forestall said that 20 carrier partners worldwide, including AT&T, will support MMS later this summer.
And while the crowd howled its approval for AT&T’s support of MMS, it was equally disappointed that AT&T has opted out of supporting the new operating system’s tethering ability.
Forestall said the new OS will be available for free for all iPhone users and will cost $9.95 for all iPod Touch users to upgrade to 3.0.