Despite the rumor mill nearly doing his job for him, it took nearly an hour and a half for Steve Jobs to mention the big news during his morning keynote at this week's Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference: The second iteration of the iPhone, dubbed the 3G iPhone, will be available for purchase on July 11.
(Image by Dekuwa at flickr.com)
The big addition to the phone, dubbed "The Jesus Phone" by the blog Gizmodo, is the new third-generation wireless technology for mobile phones. According to Job's keynote, the much-maligned download speeds on the iPhone"”when not in the presence of wireless connection"”are about to triple. Jobs demoed a download of the nationalgeographic.com, which the 3G iPhone managed in much less than half the time it took an old iPhone to do it. It also beat a Nokia N95 and a Palm Treo 750, downloading the picture-heavy site 36 percent faster than the other two phones. 3G isn't quite Wi-Fi yet, but it's approaching it, only taking a few seconds longer to pull up the site.
The other big guess from the past few months came true, as well"”the new iPhone will feature GPS. Now, your Google Map will be fully interactive and men will never have to stop and ask for directions again. This should put the fear of, well, God into manufacturers of these devices for cars.
Even with the month-plus wait, there is a silver lining. Thanks to AT&T subsidizing the price, the phone will now be more affordable to the masses. The eight-GB version will retail for $199 (down from $399) and a 16-GB phone will go for $299.
(Image by cattias.photos at flickr.com)
If anyone who waited in line for days last year and shelled out $600 for iPhones with slow download speeds have a comment, we'd love to hear it. Also, does anyone get any sense if this version of the phone will be a lot harder to hack?
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.