So now we know. The speculation is over. I was listening to the Apple WWDC event’s iPhone announcements lastnight live on ustream, following the excellent live blogging on Engadget and keeping up with the lively micro-blogging commentary. The announcement everyone was waiting for took ages to come, but it eventually arrived to rapturous applause and cheering as Apple boss Steve Jobs rattled off the new iPhone features. Never has there been so much frenzy and excitement over a gadget, but it is a beautiful, futuristic gadget that has redefined user interface paradigms.
In the end there was nothing earth-shattering about the announcements, actually. Most of the new iPhone 2.0 features had been speculated by blogs and media ad nauseam months before, including GPS and the cheaper price.
Here is a summary of the main iPhone 2.0 features:
- The new iPhone is eventually being rolled out to more than 70 countries this year, as opposed to just the (official) six for the original iPhone. Twenty-two countries will get it very soon.
- It will be 3G and will have GPS … but does this mean it will feature HSDPA? Why was there no mention of HSDPA? Or is 3G a blanket term for HSDPA in this case? Am I missing something here?
- iPhone 3G will sell for only $199 (8GB) up to $399 for the macdaddy version, and this will apply all around the world. Let’s hope the rand holds.
- The iPhone 3G is allegedly 36% faster than the Nokia N95 and Treo 750. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some hasty PR from these companies later on this week.
- The phone has thinner edges, a full plastic back and a flush headphone jack. Overall, though, it is slightly thicker. There appears to be no front-facing camera, which is not normal for a 3G phone. The 16GB version is white in colour.
- The iPhone’s new software will also include push email and contacts.
Above is a world map showing country distribution and the quest for world domination by the iPhone 3G, including even … Madagascar. Note that South Africa is one of the red-coloured countries, confirming earlier media speculation about the local iPhone launch on July 20 (apparently a Sunday?), or thereabouts.