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WWDC '08 Sees Slimmer, Improved, 3G iPhone 804

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the newer-hawtness dept.
Many of us have been watching Apple's WWDC 2008 keynote unfold live. There are many exciting tidbits, but most of all is the announcement of the 3G iPhone. Featuring an even thinner profile, black plastic back, metal buttons, flush headphone jack, improved audio, GPS support, and improved battery life, this is bound to make quite a few people stand up and take notice. Update 18:54 GMT by SM: Best of all it looks like they really took the price point to heart, 8GB iPhones are now $199 and a 16GB model will be available for $299, coming to an Apple store riot near you on July 11,2008.
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WWDC '08 Sees Slimmer, Improved, 3G iPhone

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  • Biggest news is... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Glock27 (446276) on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:48PM (#23713271)
    3G 8 GB iPhone at $199!!!
    • by norminator (784674) on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:51PM (#23713303)
      My question is how does that affect the price of the other iPods, especially the Nano and the Touch... I guess that will probably be answered in the next couple of minutes... Hopefully, anyway. Maybe it just means larger Nanos at the same price point, and reduced prices on the Touches.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by keytoe (91531)
        The 8GB iPod Touch is currently listed at $299 on the store. SWEET DEAL!
    • by TheAlmightyQ (306969) <mpearson @ q s e r v .org> on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:01PM (#23713493) Homepage
      The question is, can you walk into the store and get an iPhone for this price, without having to sign a 2 year contract.

      The reason the iPhone originally cost so much more than we're used to seeing phones cost, is because it was not subsidized by a 2 year service contract.

      Now that they've lowered the price, can I still walk into the Apple store and buy a new iPhone and walk out without signing a contract.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by teh kurisu (701097)

        Looks like the lower price comes from carrier subsidy. They're no longer available to buy direct from the online Apple Store. You have to do it in a brick and mortar store, or on the O2 or Carphone Warehouse websites (which haven't been updated yet, Boo-urns), which I suspect means signing up for a contract before you get your hands on one.

        Still no word on UK pricing either.

      • by _Hiro_ (151911) <hiromasaki&gmail,com> on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:10PM (#23713651) Homepage Journal
        In the Apple Store, it lists "2-Year AT&T Wireless Contract" as one of the system requirements, right next to iTunes.

        http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone?mco=MTE2NTQ [apple.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MojoStan (776183)

        The question is, can you walk into the store and get an iPhone for this price, without having to sign a 2 year contract.

        Now that they've lowered the price, can I still walk into the Apple store and buy a new iPhone and walk out without signing a contract.

        I'm not sure if you're thinking about buying the iPhone without a contract and "just using the iPod" functions, but you cannot do this. You may be able to hack it, but Apple will probably make it a hassle. From Ars Technica's review [arstechnica.com] of the original iPhone:

        • "The first thing you have to do once you take the iPhone out of its box is turn it on and activate it. No part of the iPhone's functionality--including that of the iPod--is accessible until the phone is activated through an AT&T plan (without hack
    • by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:32PM (#23714107)

      3G 8 GB iPhone at $199!!!

      True, but the AT&T contract involves the mortgaging of at least one gonad.

  • Price... (Score:4, Informative)

    by msauve (701917) on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:52PM (#23713313)
    $199/8GB, $299/16GB. Available 7/11 in 22 countries.
  • by AchiIIe (974900) on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:57PM (#23713391)
    The rock bottom price for a GPS device nowadays is $150. You can switch to the iPhone for merely $199. Can't beat it. Oh and for our european friends: It's merely â126, Four our british friends: it's merely £100
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:03PM (#23713527)

      Four our british friends

      Our British friends still spell "for" the same.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Except that it won't be £100. Technology prices never obey exchange rates. I would expect the $199 device to cost at least £169. If it were £100 even I might be tempted to buy one!
  • by sacrilicious (316896) on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:58PM (#23713421) Homepage
    Does Apple allow existing users to upgrade, possibly restarting their 2yr contract, or are they forced to hold to the terms of their previous contract with the old hardware?
    • by mr_matticus (928346) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:27PM (#23714011)
      Apple doesn't have anything to do with that. AT&T has always allowed customers to upgrade their phones at any time, usually restarting the 2-year contract. However, if you are buying or bringing in unsubsidized hardware, it has been my experience that the contract does not get restarted (and obviously, if you just move your SIM card into a different handset that you've acquired through a third party, there's no change in your contract).

      The only way Apple might be involved is in verifying your existing iPhone account at purchase before handing you the box. This seems likely, given the price and the fact that they're obligated to honor their exclusivity agreement (and AT&T, for all its other missteps and poor decisions, has been doing a decent job with providing iPhone customers with service and value-added perks [including rapid expansion of their previously pathetic 3G network]).
  • by TibbonZero (571809) <Tibbon@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:00PM (#23713459) Homepage Journal
    I am not upset about purchasing/owning the iPhone 1.0. It's been leaps and bounds above my Treo 650 and I needed a new iPod anyway.

    I knew from day 1 that that price would come down on future versions. The Apple Lisa was $9,995 in 1983 which is around $21,000 today in 2008. That was the baseline model. As technology grows, things get cheaper. If you haven't picked up this, then perhaps you shouldn't buy technology products. You didn't "have" to buy an iPhone, and you should have seen this coming. You shouldn't also buy such a phone if you can't afford it.

    At the same time, they are upgrading the firmware on the older phones still. My current one still gives me all the battery life I need for reasonable use. I am in a major city (Boston) with wifi almost everywhere. I don't drive, and thus the GPS is a non-feature.

    Anyone that acts "upset" over the new features, and price drop, needs to grow up.

    They didn't add any killer features for me. If they had added even something like the (much rumored, but obviously a lie) video chat functionality or something insane then maybe I'd have thought otherwise. Funny how those rumors/lies got around.
  • Where's the meat? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stokessd (89903) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:00PM (#23713465) Homepage
    The OS has had a full point release and there doesn't seem to be much for it.

    Where's iChat or am I supposed to keep spending like $0.15 a text for SMS. Speaking of SMS, where's the damn MMS?

    How about spam filtering on the mail client. This is supposed to be "just like the desktop OS X" so how hard can it be to upgrade the mail client to more completely resemble the functionality of mail.app on the desktop?

    No discussion of how the 1st gen phones will handle location.

    Nice one month slip on the OS and app store.

    So as a 1st generation owner, the only major upgrade in my day to day is the ability to get 3rd party apps. Hopefully 3rd party apps will fill in the gaping holes.

    A little adblock would be super helpful too...

    Sheldon
    • Re:Where's the meat? (Score:5, Informative)

      by necro81 (917438) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:22PM (#23713909) Journal
      Jeeze, which side of the bed did you get up on today?

      The keynote did have a discussion of a standalone IM client, not based on SMS. It won't run as a background process, but rather rely on a new push service that Apple (and carriers I guess) are adding with the 2.0 firmware rollout. The push service is intended to be used for lots of things, not just IM-ing, and will be available through an API to all 3rd-party devs.

      First-gen iPhones can already do some locating-aware stuff off of the location of cell towers. It ain't great - accuracy is to within a hundred feet at best in my experience, but it is good enough for some location-aware applications. It can already be used to tell you the nearest restaurants, etc., just not give you realtime directions, geotagging, etc. Why do you suddenly expect that the rollout of a next-gen iPhone would suddenly mean an upgrade in the hardware of your current iPhone? New hardware with new capabilities is the march of technology.

      Improvements to the software will come out on a continuing basis. In addition to getting 3rd party apps (which as you say can fill in a lot of missing capabilities), firmware 2.0 on first-gen iPhones will give support for a lot of enterprise stuff (I don't know if that applies to you), support for iWork and MS Office file formats, push-everything, and access to MobileMe (all your stuff is in the cloud, and accessible from anywhere, and pushed to all your devices).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by GarfBond (565331)
      Everything you're asking for was at MacWorld. Official AIM client through app store. Someone somewhere is probably working on an Adium client through the app store.

      No one ever said this was the desktop mail client. That was the MobileMe web app. I'll give you that spam filtering is good to have, but server-side has always been the "better" solution.

      1st gen iphones will handle location just as they always have - a little location button in Maps with cell tower and wifi triangulation. You'll need the lat
    • Re:Where's the meat? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by lucifuge31337 (529072) <(daryl) (at) (introspect.net)> on Monday June 09, 2008 @05:10PM (#23715687) Homepage

      The OS has had a full point release and there doesn't seem to be much for it. Where's iChat or am I supposed to keep spending like $0.15 a text for SMS.
      Push services. They even demonstrated an IM client that backgrounds and will be pushed messages.

      Speaking of SMS, where's the damn MMS?
      I'd like to know too.

      How about spam filtering on the mail client. This is supposed to be "just like the desktop OS X" so how hard can it be to upgrade the mail client to more completely resemble the functionality of mail.app on the desktop?
      Welcome to 2008. Anyone with half a hunk of brain is using IMAP with server side rules and filtering.

      No discussion of how the 1st gen phones will handle location.
      No discussion would seem to indicate they will handle it the exact same way they currently do. What's so hard to understand about that?

      Nice one month slip on the OS and app store.
      Is this your first time using technology? This is hardly a surprise.

      So as a 1st generation owner, the only major upgrade in my day to day is the ability to get 3rd party apps. Hopefully 3rd party apps will fill in the gaping holes.
      Ummm....yeah...you seemed to miss the point. The 3rd party apps are supposed to do exactly that.

      A little adblock would be super helpful too...
      See above.
  • by Dzimas (547818) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:01PM (#23713497)
    From the apple site: "# Requires new 2-year AT&T rate plan, sold separately." In other words, there's no such thing as a $199 iPhone. Plans start at $59.99, so you're looking at a minimum outlay of $1638.76 plus tax over two years.
    • by Dzimas (547818) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:05PM (#23713573)
      Oops. I forgot AT&T's $36 new line activation fee and their monthly Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge of up to $1.25. The grand total now stands at $1704.76.
    • by sootman (158191) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:54PM (#23714515) Homepage Journal
      Plans start at $59.99, so you're looking at a minimum outlay of $1638.76 plus tax over two years.

      Whenever I see a comment like this, I feel compelled to point out that this is the TOTAL amount. 99% of iPhone purchasers ALREADY have a cell phone with a certain amount of minutes and messages, so the only ADDITIONAL costs are the price of the phone (duh) plus the DIFFERENCE in cost between their current plan and the new one. I had a $39.99 ATT plan so I'm only paying $20/month more for the data (and it's worth every penny, btw) so for me it was $249 (rfb. 4 GB phone right after the first price drop) plus $240/year--that's only $729 over two years. If I would have waited until 7/11/08 to buy, that would be just $679--almost a THOUSAND less than your number.

      Also, if I would have bought a 3G iPhone, I would have not spent $130 on a used GPS a few months ago. And for some people this replaces an iPod as well. Hell, I could literally sell a handful of gadgets that I own and pay for the whole thing.

      PLUS: Figure there's a whole bunch of people who will buy new phones (who cares if it's a new contract, I've been with ATT/Cingular/ATT for over ten years anyway; if I were to replace my iPhone with a new one (probably won't, not sure yet) I wouldn't even blink at the thought of two more years) so there will be a whole bunch of used iPhones all of a sudden, and they'll all be selling for less than $200, maybe as low as $100. I imagine that if you buy and activate a used iPhone, you are not bound to a two year contract. (Anyone know for sure?) You may not even be required to purchase a data plan.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by anotherone (132088)
      Yes, it's a cell phone, to be useful cell phones require a cellular provider. If you're going to add service into the price of it, why not also add the price of electricity you use to charge it, the pants you keep it in, and a house since you need a place for all of those pants.
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:06PM (#23713593)
    Will over seas iphone be unlocked by law and will it work in the us.
    • Will over seas iphone be unlocked by law and will it work in the us.
      AFAIK, you can't prevent a GSM phone from working in [Country] unless the carriers in [Country] blacklist the IMEI #.

      GSM is much better than CDMA because of its interoperability.
      Insert SIM card & talk.

      Some overseas iPhones will be sold unlocked (France I know for sure), but unlocking the phone is so easy, I don't see why it should be a problem if it's sold unlocked or not.
    • Last I heard, unlocked iPhones were being sold in France, but they're significantly more expensive than the locked iPhones. When I crunched the numbers a few months ago, I think the cost came to over $1,000 USD (probably even more now, since the dollar is still getting weaker compared to the euro).

      In addition, Apple won't provide support for iPhones outside their country of purchase, so if anything goes wrong with it, you'd have to make an international trip just to get it serviced.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:15PM (#23713775)

    Before everyone goes on a diatribe about what the new iPhone doesn't have or what it doesn't do, remember the long history of the iPod. The first iPod isn't anything special compared to the last several generations. If there are features that you would like to have or features you don't like, just wait and a newer version might address it. It's funny watching the intensity of fanboys and naysayers. If you don't like it, don't buy it. In summary here's the history and the naysayers.

    2001:
    Apple: Introducting the iPod: 1000 songs in your pocket.
    Naysayers:"No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame." Seriously who's going to buy this? It is Mac only, uses Firewire, and costs $400!!

    2002;
    Apple: iPod 2.0: Touch sensitive scroll wheel. Now compatible with Windows. Up to 20GB
    Naysayers: Okay, more space than a Nomad, but no wireless. Firewire only. Still expensive. Easily scratched

    2003:
    Apple: iPod 3.0: UI Redesign. Now USB compatible. Up to 40GB
    Naysayers:Still waiting for wireless. Still expensive. No video or photo capability. Really I need something smaller, maybe flash based. Easily scratched. Still expensive

    2004:
    Apple: iPod mini: Smaller version of iPod. 4 or 6 GB disk based. iPod 4.0. UI Redesign. Clickwheel. Up to 40GB. iPod 4.1: now with color and photo capability. Up to 60GB
    Naysayers:Still no wireless. Still expensive. No video. Maybe a phone/iPod combination would work. Easily scratched. Still expensive

    2005:
    Apple:iPod Shuffle: Ultra-portable iPod. Up to 1GB. iPod mini v2: New colors. iPod nano: Flash based. Color. Replacing mini. Up to 4GB. iPod 5.0: Now with video. Up to 80GB
    Naysayers:No screen on the shuffle. Small video screen on the iPod. And it's not a touch screen. Replace the profitable mini, are they insane? The nano scraches too easily! Still no wireless. When is Apple going to make an iPhone? Still expensive

    2006:
    Apple:iPod Shuffe: Even smaller. Metallic shell. Up to 2GB. iPod nano: New scratch-resistant metallic shell. More battery life. Up to 8GB.
    Naysayers:I can't use the new shuffle as a USB stick! Still no wireless or widescreen or touchscreen. No iPhone. Easily scratched. Still expensive

    January 2007:
    Apple:iPhone: multi-touch, widescreen iPod + mobile phone + internet browser + wireless
    Naysayers:I wanted the phone part to be separate. It's only on AT&T. It's not 3G. I can't buy music wirelessly. It's frickin' expensive.

    September 2007:
    Apple:iPod Touch: iPhone without the phone. iTunes Music Store built in. iPod nano: New form factor. Video. Up to 8GB. iPod Classic: Metallic shell. Up to 160GB
    Naysayers:iPhone is still only AT&T and not 3G. iPod touch is only 8GB and 16GB. And it's frickin' expensive.

    February 2008:
    Apple:iPod nano: new colors: iPod shuffle: new colors. iPouch Touch: 32GB available
    Naysayers:iPhone is still only AT&T and not 3G. iPod Touch and iPhone are still expensive

    June 2008:
    Apple:iPhone 2.0: 3G, GPS, Slimmer, faster, more apps. 8GB $199. 16GB $299
    Naysayers:iPhone is still only AT&T. Still expensive!!

    Fast forward to the future . . .
    2020:
    Apple:iPod femto: Size of a business card, but thinner. Direct neural interface. No charging, uranium battery last 5,000 years. Up to 500TB. iPhone X: Instantaneous, realtime language translation. Up to 20PB
    Naysayers:Should be 1PB. Neural interface is only in HD and not Extreme-HD. Should have used plutonium batteries that last 10,000 years. iPhone isn't 6G. Language translation only covers "major" languages and not Swahili. Still expensive.

    2021:
    Apple:iPod femto: Plutonium batteries. 1PB. iPhone XI: 6G. Language translation now includes Swahili.

  • NOT slimmer (Score:5, Informative)

    by partycrasher (717280) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:17PM (#23713807)
    The iPhone 3G is NOT slimmer - not if you look at the depth. In fact it is a couple of mm's thicker than the predecessor The 3G tech spec page says Height: 4.5 inches (115.5 mm) Width: 2.4 inches (62.1 mm) Depth: 0.48 inch (12.3 mm) Weight: 4.7 ounces (133 grams Old tech spec: Height: 4.5 inches (115 mm) Width: 2.4 inches (61 mm) Depth: 0.46 inch (11.6 mm) Weight: 4.8 ounces (135 grams)
    • Why do you think he put GPS in the new phones? So he could more quickly find dissenters like you. (I have visions of police from Minority Report descending from copters...)
    • Re:NOT slimmer (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ari_j (90255) on Monday June 09, 2008 @04:34PM (#23715177)
      Wait ... 12.3 - 11.6 = 0.7. Does the definition of "a couple" now include 7/10 as a possible meaning?

      It's also possible that "slimmer" meant the average depth over the entire area of the device. Think of how much thinner something seems when the edges taper off compared to something the same maximum thickness but uniform thickness over its area. And remember, Apple cares a great deal about aesthetics.
  • by Catalina588 (1151475) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:39PM (#23714255)
    iPhone 2.0: Apple will do in two years what took five years with iPod. That is, build a multi-billion dollar, global, sustainable, profitable business from scratch.

    Apple listened to developers and enterprise customers in nailing the iPhone feature list. No objections or gripes here.

    The 3G iPhone pricing is very un-Apple in being very attractive and without an obvious price premium. In fact, it is priced for mass-market consumption right now. That means there will be millions out there a year from now. And the ecosystem/market will flock to this high-profile platform, in turn creating even more pull.

    The stock is down today about 4%. Why Jim Cramer is saying "sell on the news" is beyond me. AAPL is going to be a lot bigger and more profitable a year from now.

    There is no technology risk here, so sit back and watch one of the great technology markets of a lifetime unfold.

  • What's Missing (Score:3, Informative)

    by SpryGuy (206254) on Monday June 09, 2008 @04:29PM (#23715097)
    From my perspective, these are the things I didn't hear that I had wanted to hear...

    * No expanded capacity. I had hoped for 24Gb or 32Gb models

    * No improved camera. I had hoped for more megapixels, maybe a flash, or at least better controls and options and editing

    * No mention of copy/paste. Come on! Copy/Paste!

    * No mention of rotatable keyboard, across all aps

    * No MMS. Come on! Multi-media messaging is standard on most phones sold now!

    * No mention of email search. Contact search is great, but let us search through everything. Pervasive search!

    That said, I'm still buying one :-)

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