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Apple Inc. Introduces iPhone 3G - Faster, Thinner, Cheaper

  • Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: 3G Handset, Apple

Speculation about what Apple's new iPhone will look like is over and now begins the debate on whether the product's innovations and Apple's strategy are on course to make it another culture-shifting product with a chance to meet its 10 million-unit goal by the end of this year.

The widely anticipated 3G iPhone was the centerpiece of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference today in San Francisco - it is thinner, faster, more open, location aware and even less expensive. While the hype surrounding both the original, and now updated iPhone, clearly outstrips the actual impact it has had on the mobile phone market, its influence over competing hardware and content services is undeniable, according to Kevin Burden, Director of Mobile Devices at ABI Research.

"It has been challenging for competitors to deliver products that rise to the expectations the iPhone is creating, without appearing to chase the innovations of a vendor that holds less than half a percent of the worldwide mobile phone market", said Burden. "However, the iPhone is one of those rare, disruptive pieces of technology that first raised the bar for consumer-oriented smartphones and is now looking to meet the expectations of enterprise users through support for iWork and Office documents, as well as push support for Exchange, and wirelessly syncing of email, calendar, contacts and gallery content through its new MobileMe service for non-Exchange users."

Many of the rumors about its technical and functional makeup were proven true. The device is 3G, allowing it to increase the speed at which users can access the Internet, and is slowly opening the door for over-the-air downloads of rich media content, called by principal analyst Nick Holland "a crippling omission from the first iPhone." GPS was also a highly desired feature that is included in the new model, with applications that bring location services to social networking efforts and tracking capabilities.

While iPhone's premium price did a lot to improve the value proposition of high-end smartphones, it was one of the factors that limited wider success. Apple has breached the $200 threshold with the new version; pricing the 8GB version at $199 in every region it is available. The 16GB model will now be priced at $299 and a new 32GB version at $399. "At these price points, iPhone has gone from being out of reach to very attainable and compares well from a feature and desirability standpoint against any smartphone currently on the market," according to Burden.

iPhone 3G will be available July 11th in 22 countries. [ABI Research]

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