HERE WE GO AGAIN
Mark July 11, 2008 on your calendar, if you're an Apple iPhone fan. That's the date the new 3G iPhone, will be available in the U.S. and over 20 other countries. See these stories on Techmeme for all the discussions, or see this Engadget report for a summary on what's what:
"Thinner edges, full plastic back, flush headphone jack, and the iPhone 2.0 firmware -- Apple's taking a lot of the criticisms to heart from the first time around.
Obviously 3G is at the forefront, but they're also making sure it's available all over internationally, works with enterprises, runs 3rd party apps... and does it all for cheaper. Apple claims its 3G speeds trounce the competition, with pageloads 36% faster than the N95 and Treo 750 -- and of course it completely trounces the old EDGE data.
Battery life isn't getting put out to pasture though, with 300 hours of standby, 8-10 hours of 2G talk, 5 hours of 3G talk, 7 hours of video and 24 hours of audio. GPS is also a go...
"Apple hopes to launch in 70 countries this year. 8GB is available for $199, 16GB for $299 -- and the 16GB comes in white. Both pricepoints require a contract. Apple will be hitting the 22 biggest markets, including the US, on July 11th."
The mainstream and online media will likely again report on long lines at Apple and AT&T stores in the U.S., with folks waiting to be amongst the first to get their hands on one.
For those interested in the financial implications for Apple and AT&T in all this, Saul Hansell (NYTimes) has a good summary in this blog post:
"The biggest news from Apple is what Steve Jobs didn’t say: It has completely changed the basis of its deals with AT&T and other wireless carriers.
According to a press release from AT&T, the carrier will no longer give a portion of monthly usage fees to Apple. Instead carriers will pay Apple a subsidy for each phone sold, in order to bring the price from $399 down to $199 for the 8 Gigabyte model. The company did not specify the amount of the subsidy. Subsidies of $200 to $300 are common in the industry.
What is more, consumers will now pay $30 a month for unlimited data service from AT&T, compared to $20 under the plan introduced last year. So even though the phone will now cost $200, consumers will be out more cash at the end of a two-year contract compared to the previous deal."
Benefit for Apple in all this, you ask?:
"It also should help insulate Apple from the cost of people who buy iPhones and unlock them to use on carriers that don’t pay Apple the monthly fee. Now Apple will get its money, say $500, up front and it no longer has to police what people do with them."
All this of course does not include the 30% revenue share Apple will take on selling third-party iPhone applications via it's App store, accessible from 62 countries. Also of note is the rejuvenated .Mac service, now re-named MobileMe. And of course since the iPhone and iPod businesses ties into a host of Mac-based services, there presumably will be synergies across most of Apple's main product lines.
But to really get a sense of what's really special going on with the new iPhone platform, one needs to watch the whole Keynote presentation. It'll take about an hour and 45 minutes, but for anyone interested in things Apple, it's worth it.
I was particularly impressed with the third-party application presentations...not just the applications, but the actual presentations themselves were done really well by the various parties. Not boring at all, as it would seem at first blush.
Pretty cool stuff overall.
The Mac/iPhone/MobileMe platforms have the potential to be where Microsoft and a few others really should have been able to go with all their assets and capabilities, and maybe still will...but Apple has a bit of a head-start.
In the meantime, July 11, 2008, is the new June 29, 2007. And the zaniness won't be limited to just the U.S. this time.