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Finally, Steve Jobs unveils iPhone 2.0 and iPhone 3G

June 9, 2008 | 11:22 am
The cheapest iPhone 3G costs $199

UPDATE 6:10 P.M.: What's missing from the iPhone? Here's another chance to weigh in.

UPDATE 2:50 P.M.: Some of our astute readers have noticed that we originally said Steve Jobs described the new iPhone as thinner than the previous version. They noted that Apple's iPhone specs page says the 3G version is .48 of an inch, compared with .46 of an inch for the current model. But during his keynote address Jobs definitely touted the new iPhone as "thinner." So which is it? Thicker or thinner?

The answer: Both. Jobs threw in a caveat -- it's thinner at the edges. The specs, however, list the device's thickness by measuring its thickest point. So, although the new iPhone is a bit lighter (4.7 ounces vs. 4.8 ounces) and feels a little less bulky in the hand, it's technically thicker than the older version.

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UPDATE 12:10 P.M.: Enough with the new software, time for a new iPhone! Due in about a month, the iPhone 3G is thinner at the edges and cheaper and runs on a faster data network, Steve Jobs says.

Jobs says the new version runs on AT&T's 3G (industry-speak for third-generation) network. That should help shoot down one of the biggest criticisms of the iPhone: It's a great Web-surfing device when you're within range of an open Wi-Fi connection, but it's brutally slow when you're on AT&T's standard cellular network, Edge.

AT&T's 3G network is almost three times as fast as Edge, Jobs says. He loaded a page from the National Geographic website -- it took 59 seconds on the Edge network and only 21 seconds on the 3G version. "It's amazingly zippy," Jobs said.

The iPhone 3G also has built-in GPS, which he said would lead to new services that target you by location.

Oh, and Jobs says it has got better battery life: five hours of talking, six hours of Web browsing, seven hours of video-watching or 24 hours of audio-listening.

Steve Jobs unveiling iPhone 2.0Whoa! It's going to cost $199 for an 8-gigabyte version and $299 for 16 gigabytes of storage. That's a lot cheaper than the least-expensive model's current price of $399.

It's launching on July 11 in 22 countries.

Keynote over!

Analyst Ken Dulaney of Gartner told us that Apple was clearly going after the cellphone industry's top dogs. "With these announcements today, [Apple is] making a statement they want to overtake Nokia," he said.

"Price is the big surprise," said his Gartner colleague Mike McGuire. "If anyone needed proof that Apple wanted to go after a broader market, they have it now."

More reaction later.

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Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs ended the guessing game this morning and is, at this moment, unveiling the second version of the iPhone.

Jobs said iPhone 2.0 -- the next version of the software that runs the device -- would be available in early July. It’s free for all iPhone owners and will cost $9.95 for owners of the iPod Touch, which has many of the same features except the cellphone service.

Partway through his keynote speech at Apple’s developer conference in San Francisco, which boasted a record 5,200 attendees, Jobs has shown off jazzed-up calculators, additional parental controls, the ability to delete e-mail in bulk and other iPhone features that will come with the software update. It's going to support Microsoft Exchange, so more people can use corporate e-mail on their iPhones. Users also will be able to write in Chinese and Japanese, in some cases drawing characters with their fingers. "It’s one of the advantages of not having a bunch of plastic keys for your keyboard," Jobs said.

He also showed off video games and other programs that outside developers had created for the iPhone 2.0. Internet company Six Apart has shown off how to do live posts on its TypePad blogging service. A company called Loopt showed how iPhone users could meld social networking tools with a map to find out which friends are within 10 miles of them. Major League Baseball showed what it had created specifically for the iPhone: nearly real-time tracking of baseball games, including video highlights.

He said 4,000 developers had been admitted to the program for selling iPhone applications. The so-called App Store is going to be available in 62 countries. Developers get to set the price (free, if they want) and keep 70% of the revenue. Apple won't charge them for credit card or hosting fees.

So far, it's been only software updates –- no thinner or faster version of the phone itself. But we expect that’s coming. Stay tuned.

-- Michelle Quinn

Photos: Apple CEO Steve Jobs during his keynote speech to show off the new iPhone. Credit: Eric Risberg / Associated Press

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