iPhone Turns Out the Lights on Palms PREmature Celebration
I am hardly a “Machead,” although I have eschewed the PC world for a Macbook and haven’t looked back. I am, however, a passionate iPhone user. I was one of the first to get the original iPhone and I can’t say enough about how its intuitive style and all-in-one functionality has revolutionized my life. And so with my 2 year contract coming to a close I have eagerly been anticipating, details about the 3rd generation of this great product. Below is taken from the WSJ’s live blog of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (which can be found here):
11:46 Introduces iPhone 3G S to big applause. Schiller: “T his is the most powerful fastest iPhone we ever made. What’s inside is entirely new. This is a really fast iPhone.” He says launching messages is 2.1 times faster, viewing Excel attachment is 3.6 times faster. It will be ready for 7.2 Mbps HSDPA. Features include brand new built-in camera with auto-focus, tap-to-focus, better light sensitivity for photos taken at night.
11:53 Schiller introduces voice control. “You’re in an application anywhere on the iPhone, you hold down the home button, a brand new interface comes up.” Users will be able to make calls with the sound of their voice, or command iPhone to play a certain song from their iTunes list or ask iPhone “What’s playing Now” and iPhone will give them artist and song title. “Play more songs like this” will activate Genius.
11:55 Built-in digital compass drawing a big shout from an audience member that prompts Schiller to comment on the “big compass fan”.
11:57 Schiller says battery life will be extended. Up to 9 hours Internet surfing on WiFi. 10 hours video playback, 30 hours of audio, up to 12 hours of 2G talk time and 5 hours of 3G talk time. “It’s the most powerful iPhone yet,” says Schiller
11:58 “What are we going to price it at?” asks Schiller (one audience member shouts “$149). He says $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32 GB for new and qualifying AT&T customers in the U.S. Coming in black and white
12:00 Says current iPhone 3G will be available for $99 for 8GB. Huge laughter and cheering. Starts today “because the product is in the market and we can move that now.”
12:01 iPhone 3G will be available on June 19 in the U.S., Canada, France and a handful of other countries, with others to follow quickly behind.
Suffice it to say I’m very pleased, even if they didn’t listen to my repeated requests for a brownie baking app. The reduction of the current 8GB phone down to $99, while potentially hurting the fashion-ability of the product, should be a huge win in terms of sales. Personally, I would have liked more colors choices besides black and white (especially if they had a 32GB only color like silver), but I’m a sucker for exclusivity.
As far as Palm Pre goes, it may be a very nice mobile device, but I think the celebration has been overblown. If you’ll allow me a sports analogy, iPhone is the Tiger Woods of the smart phone game. Much like the sports media eagerly tries to find a rival for Tiger, every challenger they offer melts down in the face of Wood’s superiority. I’m looking at you Sergio Garcia. The tech media has similarly tried to find the next iPhone killer, with about as much success.
It’s time that critics come to terms with the fact that Apple’s iPhone is the unique combination form and function; long live the king.