An hour ago Apple's co-founder, CEO, Steve Jobs, announced the highly anticipated Apple iPhone 3G during the keynote speech at the WWDC 2008 in San Francisco. It will be available July 11, 2008 in 70 countries around the world. The announcement had some surprises; confirmation of built-in GPS. All in all were information that many of the rumor sites had already published: 3G radio, longer battery life, multiple colours (Black and White) and lower price. What was missing, that I had hoped for was video conferencing or Mobile iChat. Well there is just over a month before the actual release date, may be there is another higher version at the USD399.00 price point: more storage 32GB and video conferencing to be announced before the date.
Yes, Apple lower the price of the 8GB version to USD199.00 and the 16GB version to USD299.00. Making one to speculate there may be yet another model at the original USD399.00 price. I think I may hold out for that.
The most interesting is that it showed up on Apple HK's Store, but when I try to follow the "Find a store" link within the page, it gave me a "Page Not Found" error. I guess Apple forgot to put up a "Coming Soon" page for this. As Hutchison Telecom had already announced last week that it signed an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone 3G through is "3" mobile brand. I just hope that it is not the only carrier that will carry the iPhone 3G in Hong Kong.
During the keynote, Steve Jobs failed to offer any details of Apple's business arrangements with these mobile carriers in the 70 countries. It is already know from the various mobile carrier press releases in the past several weeks, there are more than one carrier in a most of these 70 countries that will be selling the iPhone 3G.
The Apple Stock had a roller coaster ride during the 2 hours of the keynote, taking a dive of almost USD4.00 during the 3rd party application demos; which most have seen during the announcement of the iPhone SDK in January, then rising to a high of USD184+ when the 3G iPhone was ("confirmed") announced by Steve Jobs. It then drop a USD6.00 dollars when everyone realize there's no "Just One More Thing" announcement.
I think both the market and myself was expecting Steve Jobs (Apple) to detail their future business arrangements with the mobile carriers in these 70 countries. Being a shareholder myself (full disclosure), hopefully Apple will release more details as we get closer to the actual release date of July 11th.
The one other surprise and rumor confirmation was the announcement of MobileMe, which is the next generation of .Mac for Macintosh computers, Windows computers and iPhones. To put it simply, it is a Web 2.0 refresh of (the over due revamp) .Mac service. Although, given its compatibility with iPhones (equipped with 2.0 firmware), I may again have a use for this service. Given I can install version 2.0 of the iPhone firmware on my current hacked iPhone 2G.
[Update: June 10, 2008] Thank to the reader, AC, I just checked Apple's "Find a Store" link and it is now pointing to a page where it lists "3" as the mobile carrier to purchase the iPhone.
Apple Apple has composed a new page which list all the countries where the iPhone will be available after July 11, 2008.