It has been over two weeks since my first post, Phone Firmware 2.2 NOT for Hacked iPhones about the new iPhone firmware 2.2. Since then the famed hacker team iPhone Dev Team had quickly released 2.2.1 of its Pwnage Tool to correct the bug found back in late-November. I had also used this version of the firmware for two weeks and can safely report that it has indeed fixed most of the bugs found in previous versions of the iPhone firmware. Although, Safari still crashes when visiting certain sites (ie. Mashable.com), but that may have to do with functionalities on these sites; hard to say.

PS: please read all of iPhone Dev Team's notes before using the any of the tools released for jailbreaking and/or unlocking your iPhone 2G and 3G. If you do not read all the notes you may be sorry.

As with everything that Apple does in the past 24+ years, everyone tries to copy what they do. We saw it with the removal of a floppy disk from a computer (1990s). Initially the critics were criticizing Apple for removing the floppy disk being a stupid idea. Then manufactures begin to imitate what Apple does. Eventually we saw the death of floppy disk and drives.

Apple added Firewire (IEEE 1394) ports (late 1990s) to all their computers and "uneducated" critics thought that it was a proprietary port that Apple force upon consumers and was a waste.

Apple promoted the use of CD-R drives on all their computers, again critics claims that that was a stupid idea as CD-R media was too expensive and say that no one will need such large amount of storage for personal use. Apple does not listen and sent out all their Developers Program media on CDs only.

Apple took the MP3 player, redesigned it and released the iPod in 2003, the same critics come along and claim that Apple is just imitating manufactures like iRiver and others who had MP3 players in the market for years. What Apple did instead was reinvented the mobile music concept with the 3-prong team of the iPod, iTunes audio jukebox and the iTunes Music Store.

Competitors try to imitate what Apple had done, by coming out with what they claim "iPod killers", which are devices that look like the iPod superficially but does not have the usability, nor do they have iTunes or the iTunes Music Store.

Others also try to over throw Apple's lead in the online music retail by launching their own online music stores to compete with Apple's iTunes Music Store, but again they do not have the iPod or the iTunes music jukebox.

In 2007 Apple released the iPhone 2G and changed the mobile phone industry. What they had done was to push the envelop of mobile phone design. They did not try to just create an extraordinary mobile phone, they also wanted to create an ultimate mobile connected information device. In doing so caused all the competitors to rethink their own mobile phone design directions.

Some critics criticizes the fact that the iPhone is not comparable to most high end smart-phones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG, HTC, etc., but what these critics keep missing is what Apple claims the iPhone 2G is capable of and that Apple is using the iPhone 2G as the first-device for the platform.

Can you remember what the iPod was like back in 2003? Could you have imagine the "3rd generation iPod nano" or the "2nd generation iPod Shuffle"? Can you image what the iPhone will be like in 5 years?

Over the years Apple had mostly been successfully in setting the expectations of their customers and audiences for Apple products and services. With the launch of the iPhone 2G on June 29, 2007, Apple released numerous amount of information; including videos, of what the iPhone is and the various things one can do on it.

Similarly, AT&T wanted to do the same expectation management with the launch of the iPhone 3G, and created the AT&T iReady program; including videos. What the iReady program and accompany videos did was to highlight the complexities of purchasing a mobile phone from a carrier and how poor a shopping experience it is.

Apple iPhone 3GAn 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.