Steve Jobs knows how to keep you waiting. After more than an hour of demos describing the third-party projects designed for the iPhone, he finally got round to the thing everyone wanted to hear about – the new handset. The tension in the Moscone Center, with its 5,200 developers, journalists and Al Gore (no, really) was palpable as he revealed the iPhone 3G.
Very similar in looks to the first iPhone but with a plastic back casing, the iPhone 3G has an earphone jack that’s flush so you can use your own headphones but keeps the old 2Megapixel camera. And although it’s 3G there’s no front camera either, so video calling isn’t a capability. Still, there’s GPS, beautifully worked into the already brilliant Maps function and since the new software includes push email and easy synchronisation between phone and computer thanks to the new MobileMe service that replaces .Mac, the new iPhone is undeniably convenient.
By the time all this was announced the crowd was giddy with excitement, singing bolshily along with ‘It’s a Small World’ as a map turned empire red with the colours iPhone is going to conquer (70 this year) and whistling at how slow EDGE is compared to 3G and wi-fi.
The phone arrives in a month at a lower price than before, because Apple found 56 per cent of people were put off by the price. It’s still only on O2 but it’ll cost £99 on the £35 a month tariff, free on the others. There’s a 16GB version which will cost £159. All this, and it’s still not a year since the first iPhone was sold on June 29 last year. Happy birthday, iPhone (and you’ve already been replaced).