The iPhone 3G is Official

No surprises for rumor watchers: 3G, GPS, glossy plastic back, lower price

iPhone 3G

Apple

It's official. The iPhone has gotten a birthday facelift, and the juicy details are all in line with the rumors we've been hearing all month—3G, GPS, an integrated app store, and a glossy new plastic back in black or old-school Apple white. Perhaps most surprising is a substantial price drop—down to $199 for the 8GB version and $299 for the 16GB (price drops were hinted at, but no amounts). Here's what else Apple campers will be dreaming about when they pitch their tents prior to the July 11 launch date.

  • Data speeds are 2.8x faster than EDGE according to Apple's numbers. Apple is also claiming 8-10 hours of talk time, 5 hours of 3G talk time and 5-6 hours of 3G browsing time. All to be taken with a grain of salt as always, but the numbers are impressive. No word on the new battery's actual capacity.
  • Location-based services provided by GPS, which is augmented by the already-present cell-tower and Wi-Fi location tracking. Steve says that location based apps are "going to explode" and he's right. We'll have to wait and see if the GPS actually works (in urban areas at least, getting a signal with a cellphone is historically a pain), but if it does, location-based apps are indeed the future many folks have been waiting for.
  • A new Exchange-like service called Mobile Me for keeping your email, contacts and calendar info synced up with your iPhone across multiple computers. This is the .mac service facelift that has long been in the works.
  • A headphone jack that's not recessed, meaning all headphones fit without adapters. Thank God.
  • Worldwide availability. As all of the international agreements over the last month or so have indicated, the new iPhone will be available in a ton of countries—over 70. Macrumors.com is also reporting that the price will be linked to the US price in dollars, meaning it'll go for around £99 in the UK, for instance. Not too shabby.
  • Those not immediately putting their first-gen iPhone on eBay will get a more modest improvement via the iPhone 2.0 software update which will include the application store, enterprise support via Exchange, and a few other tweaks (scientific calculator?!).

It's all coming July 11 in the U.S. Stay tuned here for more analysis and photos from WWDC.