The much anticipated, next-generation iPhone has been announced by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, giving a 11 July release date for Ireland and the UK.
The 3G device will come with location-based GPS mobile services and new iPhone 2.0 software that runs hundreds of third-party applications which were built with the iPhone SDK (Software Developers Kit).
“The iPhone has been a phenomenal success for us,” said Matthew Key, chairman and CEO, Telefónica Europe. “We look forward to offering an ever better iPhone 3G experience exclusively to our customers in Ireland and the UK.”
The WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) 2008 was abuzz with news of the faster and cheaper 3G iPhone that will retail in the US for US$199 for the 8GB model and US$299 for the 16GB version. However, this new price will require US customers to sign up for a two-year plan with AT&T.
As expected, Jobs unveiled third-party applications that customers can now enjoy as a result of many months of hard work by independent application developers working with the iPhone SDK, which was released in March 2008 and had over 250,000 downloads in its first 95 days of availability.
Microsoft business users were satisfied when enterprise support was announced with support ‘out of the box’: ie push email, contacts, global address book and calendars are now available.
Jobs went on to say that 35pc of Fortune 500 companies have participated in the enterprise beta programme.
He also demonstrated the new API which is orientation sensitive and location based and will now show contacts within a 10-mile radius with the Core Location API.
Third-party applications, of which Sega was the first to be demonstrated with Super Monkey Ball, are now available for purchase from the newly launched App Store for US$9.99. One of the most exciting applications is that for eBay, which works specially with the iPhone while retaining much of eBay’s full functionality.
Social networking came into play with Loopt, a location-aware social network that lets you know where your friends are by dropping pins on a map, much like the existing Google Maps application on the first iPhone.
The new iPhone will also make blogging and uploading photographs to blogs that much easier with the new, native Typepad application.
The 3G iPhone will be available through all O2 retail channels in Ireland.
By Marie Boran