**Update: What to do if you already own an iPhone **
**Update: AT&T’s monthly fees for new iPhone 3G plans**
***Update: 6:18 p.m.; The Apple iPhone is not available for pre-order, meaning more customers waiting in long lines for the mobile phones. An AT&T spokeswoman said today that details will come out closer to the July 11 release, such as what time the phones will go on sale.***
As just about everyone predicted the announcement of a 3G iPhone today, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs did just that today.
Nerds, like myself, might be interested in the play-by-play liveblogging we had this morning. But, for the rest of the world, here’s a simple snapshot of what Jobs announced:
A new iPhone:
- The second-ever generation iPhone goes on sale July 11 in 22 countries.
- The phone looks much like the current iPhone, but the buttons are all metal, its a little bit thinner and the back is all black or white plastic rather than brushed metal.
- The phone’s new features: GPS (that pinpoints the phone’s exact location) and 3G (a new way of connecting to cellular networks that offers faster speeds for loading web pages, sending photos and downloading e-mails).
- Two versions of the iPhone will be sold: an 8GB version in black for $199 and a 16GB version in white or black for $299.
- Buying the new iPhone requires a new two year AT&T rate plan, sold separately.
- The phone also has improved audio (some people complained the phone’s speakers were not loud enough) and the spot for plugging in headphones is flush (the old phone’s plug-in was different than iPods and such — requiring an adapter to use most headphones).
- ADDED 2:10 p.m. — AT&T says pricing on the new phone will be $30 a month for 3G data plans plus voice plans starting at $39.99 a month. Unlimited 3G data plans for business users will be $45 a month, plus a voice plan.
- ADDED 4:58 p.m. – No discounts for current owners. But if you purchased an iPhone on or after May 27, you’ll be able to exchange it for the new iPhone “without incurring an additional handset charge,” says AT&T. For owners of iPhone prior to May 27, you’ll have to fork over the $199 or more for the new phone and extend your contract for 2 more years.
A new Web site for syncing personal information:
- Apple’s new Web site (called www.me.com — it’s not live yet) replaces the current site called dot Mac at www.mac.com.
- The Web site stores a person’s: contacts, calendars, e-mail and photos. Users change or add information to the Web site and that information is then automatically synced via wireless to the person’s Apple or PC computers, iPhone or iPod Touch and programs (Microsoft Outlook for PC users and iCal, Apple Mail and Address Book for Apple users).
- MobileMe will open in July (likely on July 11) and costs $99 a year. There is a 60-day free trial. The service includes available 20GBs of available space. People who use .Mac right now can upgrade to MobileMe whenever they want.
Third-party applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch:
- Starting in early July iPhone and iPod Touch users will be able to download applications for the devices made by third-party developers (not made by Apple).
- Developers set their own prices for the applications; some will be available for free.
- Some applications were demonstrated during today’s Apple presentation. Those include: Super Monkey Ball – a game by SEGA, an eBay application called “Auctions,” Modality that offers information and images for medical students, a Major League Baseball application that shows game and player information and a racing game called “Cromag Ralley” in which the iPhone or iPod Touch is used as the steering wheel.
An updated operating system for the iPhone and iPod Touch:
- The next operating system for the iPhone and iPod Touch will be version 2.0.
- The system will be a free upgrade for iPhone users and will cost $9.99 for iPod Touch owners.
- The system will be available in early July.
- The system’s new features include: ways to delete or move groups of information — not just one item at a time, ways to save images from an e-mail, a scientific calculator, Asian language support and parental controls.