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Apple faithful not disappointed; 3G iPhone lands July

As expected, California’s king of cool gadgetry, Steve Jobs, delivered the goods on Tuesday.

It’s got tri-band HSDPA; it’s got GPS; it costs just $199 and it’ll be here next month. Yep, it’s the next generation iPhone.

During the opening keynote for the Apple World Wide Developers Conference, held in the Moscone Centre in San Fransisco this week, Apple frontman Jobs unveiled the latest incarnation of the iconic device.

The iPhone 3G will be available in more than 70 countries later this year, with rollout beginning on July 11 with 22 countries – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US.

The gadget will come in two sizes and will be subsidised by carriers, so the 8GB model is priced at $199, while the 16GB unit costs $299.

The previously announced iPhone 2.0 software includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and runs the hundreds of third party applications already built with the recently released iPhone SDK. An enterprise focus means contact and calendar syncing as well as remote wipe and Cisco IPsec VPN for encrypted access to corporate networks.

Jobs assured the industry the 3G unit also supports easier multitasking with simultaneous voice and data communications, as well as intelligent switching between wifi, EDGE and 3G to provide the optimal connection at all times.

A new battery means ten hours of talk time on 2G networks and five hours using 3G, with up to five to six hours of web browsing, up to seven hours for video playback and up to 24 hours for audio playback.

A plethora of mini updates include mass move and delete multiple email messages, search for contacts, a new scientific calculator, parental control restrictions for specified content, and taking a leaf out of Nokia’s book – MobileMe. This is an internet service that pushes email, contacts, and calendars from an online “cloud” to native applications on iPhone, removing the need to manually check email and wait for downloads, whilst contacts and calendars on any Apple device are synced and continuously kept up to date. Users can also take photos and post it directly to a MobileMe Gallery online.

The new gadget also includes the App Store, which allows users to purchase and download applications wirelessly and instantly. The App Store will be available in 62 countries at launch.

“Just one year after launching the iPhone, we’re launching the new iPhone 3G that is twice as fast at half the price,” said Jobs. “iPhone 3G supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync right out of the box, runs the incredible third party apps created with the iPhone SDK, and will be available in more than 70 countries around the world this year.”

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