It’s official: the iPhone 3G will drop on July 11, with a base price of $199. That’s pocket change compared to last year when prices were in the $500-600 range when the first iPhone was released. The turtle-necked guru himself, Steve Jobs, delivered the most eagerly waited (tech) announcement of the year so far at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, the week-long convention that is pretty much MacWorld 2.
While streaming and listening to the big announcement on iPhone Alley, my eardrums were nearly blown up by the roars of the thunderous applause every time Jobs opened his mouth to reveal a new feature on the phone. And that was before he even got to the price drop (and I had my volume settings on "low"). Naturally, there’s going to be lots of cheers when in the presence of Apple’s CEOs as much of the crowd is filled with Macheads who paid to get into the keynote event.
Even though I couldn’t hear the price upon first listen (since it was drowned out immediately with a roar of applause so loud it could have been equivalent to a jumbo jet taking off), it was worth the wait for those who haven't gone iPhone yet. But I have to admit I was delighted to hear the price drop and GPS features and improved wireless/EDGE network download speeds (not to mention my jealousy, having paid $399 + AppleCare for the first iPhone in December). I checked the Apple Store website (which has been closed all of Monday for a mysterious update), and 10 minutes after the announcement, the site was already crashing.
But how was the blogosphere reacting immediately after? Aside from the price drop, GPS is obviously on the minds of many.
Erick Schonfeld for TechCrunch noted aside from the 3G upgrade, "what is really going to be a game-changer, though, is the higher speed in combination with the GPS chip, which will open up a whole slew of location-aware apps (some of which we’ve already seen)." He also predicted "this price drop and the new features should put Apple over the 10-million mark without a problem."
Paul Miller for Engadget praised the new GPS system along with improved WiFi, "which should give users a pretty solid lock on where the heck they are on this planet." He was disappointed, however, that "there's no front-facing cam, which syncs with what we were hearing."
Also on the GPS feature, Gizmodo bloggers asked "Two unspokens: What's it do to that otherwise nice battery life? And where's a carmount?" They also said, "It has been a long wait, but the final version of the iPhone SDK has turned out beautifully."
Damon Darlin for The New York Times expressed a little surprise, that there was not the "classic ‘one more thing’ from Mr. Jobs, followed by another big surprise."
Maybe next MacWorld in January 2009.