Apple announced on Monday a new iPhone model with a more powerful CPU, a better camera, and video recording. Perhaps just as importantly, Apple slashed the price of the previous iPhone 3G to less than $100.
The new iPhone 3G S boasts the recently announced iPhone OS 3.0, which includes a multitude of new features and APIs. The handset adds a 3-megapixel camera, with both autofocus and "tap to focus", and supports 30 frames/sec video recording for the first time. It also features voice controls for hands-free operation, a feature of the 3.0 OS that was not announced but uncovered by users of the beta code.
[ Related: The iPhone 3.0 OS adopts some BlackBerry-like security. ]
With a 16GB flash drive, the 3G S is priced at $199. With 32GB, it rings in at $299. The older iPhone 3G with 8 GB and a 2-megapixel camera now drops to $99. The 3G S model goes on sale in the United States on June 19, still exclusively on the AT&T cellular network in the United States. It requires a two-year contract.
Apple didn't go into details about the new CPU but says that in general it doubles the speed of many iPhone applications and tasks. That's important also because the new phone implements the OpenGL ES 2.0 API specification, intended to support high-quality 3D graphics on embedded and mobile devices.
The 3G capability has also been upgraded: the new iPhone can support 7.2Mbps HSDPA cellular connections where available.
Apple has improved battery life compared with the previous 3G model: 3G talk time is the same at five hours, but 2G talk time is 12 hours instead of five; Wi-Fi Internet usage is rated at nine hours instead of six; video playback is now 10 hours instead of 7.
With the new voice control, you can instruct the phone to dial by name or number, select songs, and pause, move to the next track and so on.