Sexy Skinny: Apple Releases 3G iPhone

Sleeker new iPhone offers super-fast downloading, longer battery life, GPS.

ByABC News
February 12, 2009, 7:47 AM

June 9, 2008 — -- Apple Inc. unveiled an upgraded iPhoneMonday with a faster Internet connection and GPS capabilities -- andpriced $200 lower than current models.

Analysts have said Apple needed to slash the multimedia gadget'sprice and upgrade it to work over so-called 3G, orthird-generation, wireless networks to hit the company's target ofselling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008.

An 8 gigabyte model is to sell for $199 starting July 11. A 16gigabyte model will cost $299. They'll come in a black case with awhite case optional on one model. The devices are to roll outinitially in 22 countries.

Apple has inked deals for wireless carriers in a total of 70countries to carry the new iPhone.

Apple's participation in the cell phone market has been hurt bycomplaints about the year-old iPhone's data download speeds, whichcan make simple tasks like sending pictures over e-mail ordownloading Internet videos painfully slow.

The original iPhones operate on so-called 2.5G networks. Theupgrade in performance from those networks to 3G will be similar tothe difference between a dial-up Internet connection and ahigh-speed broadband connection.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the computer chips used onthe faster network sapped too much battery life and were too bulkywhen the iPhone was being designed so the company decided to waitto improve the device until better chip technology emerged thatcould fit the iPhone's slim design.

The addition of global-positioning technology improves theiPhone's accuracy in locating users. Current versions use acombination of cell phone towers and Wi-Fi locations to help usersfigure out where they are.

Jobs showed off the phone at Apple's Worldwide DevelopersConference in San Francisco. His announcements were widelyexpected.