The New iPhone
Steve Jobs introduces Apple's faster and cheaper device.
June 9, 2008— -- "Why are you running?" asked a woman dressed in a bright green T-shirt with the Apple logo as she tried to slow down attendees rushing to their seats at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
But that's how excited these Apple devotees were to hear CEO Steve Jobs' announcement. And while he made them wait two hours for the big news, I'll cut to the chase. Apple's new iPhone, loaded with 3G technology and third-generation wireless networks, will run twice as fast but cost only half as much -- $199 -- as earlier incarnations.
The slower iPhone currently retails at $399, but the new version will be available starting July 11.
But that's not the whole story. If you've never attended or watched one of these rollout presentations online, they are something to behold. A well orchestrated performance that resembles more of a rock concert than software presentation, beginning with the classic rock tunes that filled the hall as the giant doors rolled open to let in the crowd.
It was standing room only, so the event was broadcast on screens throughout the Moscone Convention Center so all 5,200 attendees at the sold-out convention could watch. It was also simulcast on Apple's Web site.
People held up their iPhones to snap pictures of the overflow crowd and the stage with the giant screen displaying the Apple logo. And there was a roar of approval when the huge television screens displayed a shot of former Vice President Al Gore, the man who once claimed to have invented the Internet.
But the biggest applause was reserved for the man of the hour, Jobs, who took the stage in blue jeans and a black shirt and understatedly told the audience, "We've been working hard on some things that I want to share with you."
A picture of a three-legged stool flashed on the screen behind him as he explained the three primary parts to Apple: the original Mac; music, including the iPod and iTunes; and the iPhone, which is approaching its one-year anniversary.
And in that one year, Jobs said they've sold six million iPhones. He called it a project, "near and dear to his heart," and devoted the entire two-hour keynote address to its newest version.