Apple annnounces iPhone 3G

Apple iPhone 3G

As widely expected, Apple announced its second generation iPhone today. Called the iPhone 3G, it finally addresses one of the biggest complaints leveled against the first generation iPhone. As the name implies, the new iPhone comes with 3G support (tri-band UMTS/HSDPA on top of the quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE). Not only is 3G about 2.8 times faster than EDGE but Jobs claimed during its introduction that the iPhone 3G was also about 36 percent faster than other 3G phones like the Treo 750 and Nokia N95.

There are also a number of differences and improvements over the first generation iPhone. Aside from 3G, it adds assisted GPS. It also comes with a flush headphone jack and improved audio. It retains the 3.5-inch display (480×320), 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and 2.0MP camera from the current iPhone.

The iPhone 3G measures 115.5 by 62.1 by 12.3 millimeters (4.5 by 2.4 by 0.48 inches), making it thinner than the first generation iPhone, and weighs 133 grams (4.7 ounces). It will have a plastic back and solid metal buttons. In terms of battery life, the iPhone 3G will support up to 300 hours of standby, 10 hours of 2G talk time, 5 hours of 3G talk time, up to 6 hours of high-speed browsing and up to 24 hours of audio.

Two models will be available: An 8GB model will sell for USD$199 and a 16GB version will be available for USD$299. Apple indicated that these will be maximum prices, suggesting that they could be lower with carrier subsidies (wishful thinking on my part). The iPhone 3G will be available in either black (both models) or white (16GB model).

The iPhone 3G will be available starting on July 11th in over twenty countries, including Canada courtesy of Rogers Wireless and Fido. Another fifty will follow in the upcoming months. Stay tuned as we will now see a flurry of announcements from carriers as to when they will launch the iPhone 3G.