Apple Introduces the New iPhone 3G

Apple today introduced the new iPhone 3G, combining all the revolutionary features of iPhone with 3G networking that is twice as fast as the first generation iPhone, built-in GPS for expanded location based mobile services, and iPhone 2.0 software which includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and runs the hundreds of third party applications already built with the recently released iPhone SDK. In the US the new iPhone 3G is priced at a stunning $199 for the 8GB model, and just $299 for the 16GB model. iPhone 3G will be available in more than 70 countries later this year, beginning with customer availability in 22 countries—Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US—on July 11.

Back in early January, I wrote an article called How Apple Can Fix the iPhone in 2008 in which I listed almost 20 key problems with the iPhone at the time. What's amazing about the iPhone 3G/iPhone Software Update 2 is that about half of the issues I raised—arguably the most important ones—have been fixed. That's good stuff.

Apple Introduces MobileMe Internet Service

Apple today introduced MobileMe, a new Internet service that delivers push email, push contacts and push calendars from the MobileMe service in the "cloud" to native applications on iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs. MobileMe also provides a suite of elegant, ad-free web applications that deliver a desktop-like experience through any modern browser. MobileMe applications (www.me.com) include Mail, Contacts and Calendar, as well as Gallery for viewing and sharing photos and iDisk for storing and exchanging documents online.

This one is potentially huge as well. MobileMe is really an evolution of the .Mac service, made to work with PCs and the iPhone (and not just the Mac as was basically the case with .Mac). It's still a bit expensive at $99 a year, but I think Apple will see some big success with this. Note their use of the word "cloud."

I also like the use of the phrase "Exchange for the rest of us." It's reminiscent of Apple's past marketing slogans ("A computer for the rest of us") and is actually true enough, for a marketing slogan. The big deal here, of course, is iPhone support, so they had to support Windows in order to hit the biggest iPhone user base. This is all about over-the-air updating.

I'll be writing a lot about both of these products in the months ahead.