San Francisco (CA) – Apple today introduced “the fastest iPhone ever”, with speed and software upgrades, a video camera, a compass as well as more storage capacity. The broadband speed upgrade was sort-of announced by AT&T in late May and it seems that Apple has done enough to maintain the sex appeal of the iPhone. Oh, and yes, there is $99 iPhone now as well.
Apple did not believe that it was already time for an entirely new iPhone after all. At its WWDC event in San Francisco, the company announced a new “S” version of the iPhone 3G and we are told the “S” stands for “speed”.
That speed is mainly based on support for OpenGL ES 2.0, which renders 3D graphics much more effectively than before, indicating that the iPhone is moving even more into the mobile gaming field. Apple also promises that the battery life has been improved. At least from a hardware perspective, support for HSPA 7.2 may be the most interesting new feature of the device. In theory, the iPhone 3G S will offer a maximum bandwidth of 7.2 Mb/s, up from 3.6 Mb/s. However, users are not likely to see these numbers in the real world, but should be able to hit download speeds of 0.7 to 1.7 Mb/s.
AT&T recently announced that it would be updating its 3G network with HSPA 7.2 support and promised that the nation’s network would be upgraded by 2011. The company also announced that it will be adding more capacity to its 3G network, but it remains unclear whether AT&T can keep up with the growing demand of 3G bandwidth.
Other new features in the iPhone 3G S include a 3 megapixel camera, which can record video. There is also a new compass, which adjust the geographic direction of the device in GPS applications. According to Apple, the software update includes more than 100 new features, including such as cut, copy and paste, MMS, Spotlight Search and a landscape keyboard.
The phone sells for $199 in a 16 GB version and for $299 in a 32 GB model. If you can live without all those fancy features, you can stick to the regular iPhone 3G, which now sells for $99 in an 8 GB version.