Today, during its WWDC keynote address, Apple has unveiled the new iPhone 3G S, the successor to the iPhone 3G that was unveiled one year ago. Available in the U.S. on June 19, the new iPhone is giving people a lot of what they’ve been asking for in the past — and some stuff that Apple undoubtedly hopes will make buyers forget all about the Palm Pre.
First of all, the new iPhone is significantly faster than the current model. That’s what the “S” really stands for, “Speed.” Most applications will run at least 2 times faster, according to Apple. Specifics weren’t given about the processor in the device and the RAM included, but you can bet it’s about double the RAM and a processor that has been bumped significantly something which we talked about at length recently. Also not noted is if the device will have a chip to use the faster 3G network that AT&T is supposedly rolling out, but you can bet that’s in the cards as well.
The other improvements in this new iPhone are what were expected. It will have a nicer 3 megapixel camera, that can finally do auto-focus. I’ve been testing out a similar camera on the Google Ion phone for a few weeks now, and it’s not even funny how much better it is than the current iPhone’s. And yes, as rumored, this iPhone will offer the ability to shoot video — something which Apple prevented on the iPhone 3G, although it was possible with unapproved apps.
Another new feature is voice control. Not only can now make calls simply by talking to the phone but you can also control the playback on the iPhone with your voice. If you say “play a song by the Killers,” it will work. You can also ask the phone, “what is playing now?” And it will say it. And you can also say “play more songs like this,” and iTunes Genius will activate. This looks awesome.
One of the most important improvements to this new iPhone however is that the battery life has improved. Apple claims that the iPhone 3G S will get 9 hours of web surfing now when on WiFi — that’s up from 6 hours on the current iPhone. 3G talk time will be the same 5 hours now though.
The iPhone 3G S will come in two sizes, each with two colors: White or Black. The low-end 16 GB version will run you $199. The high-end 32 GB version will be $299. While the price points are the same as last year, the storage sizes have doubled.
One thing that everyone seemed to agree on following its launch this weekend, is that the Palm Pre had an experience that was overall faster than the iPhone’s. With this new processor, more RAM and faster download speeds, that is likely to shift in favor of the iPhone once again.
I still think the iPhone 3G S name is rather silly, and could be downright confusing for those who think people are talking about the iPhone 3G in plural. But whatever, it’s faster, slightly prettier and with a better battery, so I’m happy.
As I noted above, the iPhone 3G S will be available in the U.S. on June 19, and will be available in much of the rest of the world on July 7.
Update: But is buying one a sucker’s bet right now?