Apple’s Phil Schiller took the stage today to take the wraps off his company’s third smartphone: the iPhone 3G S. The S is for “speed,” and this upcoming model will be faster than its predecessor in a variety of ways, including mobile broadband running at 7.2 Mbps.
Support for faster 3G networks and improved software will lead to quicker web surfing, and the company promises that attachments will open in less time.
The design of the model isn’t changing, and the iPhone 3G S will have much in common with the current version. The outward appearance isn’t significantly different, and the screen resolution remains the same.
Apple is promising longer battery life though: 9 hours on a single charge.
Video Camera and Rental
The iPhone 3G S will have a 3 MPx camera, and be the first in this product line with video support. It will offer 30 fps video with VGA resolution and auto-focus. Users will be able to clip out select portions of their videos.
Speaking of video, new software will allow users to rent and buy movies from iTunes, and then watch them on the go.
Other new Features
The next iPhone will offer tethering — meaning it will be usable as a modem for another computer — but this will require the cooperation of the wireless carrier that’s offering it, and AT&T’s name was conspicuously absent from the announcement of this feature.
Games have proved to be very popular with users of Apple’s smartphones, and the company is adding support for wireless head-to-head gaming. This will allow two iPhones running the same game to connect to each other over Bluetooth.
In addition, the latest version of the operating system will — finally — allow iPhone users to cut-and-paste and copy-and-paste. MMS is also being added, as well as support for stereo Bluetooth headphones.
Pricing and Availability
The iPhone 3G S will be released sooner than had been rumored: June 19.
There will be two versions: a 16 GB one will sell for $200, while a 32 GB model will go for $300. They will be available in back and white casings.
In addition, Apple is throwing a bone to those looking for a less-expensive model, and AT&T won’t be discontinuing the current 8 GB iPhone 3G. Instead, this device will continue to sell at a new lower price: $100.