iPhone 3GS announced

At WWDC today, Apple announced the updated iPhone 3GS.

For the same $199 as before (and as the Palm Pre), you now get double the memory (16GB), much faster performance, support for 7.2mbps HSDPA, compass, voice control (!), auto focus (not fixed focus like the pre) 3MP camera with auto macro, and excellent video capability (VGA at 30fps).

The current 8GB 3G model will still be sold for $99 and the new top of the line is 32GB for $299.

Seems good enough to ward off the Palm Pre. The Pre is now much less capable for the same or more money (rebate required) with almost no applications available for it.

However, I wonder who will buy this new phone. Anyone who’s wanted an iPhone in the last 2 years would have bought one by now and it probably still locked into their existing contract with steep upgrade prices.

As far as I’ve been able to tell the prices are as follows:

Model New contract In AT&T contract around 1yr just started new AT&T contract
8GB iPhone 3G $99 $299 $499
16GB iPhone 3GS $199 $399 $599
32GB iPhone 3GS $299 $499 $699

I don’t see most current iPhone users upgrading for a while. The only phone that seems appealing is the $99 iPhone 3G for those who see the initial price as an impediment. However, the monthly service fee with the $30/mo data plan is still there and is the more serious cost issue.

What didn’t make it:

  • Front facing camera. I think I would really like this. Dick Tracy style video phone calls.
  • Rumored AT&T lower price for limited data plan.
  • Tethering plan from AT&T

On an unrelated note, they made surprising but helpful updates to the Macbook Pro line adding FW800 into the Macbook Pro 13. But conspicuously missing were any updates to the white Macbook.

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