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Apple unveils the new iPhone 3G S

Proving rumors and speculations correct, Apple released a new version of their popular smartphone Monday during a conference for developers in San Francisco. Though the new iPhone is identical in its appearance as the previous generation iPhone, it’s what’s inside that counts.

Introducing the iPhone 3G S

Most powerful

Apple announced Monday, the release of iPhone 3G S, the next iteration of what some have considered as the smartphone that change the industry.

Times

Billed as the “fastest, most powerful iPhone yet”, the addition of the “S” in the moniker stands for “speed”. This new iPhone,as claimed by Apple, will be up to twice as fast as the previous generation iPhone.

What’s new?

The iPhone 3G S still has the same design and dimensions as the previous version, so those who wants to upgrade can still use the case or skin they are using with their iPhone 3G.

One very important update to the iPhone is the 3-megapixel camera capable of touch auto-focus and macro mode. Touch auto-focus lets a user select anything on the screen that the camera sees and the camera will automatically focus on that object. The auto-focus can also take macro shots as close as 10 centimeters away.

Aside from higher resolution and auto-focus, the new camera is also capable of taking videos at 30 frames per second, VGA quality with audio, auto white balance and auto exposure.

This video feature can be turned on from within the Camera application. The application can also be used to edit and trim video clips, and then the edited video can be shared through email, MMS, MobileMe, or YouTube.

Another new feature is Voice Control which lets users use voice commands to call a contact in the address book, dial a phone number by dictating the number, play songs by artist or playlist, ask the iPhone what’s playing, or play songs based on the Genius playlist. The Voice Control feature can be activated by pressing and holding the home button. The Voice Control user interface features a wave form and a stream of commands that can be used.

Other new features include a digital compass, better accessibility options, Nike + support, and hardware encryption.

Battery life and other details (or lack thereof)
Battery
Battery life is improved with 9 hours of internet (50% better than the iPhone 3G), 10 hours video playback (40% better), 30 hours audio playback (25% better), 12 hours of 2G talks (20% better), and 5 hours of 3G talk (same as the iPhone 3G).

Aside from the mention that the iPhone 3G S supports 7.2 Mbps HSDPA, not much was mentioned about the internals of the new device. AppleInsider speculates that the reason why no mention was made about the 600 MHz ARM Cortex v8 processor or the PowerVR SGX graphics processor is to keep consumers’ attention focused on Apple’s unique software and not the hardware which competitors can easily duplicate or better.

Perhaps not important enough for a mention during the keynote but nonetheless a nice addition is the “fingerprint-resistant oleophobic screen” as noted in the Apple iPhone 3G S specifications page. “Oleo-” means relating to oil and “-phobic” means fear or aversion. Might not be as snazzy as the new camera or digital compass but the new oleophobic screen goes a long way in keeping the iPhone 3G S’s screen smudge-free.

Pricing and availability

The iPhone 3G S will be sold in US for $199 for the 16GB version and $299 for the 32GB (carrier subsidized). It will still come in two colors: black and white.

iPhone 3G S

Apple also announced that they are still keeping the previous generation 8GB iPhone 3G in stock and will be sold for only $99 (US). A move to get the iPhone into the hands of more consumers.

The iPhone 3G S will be released June 19, two days after the iPhone OS 3.0 release, and the first eight countries to have the new iPhone are the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. On June 26, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Japan, and Netherlands.
July 09The Philippines, along with 33 other countries, will have the iPhone 3G S buy July. No specific date is set. By August, the iPhone 3G S will be in more than 80 countries.

I’ll be watching Globe Philippines closely in the next few weeks to see how much the iPhone 3G S will cost here and when it will be released.

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Filed under: iPhone

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