It's official: iPhone goes 3G for $199

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Confirming months of speculation, Apple has announced that it will begin shipping two 3G versions of the iPhone. A 16 GB version will feature your choice of black or white backing, and will sell for $299 through AT&T.

To raucous applause, Apple CEO Steve Jobs debuted the 3G model of the iPhone, which he said is thinner than the previous version while sporting all metal buttons and a black plastic backing, much like the rumored specs had shown.


Talk time is slightly up in the new phone, from eight to 10 hours on a 2G network. However, it is down when using 3G -- coming in at five hours according to Apple.

Quad-band GSM and tri-band HSDPA are included. That news means that while it would be likely that hackers will still be able to unlock the phone, T-Mobile customers would not be able to use the 3G portion for data access.

This is because AT&T's 3G operates in the 2100 MHz band: T-Mobile's operates in the 1700 MHz frequency range, which has only just begun to see adoption among carriers (mainly in North America).

Jobs said there were five things that the company focused on when developing the second-generation device: 3G network support, enterprise support, third party application support, better availability, and making it more affordable.

Another long-rumored feature is indeed in the iPhone, and that is GPS. This makes the App Store applications such as Loopt possible, and makes the Google Maps functionality more useful, he said.

Twenty-two countries will initially see the 3G iPhone when it rolls out July 11, Apple hopes over the long term to have it in 70 countries within months.

Most shocking to many will be the price. A 8 GB iPhone will retail for $199, while the 16 GB will retail for $299, and also be available with a white backing.

Contrary to presumption, the new unit is not thinner than its predecessor, though to its credit, it's not much thicker. It's 0.7 mm thicker at 12.3 mm, and ever-so-slightly wider at 62.1 mm versus 61, though it should be just as tall at 115.5 mm.

AT&T's US-based 3G network is based on HSDPA technology, which will compete with Sprint's CDMA2000 and Verizon Wireless' EV-DO.

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