The 3G iPhone

I just finished a quick phone interview with KARN-AM/FM, 920/102.9 on today’s big gadget news: Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote and the new iPhone.

That’s right fanboys. The new iPhone does indeed run on the harder, better, faster, stronger AT&T 3G network (goodbye EDGE!) and is — yes — cheaper than the previous version. Starting July 11, you’ll be able to buy an 8GB iPhone for $199, down from $399.

Check out Engadget’s excellent keynote liveblog here. Apple is clearly betting the lower price will ramp up sales. Note Jobs’ own statement: “The number one reason people didn’t buy iPhones is because they just can’t afford it.” Now, more people can.

Also new: Built-in GPS and full Microsoft Exchange support. The latter will make it easier to get iPhones in sync with company mail servers. Look out, RIM.

What’s missing? A rumored feature that didn’t happen today was a forward-facing camera that would allow for mobile iChat. But I suppose there’s got to be something left to look forward to.

More

WSJ Tech Guru Walt Mossberg’s first impressions

And

Slate on whether the new iPhone will kill stand-alone GPS units:

Every new iPhone sold means one fewer person needs a GPS unit in his car. Considering that the 3G iPhone starts at $200 and integrates music, phone, gaming, the Web, and GPS into one unit, the thing is going to siphon serious business away from the old-line GPS manufacturers. Garmin’s entry-level portable GPS models hover north of $100. Almost all of the rest retail for more than $200, which isn’t looking like a great deal right about now.

Apple’s new phone also has the potential to take GPS technology to a level that Garmin and its competitors have not. GPS will no longer be for driving directions alone; instead, it’s going to be a way to provide location-based services. With applications like Loopt, iPhone users will be able to see if their friends are nearby. In a perfect world, the GPS iPhone might even do the impossible—make Twitter useful. Eventually, it’s easy to imagine a scenario in which you walk into a bar and see how many of your Facebook friends are in the room.

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