More bells, whistles at lower price

The hundreds of digital camera screens angling for a photo of Steve Jobs onstage resembled lighters at a concert moments before the video screen behind the Silicon Valley megastar announced the news: “$199,” the price of the new iPhone.

Jobs, the cult leader and chief executive officer of Apple Inc., unveiled the new 3G iPhone to kick off the five-day Worldwide Developers Conference at Moscone Center on Monday. The multiuse gadget — which works as a phone, Internet browser, camera and music player — is half the price of its first incarnation. It features GPS satellite navigation and faster Internet service, and it will be available July 11.

The new iPhone is designed to work on faster third-generation wireless networks, including that of AT&T, the iPhone’s service provider in the United States.

Thousands of people — a majority of them men — packed the keynote speech and spilled into an overflow room at the convention center. Knowing that a Jobs appearance often coincides with a new Apple product announcement, fans stood in line overnight waiting to nab a seat.

Austin Sarner, an 18-year-old programmer with AppZapper.com, arrived at Moscone Center at 5 a.m. Monday and found a line wrapped around the building at Fourth and Howard streets. He applauded the new price for the iPhone because it would put the phone in the pocket of many more people.

“I think it’s going to open up the markets” for applications, he said.

The new $199 3G iPhone, which will be sold in 22 countries, will feature 8 gigabytes of storage, Jobs said. When the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, he said, the 8-gigabyte version cost $599 and now retails at $399.

“We think the 3G iPhone is going to be affordable for just about everyone,” Jobs told the crowd.

Others were disappointed that there was not an additional big announcement other than the iPhone. Dan Dosen, the owner of XML Commerce, said he had wanted to see a tablet computer.

University of Michigan IT employee Jeffrey Kelley said he wanted the iPhone sooner.

“It’s cool, but we wish we could buy one now,” he said.

Besides the new affordable price, Jobs demonstrated the speed of the phone’s new technology by running a demo of a page download. With the new iPhone already showing the page, an old iPhone continued to work as onlookers playfully whistled the theme to “Final Jeopardy!

Current iPhone owners who buy a new model and sign a new AT&T contract will not have to pay penalties to get out of their current contract, AT&T spokesman Michael Coe said.

dsmith@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Caltrain’s future in jeopardy after supervisors block sales tax measure

Roughly 90 minutes into Tuesday’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting, local… Continue reading

Feds target donations from city contractors with new subpoena in Nuru scandal

Federal authorities have homed in on an apparent trail of donations from… Continue reading

Police union opposes proposal to hang ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters at stations

SFPOA criticizes plan for injecting ‘political agendas and wedge issues’ into policing

Twitter blocks verified accounts from posting after hack hits high-profile users

After the Twitter accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West and… Continue reading

Private, charter schools likely forced to begin semester with distance learning

Private and charter schools that may have planned a return to in-person… Continue reading

Most Read