Apple introduces the iPhone 3GS, drops price on 3G to $99

Posted by Ed Burnette on ZDNET

At today’s World Wide Developer’s Conference keynote, Apple announce a new, faster version of the iPhone: the iPhone 3GS. The S stands for Speed.

The new device is 2.1x faster to launch Messages, 2.9x faster to launch a big web page. It includes OpenGL|ES 2.0, and has 7.2MBps HSDPA built-in.

Besides the faster processor, the big draw for the 3GS is its new 3.0 megapixel camera. It features:

* Tap-to-focus - tap an item in the photo to focus on it. Resets the light balance too.
* Improved low-light sensitivity.
* Automatic macro photographs (10cm).
* Video capture, 30fps VGA.
* Videos show up in photo library. You can trim them, share via emal, MMS, YouTube, MobileMe.

The new 3GS also features voice control. You hold down the home button for a few seconds in any application. Commands that you can say start floating around on the screen. Say one of them and it happens. Examples: “Dial scott forestall”, “play the killers”, “play more songs like this”, “what’s playing now”.

Other features:

* Built-in digital compass.
* New accessibility settings.
* Nike+ support.
* Hardware data encryption.
* Improved battery life. 9 hours on WiFi, 10 hours watching video, 30 hours audio, 12 hours 2G talk, 5 hours 3G talk.
* Greener materials, packaging.

Price and availability:

The iPhone 3GS will be available in 7 countries on June 19th for $199 (16GB) and $299 (32GB). Both come in black and white. The old 3G will continue to be available, but at a lower price-point: $99. All prices are for AT&T new and qualifying customers and may vary on other carriers.