New Apple iPhone 3G details unveiled in San Francisco

2.0 version of the device is faster AND cheaper

The iPhone 2.0 was launched in San Francisco today by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who announced the new device is “twice as fast at half the price.”

This second-generation version of the phone is called the iPhone 3G, and allows connectivity to Wif-Fi, 3G and EDGE networks, automatically switching between them for fastest download speeds.

The new model will be available in more than 70 countries including Ireland, the UK and the US beginning July 11. The 8GB model of the phone will be available from $199 in the US, based on service provider contracts and previous purchase of the 8GB iPhone. A 16GB version will also be available from $299.

Jobs says the latest version of the iPhone makes it easier to multi-task with simultaneous voice and data communications, allowing users to browse the web, get map directions, or check email while on a call.

In addition, the iPhone 2.0 software allows users to do real-time mapping and track progress with GPS technology, mass move and delete multiple email messages, search for contacts, save images directly from a web page or email them to the iPhone and transfer them back to one’s photo library on a computer.

The talk time on the new iPhone 3G is up to 10 hours on 2G networks and five hours using 3G, with up to five to six hours of web browsing, up to seven hours for video playback, and up to 24 hours for audio playback.

The phone supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync right out of the box, and runs the third party apps created with the iPhone SDK (Software Development Kit) which has had over 250,000 downloads worldwide since its launch on March 6.

SDK provides developers with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and tools that Apple uses to create its native applications for iPhone. Apple today also announced that its new App Store will be available in 62 countries allowing developers to wirelessly deliver their applications directly to iPhone and iPod touch users around the world. Users can download applications wirelessly and start using them immediately.

–By our New York staff.

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