Apple halved the price of its entry-level iPhone to $99 on Monday to widen the trendy device's mass-market appeal, as global competition heats up after Palm Inc launched the Pre.
The company also cut prices on several of its Mac notebooks, annouhced th erelease of Safari 4 browser and unveiled Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
New iPhone 3GS
Apple introduced the new iPhone 3G S, the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet, packed with new features including improved speed and performance?up to twice as fast as iPhone 3G?with longer battery life, a 3 megapixel autofocus camera, easy to use video recording and hands free voice control.
iPhone 3G S includes the new iPhone OS 3.0 mobile operating system with over 100 new features such as Cut, Copy and Paste, MMS, Spotlight Search, landscape keyboard and more. iPhone 3G S customers get access to more than 50,000 applications from Apple?s App Store. iPhone 3G S offers twice the capacity for the same price with a 16GB model for just $199 and a new 32GB model for just $299. And beginning today, iPhone 3G is available at the price of just $99 for the 8GB model.
iPhone 3G S offers on average up to twice as fast as iPhone 3G, according to Apple. iPhone 3G S takes advantage of the OpenGL ES 2.0 standard for high-quality 3D graphics. The new iPhone also coms with longer battery and supports 7.2 Mbps HSDPA.
The phone's autofocus camera adjusts focus, exposure, color and contrast for the best possible image and includes an automatic macro focus for extra close up shots. With the new "tap to focus" feature, you simply touch the display to select an object or area of interest and the camera automatically re-adjusts focus and exposure. You can record high-quality video clips and edit them right on your iPhone 3G S by simply trimming the start and stop points. With iPhone 3G S you can send photos and video by email or MMS and post them to MobileMe or YouTube with just one tap.
The voice control feature in iPhone 3G S offers hands free operation for both iPhone and iPod functions. Simply speak the appropriate commands into the built-in microphone or headset microphone to dial by name or number. With voice control you can play your favorite music by artist, album or playlist and activate the Genius feature by saying "play more songs like this." You can also tell iPhone to pause the music, play the next track, turn on shuffle or ask, "What?s playing right now?"
iPhone 3G S features a new built-in digital compass for instant navigation. The Compass app shows you which way you are headed and rotates as you change direction. You can orient yourself to true north or magnetic north, and iPhone?s built-in GPS automatically displays the coordinates of your current location. The new built-in digital compass is also integrated within Maps, so it automatically orients any map to the direction you are facing.
iPhone 3G S provides new accessibility features including VoiceOver, a screen reader that speaks what appears on the iPhone 3G S display, enabling visually impaired users to make calls, read email, browse web pages, play music and run applications. The new universal Zoom function magnifies the entire screen, and the White on Black feature reverses the colors on screen to provide higher contrast for people with low vision. iPhone 3G S also supports Mono Audio which combines left and right audio channels so that they can be heard in both earbuds for those with hearing loss in one ear.
iPhone 3G S includes the new iPhone OS 3.0 software with more than 100 new features including: Cut, Copy and Paste; MMS; Spotlight Search to search across iPhone or within Mail, Contacts, Calendar and iPod; landscape keyboard for Mail, Messages, Notes and Safari; expanded parental controls for TV shows, movies and apps from the App Store; and the ability to capture and send audio recordings on the go with the new Voice Memo app. iPhone 3.0 software also includes a new Find My iPhone feature that works together with MobileMe so you can locate your lost iPhone on a map, send a message that will appear on the screen or play a sound to help you find it even if your phone is set to silent. If you cannot find your iPhone, you can erase all data and content on your iPhone with the new Remote Wipe feature. New iTunes? features available with iPhone 3.0 software include wirelessly downloading movies, TV and audio programs as well as iTunes U so students can download learning materials on the go.
iPhone 3G S will be available in the US on June 19 for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and just $299 (US) for the new 32GB model in both Apple and AT&T?s retail and online stores, Best Buy and Wal-Mart stores. iPhone 3G S requires a new two year contract with AT&T for qualifying customers. iPhone OS 3.0 software will be available on June 17 as a free software update via iTunes 8.2 or later for all iPhone customers. iPod touch customers will be able to purchase a software update for $9.95 (US). Beginning June 8, iPhone 3G will be available for just $99 (US) for the 8GB model. New MobileMe features for iPhone require iPhone OS 3.0. MobileMe is available for an annual subscription price of $99 (US).
MacBook Pro Family Updated
Apple also updated the aluminum unibody MacBook Pro line to include 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models featuring Apple?s built-in battery for up to 40 percent longer battery life.
Each MacBook Pro includes an LED-backlit display, the innovative glass Multi-Touch trackpad, an illuminated keyboard, an SD card or ExpressCard slot, a FireWire 800 port and NVIDIA graphics. Starting at just $1,199, the MacBook Pro line is more affordable than ever, with some models up to $300 less than the previous generation.
The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models include Apple?s built-in notebook battery for up to seven hours of wireless productivity on a single charge without adding thickness, weight or cost. Using Adaptive Charging and advanced chemistry first introduced with the 17-inch MacBook Pro earlier this year, the built-in battery delivers up to 1,000 recharges before it reaches 80 percent of its original capacity?nearly three times the lifespan of conventional batteries. The longer battery lifespan equals fewer depleted batteries and less waste.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is a significant upgrade at a lower price than the original aluminum MacBook it replaces. All 13-inch MacBook Pro models now include a seven hour built-in battery, an SD card slot, a FireWire 800 port, an illuminated keyboard and an improved LED-backlit display with 60 percent greater color gamut. Featuring the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models: one with a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive priced at $1,199, and another with a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive priced at $1,499.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro now features a seven hour built-in battery, an SD card slot, an improved LED-backlit display with 60 percent greater color gamut and 4GB of RAM across the line at an entry price $300 less than before. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in three models: a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system with a 250GB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics for a new entry price of $1,699; a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system with a 320GB hard drive, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and 9600M GT graphics for $1,999; and a 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system with a 500GB hard drive, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and 9600M GT graphics for $2,299.
The 17-inch MacBook Pro, which includes an eight hour built-in battery, an ExpressCard slot, a brilliant LED-backlit display, 4GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and 9600M GT graphics, has been updated to include a faster 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a larger 500GB hard drive for $2,499, which is $300 less than before.
All MacBook Pro systems feature Apple?s aluminum unibody design and for the first time can be upgraded with up to 8GB of RAM, and up to a 500GB hard drive or up to a 256GB solid state drive. The 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models can also be upgraded to a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. All MacBook Pro systems include a Mini DisplayPort to connect with the 24-inch Apple LED Cinema Display.
Apple today also updated the thin and light MacBook Air, making it more powerful and more affordable. Measuring just 0.16 to 0.76-inches thin and weighing just three pounds, the MacBook Air is available in two models starting with the new entry price of $1,499 for a 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system with a 120GB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, and a 2.13 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system with a 128GB solid state drive and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics for $1,799.
Apple Releases Safari 4
Safari 4 includes Top Sites, for a visual preview of frequently visited and favorite pages; Full History Search, to search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages; and Cover Flow, to easily flip through web history or bookmarks. Other innovative features include Smart Address Fields for automatically completing web addresses from an easy to read list of suggestions; Search Fields, to fine tune searches with recommendations from Google Suggest or a list of recent searches; and Full Page Zoom, for a closer look at any website without degrading the quality of the site?s layout and text.
Safari 4 is available for both Mac OS X and Windows as a free download at www.apple.com/safari. Safari 4 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.7 or Mac OS X Tiger? v10.4.11 and Security Update 2009-002, a minimum 256MB of memory and is designed to run on any Intel-based Mac or a Mac with a PowerPC G5, G4 or G3 processor and built-in FireWire. Safari 4 for Windows requires Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista, a minimum 256MB of memory and a system with at least a 500 MHz Intel Pentium processor. Full system requirements and more information on Safari 4 can be found at www.apple.com/safari.
Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard
Finally Apple today unveiled a Developer Preview of Mac OS?X Server Snow Leopard, the next major release of the server operating system. Snow Leopard Server is a full 64-bit UNIX server operating system based on open standards that is up to twice as fast as its predecessor. Snow Leopard Server includes new features such as Podcast Producer 2, for automating the creation and publishing of podcasts, and Mobile Access Server with secure access to firewall-protected network services for iPhone and Mac. Snow Leopard Server is priced more affordably than ever at $499 with unlimited client licenses and will ship in September 2009.
Snow Leopard Server is a full 64-bit operating system designed to take advantage of multi-core processors and address massive amounts of memory, while remaining fully compatible with 32-bit applications.
Podcast Producer 2 includes the new Podcast Composer application, which automates the entire production process, making it easy to create podcasts with a customized, consistent look and feel. With just a few clicks, Podcast Composer creates a workflow to add titles, transitions and effects, save to a desired format and share to wikis, blogs, iTunes, iTunes U, Final Cut? Server or the new Podcast Library.
Additional new features in Snow Leopard Server include:
- Wiki Server 2, which improves its online collaboration with the ability to view wiki content on iPhone and preview attachments with Quick Look on any modern browser;
- the new Address Book Server, based on the CardDAV open standard, which provides a central location for users to store and access personal contacts across multiple Macs and synchronized iPhones;
- iCal Server 2, based on the CalDAV open standard, which includes web-based calendar access and the ability to view meeting invitations and details on iPhone using iPhone OS 3.0;
a new Mail Server engine that supports push email so users receive immediate access to new messages;
- QuickTime X HTTP Live Streaming, which allows dynamic adjustment of movie playback quality to suit the available network speed;
- NetRestore, a new feature in System Image Utility, that allows easy custom image restore over a network; and
iPhone Configuration Utility, which simplifies the setup of multiple iPhones with configuration information, security policies, mail settings and certificates needed to connect to and communicate with enterprise systems.
Mac OS X Server version 10.6 Snow Leopard will be available in September 2009 through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple?s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $499 (US), and includes unlimited licenses for Mac, Windows and Linux clients. The Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server Up-To-Date upgrade package is available to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Xserve system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller between June 8, 2009 and the end of the program on December 26, 2009, for a product plus shipping and handling fee of $9.95 (US).
Apple Unveils Mac OS X Snow Leopard
SAN FRANCISCO?June 8, 2009?Apple? today unveiled Mac OS? X Snow Leopard?, an even more powerful and refined version of the world?s most advanced operating system and the foundation for future Mac? innovation. Snow Leopard builds on a decade of OS X innovation and success with hundreds of refinements, new core technologies, out of the box support for Microsoft Exchange and new accessibility features. Snow Leopard will ship as an upgrade for Mac OS X Leopard users in September 2009 for $29.