Apple launch new iPhone

While it may look identical to its predecessor, the latest incarnation of Apple's iPhone sports many changes under the hood.

The most widely anticipated feature that Apple's new iPhone would have was 3G functionality, and on Monday Apple didn't disappoint. The new iPhone features 3G connectivity which is 2.8 times faster than the original iPhone which depended on the slower 2G/EDGE networks. Steve Jobs, Apple founder and current CEO, proudly compared the original and new iPhones browsing capabilities in a side by side test, loading the National Geographic website.

While the 3G functionality had been widely expected, certain other features had not. One of these was built in GPS support which has allowed a vast array of new applications to be brought to the mobile platform. Other features include support of Microsoft Exchange via Activesync as well as the ability to access Apple's new MobileMe service (the replacement of .Mac) described as 'Exchange for the rest of us' by Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller. Also, the new iPhone sports a slightly slimmer frame, flush headphone jack and overall better battery performance. What will undoubtably be most important to many however, will be the price. In a bid to make the iPhone more attractive to the masses Apple has dropped the price of the 8GB model to $199 down $200. Similarly, the 16GB model has also been dropped, now sitting at $299. The 16GB model also now comes with an option of colour - either black or white.

Apple used the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) Keynote to show off the application development platform for the iPhone. Highlighting the ease that developers have had in creating new and porting existing applications over to the iPhone. The most exciting of these are the sports coverage apps that take advantage of the iPhones video capabilities and games from the likes of Pangea Software, who have ported Cro-Mag Rally, a cave-man featured racing game over to the iPhone the controls of which are built into the iPhone's accelerometer, so the game is played using Nintendo Wii-like movements. Other more practical apps shown off were those of medical uses, such as allowing doctors to view complex scans of patients while away from the hospital.

Apple has secured the distribution of the new iPhone in 70 countries and will start shipping to 22 of the biggest (including the UK) on July 11th.