Apple unveils new iPhone

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 8, 2009 at 4:31 PM EDT

Apple announced on Monday that a new version of its hot-selling iPhone would be launched later this month and that the price of an earlier model was dropping to 99 dollars.

Apple vice president of marketing Phil Schiller made the announcements at the firm's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco

He said the new iPhone, the iPhone 3GS, which can capture video for the first time, would be available on June 19.

"The 'S' stands for speed, because this is the most powerful iPhone we've ever made," Schiller said. "What is inside is entirely new."

He said the 16-gigabyte iPhone 3GS would cost 199 dollars while the 32-gigabyte model would cost 299 dollars.

He said the price of an original eight-gigabyte iPhone 3G was dropping to 99 dollars as of Monday.

Schiller also said a next-generation iPhone 3.0 operating system will be released worldwide on June 17 as a free upgrade to owners of the smartphones.

Apple on Monday also launched upgraded MacBooks while cutting prices on its historically high-end laptop line.

"We were already ahead of the competition; we are even further ahead now," he said. "The Mac products are the best they have ever been at Apple."

Apple hit a disappointing note with an otherwise enthusiastic audience when it announced that its new Snow Leopard computer operating system would not be available until September.

The improved operating system will be priced at 129 dollars, but people already using the previous generation software will only have to pay 29 dollars to upgrade.

A "near-final" version is being given to developers at the conference so they can begin tailoring programs for the system.

New MacBook models touted features including slots for SD memory cards commonly used in digital cameras and more environmentally friendly lithium batteries promising to last as long as seven hours before needing charging.

Improved MacBooks could also be customized with beefier processors and as much as 500 gigabytes of storage space.

Schiller referred to the 15-inch MacBook Pro as the fastest notebook Apple has ever made.

MacBook Pro 15-inch models began shipping Monday, with basic models priced at 1,699, which is 300 dollars less than its predecessor.

More powerful models are priced at 1,999 dollars and 2,299 dollars, which again are cheaper prices than the previous versions.

Schiller also showed off upgraded 13-inch MacBook Pro models with a starting price of 1,199 dollars and a more powerful model priced at 1,499 dollars.

Apple's MacBook Air was also infused with improvements and model prices trimmed by hundreds of dollars to 1,499 dollars for a basic version to 1,799 dollars for an upgraded version.




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