iPhone 3G: Fast, cheap and in control

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at Monday's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco to announce the July 11 retail release of the iPhone 3G. In a nutshell, the updated device promises ever faster access to the Internet and email with support for 3G, WiFi and EDGE networks, automatically switching between them to maximize download speeds, and features built-in GPS and iPhone 2.0 software. The iPhone 3G also enables simultaneous voice and data communications and features a wealth of enterprise applications, including support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for over-the-air push email, contact and calendar syncing, not to mention remote wipe and Cisco IPsec VPN for encrypted access to corporate networks. For all the Daft Punk-inspired appeal of this harder, better, faster, stronger device, most of the mainstream media excitement seems to focus on the price: At $199 for the 8GB version, it's 200 bucks cheaper than its predecessor. (Click here for photos.)

Now we know what the iPhone 3G does. But what will it do? Will it have the same impact as the original iPhone, which made mobile web browsing mainstream? According to telecom and digital media advisory firm Analysys Mason, this newest iPhone is poised to revolutionize the mobile TV market, and could even dominate the space before mobile broadcasting networks become widely available. Analysys Mason argues that specifications like high-quality widescreen display, substantial internal memory and low battery consumption as well as support for multiple content delivery protocols including sideloading, indoor WLAN and high-speed 3G access will combine to revolutionize the mobile video market. No less significant, Apple's iTunes retail storefront already offers more than 600 TV programs and over 1500 feature films, with research indicating that many existing iPhone owners have already accessed mobile TV and video content in far greater numbers than consumers on rival devices. Sounds like the iPhone 3G will be a device worth watching in many respects. -Jason