WWDC ’08 Keynote: iPhone 3G, MobileMe, OS 10.6


[This document started at 9:50 p.m. PDT until the end of the Keynote at 11:50 a.m. Content may not be in sequential order.]

This morning, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at Moscone Center West, San Francisco. Steve started the keynote by apologizing about the sold-out event. There were a total of 5,200 attendees. As rumored by many sources, Apple will preview Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard”, but but only to Apple developers (me! LOL) (subject to NDA).

The New iPhone 3G: “This is the phone that has changed phones forever,” Steve stated about the original iPhone. The phone has 90 percent customer satisfaction, and that 98 percent of customers are using it for Web browsing and email.

The new iPhone’s battery life was impressive: standby mode, 300 hours; 2G talk time, 10 hours; 3G talk time, 5 hours; Web browsing, 5-6 hours; video, 7 hours; and audio, 24 hours. The iPhone 3G has a GPS, which supports some of the iPhone 2.0 software’s location-based services.

Distribution: The first iPhone was available in six countries. As the song “It’s a Small World” played, a map added country after country until the number reached 70. The rollout will take place over the “next several months,” Steve said. Europe: 29 countries. Asia-Pacific: 9 countries. The iPhone 3G will ship simultaneously in 22 countries on July 11.

Apple dropped the price by $200. The 8GB iPhone 3G will sell for $199, or $299 for the 16GB model. The 16GB iPhone 3G will come with a white back. Black is available for both models.

iPhone 2.0 Software: Steve said there are “three parts of Apple now”: Mac, music and iPhone. The keynote focused on the iPhone. Steve highlighted new features in iPhone 2.0 software, such as cut, copy and paste, iWork and Office 2008 support, a new scientific calculator, parental controls, and more languages, including the ability to draw Chinese characters with a finger. The iPhone 2.0 software will be released in early July, presumably July 11 with iPhone 3G. as mentioned before, it will be free for the iPhone but $9.95 for the iPod Touch.

The new App Store will be available on all iPhones, in 62 countries. Developers can set prices for applications, and they keep 70 percent of revenues. The applicaitons will be protected by Apple’s FairPlay DRM system. DRM arguably makes the iPhone a more closed platform, because of the application lock-in.

Apps under 10MB can be downloaded by Wi-Fi, cellular network (EDGE? 3G?) or iTunes. Larger apps wouldn’t be available over a cellular network. Enterprises will be able to distribute applications using iTunes. Seems a little strange, but I guess it will work.

MobileMe: Phil Schiller, Apple’s VP of Worldwide Marketing, noted that MobileMe is “Exchange for the rest of us.” The sync service stores information in the “clouds” and then updates information across all devices, including iPhones, Macs and Windows-based PCs. The service can sync all of your calendars, contacts, e-mail and photos. The service will support Outlook on the PC. Apple will charge $99 for MobileMe, and it will replace .Mac. MobileMe will be available with the iPhone 2.0 software in July, presumably July 11 with the iPhone 3G.

The iPhone Platform: The early keynote shifted to the iPhone SDK (software development kit) and the ease of development. Apple is making a big platform push with the iPhone. Its platform approach makes loads of sense. You can think that after seeing all this, a platform like Sony’s PSP is in trouble.

Apple will provide an iPhone “push-notification” service to developers. The service uses a persistent IP connection, rather than background processes, to support applications like AOL instant messaging.

Ethan Einhorn from Sega demonstrated Super Monkey Ball on iPhone. This game was first demonstrated at the March Special Event held at Apple Town Hall. Another demo was from Ken Sun of eBay. Ken showed an auction application for the iPhone. Sam Altman, from Loopt, demonstrated how the company uses new location-based services available in iPhone 2.0 software. Michael Sippey from TypePad showed an iPhone blogging app. Mark Terry, an insurance developer, showed off an app called Band, from Moo Cow Music. Just two weeks ago, Microsoft showed off a touch piano as part of the multitouch user interface coming in Windows 7. Here, Mark demonstrated a touch music application available in a few weeks, rather than late next year from Microsoft. MOB.com has made its first mobile app for iPhone, featuring real-time baseball video highlights after they occur, not after the game. Dr. S. Mark Williams from Modality showed off an app for learning anatomy.

I left Millbrae at 3:45am this morning and arrived at Moscone West at 4:30am. The entire morning was a madhouse, yet very fun to be in. The Keynote had a ton of media off to the side of the room. Former Vice President, Al Gore, was in attendance. Al is one of Apple’s board members. He sat in the second row in the front.

Rumors still circulate right now. Perhaps we may see a smaller iPhone? The next set of announcements from Apple will take place at the Fall Special Event in October.