Apple took a giant leap forward in the mobile market on Monday as CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new iPhone 3G. With faster speeds, GPS capabilities, and a substantially lower price, the news could move Apple into a dominant position in the lucrative cell phone industry.
“This changes Apple from an interesting company in the mobile space to potentially dominating the smartphone market,” Van Baker, research vice president at technology research firm Gartner, told Macworld.
Apple will release iPhone 3G on July 11, and the company has been sold out of iPhones for almost a month, which should fuel sales when the new model hits the streets.
“Sales are going to explode,” said Baker. “It’s going to be like launch day all over again.”
Analysts including Baker aren’t the only one excited about Apple’s announcements. More than 5,000 developers showed up for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this year, selling out the event for the first time in the company’s history.
Some developers have already begun working on iPhone applications, but others held off until WWDC. AppZapper developer Austin Sarner said last week that he would remain focused on his Mac programs for the time being, but after the keynote said he was ready to get to work.
“I feel much more excited now,” said Sarner. “I definitely want to get to work sooner rather than later.”
Inventive founder, John Casasanta, already started a new company called Tap Tap Tap, dedicated specifically to iPhone application development. Of all the announcements at the WWDC keynote, Casasanta pointed to the iPhone price drop as the one that will help developers the most.
“That $200 price point is going to be huge,” said Casasanta.
With the large price drop, Apple will sell more iPhones. And for developers, more iPhones in use means more people who will be looking to pick up third-party applications.
Apple executives also gave users a first look at some of the applications that will be available when the App Store launches in early July. Software from eBay, Sega, Loopt, TypePad, and many others showed the world—and other developers—what could be done with the iPhone SDK.
“When we started to see some of the applications, it was phenomenal,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s senior director of iPhone product marketing. “We will continually be stunned with what they [third-party developers] can come up with.”
The innovations Apple has introduced with the iPhone go far beyond the development of the phone itself, the operating system it runs on, or even the SDK to build programs for the device. Apple has simplied the usually difficult process of installing a mobile application. It also took the worry out of downloading an application from an unknown software vendor by making developers use the App Store as their distribution method.
“This really does challenge all the other phone makers out there," said Gartner analyst Van Baker. "It’s not just the hardware or software, it’s the ecosystem they are building around it [the iPhone].”