John Paczkowski

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Steve Jobs at WWDC 2008: iPhone 3G for $199, on Sale July 11

wwdc2008.jpgApple’s much lauded iPhone captured 28 percent of the smart-phone market in the States by the fourth quarter of 2007–just six months into its launch. Today it holds something less than that–about 19.2 percent. But to look at the headlines, you’d think it controlled the market in its entirety. A quick search on Google returns 19,035 results for “iPhone”— from Jun. 2, 2008 to today. Why? Because in a few hours, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will address the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, at which he is expected to unveil the next version of the company’s iPhone.

And for Apple’s (AAPL) sake, I hope he does. Because with expectations running this high, I’d hate to see what happens if he doesn’t. Although the new Apple Store housed in a life-size replica of the Golden Gate Bridge pictured in the invite would certainly take some of the heat off …

Anyway, I’ll be live-blogging from inside Moscone West in San Francisco starting at 10 a.m. PDT. Here’s something to read while you wait

  • From Moscone West: This is crazy. They just opened a single door to let cameras in and the media rushed the gate. Its like that 1979 Who concert in Cincinnati.
  • wwdc.jpg

  • The hall in Moscone West is filling quickly to the sounds of Jerry Lee Lewis. From the looks of it media and developers are here in equal numbers.
  • Jobs takes the stage. I’m sitting about 20 rows back, but even I can see he’s looking pretty thin from here. He gets right into it, pulls up a slide of a stool and describes Apple as a three-legged company. Macs, music and the iPhone.
  • Jobs will spend the morning talking about the iPhone. This afternoon Apple will discuss OS X “Snow Leopard.”
  • Talking about iPhone SDK: In the past 96 days, 25,000 people have applied to Apple’s paid developer program. It’s had 250,000 downloads of the iPhone 2.0 software SDK.
  • Three parts to iPhone 2.0: enterprise, SDK, “new features.”
  • Apple has built exchange support into iPhone 2.0: push email, push contacts, push calendar, auto-discovery, global address lookup, remote wipe. Also supports Cisco VPN security.
  • Everything enterprise has told us they’ve wanted in the iPhone, we’ve built into it right out of the box, he says.
  • 35% of Fortune 500 companies have participated in iPhone 2.0 beta: top five banks, securities firms, 8 of 10 top pharma companies, 6 of 7 leading airlines. Lots of support from higher-ed market as well.
  • Cutting to video now: Execs from Disney (DIS), Genentech, U.S. Army discussing iPhone 2.0 beta: all of them talking about the extraordinary demand for the iPhone among their employees.
  • “iPhone 2.0 is extraordinarily well-integrated with Microsoft (MSFT) Exchange.”
  • Video goes on: Talking about security now. Army rep talking about how important remote wipe is. Disney exec describes iPhone as “an enterprise-level device that packs the power of a laptop into a device the size of a phone.” Video ends.
  • Moving on to iPhone SDK. Jobs welcomes Scott Forstall to the stage to discuss the SDK. “We’re opening up the same developer tools we use internally,” he says. “Developers will create applications in exactly the same way we do.”
  • Core OS: Core operating system of iPhone uses the same elements as OS X. Offers a quick overview of Cocoa Touch, Xcode, Interface Builder, Tethered Debugging, Instruments and other developer tools, before moving on to a quick demo of Interface Builder.
  • Launches Xcode and creates a new project in Xcode. App will use built-in address APIs as well as core location APIs to locate contacts within a 10-mile radius of the iPhone.
  • He opens Interface Builder and drags and drops some buttons and fields onto an iPhone test screen on his desktop.
  • The UI finished, he opens the iPhone simulator to test it out. It works.
  • He links the UI features up to the code he’s written and bang, it’s linked up and ready to go. That’s it.
  • Forstall says developer response to the iPhone SDK has been enormously positive. He refers to a number of developer quotes that really lionize the platform: “It blows away anything we’ve seen from RIM” says one.
  • Forstall invites a Sega rep up to the stage to demo some of their work for the iPhone. Sega’s Ethan Einhorn offers a bit of background on their Super Monkey Ball project. He notes that the company was able to demo an early version of the game after just a few weeks of work at the iPhone SDK launch announcement. Now, after a few more months of work, they’ve managed to create a full-featured version of the game.
  • Super Monkey Ball will be available at the launch of the App Store for $9.99.
  • Up next: eBay’s Ken Sun. The iPhone has become the No. 1 mobile device for accessing eBay, Sun says.
  • Six weeks ago, eBay began developing a new interface for the iPhone and was able to quickly pull one together.
  • The application supports auction watching and bidding. Bids placed on an iPhone are instantly registered in eBay’s system. The eBay app will be available for free when the App Store launches.
  • Loopt’s Sam Altman takes the stage to talk about the company’s location-based social-networking app: “We make serendipity happen.” Pffft. He pulls up the app and uses it to locate a friend and a list of the thing’s she’s done today. He notes that the friend is close by at a cafe and sends her a quick message asking if she’s available for lunch.
  • Next up: TypePad and its mobile blogging application. Michael Sippey takes the stage and after talking up TypePad as a blogging platform, he moves on to the company’s new iPhone app.
  • Demo will focus on photoblogging. He browses the photos on his iPhone, selects a picture, crops it, adds it to a blog post, publishes it to his blog, taps view and Safari launches and displays his new post. Very fast, very slick. Oddly, no mention of a cut-and-paste feature.
  • This app will also be available at the launch of the App Store for free.
  • Associated Press follows TypePad. AP’s Benjamin Mosse describes AP’s Mobile News Network, which uses the device’s location API to provide location-based local news, photos and video.
  • The app also supports citizen journalism and permits AP readers to send the news agency their own photos and news reports. This app will also be available for free at the launch of the App Store.
  • Next up: Brian Greenstone from Pangea software. The company has ported two of its games from OS X to the iPhone.
  • The first is Enigmo. The second is Cromag Rally–a 3D caveman racing game. The graphics in both games look great. Greenstone notes that in this particular game, the iPhone itself is the controller–in this case, the steering wheel.
  • Greenstone really talking up the SDK, says porting the game was almost a no-brainer.
  • Forstall welcomes Moo-Cow-Music’s Mark Terry to the stage to demo Band. It’s a collection of virtual instruments that allows users to create music on the iPhone. He pulls up a keyboard and plays the first few bars of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
  • He moves on to a drum kit, and then to a “blues interface” that includes all the instruments you need to play the blues. And now the bass; he plays a few bars of Pink Floyd’s “Money.” He notes that tracks can be recorded and mixed together to create songs individually or collaboratively.
  • Onstage now is Jeremy Schoenherr from to demo an app developed exclusively for the iPhone. The app offers real-time updates of game info and also nearly real-time video highlights. Videos will reportedly be uploaded minutes after a play is made.
  • Next: Modality, which will demo the first of two apps designed for the medical industry. S. Mark Williams takes the stage to talk about a learning application for med students. Looks like they’ve created an iPhone version of “Netter’s Anatomy.” All the graphics have been ported to the iPhone, and you can zoom in and out, and use touch to locate different areas of the body, the same way you use the Google maps application. Modality says that within weeks of the App Store launching, it will be offering this application as well as others for different education markets.
  • Mark Cain from MIMvista onstage now. Looks like we’ve got a medical imaging application. Onscreen now is a CT scan and a PET scan overlaid on an iPhone screen. (My god, this is really cool.)
  • The application relies on the iPhone’s pinch, slide, touch and drag to navigate images. You can also toggle to a planar view as well. Whoa–it supports movies as well. Cain stresses that this is a highly complex and computing-intensive application that’s been ported to the iPhone. And his company was able to do it with relative ease.
  • Up now: Digital Legends to demo another game. They’ve developed Krull, a fantasy action game, on the iPhone. Accelerometer is used to move the character, to jump, swing weapons, etc. The graphics are very impressive.
  • The person demoing notes that in some cases they’re better than those of handheld gaming platforms. The app will be available later this year. What we were just shown–which was damn impressive–was pulled together in just two weeks.
  • Forstall back onstage. He’s talking about one feature that developers have requested that wasn’t included in the SDK: The ability to run applications in the background as well as the foreground.
  • He pulls up a Windows Mobile task manager to demonstrate the wrong way to address that request. “This is nuts,” he says. Apple has come up with a far better solution: We’ve developed a push notification service.
  • Apple will maintain a persistent IP connection to the iPhone through which third-party applications can push notifications to the device. These can be badges, text notifications and audio notifications. There is also a unified push notification service for all developers that preserves battery life, maintains performance and works over the air. This will be available in September, but Apple will begin seeding it soon.
  • Jobs strolls back onstage to discuss some new features.
  • The first: Contact Search. Your standard contact search.
  • Second: Full iWork document support: pages, keynote. MS office support as well: Word, PowerPoint. (Cut-and-paste support?)
  • Third: Bulk delete and move.
  • Fourth: Save images from email.
  • Fifth: A landscape view of the calculator.
  • Sixth: Parental controls.
  • Seventh: Languages: there are two forms for Japanese, two forms for Chinese (simplified and traditional) including one that allows you to draw the characters with your finger. “One of the great advantages of not having a bunch of plastic keys on your keyboard,” says Jobs.
  • What about 8, 9 and 10? Cut-and-paste, chat and a better camera? No? Damn.
  • “iPhone 2.0 raises us to a whole new level,” says Jobs. “We’ll release it in July. It will be free to all iPhone owners, and $9.95 for iPod Touch users.
  • Moving on to the App Store. It will be on every iPhone, and it supports wireless downloads, automatic installs and automatic updates. Developers can set the price of their apps. Developers take 70%. No credit card or hosting fees. Apps will be DRM’d for FairPlay.
  • If a developer chooses to offer their app for free, Apple won’t charge them anything. Apps under 10 MG can be downloaded over the air. Apps above that size can be downloaded over iTunes or via Wi-Fi.
  • Apple has also developed an enterprise version of the apps store that will allow companies to distribute their custom applications only to their employees on their phones.
    There’s another distribution method as well: Ad Hoc. Developers can mail apps to up to 100 users.
  • Now we’ve got something entirely new: It’s called MobileMe. Phil Schiller takes the stage to talk about it. What’s MobileMe? “It’s like Exchange for the rest of us.”
    (Haha.) He just slipped up and called active sync “active stink.”
  • With MobileMe, iPhone users can have mail, calendar, etc. pushed to their phones. Information is stored in the cloud and then pushed to all a user’s Apple devices. Change a meeting on your phone, the update is pushed to MobileMe, which then pushes that update to your laptop and the machines of the people who are scheduled to attend it.
  • All this is done over the air. MobileMe works directly with Apple apps. It also works with Outlook for PC users. Apple has also built a suite of Web-based applications. You’ll find them at The applications look pretty robust. More like those you’d see on the desktop than on the Web.
  • Mail, contacts, calendar, photos–which can be sent directly to MobileMe from the phone–iDisk for storage.
  • He’s demoing it now: supports drag and drop. Also supports real-time contact search with links to Google (GOOG) maps for directions.
  • Calendar supports drag and drop as well. Want to reschedule a meeting? Drag it to another date and time.
  • Moves on to iDisk, which has a new interface. All this is tightly integrated with the iPhone. He checks a push email on his phone, saves the sender as a contact. Now he checks his MobileMe account online. The email and new contact are already there.
  • Now he creates a new calendar entry on his laptop. He check his phone and there it is. Now he leaves the iPhone view up on the screen behind him, walks back over to the laptop and adds another meeting to his calendar. A few seconds later, the iPhone screen updates with that new meeting. He demonstrates the same thing with a photo.
  • MobileMe will be available for $99 a year, with 20 gigabytes of storage. It will be available in July. And yes, MobileMe does replace .mac. Mac users will be automatically upgraded.
  • And what about that cut-and-paste support? No? Anyone? Bueller?
  • Jobs back onstage. In a few weeks, it will be the iPhone’s first birthday, he says.
    He shows some photos of the crowds outside the Manhattan Apple store.
  • Jobs: “This is the phone that has changed phones forever.” He says the iPhone has 90% customer satisfaction; 98% of iPhone users are mobile browsing; 94% are using email; 90% are text messaging; 80% are using 10 features or more. “You can’t even find 10 features on other phones,” he adds.
  • Apple has sold 6 million phones so far, Jobs says. Now we need to address our next challenges:
  • 1. 3G
  • 2. enterprise support
  • 3. Third party applications
  • 4. more countries
  • 5. more affordable.
  • Jobs notes that everyone wants one, but 56% of consumers Apple surveyed said it was too expensive.
  • iphone3g_white.jpgiPhone 3G announced to roar of applause, camera flashes.
  • iPhone 3g is thinner, full plastic back, solid metal buttons, but same display, camera, a flush headphone jack, dramatically improved audio. “Feels even better in your hand, if you can believe that,” Jobs says.
  • How does the iPhone 3G tackle the challenges I just mentioned?
  • Video of EDGE vs. 3G pageload on Safari: 3G takes 21 seconds, EDGE still grinding away. Web site is National Geographic, very image heavy. EDGE still grinding; audience begins laughing. EDGE takes 59 seconds; 3G is 2.8 times faster than EDGE.
  • Jobs notes that 3G speeds approach those of Wi-Fi. Apple compared the iPhone 3G to two other state-of-the-art 3g phones, and the iPhone is 36% faster than Nokia N95 and Treo 750.
  • Video of same comparison with an email attachment: 3G downloads it in five seconds; EDGE takes 18 seconds. 3G is 3.6 times faster.
  • Talking about battery life now: iPhone 3G has 300 hours standby. 2G talk time: 10 hours; 3G talk time: five hours–that’s an industry-leading metric.
  • Five to six hours of browsing. Seven hours of video. Twenty-four hours of audio.
    One other thing that benefits from fast data is GPS, and we’ve built that into the iPhone 3G, Jobs notes
  • Jobs talking about how location based services for the iPhone are about to explode. He’s demoing GPS tracking now. Jobs tracks a car driving down San Francisco’s Lombard Street.
  • Now, he circles back to enterprise support, third-party apps, and international distribution. Apple hoped to put the iPhone in 25 countries. World map appears on screen. Theme from “It’s a Small World” plays as countries in which the iPhone is distributed are quickly colored in. Half-hearted “Small World” sing-along fades after a few verses.
  • Lots of applause for this: “We’ll be rolling out the iPhone 3G in 70 countries over the next few months.” The next time you’re in Malta and you need an iPhone, it’ll be there.
    Deals for all these countries are signed, sealed and delivered, according to Jobs.
  • Moving on to price: iPhone 3G will sell for $199 for 8GB version. Huge applause.
    “With think at that price point it will be affordable for everyone,” Jobs says. The 16GB model will be $299 and will be available in black and white. Apple will start rolling the iPhone out in 22 of the largest countries on July 11.
  • on to a new ad: “It’s finally here. The new phone that beats the iPhone–it’s the iPhone 3G.”
  • The ad’s tagline: “Twice as fast. Half the price.” You can almost feel the early adopters in the audience wincing.
  • Jobs after ad ends: “Isn’t that nice? Would you like to see it again?” Audience roars; Jobs plays the ad again. “Just like the first iPhone, this new iPhone is one of the most amazing products I’ve ever had the pleasure of being associated with.” Jobs asks iPhone team to stand. Lots of audience applause.
  • Looks like that’s it. “Take advantage of the great sessions and go make some great products,” says Jobs. And the keynote ends. Sadly, there’s no “one more thing” moment today — no video-chat support, no chat support, no cut-and-paste.

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— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald