The one thing you can count on from Apple is that as soon as you get an iPhone, there will be a new one six months later that will totally blow yours away. They did it again on Monday, unveiling the new, cheaper iPhone 3GS — the "S" stands for "speed" — which has a bunch of new functions that are meant to rival the just unveiled, rapturously reviewed Palm Pre.
Among the new features on the 3GS are the first-time ability to record and edit video, as well as instantly send the clips to a buddy via MMS. The phone also has an upgraded 3-megapixel autofocus camera with a function that allows you to tap the screen and focus in on anything in the frame.
But perhaps the feature iPhone junkies were most excited about, and the one most eagerly awaited, is the long-sought ability to cut, copy and paste URLs, images and chunks of text on the phone, which has not been available on any of the previous versions.
The new phone, which is reportedly twice as fast as the current version and has a longer battery life, has a voice-control feature that allows you to make calls and play music by using your voice. It also comes with a built-in compass application and a Spotlight program that allows you to search across many applications.
For anyone who has ever lost or misplaced their iPhone, Reuters reported that a new feature called Find MyiPhone will allow users to remotely locate their device using the MobileMe Web application, which will find their phone on a map and even send a text message to it asking that it be returned, or sound an alarm.
And, just in case you need to, you can now remotely wipe all the data from the phone and restore it later, using iTunes or your backed-up files on your desktop computer. The phone will also come with a "tethering" feature that will let you connect to a laptop to access the Internet over the cell network. That function will be available in 42 other countries, though not yet in the U.S.
Best of all (unless you've recently bought an iPhone) is that in a rare move, Apple has slashed prices for the new phone, with the entry-level 8 GB model now going for just $99, the 16 GB for $199 and the 32 GB for $299. The new iPhones will be available starting June 19.