- 9 Jun 08, 22:19 GMT
"Amazingly zippy" is how a very gaunt-looking Apple CEO Steve Jobs billed "one of the most amazing products I have ever been associated with."
That product in case you didn't know is the newly announced 3G iPhone which hits stores on 11 July for the knock down price of $199 (£100).
The 3G and GPS element of the device has been much rumoured and expected, and latterly talk of a price reduction began circulating. After all the hoops and hollers at the World Wide Developers' Conference in downtown San Francisco died down, the big talk in the corridors of the Moscone Centre was about the new lower cost of the device.
Among the comments I heard from some of the 5,200 developers who had swarmed here were "incredible price", "unbeatable", "awesome price", "blew me away" and "affordable".
The visuals that Steve Jobs showed off to the faithful were tantalizing. Surprisingly he didn't flash one around on stage and attempts afterwards to persuade the Apple PR bods to let the BBC get their hands on one were met with a kind of stunned surprise.
However at a briefing with iPhone honcho Greg Joswiak, I did get my sweaty mitts all over one, but just for a short period.
The new model looks the same as the old, though is thinner in part and has a slightly smaller frame around the screen making it appear bigger. The 8 gigabyte version comes in black whereas the 16 gigabyte version also comes in white, and they are both plastic backed as opposed to chrome.
The reason for the new backing is to help with reception because Greg says there are 10 radio bands, bluetooth and wi-fi in there.
During his keynote address, Mr Jobs demonstrated the difference between the 3G version and the 2G version when it comes to download speed.
Opening a rich graphic and text page from the National Geographic website took 59 seconds on Edge which is part of the "old" iPhone architecture, while the 3G version took 21 seconds and wi-fi takes 17 seconds.
My play around with the device was shared with another half a dozen journalists and my try out certainly seemed to live up to the hype. It was quick to download and the page was easy to see and read.
It's hard to comment on the claims about battery life obviously because, surprise surprise, no one would let me take it home and test that out. However Apple state that there is 300 hours of standby time, five hours of 3G talk time, five to six hours of browsing, seven hours of video and 24 hours of audio power.
I think the really interesting part of the new iPhone is the apps store, which will also be available on 11 July. At the conference, a whole slew of new applications were unveiled and I managed to play with some more than others.
I have to confess Sega's Super Monkey Ball had me hooked, much to the chagrin, I fear, of the Apple PR team. But what's a girl to do when she is trying to get her Super Monkey Ball through the hoop? I was total rubbish and kept falling off after about 10 seconds but, hey, I loved it.
The graphics are really clear and bright and the movement of my monkey was dynamic. Tilting the phone to move my character was my downfall. I just wasn't very good at it.
I have to confess a 3D adventure game called Kroll also had me beat. In the time I had I just didn't manage to master very much in the way of getting the characters to move around the screen and actually do something. The images again were really rich.
I was also impressed by the quality of images for a medical application called Modality. It's aimed at medical students and presents graphics of the human body. But what is cool about this is that you can learn on the hoof.
The developer Dr S Mark Williams said that a medical student told him he had learned five new brain terms while simply waiting in line for a latte.
Now that's the kind of learning I am all over.
Another cool app that I got to explore was called Band by Moo Cow Music and allows you to make music on your iPhone. I only tinkled the ivories and that was to Do Rae Me... nevertheless Mr Joswiack said he was impressed! It had undoubtedly been a long day for him.
The brains behind this music app is an English guy called Mark Terry who actually works for an insurance company and developed it in his spare time. This is meant to demonstrate to developers how easy it is to develop for the iPhone because it's the same tools that Apple uses internally.
The sound on all the apps I tried was clear and pretty impressive.
The camera is essentially the same as the old iPhone at 2 megapixels and is what it is - but many people will be disappointed because this was one feature of the phone that universally had people clamouring for an upgrade.
Questions to Greg Joswiak about refunds for anyone who has just recently bought the old iPhone were met with little sympathy as he pointed out that news of the 3G version was 'hardly the best kept secret in the world".
However, there may be some solace for those who feel duped into shelling out for an already has been item, because Gizmodo is reporting that AT&T in the States says it will let people swap them out for a new phone and a new two year contract.
Greg did admit that Apple has stopped making the 2G version and is on track to hit its 10 million iPhone sales target for 2008.
At the end of the day weeks and months of speculation have resulted in creating an amazing marketing maelstrom for Apple and ensuring the iPhone is the gadget du jour.
But let's not forget it is just a phone. Something that was met with near gasps of incredulity when I actually voiced such a comment to one of Apple's crack PR team.
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