Eyes on Nokia, RIM, Palm

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-06-09 Print this article Print

The new iPhone will be available in July.


An entry-level version of the new iPhone, with 8 gigabytes of memory, will cost $199, versus $399 for an older iPhone with similar memory. A version of the new one with twice the memory will cost $299.

"These lower price points seem somewhat designed to cope with the economy, the softer environment," Wu said. "They definitely make this product more resilient."

The new phones will go on sale on July 11 in 22 countries and regions, expanding to 70 by the end of the year.

As for China, the biggest cell phone market in the world and one where Apple does not have a deal to sell iPhones, Cook told Reuters the company would get there "over time," and CNBC quoted Jobs as saying Apple hoped to be there later this year.

The new iPhone will run on third-generation (3G) wireless networks and includes satellite navigation capability, Jobs told developers at a conference in San Francisco.

"This positions Apple well vis a vis other smart-phone competitors such as Nokia and RIM," said Shannon Cross of Cross Research. "IPhone is no longer an expensive device. It's now priced at the mass market."

Shares of Palm Inc, maker of the rival Treo smart-phone, fell 4 percent, but those in Research in Motion, maker of BlackBerry devices, rose 2 percent.

A new service, "MobileMe," will automatically send e-mail and other information to iPhones, similar to Microsoft Corp's Exchange e-mail server product. The pay service will replace Apple's .Mac service and offer Web applications intended to make the phone work more like a desktop computer.

"It clearly puts them in a competitive position on the services side against Google, Microsoft and most importantly Nokia," Ben Wood, research director of UK-based CCS Insight, said of MobileMe.

Jobs said Apple has sold 6 million iPhones so far, and Cook said he was "still very comfortable" that the company would hit its goal of selling 10 million units by the end of 2008.

Apple shares closed at $181.61. The stock had risen more than 50 percent in just three months, primarily on good demand for Macs and iPods, as well as anticipation of the new iPhone.

(Additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York and Georgina Prodhan in Berlin; Editing by Braden Reddall)


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