This week Apple unveiled more than 100 new features coming for the next generation of the iPhone. The newest model, the iPhone 3.0 will include some new enhancements as the handset enters its third year of existence.
This week at the Cupertino, California HQ Apple unveiled some of the key features, including the ability for peer-to-peer connectivity for multiplayer gaming. Given that the iPhone has a large and growing install base, this has made the phone very popular with game developers. No doubt this should give Sony, and even Nintendo some concern because the iPhone could be the device that manages to break away from the traditional handheld gaming consoles and makes all mobile handsets more attractive to developers.
Other key features announced by Apple on Tuesday:
- Push notification of breaking news and sports results
- Cut, copy and paste across applications
- Multimedia messaging service (MMS) for sending of pictures or voice memos in instant messages
- A new landscape typing for those times when the iPhone is turned sideways
- Search functionality for Mail, Calendar and other applications
- Improved calendar functions
- Stereo Bluetooth for wireless earphones
- Support for turn-by-turn navigation and other sophisticated map applications
- A new subscription model that will allow for subscriptions and micropayments by the item
- Greater interaction with hardware accessories such as speakers
Apple also noted that the App Store now has more than 25,000 apps available for download, and that to date some 800 million apps have been downloaded. Add into the mix that 17 million iPhones were sold by the end of last year, and throw in another 13.7 million iPod Touch devices and that’s a total install base of more than 30 million App Store-ready devices, which brings back the point that for gaming, music and other software, the iPhone/iPod Touch is one heck of a market.
Rumors and Releases: Three More Android Phones Coming From HTC
While Apple will likely do all right with the iPhone 3.0, it won’t be the only serious handset on the market this summer. The word is that HTC, the maker of the original G1 “Google Android Phone” for T-Mobile last fall, will be launching a follow up Android invasion in 2009.
The company has said that it will bring out at least three Android handsets this year, to follow up on the success of the G1, which sold more than 1 million units to date. We’ve already had word that these new handsets will include the Magic, which will add a virtual QWERTY keyboard, video recording and other functionality to the robust functions of the G1.
We’ll be watching closely for this arrival from Taiwan’s HTC in the months to come.
Mobile State of Business: Nokia to Lay Off 1,700 People World Wide
It wasn’t all upbeat news this week so far, and for every silver lining there is a gray cloud on the horizon. Nokia Corp. offered a little doom and gloom this week by announcing that 1,700 people will be laid off due to the global economic downturn. So much for last week’s stock market rally.
This follows word last month that Nokia would close its research center and would lay off 320 people permanently, while temporarily laying off another 2,500 in Finland.