The $99 iPhone has finally come—but not as the cut-down, 3G-less device some analysts expected. Rather, Apple has brought the existing iPhone 3G down to $99, and it's introduced a new-and-improved iPhone 3G S to fill in at $199 and $299.
Apple claims the iPhone 3G S is twice as fast as its predecessor, and more responsive as well. The device also improves upon its forebear with a three-megapixel camera, video recording functionality, voice control, a built-in compass (which is integrated into the maps application), and either 16GB or 32GB of storage capacity, depending on the model.
Apple also announced a batch of MacBook updates at the WorldWide Developers Conference today. The 13.3" unibody MacBook has fallen into the MacBook Pro fold, gaining an SD card slot, a backlit keyboard, a seven-hour lithium-polymer battery, and FireWire 800 in the process—all while retaining the $1,199 base price tag. Up the MacBook Pro line, the 15" system has dropped from $1,999 to $1,599 with a faster processor and 4GB of RAM as standard, while the 17" MacBook Pro is now $2,499 instead of $2,799. (The SD card slot and "built-in" seven-hour battery are included by default on both models.)
Last, but not least, Apple has given the MacBook Air a generous price cut. The ultra-thin laptop previously started at $1,799 with a hard drive and $2,499 with an SSD, but Apple has brought those two versions down to a respective $1,499 and $1,799. CPU speeds have gone up, to boot.