YOU wait 80 years for an invention to beat sliced bread and then two come along within months — at least this is what the makers of the Apple iPhone would have us believe.
Just three months after the first generation of the internet-based mobile phone was launched here, the newfangled 3G-model is about to hit the market.
And, better still, it is almost half the price of the versions bought by gadget-hungry shoppers in March.
Once again, O2 has been awarded exclusive distribution rights for the iPhone in this country.
It will go on sale here on July 11, the day of its worldwide release, and sell for €169 for the model with 8GB of memory and €229 for the version with 16GB of memory. The new device’s selling point is that it is able to connect to the faster 3G network and has built-in satellite positioning technology.
After it announced details of the Irish launch O2 denied the latest model, released so soon after the hype of the first version, exploited customers who paid for the original iPhone in March. Spokeswoman Majella Fitzpatrick said the arrival of new and better models was an established characteristic of the technology market.
“The iPhone is Apple’s product and we did not have any say in whatever product it launches and we had no say on when they were launching it, obviously we were not privy to the situation.
“A better version has come out and people know new versions are going to come out. Particularly with Apple, because Apple do work very hard to constantly update and improve the models available,” she said, adding that the pricing structure on the first iPhone was set by Apple but this time it has been set locally.
She also said for those who feel at a disadvantage because they bought the first model, O2 will allow them to break from their contract arrangements and allow them to upgrade to the 3G model.
However, those wishing to do this will have to pay for the upgrade.
In March, the first version of the iPhone hit the market after a delayed launch in this country. O2 said it would not release how many Irish people had bought the original.
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs announced the new phone on Monday and said the price of the iPhone had to come down because it was not affordable for many people.
“The number one reason people didn’t buy the iPhone was that they couldn’t afford it, so we need to make the iPhone more affordable,” he said.
Mr Jobs also said it had sold six million versions of its first model but it did not include a 3G option at the time because the technology was not ready.
He said the number of programmes available with the 3G model sapped too much battery life and were a bulky fit in the design.
WHAT is included in the new iPhone that was not in the seminal version released here in March?
* Access to the 3G network where internet speeds are twice as fast.
* It has a built-in global position system which can link with internet maps.
* With the Microsoft Exchange software it has a better email package and personal organiser.
* It is more than €200 cheaper than the original was at its launch.
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