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Articles: techwatch: 2009 June

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Apple WWDC Announcements
Monday, 2009 June 8 - 8:35 pm
A few Apple goings-on today from the World Wide Developer Conference, for those who haven't been following:

iPhone 3GS. Apple announced slightly improved iPhone, with a faster processor, faster 3G networking, more storage, longer battery life, an improved 3 megapixel camera with autofocus, video recording, and a compass. It comes at the same price points as the previous iPhone, $199 and $299 (for 16GB and 32GB) with a two-year AT&T contract. Apple is also selling the previous-generation iPhone 3G for $99, which might bring in a lot of entry-level buyers.

Macbook Pro. Two announcements here: an upgraded 15" MBP with an improved screen, twice the RAM (4GB standard), and a faster CPU. The battery is now integrated and non-replaceable, but it's a lithium-polymer long-lasting battery like in the 17" model. An SD card slot replaces the ExpressCard slot; Apple says that very few users made use of the ExpressCard slot except to add a media card reader. There's also now an entry-level model at $1699, with only the Nvidia GeForce 9400M instead of the dual-GPU option in the higher-end models.

The 13" Aluminum Macbook is now a 13" MacBook Pro; it gets the Firewire port back (now FW800) and gains an SD card slot also. Now only the white Macbook is called a "Macbook". It was recently speed-bumped also.

Macbook Air. The main news is that it's now cheaper; it starts at $1499.

The rest of the WWDC keynote speech was devoted to descriptions about iPhone OS 3.0 and the upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" update. One tidbit: the Snow Leopard update will be just $29; Apple (rightly) figures that customers won't shell out a full $129 for a bunch of largely-invisible under-the-hood improvements. (Cough Windows 7 cough).

iPhone OS 3.0 will support MMS and tethering (finally), but AT&T won't support either until later this summer. There's no word on pricing plans for tethering, but judging from AT&T's tethering plans for other phones, it'll be pricey.
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