New bas­ket of Ap­ples

Ap­ple has un­veiled up­dates to its prod­ucts – plus a new iPhone.

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology - SI­MON DIN­GLE si­mond@fin­week.co.za

THE AP­PLE HYPE MA­CHINE was fired up again last week for its an­nual World Wide De­vel­oper Con­fer­ence (WWDC) key­note, dur­ing which prod­uct up­dates were an­nounced across the range of Ap­ple’s prod­ucts. The event is usu­ally hosted by Ap­ple CEO Steve Jobs, who’s on a hia­tus for health rea­sons. Host­ing the event in his ab­sence was Philip Schiller, Ap­ple’s se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of World­Wide Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing.

The new 13-inch Mac­Book Pro an­nounced at the event comes in at a lower price than the orig­i­nal alu­minium Mac­Book it re­places. It now in­cludes a seven-hour built-in bat­tery, an SD card slot, a FireWire 800 port, il­lu­mi­nated key­board and other im­prove­ments. It’s priced at US$1 499 for the US mar­ket.

Snow Leop­ard, the next ver­sion of the OS X op­er­at­ing sys­tem and avail­able in Septem­ber, was shown at the event. Snow Leop­ard builds sup­port for Microsoft Ex­change Server 2007 right into Mac OS X Mail, Ad­dress Book and iCal, so you can use those applications to send and re­ceive email, cre­ate and re­spond to meet­ing in­vi­ta­tions and search and man­age your con­tacts with global ad­dress lists, along with other new fea­tures and en­hance­ments.

But the star of the show was the new iPhone 3G S, which fea­tures faster hard­ware than the cur­rent iPhone 3G, a com­pass, 3G HSDPA up to 7,2Mbps and a vastly im­proved three-megapixel aut­o­fo­cus cam­era with video. Ap­ple will keep the iPhone 3G on the mar­ket but has re­duced its price dras­ti­cally.

How­ever, the most sig­nif­i­cant up­dates to the iPhone come from an up­grade to its op­er­at­ing sys­tem and are also avail­able for older mod­els of the de­vice. The up­dates in­tro­duce a host of new fea­tures, in­clud­ing copy and paste, MMS and the abil­ity for iPhone applications to di­rectly ad­dress ex­ter­nal hard­ware. For ex­am­ple, the lat­ter could be used in health­care, where doc­tors could mon­i­tor pa­tients on their phones.

iPhone 3.0 also has a tracking so­lu­tion: own­ers can see a map of their phone’s lo­ca­tion on the In­ter­net – use­ful if it’s stolen or lost. You can also send mes­sages to the de­vice that will erase all its data, or make it play a sound, even in si­lent mode, to help you find it. The iPhone can also be used as a mo­dem for your Mac com­puter if the net­work provider in your lo­ca­tion al­lows it.

Vo­da­com pro­vides the iPhone in the South African mar­ket and has con­firmed that the de­vice will be avail­able in July 2009.

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