Apple's iPhone: The 3G Sequel

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Must go faster

Jobs claimed the 3G iPhone will work the Web at speeds close to Wi-Fi, which is also supported, and much faster than the EDGE network the iPhone's relied on to date.

He launched an image and graphics-heavy Web site on the 3G iPhone in 21 seconds that took 59 seconds to launch via EDGE and 17 seconds via Wi-Fi. Downloading an e-mail attachment took 5 seconds on 3G, 18 on EDGE and 3 seconds via Wi-Fi. "It's amazingly zippy," Jobs said.

Multilingual support in iPhone 2.0 is extensive -- the touchscreen even lets users draw Chinese or Japanese characters with your finger and have them recognized. "That's a great advantage of not being stuck with plastic keys," Jobs quipped.

Trip Hawkins, the founder of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) and also a marketing director at Apple back in 1982, thinks the iPhone might be Apple's biggest hit ever. "As they add Flash and Java support I think the iPhone will get even better," Hawkins told InternetNews.com.

He added, "They've turned the cell phone industry upside down, which must have been pretty humbling to have a computer company come in and do what they've done."

Hawkins, more recently the founder of Digital Chocolate, a provider of games and social network applications for mobile devices, said he's developing for the iPhone.

Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies, said Apple's in a great position to compete against other mobile phone makers going forward. "Apple's the only one that has the hardware, software and services under their control."

Kevin Burden, director of Mobile Devices at ABI Research, said though the hype surrounding both the original, and now updated iPhone, outstrips the actual impact it has had on the mobile phone market, the handset's influence over competing hardware and content services is undeniable.

"It has been challenging for competitors to deliver products that rise to the expectations the iPhone is creating, without appearing to chase the innovations of a vendor that holds less than half a percent of the worldwide mobile phone market," Burden said in a statement.

UPDATED: Benchmark comments by Steve Jobs included downloading an attachment; the headphone jack now supports standard headphones, and iPhone buyers will now have to activate the device at the time of purchase.

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