After months of speculation and anticipation, the Apple iPhone 3G is finally out. New Zealanders had reason to rejoice as a fellow citizen became the first owner of the latest avatar of the iconic product, well the first one from the stores, that is. One can be sure that Apple CEO Steve Jobs already has one, since he unveiled it to an adoring audience on 9 June. (See: Sleeker, faster, cheaper – Steve Jobs unveils new iPhone 3G)
A visibly excited Johnny Gladwell, after buying the first iPhone 3G sold, said, "I'm going to put this on charge, have a play around with it, and have a nice long sleep." His desire for sleep is understandable, considering he had spent more than 60 hours camping outside the Vodafone store in freezing temperatures before he could get his hands on the object of his desire.
There has been some grumbling about prices in New Zealand, where Vodafone, the only mobile provider selling the iPhone there, is charging between NZ$199 ($151) and NZ$549 ($416) for the new iPhone unit and NZ$250 ($190) a month for a minimum two-year plan.
Japan was also one of the earlier recipients of the much awaited iPhone 3G. However, its capabilities are less revolutionary here, where people have for years used tech-heavy local phones for restaurant searches, e-mail, music downloads, reading digital novels and electronic shopping. They tend to shrug off foreign models such as those from Nokia Corp.
The iPhone is selling in Japan for 23,040 yen ($215) for the 8-gigabyte model, while the 16-gigabyte version costs 34,560 yen ($320).
In its home country, the phone was available as the clock struck eight across different time zones. Apple plans to sell its 8-gigabyte iPhone for $199 in the US and the 16-gigabyte version for $299.
The company, based in Cupertino, California, says it has sold about 6 million iPhones since last year. It has said its goal is to sell 10 million by the end of 2008.