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Apple unveils faster and cheaper iPhones

By Michael B. Farrell / June 8, 2009

Philip Schiller, Apple senior vice president, speaks about prices for new iPhones at an Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Jeff Chiu/AP

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San Francisco – Want a cheaper iPhone? Today you can get one for $99. Want a faster one that records and edits video? That’s coming, too, but you’ll have to wait until June 19.

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Apple announced Monday at the beginning of its World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco that its current 3G model is getting less expensive and the new phone, called the iPhone 3GS, comes out next week.

The S is apparently for "speed." The new version of the phone will be at least twice as fast as the current one and it will also offer extended battery life.

The drop in the price of the current model to $99 makes Apple's iPhone among the cheapest – if not the cheapest – smart phone on the market today. Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said the price drop was an effort to increase accessibility to the phone.

The combination of the price dip and the new phone, which starts at $199, will undoubtedly mean more sales for Apple, which has already sold more than 40 million iPhones and iPod Touches.

Apple executives also previewed the new version of the iPhone software to the crowd of developers who gathered in San Francisco for a weeklong conference.

The 3.0 version of the iPhone operating system will be available June 17 and will be free for all current iPhone users and cost $9.95 for the iPhone touch.

One of the coolest new features of the new iPhone software – or at least the one that drew some of the biggest applause from developers – is the ability to use the GPS on the phone to locate a lost iPhone.

And if you want to rent a movie while you're on the go. You can soon do that on your iPhone, too.

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