Keep your hands and arms inside the ride at all times.
Apple fanatics fervently anticipating next week’s iPhone 3G release should head over to Apple and view the very extensive guided tour, featuring an excruciating half hour account of every touch-screen maneuver possible. The video, most likely intended for iPhone newbies, is probably Steve Job’s way of getting the public excited.
The video thoroughly showcases the iPhone’s “breakthrough,” “amazing,” and “revolutionary” features and clearly emphasizes that the phone is “redefining what’s possible” with a mobile phone. There are sections for every element of the iPhone, including visual voicemail, the new iTunes App Store, and “making the iPhone your own.”
Once again, Bob Borchers, a.k.a. iPhone Guy, narrates the guided tour. Once again , Bob emphasizes how great the iPhone is with large sweeping arm gestures. This time around, he includes a “great picture” of his friend, Chris, as an example of how to add a photo to an existing contact. It's nice to know that Bob has a life outside these videos.
Apple has also posted a “What’s New” video, which basically simplifies the guided tour and includes an explanation of the features specific only to the new iPhone 3G. Current iPhone owners can save some time and watch that one; it’s only ten minutes long and will register the same kind of chill down the spine in anticipation for July 11.
AT&T also posted information on eligibility and pricing. As reported earlier, customers must meet eligibility requirements before AT&T will hand over a $199 and $299 iPhone 3G.
Customers who sign up for AT&T for the first time when they purchase their iPhone 3G and agree to a two-year contract are eligible.
Current AT&T customers who purchased an iPhone prior to July 11 and agree to a new two-year contract, are eligible for the subsidized discount. Other AT&T customers should check their account online to see if they are eligible for an upgrade discount.
Current AT&T customers who are not eligible for an upgrade can purchase the iPhone 3G for $399 (8GB) and $499 (16GB). AT&T notes that in the future, the iPhone 3G can be purchased without a contract for $599 (8GB) and $699 (16GB).
Apple hasn't released any information concerning their launch of the iPhone, although, it's highly unlikely they will deviate from the 8 a.m. launch time.
AppleInsider has uncovered a series of internal memos to AT&T employees outlining instructions for the upcoming roll-out of the iPhone 3G. According to these memos, AT&T stores should have extra staff that weekend to manage crowds and facilitate fast, efficient, and friendly activation of the new iPhones as customers buy them. Outside of the stores, AT&T has sent out memos regarding their engineers’ continued work on optimizing their 3G network and a new ad campaign focusing on that networks strength.
MarketWatch is reporting that the way has been cleared for the iPhone to reach the largest mobile phone market in the world. According to Gao Songge, deputy director of China Mobile’s general department, the only thing holding up the deal with Apple was Apple’s insistence on requiring that China Mobile share revenues. Apple dropped those demands on Friday and now the iPhone is set to hit the Chinese market 540 million mobile users. There is no timetable set for a Chinese release of the iPhone. Yet with the prospect of Apple stores opening in mid-July and the introduction of 3G service in time for the Beijing Olympics, it might not be that far off.
If you find yourself in a long line at an Apple store in your local Mall, you'll more than likely need a snack. If you are lucky, you might find a Chick-fil-A in the food court. Chick-fil-A has announced its answer to the iPhone 3G by announcing a new promotion held all day July 11. Celebrate Cow Appreciation Day by wearing a cow costume and you'll get a free meal. If you or any of your friends see a cow in line for an iPhone 3G on July 11 we want to hear about it. Send us a photo. Now get a moooove on ya hear!
Like sands trickling through the hourglass, so are the details of the iPhone 3G. With two weeks to go until the phone's initial launch, AppleInsider's sources say that iPhones will be relatively expensive in Europe. Apple is also reportedly pushing international carriers to offer flat-rate data plans instead of selling data access by the kilobit, so the plans will also be pricey. France Telecom's Orange announced the pricing and plans for the iPhone 3G's debut in France on July 17. As we've already told you, Telefonica has announced 300,000 preorders in Spain and the U.K., but an Apple memo claims that no preorders will happen at Apple Stores here in the States, no way no how (Apple can't wait to have another launch-day frenzy on its hands, we're sure). At least one O2 employee has been telling British customers that they'll be able to sign up for -- but not activate -- their iPhone 3G contract before the phone launches on July 11. Then they'd just have to come back on July 11 to buy the phone and activate the contract with a confirmation code. Of course, that O2 employee might be totally wrong, but we certainly hope this is true and that AT&T does something similar in the U.S. so the launch day lines keep moving. Finally, FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger reports that Apple has boosted its iPhone 3G orders to more than 15 million by the end of 2008. Mac orders also up as much as 20 percent. That's a lot of freakin' iPhones. Curiously, the same report says that lower-priced iPod nanos will be coming our way soon as well.
Telefonica announced 300,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 3G in Spain and the United Kingdom. They have allowed customers to go to their websites to reserve the iPhone 3G since it was announced earlier this month. Telefonica will sell the device in twelve Latin American countries, the Czech Republic and Spain on July 11. Telefonica sells the iPhone under the O2 brand in the UK and Ireland.
Apple doesn't send its brave retail employees into the trenches without proper training. To prepare the Apple Army, the company has issued an internal document outlining how to deal with customers on July 11.