The latest version of Apple’s popular iPhone will go on sale at about 8am on Friday.
The new, cheaper iPhone 3G will feature GPS and faster 3G internet connectivity.
Pre-order stock of the phone at the online stores of Carphone Warehouse and O2 had run out on Wednesday.
Apple, O2 and the Carphone Warehouse will have ‘limited numbers’ of the new iPhone in stores on Friday. It will be £99 for the 8GB model if you sign up to either the £35 a month or new £30 a month tariff. The phone is free if you go for the £45 a month or £75 a month deals. For details of what’s included, see the O2 website.
The £99 price tag is about £70 less than the previous 8GB model.
O2 – with which Apple has an exclusive tie-in – told Which? that customers who have an older-style iPhone and don’t want to upgrade to the 3G version can still switch to the £30 a month tariff.
Which? has produced an interactive iPhone 3G to guide you through the features.
The new iPhone is claimed to download data up to twice as fast as the first iPhone, which used the slower Edge network, also known as 2.5G.
The 3G device will be able to handle phone calls at the same time as letting you browse the web or read email, and Apple says it will work on mobile phone networks worldwide.
Apple has also added assisted GPS support, which links to the iPhone’s maps program to let you locate the handset and plan journeys.
Assisted GPS uses a mix of satellite navigation, Wi-Fi hotspots and phone mast locations to give a more accurate position.
The previous model wouldn’t work with Microsoft Office documents but Apple says the new iPhone will handle files such as Word and Powerpoint.
You’ll be able to download extra software for the iPhone, such as games, or health and reference programs, in a similar way to buying music from iTunes.
Prices should be about £5 for a software program when downloaded using the new ‘App Store’ icon on the phone, and some programs will be free.
Apple says it has doubled the iPhone’s battery life, with 10 hours of talk time on a 2G network, and five hours on a 3G network.
The battery will last for six hours of web browsing, seven hours of video playback, and 24 hours of audio playback, according to the company.
Pay and Go
Owners of existing iPhones will be able to update to the new operating system, but won’t get GPS and 3G features unless they upgrade their phone.
O2 says pay-as-you-go (or ‘Pay and Go’) for the iPhone will be available ‘later this year’.
The announcement has attracted criticism recently, as many believed pay-as-you-go would be available soon, but it appears to have been put back to the end of 2008.