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from The Great Debate UK:

New iPhone small step towards global domination

tom_dunmore-Tom Dunmore is editor-in-chief of Stuff magazine. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Yesterday, Apple unveiled the latest version of its wildly popular iPhone. And it was quite a show, despite the absence of Apple's usual ringmaster Steve Jobs.

The keynote speech at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco was heaving the massed ranks of the global media, hyped by rumours of mini iPhones, touschscreen Macs and Steve Jobs' early return from sick leave.

In the end, Apple's hardware announcement was more prosaic - the new iPhone 3G S looks exactly the same as the old iPhone 3G but is faster, has a better camera, and offers voice control.

But it quickly became clear to the audience that the iPhone is about much more than hardware. Developer after developer took to the stage to show off their new software, which ranged from multiplayer games to a medical application that allows doctors to remotely monitor a patient’s vital signs.

When it comes to Apple, what’s a bargain? Its stock, maybe

The audience at Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ conference seemed pumped about the new high speed iPhone — and the price cuts. So, too, do everyday consumers, at least the ones I’ve spoken to. Bloggers? They also seemed pleased, for the most part. Silicon Alley Insider said that compared with the new iPhone, “the competition is nowhere in sight.”

But what about analysts and investors? After all, Apple is running a business here and whether the price cuts (and perhaps lower margins) and new iPhone features will make a difference in the bottom line is not to be overlooked.

Well, rest easy. Wall Street numbers crunchers had the same reaction as just about everyone else. J.P. Morgan in a note to clients raised its price target on Apple shares to $155 from $135; Barclays upped its target to $173; Caris raised its target to $170; Credit Suisse raised its taget to $165; and Susquehanna increased its target to $170.

New Apple iPhone features get under your skin

Among all the limelight-hogging features and rock-bottom prices unveiled at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers’ conference on Monday, two underscored the potential for the consumer electronics giant to sidle up and get up-close and personal with users – whether they like it or not.******For the hundreds gathered in San Francisco for the company’s annual developers’ pow-wow, Apple previewed a new iPhone feature that will allow users to remotely locate their  device if they ever get separated from it. Executives highlighted another application that, eerily, can directly monitor a person’s vital signs.******In this day and age, when millions advertise not just their location but what they had for dessert via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it’s unclear how consumers will respond to functions that monitor their movements or their inner workings. Favorably, judging from the applause and hooting when those features were expounded upon.******Find My iPhone allows users to remotely locate their device via the Web. Logging onto Apple’s MobileMe, users can locate their phone on a map; send a text message to the phone, asking that it be returned; or play a strdient alert or alarm. The feature is intended to aid finding a phone left unattended at a restaurant or hidden under a couch cushion, developers said.******The new software also has a feature that allows users to remotely “wipe” the device of all data if it is truly lost or stolen – but allows users to reload the wiped data via Apple’s iTunes Web site — which usually offers music, applications and even video for sale — if the phone is then found, meaning data is periodically stored via a user’s iTunes account.******Besides additional uses of the phone’s GPS capability, Apple on Monday highlighted a third party app that allows doctors to monitor patients’ vital signs remotely - accessing real-time heart rate, temperature, blood pressure and other data collected by hospital devices on their iPhones – clearly helpful for on-call doctors but also very private information.******The app would allow doctors to zoom in and out, measure different parts of the data, and scroll through historical data.******The Critical Care app from AirStrip Technologies has yet to be approved by the FDA, but the company said it was in advanced testing and expects the app will soon be available.******(By Clare Baldwin)

Live blogging the Apple WWDC

Reuters is sending live updates via Twitter from the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference, scheduled to start at 10 am Pacific Time (1 pm Eastern). Read the updates below or follow us on Twitter.

More on Apple:

Steve Jobs is the product; iPhones the accessories

 New iPhones, expected next week, are likely to be overshadowed by the triumphal return of Steve Jobs as chief executive of the technology group.

No company and its products are more inseparable from its leader than Apple and Steve Jobs. His obsession with sleek design and an always hard to define “cool factor” has produced an unmatched string of hit computers, music players and, recently, phones.    

Lower prices rather that lots of fancy new features should headline the launch of new iPhone models at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday.

Guess what? People are loving the Pre

The verdict is in: The Pre smartphone from Palm is a hit, at least with the reviewers. Sure, there are dissenters and everyone noted some problems with the device, including battery life, limited applications, and the fact that some programs simply loaded too slowly.

Still, for the most part, reviews were of Pre were positive. In fact, all the big names out there — Mossberg, Pogue etc — predicted it could be an real challenger to iPhone. That alone is saying something.

Since we’re here to save you time, we offer a review of the reviews…

from Summit Notebook:

Verizon and iPhone: Deal or no deal?

Verizon Communications Chief Financial Officer John Killian had a lot to say about how well his company's smartphone and data business is doing, but skirted the elephant in the room at the Reuters Global Technology Summit: Is his company going to strike an iPhone deal with Apple?

Killian refused to comment on whether Verizon is talking to Apple about selling the iPhone once rival AT&T's exclusive contract with the iPhone maker ends next year.

"Our PDA, smartphone and data business is growing incredibly nicely," Killian said. "Our strategy is to have multiple devices. I'm not going to comment on Apple or the iPhone, but... we don't feel we're going to be at a market disadvantage in the PDA space as we go through today or 2009."

from Summit Notebook:

Apple’s iPhone takes slow boat to China

In China, Apple's iPhone commands a strange presence. Perenially "coming out", already widely available on the black market, viewed with trepidation by local telecom players but with undisguised lust by affluent consumers.

Sanford C. Bernstein Toni Sacconaghi thinks the wildly popular device will arrive in the Middle Kingdom before the end of the year, after a long haul of negotiations with state-run telecom carriers keen to control the content to be sold over the gadget.

Some sticking points thus far: Sacconaghi says Chinese typically spend $10-$15 per month on data services -- everything from stock quotes to weather forecasts -- wheareas your typical iPhone user in the developed world now spends $70. That limits the Chinese carriers' ability to subsidize the iPhone. But the analyst thinks that in one to two months Apple may unveil a cheaper version of the device that can lower the cost of the phone to lower-paying Chinese customers.

RIM says phones will still trump netbooks

Amid a wave of hype about wireless gadgets like netbook computers and mobile internet devices, Research In Motion’s Co-CEO Jim Balsillie says he will keep focused on the BlackBerry maker’s core business of phones even as computer makers are starting to make phones and phone rival Nokia eyes netbooks.  

This means that Balsillie is focused on developing more new versions of each of BlackBerry phones: those shaped like candy-bars, with touch-screen controls and devices with mini-QWERTY keypads. 

“Form factor is a personal preference but it’s got to be something that lasts the better part of the day and you can hold up to your ear and clip onto your belt,” he said  in response to our question about his vision for future products. “Those are a very tight systems constraints for a netbook.” 

Would-be dance star Wozniak tangos with Apple chip strategy

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, perhaps best-known to today’s generation for doing the Argentine Tango with world champion Karina Smirnoff on “Dancing with the Stars,” weighed in this weekend on Apple’s apparent foray into chip design.

Wozniak was a calculator chip designer at Hewlett-Packard before he and Steve Jobs founded Apple. He said that designing a chip should only cost a few million dollars. If Apple, like all PC makers, continues to contract the manufacturing, the endeavor shouldn’t be cost-prohibitive.

“I have been pushing for it since we started the company,” Wozniak said in an interview on the sidelines of the National Inventors Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Silicon Valley last Saturday. “It’s a competitive advantage.”