Six Questions (So Far) About the New iPhone

Now that I’m out of Steve Jobs’ famous reality distortion field, I have a few questions about the iPhone 3G announcement. But please add your own as well, since you know more than I what you want but didn’t get in the newest iPhone. Many other people have questions too, it appears.

1) Who’s subsidizing that $199 price? No doubt it’s the carriers, but Jobs didn’t say anything about that. UPDATE: In a brief interview, Apple COO Tim Cook told me carriers are indeed subsidizing the iPhone, though he wouldn’t detail how much.

2) Why no cheaper 2G or 2.5G version, as some had expected? Coverage with that technology is still much broader, right? Then again, this is the company that did away with standard floppy disks and even optical disk drives before anyone else, so it may be par for Apple’s course. UPDATE: Cook reminds me that phones revert to 2.5G if there’s no 3G network, so there isn’t really a big need for continuing to field a non-3G iPhone.

3) Why no overt comparison to the Blackberry? Seems like Apple’s aiming high, at the business hipster, more than the Crackberry corporate drones. UPDATE: Cook says Apple isn’t just aiming for the prosumer, noting that a third of the Fortune 500 are developing internal applications.

4) What about real business apps, like (a natural) or even Oracle and SAP? Now, those are enterprise. UPDATE: Cook says Salesforce is working on an iPhone version of its applications, and he says he expects many more.

5) What happened to the improved camera, and even videocam capability, that had been widely rumored? UPDATE: Cook just smiles when I ask if video capability will be coming in the future.

6) Why are investors so unhappy? The stock’s down 5% so far today. OK, it’s another month before it ships, but I can’t see other huge downsides here. Maybe investors think the profit margins won’t be as high on an iPhone at half the current price? UPDATE: Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider figures it’s that the new iPhone won’t be available until July 11, which creates more than a monthlong gap in iPhone sales, since Apple stopped selling the old ones weeks ago. Also, AT&T won’t be sharing revenue with Apple, which is of course the reason it can afford to subsidize the new iPhone. So that’s a good chunk of revenue Apple won’t get. Clearly, it’s hoping to make it up on volume.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.