11th July will see the release of the next generation iPhone, of course for many industry watchers this comes as no surprise. An updated version was always on the cards, from the outset the nay sayers were quick to tell Apple what they wanted in the phone and what was missing from its opening incarnation.

In terms of actual advancements the biggest one it would seem is the awaited shift to the 3G system which means in terms of data transfer and general usability the new iPhone will be roughly twice as fast as its predecessor. The iPhone will also be touting a new version 2.0 software which incorporates Enterprise integration (in other words they are going after Blackberry in the business market). The amount of large corporate concerns that have got involved with testing the new iPhone is not one to be sniffed at either (Disney, Genetech, the US Army were all involved). It might actually be time for some of the other phone manufacturers to be worried. What makes the whole thing that much more appealing is the sudden drop in price which goes long with the new features, the phone will retail in its 8Gb incarnation at £100 (obviously the contract situation still applies, but hey you can’t have everything).

As was always the case the iPhone was touted as more than “just a phone” and in the best example of “device convergence” the device is rapidly expanding into other areas incorporating input from companies such as Sega (Super Monkey Ball does look like fun) and eBay to name but two. There’s also a new feature to replace Apple’s .Mac service called MobileMe. Essentially this is a way to take your desktop with you pretty much everywhere you go so regardless of whether you are using an iPhone, a Macintosh or a Windows based PC then you can update everything on the fly using “push technology” to bring your data into alignment in more than one location. Theoretically speaking you can be on your “home machine” on any computer you use.

Of course many aspects of this technology aren’t particularly new but it has to be said this is the first time they have been brought together in such a unified fashion. How it all pans out when it officially goes live next month is anybody’s guess but on paper it looks pretty good from where I’m standing.