So that is.
After a rather boring keynote (too many applications shown), Steve Jobs detailed the upcoming iPhone 3G, the second version of iPhone.

Here are my thoughts on it.

1) Apple is now a traditional mobile phone vendor
When the first iPhone came out, Apple succeeded in disrupting the classical model by selling it at real price and taking a share of the exclusive carrier's service revenue.
With the new iPhone, Apple is now back with the other sellers: the company will sell most (if any) iPhones to the carriers, that will resell it at a low price to people while paying back with the service.

2) Apple completed the traditional hardware package.
As many, me included, explained six months ago, some pieces were missing in the first iteration of iPhone. Most have been reintegrated in the product, especially:
i) A faster cellular connection: as shown in the keynote, HSPA is almost as pervasive (especially in France) as EDGE and almost as fast as Wifi.
I already explained how cool was the pervasiveness of EDGE, balancing the slowness of it. With HSPA, combined with the same kind of unthethered plan, I would almost never used Wifi except from my home.
ii) A more precise location: thanks to GPS, iPhone will be able to compete and eat the market of dedicated pocketable GPS. This kind of product is on a dead end and will disappear in the 5 years to come.

3) Apple brought the software to the next level.
Beside the upgrade to please IT Administrators to be more "enterprise friendly", I think the biggest way to justify the new SDK+AppStore system is really about gaming.
Actually, the only interesting piece in the apps demo in the keynote was all about gaming, combining SoC intensive visual calculation and innovative sensor based gameplay.
With this, an iPhone is now a direct competitor to a PSP from Sony and to a DS from Nintendo.
These two companies will need to add phone capabilities if they want to stay in course.

Beyond these announcements for iPhone 2, we can now quietly think about the iPhone 3.

1) iPhone 3 will be based on a dedicated SoC
Steve Jobs confirmed that Apple did buy PA Semi to make chips for iPod/iPhones. This will thus create a third branch dedicated to advance processors for pocketable computer, besides the new from Atom and the main from ARM. As a technical nerd, I will be very interesting to see which kind of performance/energy advantages Apple will be able to raise from designing for its own products, regarding an OMAP from TI, a Scorpion from Qualcomm, an Atom from Intel or a Tegra from nVidia.

2) iPhone 3 will upgrade the as usual hardware feature.
You can be sure that iPhone 3 will have:
i) a better camera: more pixels, a zoom, flash and auto focus are a must and not very hard to bring.
ii) a better screen: HTC seems eventually to move the trend to VGA screens. Could Apple be ahead by pushing a 800x480 WVGA one, that seems to be the physical limit for pocketable?
iii) a faster network: as I understood, Apple just brought the HDSPA 3.6Mb/s version to the table: we will thus see HSDPA 7.2 and HSUPA 3.6 in the iPhone 3.

3) Which new can be done in iPhone 3?
Here are what Apple could bring to really advance the course.
i) "Wireless IO" : using Wifi or UWB, Apple could make the iPhone a hub to dispatch sounds, images and texts to the better IO available at any time.
ii) "iContact" : using NFC technology, Apple could leverage its power on iTunes to foster the development of eTicketing on the iPhone 3.
iii) "iPhone Server": this could be the more radical feature, building upon what's Nokia doing on Symbian. The idea is to profit from Wifi and HSUPA high uplink bandwidth to make the iPhone a personal web server able to answer to request about the user in real time.

Don't know yet what Apple will bring in this iPhone 3. But after reintegrating the mainstream with iPhone 2, Apple will need to surprise us once again on features to sustain the iconic value the brand is raising.