I arrived here at Moscone West in San Francisco a little before 5 am PDT and the line of Apple faithful stretched around the block. Some of these folks got here before midnight!
It's all about the iPhone today and what could be the tech industry's worst kept secret. Steve Jobs should unveil the company's next-generation iPhone, which I've been reporting about for months. It'll run on AT&T's new and improved 3G network, likely include carrier subsidies which could drive the price below $200, possibly include video iChat, a new and improved touch-screen keypad, longer battery life and a thinner form factor.
Apple saw big-time success with iPhone during the first quarter of the year, selling 1.73 million units. Still a distant third behind market leader Nokia and Research in Motion , but capturing an eye-popping 5.3 percent of the smart phone market in very short order.
The carrier subsidy and lower price could go a long way toward even more robust iPhone sales. Depending on how the revenue sharing agreement works out, a more affordable device could easily compensate for the revenue hit Apple would suffer because of a lower price with sources telling me sales volume could spike. Apple shares are getting clobbered on the "lower price" rumors, so it'll be interesting to hear whether Jobs addresses the "increased sales volume" side of the coin.
Catching up with some folks on line, one said: "We expect to see the new iPhone just like everybody else. We came from Brazil just to see that man!"
Said another: "Hopefully new iPhones, crazy new software for the Mac and lots of fun developer stuff!"
This is the first time that Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference has ever sold out, so that should offer a good indication as the strength of Apple's product and application pipeline.
Steve Jobs takes the stage at 1p EDT and I'll be live-blogging the event so check back here when you get the chance for an update! Should be a fun day.
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