The new iPhones are coming
There was a lot of speculation about the new Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone leading up to Monday's keynote speech by Steve Jobs during his company's Worldwide Developers Conference. Would the new wireless devices come with GPS functionality, faster 3G Web access, and a $199 price that is half of the first generation's entry level gadget? Yes. Would it come with a front-facing videoconferencing camera, the ability to travel through time, and a black mock turtleneck? No.

The speculation was almost as fun as the reality, though the new phones -- due to hit stores next month -- will be pretty cool. At $199 for the 8-gig model, Apple finally has a phone at a price point that competes effectively with other smartphone makers. Yes, the phones are still tethered to AT&T (NYSE: T) as the official stateside carrier. That limits the audience of potential owners, since some handset owners are tied to long-term contracts elsewhere. Others may not be happy that AT&T will be charging $10 more a month for unlimited Web access on the new phones, but who doesn't expect to pay more for quicker access?

Despite the hiccups, it's really just a matter of time before Apple grows its base beyond the 6 million early adopters who snapped up a first-generation iPhone over the past year.

Elsewhere in the world of business news
The bargain-priced iPhone wasn't the only news on the radar this past week. Let's take a brief look at some of the other nuggets.

  • Soft economy? Don't tell the tweens. Disney (NYSE: DIS) announced that licensed merchandise sales would top $30 billion this year, fueled by the success of tween magnets like Hannah Montana and High School Musical. I guess you don't need a record deal to become a young singing sensation these days. A Disney Channel show is even better.
  • Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) Warren Buffett prefers investing to gambling, but that shouldn't get in the way of a fun wager. The Oracle of Omaha entered into a personal million-dollar bet that the S&P 500 will outperform a portfolio of hedge funds over the next decade. A million is a pittance to someone with Buffett's wealth. He also is no spring chicken, putting into question his condition to collect or pay up in 10 years. Either way, you've got to love it when the world's greatest investor is willing to put his money where his mouth is.
  • XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR) is cutting a deal, but not the one that investors have been hoping for. The satellite radio leader settled with EMI Music, the last of the major labels that were suing XM over the recording functionality of its Inno portable receiver. Well, at least we know that XM has what it takes to compromise. Now let's see if the FCC is up to the task.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Berkshire is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Netflix, Berkshire, and Apple are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for Netflix and Disney. The Fool has a disclosure policy.