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Apple unveils revolutionary iPhone

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2007
News Categories: iPhone

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Following literally years of speculation and rumors, Apple CEO Steve Jobs today introduced the iPhone, a sleek all-in-one device combining a mobile phone, widescreen iPod, and internet communicator. The iPhone boasts a 3.5-inch widescreen display and runs a version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system with an innovative new user interface for using just a finger to control the device on-screen.

It comes in two capacities—4GB and 8GB—and includes support for quad-band GSM, EDGE, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR wireless technologies. The iPhone also sports a built-in 2 megapixel camera and will work with Macs or PCs. Apple’s Jobs confirmed that the exclusive carrier for the iPhone will be Cingular.

Jobs said the phone is 11.6mm thin—thinner than any smartphone available, including the Motorola Q and Samsung BlackJack. The iPhone has built-in sensors—an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor—that serve to automatically rotate the display from portrait to landscape, and to turn off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches. Battery life is said to be 5 hours for talk time, video or browsing, and 16 hours of audio playback.

The iPhone will be available in June. The 4GB iPhone model will sell for $499, while the 8GB model will sell for $599, each with 2-year contracts. Apple said Cingular will announce service plans for the iPhone before it begins shipping in June. The iPhone will be available in Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008. Jobs said he was announcing it today and shipping nearly six months from now because Apple needs FCC approval. The iPhone will sell in Apple Stores and Cingular stores.

Users are able to make calls in several different ways, including simply pointing at a name or number with their finger. The iPhone syncs contacts from a PC, Mac or Internet service, and allows users to easily create conference calls. Another new feature called Visual Voicemail lets users look at a list of their voicemails, choose which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without having to sit through prior messages. The iPhone also includes an SMS application with a full QWERTY screen-based touch keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions.

In addition to a mobile phone, the iPhone includes a major new iPod portion. The device features touch controls for play-pause, chapter forward-backward and volume. To go along with the iPhone’s widescreen display, there’s now a Cover Flow view for browsing your music library by album cover artwork. (The iPhone is switched automatically to Cover Flow view by simply rotating the device into its landscape position.) Movies and TV shows are obviously also now viewable in a full widescreen view.

The iPhone runs a slimmed-down version of Mac OS X, including email, web browsing, searching and maps. A rich HTML email client fetches email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos along with the text. The iPhone comes with a mobile version of Apple’s Safari web browser, allowing users to view web pages as they appear on a PC, and then zoom in to expand any section by simply tapping on iPhone’s multi- touch display with their finger. The iPhone also includes Google Maps for viewing maps, satellite images, traffic information and directions. The iPhone also includes a calendar application and a photo management application, which can be automatically synced with your PC or Mac.

Several iPhone accessories will also be available in June, including a new Bluetooth wireless headset and new pair of iPod-like earbuds with integrated microphone.

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Comments

21

Thanks Nobody!  You didn ‘t burst any bubble.  Ok how about I feel special that iPhone is announced on the day I was born.  Better?  Good!  wink

Posted by Oliver on January 9, 2007 at 1:40 PM (PDT)

22

have u guys checked out the iphone demo on the apple website?  it is awesome, dont knock it until u can see what it is capable of, i am truly impressed, way beyound my expectations, especially the smart touch….a stroke of genius!

Posted by khyberny on January 9, 2007 at 1:41 PM (PDT)

23

Nice concept, but I wouldn’t want my iPod and cell phone combined into one device.  If you’re big on media like myself 8GB isn’t gonna cut it.  And imagine needing to take or make an important phone call only to find that your battery has died from hours of listening to music or watching videos.

Posted by pandamonium5885 on January 9, 2007 at 1:45 PM (PDT)

24

As cool as the new iPhone looks…the price points suck.  Who is going to pay $500 to $600 for a phone?  Is Cingular going to offer any kind of rebate with a 2 year agreement?

Posted by Bungaloo Bill in The O.C. on January 9, 2007 at 1:47 PM (PDT)

25

I have no idea why Steve or anyone else is reporting that this is thinner than the motorola q. The q is 11.5 mm thick; the ihpone is 11.6 mm thick. Both are incredibly thin, but it is simply an innacurate claim.

Posted by Jim on January 9, 2007 at 1:48 PM (PDT)

26

Call me when there’s a CDMA version available.  GSM audio is awful and always will be.  I would be interested in a widescreen hard drive iPod, though.  That’s probably next in the queue.

Posted by Tom on January 9, 2007 at 1:49 PM (PDT)

27

Yep, I guess I’m just “brain dead” and not as smart as NJO.  I’m certain most people aren’t as smart as NJO, but as for me, I’m still not paying $600 and signing up for a two year contract for an 8 gig iPhone simply because it’s cool.

The point is that while the phone and the iPod may be merging, this product only goes part way in bringing the two together.  I’m sure the day will come when there will be an 80GB flash drive iPhone with replacable battery, but that day is not today.  And so, there still remains two distinct products, the iPhone and the iPod.

Posted by Obadiah on January 9, 2007 at 1:50 PM (PDT)

28

Boring. Boring. Boring.  We want capacity Steve, not something that (no matter how ‘cool’ it looks) is essentially a glorified PDA. Archos are on your tail…

Posted by trancentral on January 9, 2007 at 1:51 PM (PDT)

29

I totally agree with Lona.  This leaves out everyone who isn’t a Cingular customer, unless you want to pay yet another $300 to break your current contract.  Not only that, while it’s revolutionary in a lot of ways, they are using cellular data technology (EDGE) from over two years ago.  Since I got a phone that does EVDO 6+ months ago, I will not go back to EDGE which is 1/3-1/8th the speed!  Blech!

Now, if they provide the same thing without the phone features and with the larger hard drives of full iPods, I’m all over it.

Posted by dvdmon on January 9, 2007 at 1:51 PM (PDT)

30

Oh, and no mention of A2DP anywhere, which makes me think it won’t support it.  What a obvious omission!

Posted by dvdmon on January 9, 2007 at 1:53 PM (PDT)

31

meh. It’s going to be interesting to see how this is marketed/released in other countries. Cingular doesn’t exist in New Zealand and Vodafone is the only GSM service. I assume this takes a SIM card? I guess Apple needs to negotiate with carriers in each country it sells the phones in? Personally, the interface etc. is amazing, but I’m just not that excited by flash celphones and doubt I’d ever surf the net on anything that small. A widescreen iPod, available NOW, would have been more exciting, IMHO.

Also ... what’s the touch screen coated with? I wonder if it is a matt or glass finish? Given how easily iPods scratch and pick up finger-grease, even if you’re careful, I have to wonder how durable the screen is going to be.

Posted by Lawrence Mikkelsen in New Zealand on January 9, 2007 at 1:57 PM (PDT)

32

Looks like the “smart” phone just got a little smarter.

But, I wonder if the phone can be turned off and used as an iPod on an airplane?

Price point is a little disappointing - c’mon you early adopters!

Posted by DJ Super Buffet on January 9, 2007 at 1:58 PM (PDT)

33

I wanted a 100GB widescreen ipod.  I think they will release one when the time passes for people who received ipods for christmas gifts can return them…

Posted by fred on January 9, 2007 at 2:00 PM (PDT)

34

Cingular......

Instant deal breaker.

Say, I thought someone else had the rights to the name ‘iPhone’.

Posted by flatline response on January 9, 2007 at 2:04 PM (PDT)

35

flatline…Cisco Systems is expected to reach a deal with Apple Inc. over the “iPhone” name. 

http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/09/technology/apple_jobs/index.htm?cnn=yes

Posted by PushButtonAction in Atlanta, GA on January 9, 2007 at 2:09 PM (PDT)

36

Yup as all why don’t apple make all these functions in an ipod just without the phone thing and bigger capacity for sure as we was expecting for 100 or above gb

Posted by DJJAZZ on January 9, 2007 at 2:12 PM (PDT)

37

Oliver:

You must mean that you are pleased that the iPhone was announced on the anniversary of the day you were born—not the day you were born—or as we call it here in America, your birthday.

Just kidding.  Enjoy the special feeling this announcement gives you.

Posted by Mark Greiner on January 9, 2007 at 2:13 PM (PDT)

38

I’m amused by the “who needs it?” comments above.
When I got the original iPod in for Christmas in 2001, everyone was asking me, “But why would you want to carry 1,000 songs in your pocket?”
The iPhone will create needs and desires you haven’t even thought of yet.

Posted by Peter on January 9, 2007 at 2:19 PM (PDT)

39

Sheesh.  $600.  No way.  I’ll stick with a Moto RAZR and 80GB iPod.

Fred said:
>>
I wanted a 100GB widescreen ipod.  I think they will release one when the time passes for people who received ipods for christmas gifts can return them…
>>

This is highly doubtful.  We won’t see a 100GB widescreen until after these phones hit the market.  Who will buy a $600 phone for the phone itself when you can get a 100GB widescreen before the iPhoeey street date?

Posted by worm on January 9, 2007 at 2:20 PM (PDT)

40

I guess that’s why they called it the iPhone…it doesn’t have enough memory to be a true video player…

Just wait for them to take out all the internet and phone crap out and beef up the memory to 100 GB+...That will be the iVideo

Posted by podster1 on January 9, 2007 at 2:25 PM (PDT)

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