iPhone -- The Apple Innovation Everyone Expected

At MacWorld today Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, the long awaited iPod cellphone that has been spoken about in whispers for over a year. Though the phone was expected, some of the specs are surprising. The entire face is a touch-screen that recognizes multiple touch points (stretch photos larger with two fingers). It uses OS X as the operating system, making it as fully functional as a portable computer. You manage all your media and information with iTunes. The iPhone has 4 GB or 8 GB of storage. It will be available this June for $499 (4 GB) or $599 (8 GB) from Cingular (two-year contract required), their exclusive partner in the United States. It will hit Europe in the fourth quarter, and then Asia in 2008.

Some of the smaller details make the iPhone more impressive--a 3.5" widescreen ratio screen with the highest resolution yet for an iPod. It has wireless and EDGE for Internet, using a fully-featured Safari. From partnership with Yahoo it uses Yahoo search and Yahoo IMAP email. From a partnership with Google, it uses Google search and Google Maps (with built-in GPS). It supports Widgets. It has an accelerometer to orientate the screen as portrait or landscape. It has a sensor that knows when you put the phone up to your ear to turn off the screen and any music you are playing to take a call. The phone capabilities, like voicemail and conferencing, have an interface to make it easy to use--skip to your fifth voicemail without listening to the others. The battery has five hours of battery life, stretched to 16 hours for music.

Jobs began the keynote discussing Apple's latest milestones--2 billion songs sold in iTunes making them the #4 seller of music, 50 million television shows sold, and 1.3 million movies sold (Paramount is also now selling films on iTunes). He discussed Apple TV, their set top box that will enable you to access all of your digital media (music, film and photos from iPod, Macs, or PCs) on your television. It has a 40 GB hard drive and can play 720p high-def video over component or HDMI and has wifi. It will be out in February for $299.

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28 Comments

  • Parker

    To those who find it necessary to bash Cingular/AT&T, do you have, or have you ever had the service... I've been with them for 9 years, and have always been happy with the customer service and the signal... My friends with other networks, complain all the time... I am so excited about the Hello coming to Cingular, a great product joining the best phone company!

  • emmanuel james

    Please I sent a mail earliar,Please I would like to be one bof you major distributors in Africa,I am really interested.Can you guys send me some hard copies of the iphone? My address is Diamond bank plc,Corporate Affairs Unit,Head Office.(1261 Adeola Hopewell,Victoria Island,Lagos).I would indeed be greatful.

  • emmanuel james

    I am a Nigerian,and I know that you guys are awear that people are very interested in knowing whats new in the IT world.I wouldn't mind if you send me some informations on the new iphone.I would like to know when it would get to the African market[especially Nigerian market],thank you.

  • MCruse

    This is wonderful technology. I can't wait to see what the competition puts out. I'm not an apple fan but I love the fact they jumped ahead of the pack. I use a Treo (w/verizon) and I'm happy. Once the bugs are worked out, the price comes down, and Verizon puts out a similar device I'd like....well I just might buy it. In the meantime, my kids are ready for this. Good job Apple. American needs products that lead the pack. Now hopefully Apple will make a profit and share the technology....and not create a nasty monster like Microsoft.

  • Wandfliesen

    I always think that the most interesting practice among Catholics is digging up the remains of saints to see if they remain incorrupt. By Fliesen St. Bernadette is still intact.

  • Jeremy

    Having just bought a fullsize Ipod and realizing how much I dig Apple products, I'd add this to my bag of goodies. Goodbye Cingular Blackberry, goodbye Nextel Phone, goodbye IPod, goodbye portable DVD player. Hello airtravel. Imagine going to the airport with only 1 piece of electronics, I really could pack my belt and travel without one, my pants won't be falling down with only my wallet and my IPhone in my pockets.

  • Stephi

    I really liked the phone but price is way to high, i think i will stick to Cingular for some more time...:(

  • Darrell J.

    I love the phone. It appears to be more than I ever hoped for. I've had bad experiences with Cingular and won't switch back. When will the phone makers get it? Sell the phones directly to the consumer and let us buy the carrier service as the commodity that it is. I'd happily pay $1000 for the phone unlocked with no commitment to a carrier. I guess I'll have to wait for it to come out unlocked in the EU and buy one there.

  • kej555

    Please, Please...I'm disapointed!!! Based on our experience Cingular would have to be the last cell provider on earth bfore I go back! Had 12 company phones, bad service, bad support MOST DROPPED CALLS we ever experienced. Read "Consumer Reports" ! We're back to Verizon.

  • matt foley

    come on, people. i like apple as much as the next guy, but the ipod and the iphone are not that innovative. itunes business model? yes, that put apple on the bleeding edge. the rest of the bunch is pretty packaging.

  • Will Greer

    Looks great, but the capacity has to grow. I think they've gone as high as they can with flash memory here, but I would have to see one with a 60GB or 80GB HDD before I could consider replacing my iPod with it.

  • John Swenney

    Cingular by far is still the best wireless phone company in the country, GSM is the way for the future, almost 3 billion users all over the world cannot be wrong. All that verizon and Sprint crap is going to go away or just die like the Betamax. I dont know why Americans just keep embracing the odd technology. Apple+Cingular will rule. I think the next iteration of this iphone will have corporate email support and 3G, it will keep getting better.

  • Dennis

    For a huge number of reasons, this phone obviously isn't going to sell that well (price, cingular, no secure email, no true keypad, EDGE only, etc...) But, I have to say this is a true step forward for communications devices. I applaud Apple's ingenuity. However, by the time this phone comes out in June, HTC and all the Koreans are going to have knock-offs just a few months later that will do many of the things this device will do, but at a much cheaper price point -- and with 3G to boot. I mean, come on Apple! To release a phone that's an "Internet Communicator" in June of 2007 and not have 3G, what kind of morons are you? I pay 50 bucks a month on Cingular for data access regardless of whether it's EDGE or HSDPA. Why would I go back to EDGE, do you have any idea how slow it is? Still, good job, thanks for setting the bar higher so my next phone, whatever it is, will have some of these same innovations...

  • Donald

    Apple presents the evolution of the Personal Computer 2.0 in the guise of a smartphone. If only Steve had focused on VoIP and WiFi instead shackling this device to Cingular's GSM network (and chopped maybe $100 off the sticker price), then maybe this could have been the smartphone for the rest of us. That would have been innovation - an instant global innovation, just like the iPod.

    Well, let's see Cingular (or whatever AT&T Wireless will call itself six months from now) try to provide customer service (a gigantic component of user experience) worthy of Apple product ...

  • objectiveselective

    My speculation as to why Apple chose is because of world network compatibility. Devices designed for (Cigular's) GSM networks more compatible with practically the rest of the world's carriers.
    For that reason, I wouldn't be surprised if T-Mobile picks it up in the US in '08 or '09. They'd have to reengineer the wireless guts to work on Verizon's or Sprint's "antiquated" voice networks. Plus, they are the largest single carrier in the US soon to be even bigger when AT&T imposes themselves back on Cingular...bleh.
    And even though Sprint's 3G data network is more robust currently in the US, that is going to change, soon, for the better - I just wish they'd keep the Cingular brand name vs. foist the AT&T name back on us.

    Also, I'd love to see people who have actually used the product comment on the performance, like and dislikes - vs. speculative assumptions. Anyone?

  • Andre

    Yeah it is a tad on the expensive side but if you think about it, Apple is still ahead of the pack. Phones are just NOW touting the music/phone integration. They went a step further to become a leader in innovation (as mentioned earlier). I just hope other companies follow suit so that I won't be forced to become a Mac user (jk...)

  • Todd McKeever

    Great phone, I find myself wanting it but I am not wanting to switch to cingular. I wonder why they chose cingular? Anyone have any ideas why?

  • Paavani

    It s a great amalgamation of music + phone+ Internet.
    And geeky people would definitely like and for the rest device for each function separately do exist :)
    Money is not so high, and after few months it will definitely go down to make it more affordable.