Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the long-rumored Apple phone at the annual Macworld conference in San Francisco, describing it as a “revolutionary” product that combines a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a mobile phone and an Internet communications device.
Jobs says the phone – dubbed the iPhone – would use a new interface that would avoid the buttons on smartphones like the Treo and be operated through a touch screen.
The phone would also run on OS X, the Macintosh operating system, which would give the new device the flexibility and sophistication of Apple's signature desktop software.
Jobs started off by talking about how Apple was going to reinvent the phone, and showed the crowd an iPod with a rotary phone dial, which drew a laugh from the crowd of faithful.
He then talked about what he described as the problems of current smartphones, including their keypads and fixed control buttons, which limit their flexibility.
The iPhone avoids that, he says, with a patented control surface that is operated by a user's fingers – “the best pointing device in the world.”
The phone will have a 3.5-inch screen and just one button on front. Jobs says that at 11.6 millimeters it is the thinnest phone on the market. It will have a 2-megapixel camera, and will work on the Cingular network.
A 4-gigabyte version will sell for $499, while an 8-gigabyte model will cost $599.
The phones will be sold at Apple and Cingular stores, and will ship in June.
The iPhone will operate just like the iPod in terms of syncing with iTunes to download content. In addition to its phone and music features, the iPhone will also have a calendar, photo managing software, text messaging, access to most email services, and what Jobs described as a full-featured Web browser.
Jobs said all of these other types of content – such as Internet bookmarks and email messages – would also be easy to sync with desktop applications.
© 2007, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
Article posted on 1/16/2007
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