Apple debuts iPhone: touchscreen mobile phone + widescreen iPod + Internet communicator

Apple today introduced iPhone, combining three products – a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps-into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting users control iPhone with just their fingers. iPhone also ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.

“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device — our fingers — and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”

iPhone is a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows users to make calls by simply pointing at a name or number. iPhone syncs all of your contacts from your Mac, Windows PC or Internet service such as Yahoo!, so that you always have your full list of up-to-date contacts with you. In addition, you can easily construct a favorites list for your most frequently made calls, and easily merge calls together to create conference calls.

iPhone’s pioneering Visual Voicemail, an industry first, lets users look at a listing of their voicemails, decide which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without listening to the prior messages. Just like email, iPhone’s Visual Voicemail enables users to immediately randomly access those messages that interest them most.

iPhone includes an SMS application with a full QWERTY soft keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions. When users need to type, iPhone presents them with an elegant touch keyboard which is predictive to prevent and correct mistakes, making it much easier and more efficient to use than the small plastic keyboards on many smartphones. iPhone also includes a calendar application that allows calendars to be automatically synced with your PC or Mac.

iPhone features a 2 megapixel camera and a photo management application that is far beyond anything on a phone today. Users can browse their photo library, which can be easily synced from their PC or Mac, with just a flick of a finger and easily choose a photo for their wallpaper or to include in an email.

iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone which also features EDGE and Wi-Fi wireless technologies for data networking. Apple has chosen Cingular, the most popular carrier in the US with over 58 million subscribers, to be Apple’s exclusive carrier partner for iPhone in the US.

iPhone is a widescreen iPod with touch controls that lets music lovers “touch” their music by easily scrolling through entire lists of songs, artists, albums and playlists with just a flick of a finger. Album artwork is stunningly presented on iPhone’s large and vibrant display.

iPhone also features Cover Flow, Apple’s amazing way to browse your music library by album cover artwork, for the first time on an iPod. When navigating your music library on iPhone, you are automatically switched into Cover Flow by simply rotating iPhone into its landscape position.

iPhone’s 3.5-inch widescreen display offers the ultimate way to watch TV shows and movies on a pocketable device, with touch controls for play-pause, chapter forward-backward and volume. iPhone plays the same videos purchased from the online iTunes Store that users enjoy watching on their computers and iPods, and will soon enjoy watching on their widescreen televisions using the new Apple TV. The iTunes Store now offers over 350 television shows, over 250 feature films and over 5,000 music videos.

iPhone lets users enjoy all their iPod content, including music, audiobooks, audio podcasts, video podcasts, music videos, television shows and movies. iPhone syncs content from a user’s iTunes library on their PC or Mac, and can play any music or video content they have purchased from the online iTunes store.

iPhone features a rich HTML email client which fetches your email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos and graphics right along with the text. iPhone is fully multi-tasking, so you can be reading a web page while downloading your email in the background.

Yahoo! Mail, the world’s largest email service with over 250 million users, is offering a new free “push” IMAP email service to all iPhone users that automatically pushes new email to a user’s iPhone, and can be set up by simply entering your Yahoo! name and password. iPhone will also work with most industry standard IMAP and POP based email services, such as Microsoft Exchange, Apple .Mac Mail, AOL Mail, Google Gmail and most ISP mail services.

iPhone also features the most advanced and fun-to-use web browser on a portable device with a version of its award-winning Safari(TM) web browser for iPhone. Users can see any web page the way it was designed to be seen, and then easily zoom in to expand any section by simply tapping on iPhone’s multi- touch display with their finger. Users can surf the web from just about anywhere over Wi-Fi or EDGE, and can automatically sync their bookmarks from their Mac or Windows PC. iPhone’s Safari web browser also includes built-in Google Search and Yahoo! Search so users can instantly search for information on their iPhone just like they do on their computer.

iPhone also includes Google Maps, featuring Google’s groundbreaking maps service and iPhone’s amazing maps application, offering the best maps experience by far on any pocket device. Users can view maps, satellite images, traffic information and get directions, all from iPhone’s remarkable and easy- to-use touch interface.

iPhone employs advanced built-in sensors — an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor — that automatically enhance the user experience and extend battery life. iPhone’s built-in accelerometer detects when the user has rotated the device from portrait to landscape, then automatically changes the contents of the display accordingly, with users immediately seeing the entire width of a web page, or a photo in its proper landscape aspect ratio.

iPhone’s built-in proximity sensor detects when you lift iPhone to your ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches until iPhone is moved away. iPhone’s built-in ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness to the appropriate level for the current ambient light, thereby enhancing the user experience and saving power at the same time.

iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for US$499 and an 8GB model for $599, and will work with either a Mac or Windows PC. iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores, and through Cingular’s retail and online stores. Several iPhone accessories will also be available in June, including Apple’s new remarkably compact Bluetooth headset.

iPhone requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X v10.4.8 or later and iTunes 7; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4), Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 2). Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended. Apple and Cingular will announce service plans for iPhone before it begins shipping in June.

To learn more about iPhone, please visit Apple.com or watch the video of the iPhone introduction at http://www.apple.com/iphone/keynote

Related article:
Video of how Apple’s rumored touch-screen Tablet Mac could work – February 13, 2006

173 Comments

  1. That’s a LOT of phone! Great deal for the price. Still, I wonder if Apple will release a lower-end version later in 2007 or in 2008? I assume SJ is modeling this roll-out on the iPod, with the expensive full iPod coming first, followed later by the mini/nano, and eventually by the Shuffle. There’s no reason Apple shouldn’t eventually offer a “Shuffle” version of the iPhone, at $149 or even $99.
    P.S. Is it true that the quoted prices assume a 2-year contract w/Cingular?!? I know it’s exclusive on Cingular, just wondering about the contract.

  2. KILLER PHONE…….killed by cingular =/

    I want this so much, but cannot in good consience go back to cingular, I payed $175 to get out of that crooked mess. Ahh well one day it will be avaliable elsewhere, will just wait till then.

    to bad

  3. Botton Line – WOW!

    There is now only one phone out there worth buying – even if you have to take a lone out to buy it!

    From a business sense it a must have device, simply because I’m already a 100% Mac small business user!

    Besides every one of clients will be after me to get one or more – guess I have to put of my new computer till later in the year!

    Who know maybe by the time I get around to getting a new laptop, Apple, Inc. will have a tablet on the market – here hoping!

  4. I for one am looking forward to getting one of these sometime after June. Fortunately, I’m with Cingular and they haven’t given me any reason why I should leave. My cell phone itself on the other hand…

    MDN – you mentioned battery life for the phone. Was 5 hours “talk” time or standby time? Sorry if I missed it.

    I too was a little disappointed in not discussing more about iLife, iWork, etc. However, one can’t have everything. Overall sounds like it was a great keynote. Looking forward to watching a semi-freezing / stuttering video of the keynote address tonight after work.

    Regards.

  5. I love it, but am disappointed at the release date. June?? That’s nearly half a year away… I mean, either Apple is running out of ideas or this phone is the most complicated device ever. But man, June? That still kills me. The $500 price tag doesnt justify this either. ):

  6. Further thoughts:

    Well, I am not sure what to say I think this was the most anti-Mac Keynote to date.

    It was all about the multi-media and not about the core Mac users; I am not saying that the iphone and Apple TV are not nice in their own rights.

    I am a computer user more then a toy user, were the Leopard OS? That was a big deal in August beating Microsoft and all the great new features like time machine and an updated Apple Mail application.

    Bill Gates gave a scathing interview about how Apple will “never get it” Also if you read the iphone pages on Apple.com they even list that the iphone will sync with the PC and Mac even listing the PC first (Even alphabetically M comes before P so it was done intentionally.

    Here is what I foresee happening:

    March 24, 2007 “Apple, Inc.” will release the Leopard Update; it will be exactly 6 years to the date of the initial release of Mac OS X. That will keep Apple, Inc. relevant to stock holders, thru April and May, then in June they will release the iphone that will keep the stock holders happy up to August 2007 and the next conference, where we will see the screen updates to complement the New Apple TV, and a round of updates to the Laptop and Desktops, to carry us through the rest of 2007.

    It’s not a bad game plan, but I do feel that the “core” Mac users have been left out in the cold, I would have been extremely happy with the Leopard release.

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