Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apple Introduces iPhone; I'm Drooling

The iPhone is finally here. Apple Computer chairman Steve Jobs announced the device, which combines the functions of a cell phone, widescreen music and video player, and Internet connection tool, in his keynote speech at the Macworld Expo on Tuesday morning, January 9th.

According to a live feed from Mac Observer at the Expo in San Francisco, Jobs hailed the iPhone as a "breakthrough Internet communications device" and then launched into its various features. The iPhone Jobs demonstrated is said to features a 3.5" touch screen that takes up most of the front of the device; Jobs said the screen has a resolution of 160 pixels per inch, which Macobserver.com said is the highest resolution screen yet shipped by Apple. Users will be able to dock the iPhone with their computers, like an iPod, but the new device will also sync with the user's contacts list, calendar, and other data.

Macobserver.com notes that the iPhone runs Apple's Mac OS X operating system, supports any IMAP or POP3 e-mail server, and will work with Microsoft Exchange and Yahoo! Mail. For Web browsing, the iPhone uses Apple's Safari Web browser, includes Google Maps, and has WiFi networking. At one point Jobs brought on stage Eric Schmidt, one of Google's co-founders, and Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!, and discussed how Apple worked closely with those companies to integrate their features into the iPhone.

The iPhone will cost $499 for a 4 GB model and $599 for an 8GB model. But, you'll have to shell out your money for it: the iPhone will not be available for purchase until June 2007. Apple has an exclusive multiyear agreement with Cingular to provide service for the iPhone.

A little matter that still needs to be ironed out: the trademark for "iPhone" is actually held by Cisco Systems, which uses it for its Linksys brand VOIP-based wireless phone, which was just introduced in mid-December. Apple is said to be in final talks to acquire the iPhone name.

Maybe Steve Jobs will just give Cisco CEO John Chambers a certificate good for a zillion song downloads in iTunes?

During his keynote Jobs also announced AppleTV, the company's device to stream TV and video content wirelessly. Formerly known as iTV, the product features a 40GB hard drive and will be able to play video and photos from computers throughout the home. AppleTV is set to go on sale in February for $299.

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