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Apple unveils 'revolutionary' iPhone [u]

updated 12:55 pm EST, Tue January 9, 2007

Apple unveils iPhone

Apple today unveiled the iPhone (site not updated), a wide-screen iPod with touch controls that also functions as a mobile phone and an internet communication device. The company chief Steve Jobs revealed the new device during his keynote speech at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. "This is a day I've been looking forward to for two and a half years," Jobs said on stage in front of the keynote attendees. "Every once in a while a product comes along to change the industry. Apple has been fortunate to introduce a few of these: the Mac in 1984; the iPod in 2001. Apple will introduce three revolutionary products of this class. Wide-screen iPod with touch controls. The second is a mobile phone. The third is a break-through internet communication device. All of those in a single device. Not separate devices, but a single device called iPhone. Apple reinvents the phone." [updated]

iPhone development began with a revolutionary user interface that leverages hardware as well as software, overcoming the problem of fixed controls that cannot change as applications change. The iPhone utilizes a touch sensitive screen with "multi-touch" technology that does not require a stylus pen to operate, and is far more accurate than other touch displays, according to Jobs. The touch pad allows multi-finger gestures that Jobs says is "at least five years ahead of any other." The iPhone runs Mac OS X with power management, networking, security, applications, Core Animation, and audio/video support. Users can also create desktop-class applications, according to Apple's chief.

The iPhone includes a 3.5-inch screen with 160 pixels per inch, as well as a single "home" button. The phone is thinner than any other phone at 11.6mm, and offers volume controls alongside a two megapixel camera built-in on the back. The phone also features a 3.5mm headphone jack, a sleep/wake button on top, a speaker microphone, and an iPod connector on the bottom. A proximity sensor turns off the screen as well as the touch sensor when the phone passes close to the head, and an ambient light sensor turns down the screen brightness as necessary. An accelerometer determines whether to capture a landscape or portrait orientation when taking photos, and the phone includes coverflow technology similar to that used in the company's iTunes software.

Apple's iPhone has a dashboard-like interface to each module and function, allowing users to scroll using a finger. The home button returns users back to the dashboard, and the coveflow technology supports scrolling through album art with the touch of a finger. Jobs demonstrated the iPhone's video capability by playing "The Office" TV show, and began playing a wide-screen movie using on-screen controls.

The iPhone -- which includes more than 200 patents for inventions used in the device -- offers visual voicemail that allows random access voicemail for direct access, and functions as a quad-band GSM/Edge phone. iPhone includes WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity, providing users with SMS functionality alongside various applications such as a calendar, contacts, and more. An iChat-like interface enables users to send as well as receive SMS messages, and the iPhone supports error correction via a visual keyboard that allows users to type messages. The phone includes built-in photo management that can scroll through photos with the touch of a finger, and a 'pinch' motion zooms in or out while viewing images.

Further iPhone features include rich HTML email capability that works with any POP/IMAP email service, and a fully usable copy of Apple's Safari Web browser with support for Google Maps. The phone includes widgets for weather and stocks, and automatically locates WiFi networks when they are available -- switching to the network to maintain internet connectivity. Additionally, Yahoo is offering all iPhone users free push IMAP email service with inline photos and rich text email support. Apple's iPhone also automatically parses out phone numbers with a simple touch-to-call option.

Finger gestures navigate Web pages in Safari when browsing the Web, and pinching gestures zoom in on a particular area of a page. Double tapping on a page zooms to that area, while a Cingular menubar displays an AirPort-like signal indicator for WiFi strength. Users can also quickly move to portions of a Web page before it is finished downloading.

Steve Jobs introduced Cingular Wireless CEO, saying that features like visual voicemail required help from the carrier. Cingular entered into a multiyear exclusive contract with Apple without ever having seen the phone. Jobs said Apple hopes to grab 1 percent market share (10 million units) in 2008 following the iPhone's introduction into the existing mobile phone market, which consists of nearly 1 billion phones.

iPhone accessories include standard headphones that feature a button to answer calls, as well as a new Bluetooth headset with a single button that automatically goes to sleep. Jobs promises five hours of battery life for talking time or video playback, as well as 16 hours of audio playback time. The iPhone will ship in June for $499 (4GB model) and $599 (8GB model), both with a 2 year contract.

by MacNN Staff




  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Touch-screen for a mobile phone! Now we don't have to worry about any of that "Dial without looking at the device" problems we all have, because now you won't be able to do anything with your phone/ipod/whatever without looking at it specifically.

    And this is great for driving too! Because what we need more of to break the boredom of driving to/from work then keeping alert of all the users paying attention to their mobile devices then on the road!

    Life is good!

  1. nemesys

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Scaled-down OS X

    Imagine all the functionalities of OS X they could include, spell checking while you type, text to speech to read your incoming text messages, maybe voice recognition later!

  1. awggondzur

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: woohoo!

    For safety reasons one should be driving while driving. If one must place or receive calls one should use a handsfree device, such as voice activated speakerphone or bluetooth wireless headset. One should also drive defensively and expect the unexpected.


    Is the loneliest number...

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    flamebait, testudo?

    I can't imagine how this is worse than all other phones (the touch screen). If you were driving and dialing, with tiny buttons and screens, you really had to squint in order to get it right. At least, with 3.5" screen and big type, you can easily see and touch the name/number you want. Not to mention that the UI makes it infinitely simpler and faster than ordinary phones so far.

    Besides, it may all be pointless, since Mac OSX supports speech recognition, which undoubtedly works well for dialing numbers. In other words, the point is moot.

  1. VValdo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    5 hours battery life?

    That's not good, esp. considering that's the max you could ever expect to get...

    Also, if it's a GSM phone, why lock it to Cingular? Or is it locked? Could I pop in a T-Mobile SIM card?

    So many technical questions...


  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why can't they just offer unlocked phones like in Asia! Great so Canada wasn't on the list of carriers atleast let me buy the phone!

  1. newbee2001

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Any images on the iphone

    I want to see this thing already! anyone have any pics??

  1. Hobeaux

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm sure that cingular insisted that it be a closed contract in order for them to upgrade their systems. when the contract runs out things may change.

  1. Smurfman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh my!!

    The iPhone in action is a thing of beauty!! I've never owned a cellular phone (and I'm 30+ years old) but I want one of these... bad!

    WOW! I think Apple has truly revolutionized another industry! Keep in mind this is only a 1.0 version and it still ROCKS (even with some of the shortcomings - Cingular exclusive and 5 hours battery)!!

  1. TheoCryst

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Son of a...

    I just signed a two-year agreement with Verizon. Gah...

    Oh, and for those looking for pics:

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