Steve Jobs, CEO of the newly renamed Apple, Inc., revealed the newest product out of the “i” product line. The iPhone, a “reinvention of the phone” as Jobs modestly quipped, was unveiled at this year’s MacWorld Conference on Jan. 9 in San Francisco.
At 4.8 ounces, the iPhone weighs no more than the iPod video but provides more versatility and features. With an apparently user-friendly interface the iPhone boasts gorgeous 3.5 inch, 160 pixels per inch screen that covers the face of the device.
In layman’s terms, it’s a larger and higher resolution screen than ever seen before on an iPod. It also boasts a 2.0 megapixel camera, a proximity sensor that will turn the screen off when repositioned for phone use, and an accelerometer used to reorient the screen to automatically display vertically or horizontally depending on how it’s held.
The actual screen is not just for show, as its inclusion is key for the device to take advantage of the impressive user interface designed by Apple, using what Jobs called “multi-touch.” If you want to scroll through your music, then simply flick the screen up and down. It’s that simple.
The iPhone serves as three products in one; a 4GB or 8GB iPod video, a unique phone, and a mobile Internet, PDA-esque handheld.
With one button press with any finger, you can flip seamlessly through all three of these products and use each independently.
With the iPhone, Apple is introducing “Visual Voicemail,” in which you can see a list of your voicemails, much like e-mail.You can access the internet and use standard applications like e-mail, all input through an on-screen QWERTY keypad that, according to Jobs, is easier to use than current smart phones.
Instead of browsing sites adapted for mobile devices, the iPhone displays sites as if you were browsing on a computer, and if you have trouble reading the text you can easily zoom the screen using your fingers.
In a recent article published by the Chicago Sun-Times, technology reporter Andy Ihnatko was given 45 minutes with the iPhone with Apple developers. His story praised the device for its simplicity and ease of use and called the on-screen keyboard “a huge improvement” over the thumbpads on other smart phones.
Ihnatko did mention that Apple will not allow for just any program to be written and thrown on the device, but speculates that they will probably have to be reviewed and certified.
The 4GB iPhone will be sold for $499, while the 8GB model will retail for $599, and will be offered exclusively through Cingular with a two-year contract.
Whether the iPhone is as successful as its brethren remains to be seen, but given Apple’s popularity and the “coolness” factor of the device, it could have a shot. For demonstrations of the iPhone’s various features, visit apple.com/iphone.