iPhone blows away expectations

iPhone blows away expectations

Summary: Once in a while, the truth can be wilder than the rumors. Such was the case today at MacWorld 2007, where Steve Jobs unveiled the long awaited iPhone.

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TOPICS: Apple
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Sometimes, the truth can be wilder than the rumors. Such was the case today at MacWorld 2007, where Steve Jobs unveiled the long awaited iPhone:

Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. One is very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple has been very fortunate that it's been able to introduce a few of these into the world. In 1984 we introduced the Macintosh. It didn't just change Apple, it changed the whole industry. In 2001 we introduced the first iPod, and it didn't just change the way we all listened to music, it changed the entire music industry.

Well today, we're introducing THREE revolutionary new products. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary new mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough internet communications device.

An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator. An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator.... these are NOT three separate devices! And we are calling it iPhone! 

iPhone (Image credit: engadget.com)

The new device runs Mac OSX and features one button ("home"). The rest of its surface is taken up by a huge 3.5inch color touch screen.

Jobs: Let's not use a stylus, we're going to use the best pointing device in the world -- our fingers. We have invented a new technology called multi-touch. It works like magic, you don't need a stylus. It's far more accurate than any interface ever shipped, it ignores unintended touches, supports multi-finger gestures, and BOY have we patented it!

(more on page 2...)

Some specs:

  • 11.6mm thick
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • Speaker
  • Mic input
  • iPod connector
  • Quad band GSM+EDGE phone
  • Accelerometer (detects how you're holding it and adjusts screen)
  • Ambient light sensor (auto-dimming)
  • Proximity sensor (when you bring it to ear, turns off display and sound)
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0
The first supported carrier will be Cingular.
What's the killer app? The killer app is making calls! It's amazing how hard it is to make calls on most phones. We want to let you use contacts like never before -- sync your iPhone with your PC or Mac. Visual voicemail -- wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to listen to five of them to list to the sixth? Just like email you can go directly to the voicemails that interest you.

Multi-touch gestures are used for common operations. For example, Steve demonstrated pinching two fingers together and moving them apart to make a picture larger.

 iPhone multi-touch (image credit: engadget.com)

Of course the iPhone also includes a web browser, Safari, and support for email (regular and push-style).

We have widgets, it communicates with the internet over WiFi and EDGE -- you don't have to do anything, it connects to the WiFi seamlessly. It connects to any POP3 or IMAP email. Today we are announcing Yahoo will offer free push-IMAP email to iPhone customers. This isn't just IMAP, this is push-email, same as a BlackBerry.

Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google appeared on stage with Jobs to announce a new level of collaboration between the two companies. Eric is on the Apple board. He joked about merging the companies but said merging wasn't necessary. 

Schmidt: You can actually merge without merging. Each company should do the absolutely best thing they can do every time, and he's shown it today. We can take the enormous brain trust of the Apple team and the open protocols of companies like google and put them in an environment for end users. From a Google perspective we've pushed very hard to partner with Apple and working with many many different data services. Steve showed this a little bit. It comes together seamlessly. This is the first of a whole new generation.

Jerry Yang, co-founder and Chief Yahoo came on the stage next:

Yang: We're really proud of Yahoo to be partnering with Apple. One of the things we're going to be doing is launching some of our new services , Yahoo Go and One Search on this phone. Mail is a killer app on the phone, Yahoo is trying to redesign the web and email experience on mobile devices. The best spam protection, address books, and calendar when you're on yahoo -- It's like BlackBerry without an Exchange Server.

The iPhone will be available in June for $499 with a 2-year contract (4GB flash model). The 8GB flash model will be $599. It will be sold through the Apple stores and Cingular stores.  Accessories include:

  • Stereo headphones with a bump in the wire containing the mic and switch
  • A thin, "incredibly small" Bluetooth headset

Steve also announced that Apple was changing its name to simply "Apple, Inc." instead of "Apple Computer, Inc.". This reflects its new focus on consumer electronic devices that go beyond simple computers.

So, today we've added to the Mac and the iPod, we've added Apple TV, and now iPhone. And you know, the Mac is the only one you really think of as a computer, and we've thought about this and we thought, you know, maybe our name should reflect this better than it does. From this day forward we're going to be known as Apple, Inc. We've dropped the computer from our name.

A big thank you goes to engadget.com, macrumorslive.com, and Jason O'Grady for their transcripts and photos.

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Topic: Apple

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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143 comments
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  • Apple and the Lemmings

    Apple iPhone - wow, an MP3 player, a communicator, a phone. Incredible breakthrough! LOL Once again, Apple does something that others have already done and makes the ignorant masses think it's some great breakthrough when this product has been around for some time. "Under the hood", it's just the same product as many others out there. However, the design team deserves some credit as they are very good designers and with usability, and making things *look* cool, which is a good thing. It's just that those in the know, know that it's nothing new -- it just appears to be and they are trying to convince those technically challenged that it is. Same issue with their other products like laptop. Love the laptops, but the essence of Apple is long gone (they use standard hardware, Intel, the operating system was abandoned for OS X which was a good move, but they just copied from UNIX/Linux, no great innovation). The only thing that really remains is the cool design. But in my opinion, the essence of Apple has been abandonded or sold out. I like the iPod, I like their laptops (but would prefer a Lenova Thinkpad X60 as it's better and cheaper), this phone is nice too, but nothing new as they want people to believe.

    If you had an apple back in the 80's it was one thing, nowadays, there really is no apple left. It's all standard hardware, standard operating systems (OS X) + windows (if you can get it to work), Intel, software from Microsoft, etc. etc. -My advice: don't judge a book by it's cover.
    dantheman123
    • not an Apple fan but

      I was wondering who else has invented and marketed a touchscreen phone?
      dragosani
      • Lots

        Like my Treo 650. Plays mp3s, movies, games, makes phone calls, takes photos, internet, scheduling, email. Its not like it hasn't been done before.

        iPhone, looks nice, costs a lot.
        Pavlov
        • Yes, it uses a stylus

          The iPhone is supposed to be a true touch screen. I don't consider Palm devices touch screen since you have to use a stylus or a finger nail.

          However, I agree all the other features are been there done that variety.

          I can say I will not be buying one.
          dragosani
          • What did you expect?

            Apple keeps redefining entire products. I'm waitng for the Apple Electric Car!
            sooku
        • I have a treo and it sucks! - IPhone here I come

          Why all the bitching about it being done before. I suppose the first caveman that dug up dirt with his hands pointed to the one smart enough to invent the shovel and said my hands do that just fine.

          You just keep digging with you fingernails and I will get a tool thankyou!
          menk
        • cost cost cost cost cost- boring. So what, do you wear $10 trousers, or do

          go for those expensive designer ones. I mean they are all trousers aren't they?

          Apple costs more because thought has gone into making something look great, and work great.

          I will say that apple has been building in redundency lately, and some products don't do all the things they should be able to do, but hey they usually work better then their compeditors do, despite the fact they don't do everything we want them to do!

          Who's products do?
          hirez
    • Please get a new story...

      this one is really old these days. It's been Trolled out.
      BitTwiddler
      • Old story? How?

        How is this an old story?
        And how do trolls amount to anything in any regard -- ignore those, don't make
        decisions by them!
        maxsnorkel
    • Apple is just Apple

      "Once again, Apple does something that others have already done and makes the ignorant masses think it's some great breakthrough"

      And that makes you jealous?
      I say more power to them.
      sooku
    • at least it will work

      I bought a Blackjack that supposedly does all of these things, and i'm sure it does if you invest the time to figure it out or have the tech background. My guess is that this will work for just about anyone, no need to be an ubergeek.

      Other people made mp3 players before apple, but you know what? Theirs was simpler to use. My guess is that teh same thing will happen with teh iPhone...people will buy it, will be amazed at how easy it is to operate and they'l tell their friends. apple will sell a sh*tload of these, to a lot of happy people.
      neil909@...
    • I agree, looks good BUT

      $499 and a two year contract when technology is shifting so fast and this will be obsolete in 6 months or less

      We have to see if RIM buyers take up the offer as this is no competition for the average phone contract
      KrazyGuy
      • Won't be obsolete that fast

        About the only thing that will pass the new iPhone is a newer,
        rumored, second iPhone with a hard drive that some expect later in
        the year. Otherwise I don't see anyone else surging pass it, especially
        since it has OS X loaded and running.

        While the iPhone might not be for the average phone contract it will
        be an option for the iPod customer, looking for the newest thing.
        When you combine the price of a smart phone and an iPod you're
        basically at the iPhone price. It looks to me like the situation when
        the iPod and iPod mini were first introduced - and everyone sad they
        would never sell at that price. Expect some major backorders when
        the iPhone becomes available.
        Ken_z
        • And...

          the only wat the iPhone would get obsolete, as my understanding it would have
          updates, is by major hardware advances, which wouldn't happen very fast on a
          phone.
          Graham Fluet
    • iPhone blows away expectations

      Does the design team just deserve credit for making it *look* cool? I would
      suggest that they deserve credit for doing what no one has done yet. Wrapping
      the functionality into a package that is capable, functional, powerful and by all
      appearances, extremely easy to use. "Those in the know" never underestimate the
      importance of User Interface. I agree that most of the capabilities you allude to
      are already in the marketplace, but are they in any ONE device, and are they
      ACCESSIBLE to the average user?

      Dantheman123, I would be interested in your definition of "technically
      challenged," perhaps you take your own techno-savvy for granted. It is the case
      that most of us beyond age 18 cannot spend all of our waking hours immersed in
      the study of new technology devices. That said, I am certain that my grandmother
      would be able to use this iPhone out of the box. She would dial her great-
      grandchildren by touching their pictures and would be delighted that the phone
      would automatically sync to her .mac address book.

      I am not sure that the *essence* of Apple is connected in any way to a processor,
      an OS or any piece of titanium or plastic. Perhaps the *essence* of Apple, Inc is an
      insatiable drive for making technology relevant to a slowly growing demographic
      of users, users who appreciate the experience of gracefully matching creativity
      with productivity. That is an extremely difficult thing to do. It deserves to be
      done well, and it is done well by damn few.

      Where's my iPhone?
      lmntary
    • Just a silly perspective; Apple is, Apple innovates

      Apple is not claiming to have invented a device with these features. Apple was
      instrumental in getting some of them onto devices before this, remember. Don't
      be insulting and stupid.
      Apple is claiming to have 'reinvented' this kind of device -- marketing buzzword,
      sure, but worth looking at. They are doing something differently -- and no one
      should be arguing that, because it is plainly obvious.
      But then you drop down to that stupid comment that Apple is no more because it
      uses some standard parts. The Apple advantage has never been about using
      different parts, but about doing things differently, making their own OS, and
      offering different features and functions. Those are ALL still true. It is unimportant
      that it can run Windows -- Apple has not abandoned Mac OS, and certainly isn't
      suggesting customers should use Windows!
      The 'essence' of Apple was not using some different hardware component, and
      Apple is far from having 'sold out' -- try saying that about any other computer
      company!
      maxsnorkel
    • huh??

      you are high. did you expect it to brew coffee too? it's a great device. it will clip off the high end phones of treo and blackberry immediately. the question is reliability. i traded in my treo for the blackberry cuz of reliability. let's see how apple does.
      magwa101@...
    • some truth- but generally Apples stuff actually

      works, and always looks like they get actual humans with athetics to design to object first, then get the tech guys to fullfil the design brief. No geek asthetics here despite, as you say the standard guts of it all.

      The real killer ap for apple however is that they are now moving massively into the consumer media world. They long held the production side, setting up colour standards, inputting into graphic tools etc, which were then used to biuld most of those games the microsloths spend most of their lives enjoying.

      Apple is quickly advancing and overtaking their competition in this regard!

      Next years apple world unveiling (maybe 2 years!) - will no doubt have to be the best games machines going around. Then the M$ people will really be cringing!

      hehe-
      Hope this thing works as well as it looks!
      ps does apple iTV contain due terrestrial free to air tuners? Hope so!

      John
      hirez
    • "nowadays, there really is no apple left . . ."

      Duhhh! That's because all the "suits" (and closet suits) like you are piling on the Apple Bandwagon [how's your iPod working? wink, wink].

      Can't say we blame you! ;-)
      brian ansorge
    • Dantheman, your comments are good for a laugh...

      Hey, I've been in the tech industry for over twenty years and have owned and
      worked with both Wintel and Mac from Day 1, so I'm not at all "technically
      challenged." I don't need to be "convinced" that Apple has created an innovative,
      killer product in the iPhone. If your tiny brain can't see it for what it is, and if your
      dislike for Apple won't allow you to give them credit for the great work they do,
      and if you feel you must bash them in spite of their contributions, well, that's a
      real shame. I laugh that you think your beloved Lenovo (you misspelled it, by the
      way) Thinkpad X60 is somehow "better." Sounds to me like someone who wishes
      he could work with more of the really cool, really productive, really innovative
      stuff, but can't. Finally... who are the true "lemmings?" Some of us alreadty know.
      pbromelkamp