During his keynote address at Macworld 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the long-rumoured iPhone.
The quad-band device features a touchscreen, 2-megapixel camera, OS X operating system, Safari Web browser, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and integration with Google Maps. While Americans will be able to purchase the smartphone from June (at US$499 for the 4GB version on a two-year Cingular contract, and US$599 for the 8GB model), Australians will have to wait until 2008.
At the 2007 edition of Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage Tuesday local time (early Wednesday morning in Australian time) and told the eager audience, "We're going to make some history together today."
Then came the moment everyone was waiting for. Jobs unveiled the long-awaited iPhone -- yes, that's what he's calling it, even though Cisco Systems owns the trademark.
The slender device runs Mac OS X -- "a software breakthrough," he said, referring to the use of the full-fledged operating system, "software that's five years ahead of what's on any other phone." A new technology called "multitouch" means users don't need a stylus -- "and it is far more accurate than any pointing device that's shipped," Jobs said.
The phone is also a music device that shows album art. "It's a video iPod and a regular iPod, plus a phone. And it's widescreen when you hold it in landscape mode, on its side," Jobs said.
During the presentation, Jobs makes what he says is the first public phone call with iPhone, calling Jony Ive, Apple's design chief.
The phone's numeric keypad, writ large. For the phone service, Apple is partnering with Cingular Wireless in the United States -- see the small print at the top of the screen. There is yet to be an announcement on what Australian networks the phone will be available on when it hits local shores in 2008.
The browser of choice for the mobile device is Safari. Jobs loaded the Web site of The New York Times and touted the ability to scroll around easily, as on a larger screen. Users can zoom out to accommodate a big site like that of the Times.
Want music? You've got it. Want album art? You've got that, too.
The touchscreen interface of the iPhone continues the Apple tradition of packaging innovative input technology with its computing devices.
Google search functions are built into the iPhone, which also makes use of Google Maps. Jobs calls Starbucks and orders 4,000 lattes to go -- then cancels the order.
Some of the iPhone's many options.
Oh, yes. There's also a camera.
Another look at the Apple phone. Even if it is the "ultimate" digital device, there probably are a few things it can't do -- like double as an acquarium.
Did Apple really reinvent the phone? You be the judge.
All three halls of San Francisco's Moscone Center are taken up this year by Macworld, including the newer Moscone West hall (pictured here).
Macworld visitors to the Moscone Center's South Hall, home to the exhibition floor, are greeted by a banner highlighting Apple's 30 years in the computer business. The company has been running a similar graphic on its home page for about a week prior to Macworld, which is expected to attract over 40,000 visitors.
This year's Macworld has had to compete with the gargantuan Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for attention. Around 150,000 visitors are expected to attend CES this year, but next year the two shows will fall during different weeks.