Monday, January 8, 2007

Apple Unveils iPhone, Partners with Cingular, Google, Yahoo!

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the long awaited iPhone -- combining a GSM phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, digital camera, WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities and Internet communications, including email, web browsing, searching and maps. Apple also announced a multi-year partnership with Cingular -- now part of AT&T -- which will offer the iPhone starting in June for $599.

"iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We are all born with the ultimate pointing device--our fingers--and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse."

Key features include:

  • a quad-band GSM phone which also features EDGE and Wi-Fi

  • a 3.5-inch widescreen display with soft controls rather than fixed buttons

  • three built-in sensors --- an accelerometer that detects when the user has rotated the device from portrait to landscape; a proximity sensor that detects when you lift iPhone to your ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches; and an ambient light sensor that automatically enhance the user experience and extend battery life.

  • an SMS application with a full QWERTY soft keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions.

  • a 2 megapixel camera and a photo management application that lets users organize and email photos

  • a widescreen iPod with touch controls

  • support for most POP3 or IMAP mail services

  • Yahoo! will offer a new free "push" IMAP email service to all iPhone users that automatically pushes new email to a user's iPhone.

  • a Safari web browser that shows web pages in their native format and also includes built-in Google Search and Yahoo! Search

  • Google Maps

  • iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for $499 and an 8GB model for $599.