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Apple Introduces Three-in-One Device Called iPhone [UPDATED]
Monday, January 8th, 2007 at 2:00 PM - by Brad Cook
Saying "this is a day I've been looking forward to for two-and-a-half years," Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Tuesday morning took the wraps off the long-awaited, much-blogged-about iPhone, which offers not only smartphone and Internet communications capability but also a widescreen iPod with touch-screen controls. It also features a built-in two-megapixel camera and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Apple partnered exclusively with Cingular, which helped develop some of the technology featured in iPhone.
The iPhone uses new technology, called multi-touch, to allow users to access its interface without a stylus and perform multi-finger swipes to activate certain functions. It "works like magic," according to Mr. Jobs, ignoring unintended touches. It runs on a version of OS X designed for portable devices and can sync data from a PC or Mac, enabling users to make calls to people in their address books by touching their names.
iPhone also features Visual Voicemail, which offers a list of voicemails so that users can listen to specific ones first, rather than going through them in the order they were received. An SMS application is included, along with a full touch-screen QWERTY keyboard, as well as calendar functionality and the ability to send and receive e-mails, with free access to Yahoo!’s push IMAP e-mail available to every iPhone owner.
iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone that supports EDGE networks and comes with built-in Wi-Fi, which takes over when it detects an available wireless network. The included e-mail client offers rich HTML and downloads messages in the background from most POP3 or IMAP servers, including Microsoft Exchange, Apple’s .Mac Mail, AOL Mail, Google’s Gmail, and many ISP mail services.
A version of Apple’s Safarai Web browser is also included. It can sync bookmarks from a PC or Mac and users can tap on the display to zoom in on a Web page. Built-in Google Search and Yahoo! Search is also included, as are Google Maps and the iPhone’s own maps application.
iPhone also doubles as the widescreen iPod many have been expecting, featuring a 3.5-inch widescreen display with a built-in accelerometer that detects movement and automatically shifts from portrait to landscape view when necessary. Support for Cover Flow, which was first introduced with the release of iTunes 7, is also included, and users can easily switch between watching TV shows and movies and listening to music.
iPhone also features an ambient light sensor that adjusts the display’s brightness depending on the amount of ambient light, and a proximity sensor detects when the device is lifted to the ear and automatically turns off the display to prevent accidental touches. Both sensors also help save battery life, which Apple says is five hours of talk, video or Web browsing time and 16 hours of listening to music.
Apple will ship iPhone in June in the United States, with roll-outs to Europe and Asia happening in late 2007 and 2008, respectively. The 4GB iPhone will sell for US$499 and the 8GB model will sell for $599, with both available at Apple and Cingular online and retail stores. Apple will also sell two accessories starting in June, a Bluetooth headset and earbuds with an inline mic.
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