January 09, 2007

Steve Jobs wows Apple fans

iPhone. Check.

Widescreen touch-screen iPod. Check.

Mobile internet communication thing? Check.

No great surprises.

Except that's not three separate products. That's all in one.

Features: $499/599 plus contract / 4/8Gb iPod / Available June in U.S., Winter 2007 in UK / Phone /  WiFi / Bluetooth / 2mpx camera / Rotates screen between landscape and portrait automatically / Senses when you've got your ear up to it / 3.5inch Touchscreen / Built-in speaker / 'visual voicemail' / Proper web browser / Google Maps / POP3 e-mail

The iPhone


- 22 comments by 4 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Anon

    And the price?!

    09 Jan 2007, 18:18

  2. Hehe, he’s not mentioned that yet. My punchline is probably going to be ”...and only available in the United States until 2014”, but he hasn’t confirmed that yet either.

    09 Jan 2007, 18:19

  3. relatively cheap. and thankfully shipping this year!

    09 Jan 2007, 18:56

  4. Mathew Mannion

    Only available on Cingular in the US. And about £800, I’m guessing :)

    09 Jan 2007, 18:56

  5. shockingly the 8GB is $599. I suppose that’s with the 2 year contract on Cingular

    09 Jan 2007, 18:58

  6. It is absolutely breathtaking. Exceeded my stellar expectations of Apple’s design team.

    09 Jan 2007, 21:00

  7. Asim – I don’t think $599 is too bad considering. That’s about £300, although given technology is always more expensive here, it’s more likely to be £350-400. On a contract, that’s not atrocious, given the extra functions and the need not to own a separate MP3 player.

    09 Jan 2007, 22:00

  8. Phones with a similar-sized screen (with somewhat less memory), including a touch-screen option are generally cheaper and have better cameras… To be honest I’d probably prefer to go for one of the newer Sony phones and buy an iPod nano to accompany it. The phone will still be a decent MP3 player and you’ve still got an iPod, probably for about the same price (but with the ability to take much better pictures and survive for more than an hour without a recharge)

    To be honest, that monstrosity looks as though it will go the way of the Newton. Sure it might look pretty but the photo distinctly reminds me of Bill Gates at the X-Box unvailing comparing the first joypad to an extra-large BK whopper…

    BTW as someone who’s owned plenty of MP3 Players, PDAs and Mobile phones, I’ve found the touch-screen factor to be a nice gimmick but mostly useless outside of Chinese character input. Text messaging with predictive text using a keypad is still much quicker than using the Stylus (even with Microsoft’s fairly decent text recognition program).

    So I can see this being a bit more useful in Asia but the trend is towards small and sleek combined with as much functionality as possible. Most people want Ferraris to drive around their city, not interesting-yet-giant-and-expensive Double-Decker buses.

    09 Jan 2007, 23:13

  9. I was actually shocked by the low price. Sorry for the misleading expression.

    09 Jan 2007, 23:28

  10. Hamid, monstrosity? The thing is tiny.

    09 Jan 2007, 23:38

  11. Hamid – Ironically, I think (if I’m correct here) that the phone doesn’t support the most popular Asian standard (their equivalent of 3G or summat), so is unlikely to be very popular over there.

    10 Jan 2007, 00:08

  12. Heaven help you if you drop that thing. I’d be scared to take it outside.

    10 Jan 2007, 00:51

  13. Andy

    Hamid, monstrosity? The thing is tiny.

    Yes Andy, judging by the size of it in that hand over there it’s hardly a small phone (though it may well be thin).

    Chris

    Hamid – Ironically, I think (if I’m correct here) that the phone doesn’t support the most popular Asian standard (their equivalent of 3G or summat), so is unlikely to be very popular over there.

    Then to be honest I really don’t see the need for touchscreen unless it’s just a simple gimmick. But why drive up the expense so needlessly for a product that you, presumably, want to mass-sell?

    As Nicholas has pointed out, it looks really fragile (and if the nano is anything to go by, your sleek exterior/screen will last all of five minutes :P). It seems that iPod’s first foray into Mobile Phones (if it decides to continue) is going to either be a bit of a Newton fiasco or just one in the plethora of mobile phones which emerge on the Market and then promptly fail (I’m looking at you Nokia :@!).

    I was linked to an interesting site earlier: Apple iPhone Blog which has listed several fan-made designs (aka “rejected designs”). Some of the designs actually look fantastic (I’m especially fond of the final one) and would have been much more interesting to see than the one Apple’s produced.

    Oh and one final point. I’ve had the impression for quite some time that both the American market and the Japanese market was veering away from feature-laden mobile phones and sticking with simplicity. I think if Apple had built something stylish, function and smacked on the iPod logo, it would have been far more successful than this is going to be.

    Then again I might just be another Bill Gates. Minus several tens of billions.

    10 Jan 2007, 01:29

  14. Hamid, I don’t consider something that’s only marginally bigger than a modern clamshell phone to be big.

    10 Jan 2007, 03:51

  15. it’s massive – look at how small Jobs is in the photo compared to the phone – it dwarfs him. Land of the Giants flashback!

    10 Jan 2007, 09:48

  16. Matthew Jones

    Oh it’s only got a 2Mpx camera? With all the hype I figured it would be better than that. My phone now has a 2Mpx camera, has 2GB memory, was free on contract. My next phone (when I order it) will be free on contract, but will have a 3.2Mpx camera and 2GB of memory. Not sure twice the memory and an unproven interface is worth the extra £350.

    10 Jan 2007, 10:40

  17. Tom

    You can have as many megapixels as you want, but if you’ve got a crap lens then you’ll have crap pictures. My 6 year old Kodak digital camera ‘only’ has 2.2 megapixels but takes much better pictures than my brothers phone with a 3.2 megapixel camera. Mobile phones in general do have cheap nasty lenses because they are churned out by the million.

    10 Jan 2007, 14:40

  18. Matthew Jones

    Mobile phones in general do have cheap nasty lenses

    ... which is why I compared the iPhone with another mobile phone, and not a digital camera. Obviously that would be stupid.

    10 Jan 2007, 17:26

  19. Tom

    My point was that picture quality between a 2 megapixel cameraphone and a 3.2 megapixel cameraphone is going to be unnoticable. Phone companies seem to be competing as to who can get the most megapixels into their phones. 50% more megapixels doesn’t mean 50% better picture quality, but it does mean 50% more storage space required.

    10 Jan 2007, 17:33

  20. Tom’s right. 2 MP is still bigger than your computer desktop; unless you want to be printing photos at larger than 7×5 inches, you won’t notice the difference between 2 and 3.2 MP. Get a digital camera if you care about picture quality at all.

    Hamid:

    I’ve found the touch-screen factor to be a nice gimmick but mostly useless outside of Chinese character input. Text messaging with predictive text using a keypad is still much quicker than using the Stylus

    This touch screen doesn’t use a stylus. In fact the phone doesn’t have (or need) a physical keypad at all, and the touch-screen is integral to this very tidy design (which doesn’t fold or slide). The whole system is controlled using a finger: check out the videos at http://www.apple.com/iphone/ – it’s pretty impressive, especially some of the ablum and photo scrolling capabilities.

    I wasn’t expecting to be impressed by the iPhone but I really, really am!

    10 Jan 2007, 19:42

  21. My point was that picture quality between a 2 megapixel cameraphone and a 3.2 megapixel cameraphone is going to be unnoticable.

    Unless of course the camera comes with a better lens.. in which case the quality might be very noticable…

    10 Jan 2007, 19:43

  22. Steven Carpenter

    For me the difference here isn’t just design or form-factor. I was slightly concerned about the size of the iPhone at first because the screen is the interface and the display so in theory it could have been smaller, but the screen size promises to make it a true multimedia device. The UI and Apple’s knack of creating novel ways of interacting with devices that make the experience somehow better is what I’m looking forward to most.

    10 Jan 2007, 21:07


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