San Jose Mercury News (MCT)
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, Inc., displays
the new iPhone during his keynote speech
at Macworld, Tuesday, January 9, 2007,
at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
(Gary Reyes/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)
Saying it was a "day I've been looking forward to for two and a half years," Jobs framed the phone — dubbed the iPhone — as the latest in a string of world-changing products from Apple like the Macintosh and the iPod.
The phone, he said, would use a new interface that would avoid the buttons on smartphones like the Treo and be operated through a touch screen.
The phone would also run on OS X, the Macintosh operating system, which would give the new device the flexibility and sophistication of Apple's signature desktop software.
Speaking at the annual Macworld conference in San Francisco, Jobs also unveiled AppleTV, formerly known as iTV, what he described as a new way to enjoy media on a big-screen TV.
AppleTV is a set-top box that will let users buy video content from the iTunes store and download it to a computer. Users can then either put the content on an iPod or use AppleTV to move content from a PC to a big-screen TV.
The AppleTV device stores up to 50 hours of video, Jobs said, and works on all three major WiFi networking standards to make transferring files easier.
The device will be priced at $299. Apple will start taking orders today, he said, and the gadget will ship in February.
And indicating the company's new focus on consumer products, Jobs also announced Apple would drop the word "computer" from its name and become simply Apple Inc.
But the new phone was the star of the show. Jobs started off by talking about how Apple was going to reinvent the phone, and showed the crowd an iPod with a rotary phone dial, which drew a laugh from the crowd of faithful.
He then talked about what he described as the problems of current smartphones, including their keypads and fixed control buttons, which limit their flexibility.
The iPhone avoids that, he said, with a patented control surface that is operated by a user's fingers — "the best pointing device in the world."
The phone will have a 3.5-inch screen and just one button on front. Jobs said that at 11.6 millimeters it is the thinnest phone on the market. It will have a 2-megapixel camera, and will work on the Cingular network.
A 4-gigabyte version will sell for $499, while an 8-gigabyte model will cost $599.
The phones will be sold at Apple and Cingular stores, and will ship in June.
Jobs described the opportunity for Apple as huge, saying that the company hoped to grab 1 percent of the global market for cell phone sales, which he estimated at 1 billion.
The iPhone will operate just like the iPod in terms of syncing with iTunes to download content. In addition to its phone and music features, the iPhone will also have a calendar, photo managing software, text messaging, access to most email services, and what Jobs described as a full-featured Web browser.
Jobs said all of these other types of content — such as Internet bookmarks and email messages — would also be easy to sync with desktop applications.
After announcing the phone, Jobs was joined on stage by two rivals: Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and Jerry Yang, one of Yahoo's co-founders, to talk about services the phone would offer, including Google Maps and Yahoo's popular e-mail service.
Jobs also provided an update on iTunes, which he said has sold more than 2 billion songs — or 58 songs every minute of every day. The service has also sold 50 million TV shows, he said, and 1.4 million movies. In addition to original partner the Walt Disney Co. — on whose board Jobs sits — the Apple CEO also announced a new partnership with Paramount, with 250 movies including "The Hunt for Red October" and "Chinatown" available next week.
Apple's shares soared on the announcements, up more than 5 percent at 10:30 a.m. to $89.84.
(c) 2007, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).
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