AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.
Apple on Tuesday made a bid to change the world once again with the introduction of iPhone, a revolutionary mobile phone that also combines a widescreen touch-control iPod and breakthrough Internet communications device.
"iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. "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."
iPhone is a Revolutionary Mobile Phone
The iPhone lets users place calls by simply pointing at a name or number. It syncs contacts from their PC, Mac or Internet service such as Yahoo!, so that users always have their full list of up-to-date contacts with them. In addition, the device can easily construct a favorites list for the most frequently made calls, and easily merge calls together to create conference calls.
iPhone's pioneering Visual Voicemail, an industry first, allows users to visually browse a listing of their voicemails, decide which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without listening to the prior messages. Just like email, iPhone's Visual Voicemail enables immediate random access those messages that are most vital.
Apple said iPhone includes an SMS application with a full QWERTY soft keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions. When users need to type, iPhone presents them with an elegant touch keyboard which is predictive to prevent and correct mistakes, making it much easier and more efficient to use than the small plastic keyboards on many smartphones. iPhone also includes a calendar application that allows calendars to be automatically synced with your PC or Mac.
Included with each iPhone is a 2 megapixel camera and a photo management application that is far beyond anything available on a cellular phone today. Users can browse their photo library, which can be easily synced from their PC or Mac, with just a flick of a finger and easily choose a photo for their wallpaper or to include in an email.
iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone which also features EDGE and Wi-Fi wireless technologies for data networking. Apple has chosen Cingular, the most popular carrier in the US with over 58 million subscribers, to be its exclusive carrier partner for iPhone in the US.
iPhone is a Widescreen iPod
iPhone also duals as a widescreen iPod with touch controls that lets music lovers "touch" their music by easily scrolling through entire lists of songs, artists, albums and playlists with just a flick of a finger. Album artwork is presented in stunning fashion on iPhone's large and vibrant display using Cover Flow, Apple's visual software for browsing music libraries by album cover artwork. When navigating a music library on iPhone, users are automatically switched into Cover Flow by simply rotating iPhone into its landscape position.
Apple has built a stunning 3.5-inch widescreen display into each iPhone, offering an unrivaled experience for watching TV shows and movies on a pocketable device, with touch controls for play-pause, chapter forward-backward and volume. iPhone plays the same videos purchased from the online iTunes Store that users enjoy watching on their computers and iPods, and will soon enjoy watching on their widescreen televisions using the new Apple TV.
iPhone lets users enjoy all their iPod content, including music, audiobooks, audio podcasts, video podcasts, music videos, television shows and movies. It syncs content from a user's iTunes library on their PC or Mac, and can play any music or video content they have purchased from the online iTunes store.
iPhone is a Breakthrough Internet Communications Device
In addition to its cellular and iPod features, iPhone also features a rich HTML email client that fetches email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos and graphics right along with the text. iPhone is fully multi-tasking, so users can be reading a web page while downloading their email in the background.
Yahoo! Mail, the world's largest email service with over 250 million users, is offering a new free "push" IMAP email service to all iPhone users that automatically pushes new email to a user's iPhone, and can be set up by simply entering your Yahoo! name and password. iPhone will also work with most industry standard IMAP and POP based email services, such as Microsoft Exchange, Apple .Mac Mail, AOL Mail, Google Gmail and most ISP mail services.
Apple said iPhone features "the most advanced and fun-to-use web browser on a portable device" within a version of its award-winning Safari web browser. Users can see any web page the way it was designed to be seen, and then easily zoom in to expand any section by simply tapping on iPhone's multi- touch display with their finger. Users can surf the web from just about anywhere over Wi-Fi or EDGE, and can automatically sync their bookmarks from their PC or Mac. iPhone's Safari web browser also includes built-in Google Search and Yahoo! Search so users can instantly search for information on their iPhone just like they do on their computer.
Furthermore, iPhone includes Google Maps, featuring Google's groundbreaking maps service and iPhone's new maps application, offering the best maps experience by far on any pocket device. Users can view maps, satellite images, traffic information and get directions, all from iPhone's remarkable and easy- to-use touch interface.
iPhone's Advanced Sensors
The iPhone employs advanced built-in sensors — an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor — that automatically enhance the user experience and extend battery life. iPhone's built-in accelerometer detects when the user has rotated the device from portrait to landscape, then automatically changes the contents of the display accordingly, with users immediately seeing the entire width of a web page, or a photo in its proper landscape aspect ratio.
iPhone's built-in proximity sensor detects when you lift iPhone to your ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches until iPhone is moved away. iPhone's built-in ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display's brightness to the appropriate level for the current ambient light, thereby enhancing the user experience and saving power at the same time.
Pricing & Availability
iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac. iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple's retail and online stores, and through Cingular's retail and online stores. Several iPhone accessories will also be available in June, including Apple's new remarkably compact Bluetooth headset.
iPhone includes support for quad-band GSM, EDGE, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR wireless technologies.
iPhone requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X v10.4.8 or later and iTunes 7; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4), Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 2). Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended. Apple and Cingular will announce service plans for iPhone before it begins shipping in June.
Learn More About iPhone