Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off the company's long-awaited "iPhone" today, touting it as a three-in-one piece of hardware that acts as a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls and an Internet communications device.
"This is a day I've been looking forward to for two and a half years," Jobs said. "Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything."
In 1984, said Jobs, Apple introduced the Macintosh and changed the computer industry. In 2001, the company introduced the iPod and changed the entire music industry. (For more about Apple, see Computerworld's Mac A to Z.)
"Well, today we're introducing three revolutionary products of this class," Jobs said. "The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. The third is a breakthrough Internet communications device."
Apple's new iPhoneBut, he added, "these are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone. Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone."
The device, which will be sold by Apple and Cingular Wireless LLC, is priced at $499 for a 4GB model and $599 for an 8GB model. It will be available in June and requires approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Jobs said.
The entire front of the quad-band GSM phone serves as the screen, Jobs told attendees at the MacWorld Expo here this morning. He also noted that the operating system behind the phone's various features is Mac OS X and said that it will sync up with a user's iTunes, plus mail, notes and bookmarks. It will also display visual voice mails.
The phone, whose screen measures 3.5 in. diagonally, plays video and includes a 2-megapixel camera. The screen offers a higher-than-normal resolution of 160 pixels per inch, Jobs said. He also said that the iPhone has a proximity sensor so that when it's held up to a user's ear during a call, the user interface is turned off.