Unless youâ€™ve been living under a rock, you will have heard that Appleâ€™s CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at the Macworld Keynote on January 9, 2007. I did actually speak with someone a week later who hadnâ€™t heard of the iPhone â€“ so perhaps I may be wrong about a personâ€™s dwellings. Macworld is huge â€“ Appleâ€™s largest annual gathering of the Mac-faithful and there were some notable new products and notable absences.
Before getting into the iPhone, I should apologize for joking that we would all eventually be doing our work on iPods â€“ Appleâ€™s ubiquitous portable media player. Iâ€™m sorry because it turns out that I may have been correct â€“ the iPhone is the next generation iPod that will run Mac OS X and will eventually run applications. Apple had been expected to introduce a telephony device since they registered the domain name iphone.org back in 1999. In fact, I remember reading a criticism of the Apple Newton pda that said it should have also included a cellular phone 14 years ago. So I suppose it was only a matter of time. Many pundits knew Apple would most likely introduce a phone this year â€“ but I donâ€™t think that anyone fully appreciated how promising it would be. For those of you under the rocks, Apple stock rose quickly after the announcement and RIM and Nokiaâ€™s stock both dropped.
Once again Steve Jobs took to the stage and pulled a rabbit out of his hat. He had just finished introducing the AppleTV, a device that streams movies and music from your iPod and computer and displays it on your television â€“ another product that will change the way we pay for and watch TV shows and movies. The AppleTV was quickly eclipsed by the iPhone, which combines a widescreen iPod, a cell phone and Internet browsing device. But wait you say, â€œArenâ€™t there already cell phones that stores music and can browse the net?â€ Of course, there are but the difference here is the way that Apple has combined them. (Go to Appleâ€™s web site, http://www.apple.com/iphone , if your interested. The AppleTV and iPhone were also awarded Best of Show 2007.)
In a nutshell, the iPhone includes a widescreen display, for viewing photos and watching movies, which senses when the phone is rotated and rotates the image on the screen. The screen is also a touch sensitive so that the buttons and controls can be arranged in many configurations â€“ unlike current cell phones with small, fixed plastic buttons. Apple has also developed and copyrighted a gesturing technology called â€œMulti-touchâ€ which allows the user to manipulate the phone with one or two finger gestures. Pinching and spreading your fingers zooms in and out. Scrubbing across the screen flips pages or scrolls up and down long pages.