Saturday, January 13, 2007

Apple CEO Unveils iPhone Plus Apple TV

Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new apple iPhone during his keynote address at MacWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007

Apple iPhone uses a patented technology Apple is calling "multi-touch," a blank screen that users configure with easy-to-use software so they can touch the monitor with their fingers.

"We're going to use a pointing device that we're all born with," Jobs said. "It works like magic. ... It's far more accurate than any touch display ever shipped. It ignores unintended touches. It's super smart."

The mobile phone automatically synchs the owner's media — movies, movies, photos — through Apple's iTunes digital content store. The device also synchs e-mail content, Web bookmarks and nearly any type of digital content stored on your computer. Users can also manipulate photos on screen just by touching and dragging.

"Basically, phones that do everything the Apple phone does and more — smart phones — are all over the Consumer Electronics Show. But Apple does things with panache," CBS News technology analyst Larry Magid said.

With a few finger taps, Jobs demonstrated how to pull up a Google Maps site and find the closest Starbucks to the Moscone Center. He then prank-called the cafe and ordered 4,000 lattes to go before quickly hanging up.

"My initial reaction is that this product actually lives up to the extensive hype, and I'm not easily impressed," said Avi Greengart, mobile device analyst for the research firm Current Analysis.

"Many of the devices on the market today have Internet access and play music, but they are difficult to use, so sometimes people don't use them," Magid said. "This appears to be an intuitive device that tries to adapt itself to what the user tries to do. And it is pricey, but a lot of Apple products are pricey, and people still buy them."

Yahoo will provide free email service to all apple iPhone users. The phone will work with most e-mail and with Google Maps. The exclusive iPhone service provider will be Cingular.

Jobs demonstrated the phone's music capabilities by playing "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid," from the Beatles' album "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Jobs says Apple has applied for more than 200 patents for technology in apple iPhone, which will cost $499 for model with 4Gb of flash memory and $599 for an 8Gb version, and will be shipped in June.

Apple will begin taking order Tuesday for Apple TV ($299), and the devices will be available in February.

In his opening remarks to the annual Jobs said that iTunes has now sold 2 billion songs. That makes Apple — which sells 58 songs per second, or 5 million songs a day — the 4th largest music seller, ahead of and only behind WalMart, Best Buy and Target.

Jobs also said that apple iPod has 62 per cent market share in music players.
"We couldn't be happier with the growth rate of iTunes," Jobs said at the start of his annual keynote at the Macworld Conference & Expo here.

Apples shares were up as much as 8.5 percent on the news.

Sam Rahman, a portfolio manager at Baring Asset Management Inc., which owns Apple shares, said the iPhone and AppleTV could prove to be big boosts for the company.

"Right now the stock is trading on product announcements," he said. "It could drive additional growth for Apple at a time when they need to find another hit beyond the iPod."

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