iPhone Apple The Future is Calling?
Greeting technophiles, I'm sure you've already heard about the iPhone, but what is it all about really? Here's my take on it. This week Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at the MacWorld tradeshow. The iPhone has been in development for the past two years. It is a combination of widescreen iPod, internet communications device with desktop capability, and mobile phone. The iPhone runs on the Mac OS X operating system so users can seamlessly sync data from a Mac or PC. The iPhone also has full iTunes integration which will allow users to easily retrieve music, videos, television shows and movies. It is operated by "Multi Touch" a new input technology. "Multi Touch" allows users to control the device by simply sliding a finger across its touch-sensitive 3.5-inch screen. The iPhone's display also has a resolution of 320-by-480 pixels at 160 pixels-per-inch. This device is 0.46-inch thick and weighs 4.8 ounces. It also has a 2-megapixel camera. There is only one physical button on the phone call "home."
Bells & Whistles
The iPhone uses Wi-Fi and EDGE to connect to the Internet. Furthermore, Yahoo will provide push email service similar to the Blackberry email system. Users will also be able to view HTML emails, search and view standard web pages with Yahoo or Google and look up addresses or locations via Google Maps.
Also noteworthy is iPhone's visual voice-mail which allows users to look at a list of their voice mails. Similar to selecting emails, users can choose the voice mails they want to hear first. Meanwhile, the conference call feature lets the user connect two calls by using one easy to use control. Text messaging is also easier on the iPhone as a touch keyboard is available for entering text. The keyboard predicts commonly used words and helps the user avoid common spelling mistakes.
This product also has three smart sensors. The proximity sensor automatically switches from the display and touch screen when the phone is held to the ear. Moreover, the accelerometer sensor detects when the user rotates the device from portrait to landscape and automatically changes the contents of the display accordingly. The accelerometer sensor is impressive because it allows users to see the entire width of a web page or a photo. Meanwhile the iPhone's light sensor adjusts to ambient light to save power.
It's clear the iPhone is an exciting new product, but its success is not black and white. There are many gray areas surrounding the product. First, there is the iPhone trademark dispute. Cisco the technology giant is suing Apple stating they own the trademark to the iPhone name. In 2000 Cisco registered the iPhone name with the "US Patent and Trademark Office" for its line of internet phones. This legal dispute may be an up hill battle for Apple as it began initial negotiations with Cisco over the iPhone name back in 2001.This may indicate to the courts Apple knowingly assumed iPhone a previously trademarked name.
Legal issues aside, industry analysts are also concerned about quality, safety and accessibility. Many question iPhone's overall product quality if the touch screen is scratched or damaged. Many suggest preserving iPhone's touch screen controls will be difficult if not impossible. Additionally many industry insiders feel the iPhone's battery may not be sufficient enough to run higher level desktop applications for long periods of time. This is problematic because this capability is one of the product's most important attributes.
There are also concerns with regards to safety. While Jobs touted iPhone's exciting features there was little to no discussion on safeguards to protect the user's information and personal data in a wireless environment.
Finally, the biggest challenge surrounding the iPhone is its price tag. The iPhone will be available in a 4GB version which will cost consumers $499 while the 8GB version will cost consumers $599. Jobs defended iPhone's price tag stating that the cost of purchasing an iPod, internet communications device and mobile phone is similar to purchasing just one iPhone.
Ultimately, Apple's iPhone won't be available in the US until June 2007. However the next generation in mobile technology has begun. Will the iPhone cannibalize the iPod, Nano or Apple TV? Will this product excite consumers enough that they'll trash their current mobile devices and splurge on the pricey iPhone? It's too soon to tell but we can't wait to see what happens!