The Apple iPhone was officially announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during his keynote speech at the Macworld Expo in early 2007.
The iPhone is Apple's first move into the mobile phone industry, boasting vast multimedia features including a camera, media player and an array of internet services – the iPhone is highly anticipated.
With a scheduled US release date of June 2007 (other regions not yet confirmed), the phone will be available in two models. The first being a 4 GB model retailing at US $ 499 and its big brother the 8 GB model retailing at US $ 599.
To bring you up to speed on the Apple iPhone here's a guide to the hardware, software and the features this new Apple product has to offer.
The Full Technical Specification:
Screen size: 3.5 inches
Screen resolution: 320 by 480 at 160 ppi
Input method: Multi-touch
Operating system: OS X
Storage: 4GB or 8GB
GSM: Quad-band (MHz: 850, 900, 1800, 1900)
Wireless data: Wi-Fi (802.11b / g) + EDGE + Bluetooth 2.0
Camera: 2.0 megapixels
Battery: Up to 5 hours Talk / Video / Browsing, Up to 16 hours Audio playback
Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches
Weight: 4.8 ounces / 135 grams
The iPhone boasts a whopping 3.5-inch touch screen display designed specifically for use with your bare hands (the touch screen relies on bare skin so the need for a stylus is simply not there). To input text the iPhone uses a virtual keyboard allowing the user to quickly and easily input their desired text. As you would expect the virtual keyboard has all the functions you would expect, auto spell check, predictive text, dictionary etc.
A key feature of the iPhone's navigation and functionality is the scroll feature. Similar to the iPod scroll wheel the movement allows you to quickly and easily move through the menu's, the wheel can be "spun" by sliding a finger over the display – the faster the 'spin' the quicker the menu or item is navigated through.
As you would expect the iPhone has all the usual features you'd expect from any standard Cell phone including conferencing, call holding, call merging, caller ID, email and all the rest.
The iPhone also includes a 2 Mega Pixel built-in camera that will allow you to record and capture video and still images and using the provided software transfer these to your PC or Mac.
The most appealing feature of the iPhone is it's incorporation of its big brother the iPod MP3 player. Similar to the 5th generation of iPods the iPhone can handle video playback as well as a music library.
The iPhone also has online capabilities due to its built-in WiFi technology. With the assistance of a wireless network the iPhone can display full web pages using the Safari browser rather than simplified WAP style pages. As well as browsing the internet, the iPhone is capable of sending and receiving email thanks to its HTML email application.
According to Apple an optimized (slimmed down) version of the popular Mac OS X Operating system will work fine on the iPhone although they have not as of yet gone into any specifics on this, nor has the process been officially explained.
Apple has commented in the past that OS updates for the iPhone will be very smooth and work in a similar way to the iPod and Mac OS X updates. Like the OS X Dashboard Apple revealed the iPhone will support various Widgets for example, stocks and shares and weather modules.
As you would expect the iPhone features a built-in non-replaceable battery unit just like the iPod and is capable of providing up to 5 hours of video playback, voice calls or web browsing. Music playback is around the 16 hours mark.
At the end of the day, the iPhone is going to be useful to those who will use its features. With the market for Blackberries constantly on the rise and the market for iPods continually growing, I think the product that Apple are offering will be picked up and valued by a wide range of people. It converges together the practical and the fashionable, which is a very difficult thing to do. It might be a big investment, but if you are going to use it the iPhone is excellent value and a sound investment that you will find yourself turning to throughout the day for entertainment, information and more besides.
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