Apple has finally announced its iPhone despite last minute reports that they would not. The device is an iPod-shaped phone that uses the touch screen for all the user-interaction.
The phone specs are rather mild: the wide screen display is certainly the highlight, but from a connectivity’s perspective, it fails to impress. With WiFi and EDGE, it’s similar to entry level phones like the T-mobile Dash. The lack of 3G data connect is a disappointment for a “breakthrough internet device”
The software is where Apple shines. The user-interface, web browser and widgets have the potential of improving the user experience. The storage capacity could prove to be an advantage as well.
In my opinion, the iPhone can win the hearts (and wallets) of users who wants a read-only smartphone (little to no text entry) or for users in quest of a social statement. In short Apple positions itself to make a second ipod-style “boom”, by using a platform strategy that nobody has rivaled yet: provide good software, great design, hardware, and content (iTunes).
Has Apple re-invented the phone? I don’t think so – Phones like the Neonode explored the concept years ago, although in a less extreme form. I think that Apple should have done something smaller (this is PDA-sized), more dumb (less functions) in short a nano-phone.
The iPhone has a sensor that will turn the touch screen display off when the user is on the phone to avoid the unintended activation of phone functions. It also has an ambient light sensor to adjusts the brightness to current conditions. Finally, an accelerometer senses when the device is in landscape or portrait mode and switches the user interface accordingly.
US: June 2007 through Apple and Cingular
Europe: Late 2007
499 for the 4GB version, $599 for the 8GB one
Mac OS and Windows