If you have electricity in your home, then you have probably heard Apple is introducing the iPhone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs described it as a “widescreen iPod with touch controls,” a “revolutonary new phone,” and a “breakthrough internet communications device” all in one unit. Naturally, everyone now wants one.
Despite all the press the iPhone has received, Apple has not really finished it, and that means very little is known about it beyond what Apple has stated and the impressions of the few who were allowed to briefly use it.
Here’s what you need to know about the iPhone:
- Like the Treo and BlackBerry, it’s a “smartphone,” a robust device for email and web browsing as well as phone calls.
- As you’d expect from Apple, it’s small and sleek and cool-looking.
- Like the iPod, it works with Macs as well as Windows PC’s.
- It allows you to do everything you would do with a standard cell phone.
- It allows you to do everything you would do with an iPod, though the screen is much larger, and it has limited storage capacity.
- It allows you to do the types of things people do with Treo and Blackberry smartphones, such as send and receive emails and keep address books and contacts in synch with your desktop computer.
- The iPhone has very few physical buttons on it, so most “buttons” appear on the screen, appropriate to what you’re using the phone for at that moment.
- It only works with Cingular.
- It costs $500 (4 GB model) or $600 (8 GB model) with a 2-year contract commitment.
- It’s not available until June.
Until I use an iPhone, I won’t be able to know whether it is as good as it sounds. Here’s what I hope Apple gets right:
- I hope the touch-screen buttons will be as easy and satisfying to use for those (like myself) who are used to physical buttons and depend on being to send email and text messages from their phone. Longtime Mac journalist Andy Inhatko claims that the iPhone’s on-screen keyboard works better than the physical one found on the Treo and BlackBerry, so perhaps Apple has figured out something new.
- I hope that the iPhone’s battery life is sufficient for all-day use, and that the battery can be easily replaced.
- I hope that the software Apple provides on the phone is adequate for everything I want to do, because they have so far held a position that, like the iPod (and unlike the Treo and BlackBerry), they are not allowing software developers to create their own customized applications.
- I hope that they eventually release a model with greater storage memory, as what they have announced isn’t enough for those who want to carry several videos or a large music library. (However, to put this in perspective, the $600 model has more storage than the original iPod.)
My take: Like everyone else, I’m eager to get my hands on an iPhone. I think Apple will be offering something innovative and desirable, as they are staking a lot on the iPhone. It will definitely be the toy to have this summer. However, if you need a smartphone today, or don’t feel like spending $500, or don’t want to be on Cingular, then I wouldn’t wait: give me a call and I will help you select the best Treo, BlackBerry, or other cool mobile device.
If you’re not sure if you need a smartphone, or want to know more about what they are, then stay tuned — I’ll cover that in a future IvanExpert News.
Other recent Apple news:
- Apple introduced the “Apple TV”, a device for getting the content from your Mac up on to your big screen TV. I’ll have more to say about this in a future mailing. http://www.apple.com/appletv/
- Apple introduced a new AirPort Extreme wireless base station, which replaces the old “UFO” with a thin square slab that resembles a Mac mini. It offers superior speeds when used with the latest portable Macs, and offers the unique ability to share a hard drive. http://www.apple.com/airportextreme/
- The iPod shuffle (the new tiny metal one, not the older white model) is now available in five colors. http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/
- Reflecting Apple’s increasing number of non-desktop products, the name of the company in Cupertino is now “Apple Inc.” (It used to be “Apple Computer, Inc.”)