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Confirmed Sighting of the iPhone in the Wild
January 9, 2007 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Breaking News: Apple Announces Touchscreen iPhone. In this morning's MacWorld keynote, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, a touchscreen smartphone with only one button. Two years in the making, it runs OS X, works as an iPod, displays video on a 3.5" screen, and has the usual bells and whistles (Bluetooth, e-mail, Google Maps, WiFi, etc.), plus some other slick features like: a proximity sensor that turns the screen off when it's near your ear, an accelerometer that detects whether it's in portrait or landscape, and an ambient light sensor to dim the screen accordingly. I'm not usually a gadget person, but this thing seems pretty damn cool. Now let's just see how much it costs...
More live MacWorld coverage available at: Engadget , MacRumors.
posted by EnormousTalkingOnion (406 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
This looks ****ing amazing.
posted by alms at 10:36 AM on January 9, 2007


It's better than all the fake mockups. Wow.
posted by MythMaker at 10:38 AM on January 9, 2007


I think they outdid the rumor sites this time.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:38 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm impressed. Will buy stock in screen protecting film stuff.
posted by I Foody at 10:38 AM on January 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


iWant.
posted by padraigin at 10:39 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and one more thing...
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:41 AM on January 9, 2007


everyone keeps missing the coolest feature: multitouch touch screen.

MULTITOUCH.

You can grab a picture with two fingers, "pinch" it, and pull it bigger.

fucking wow.
posted by Espoo2 at 10:42 AM on January 9, 2007


I'm particularly interested in the multi-touch UI; it seems to solve several problems at once- it introduces chording and direct manipulation of the onscreen objects in a way that it very difficult with a stylus / one touch screen. It also opens up some usability issues that would be challenging in a traditional computing environment, but makes all kinds of sense in a constrained, more or less single purpose environment.

It's interesting that Apple and Nintendo have had pretty good success at taking an existing product category (computers, mp3 players, video games), and rethought the UI for them (mouse, ipod, wii). These UI transformations have been far more important than the actual capabilities of the systems underlying them- so I guess we're back at form driving the perception of function.

And I'm really excited to have a phone that runs Unix :)
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:43 AM on January 9, 2007


The biggest surprise is that the thing runs OS X, rather than the proprietary and limited systems generally associated with smartphone and Blackberry type devices. Combined with the embedded sensors (proximity, ambient light, and an accelerometer), I imagine people are going to come up with some pretty amazing hacks for these devices. The fact that it seems capable of talking to WiFi networks is also a big plus, especially if it can be used to do VoIP in an elegant way.

The iPhone is a quad-band GSM + EDGE phone with WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0. A lot of people probably expected it to be 3G, but this is a better move for Apple. 3G has pretty much been a disaster for everyone who bet on it.

The mundane issues are more what concerns me: what will the thing cost, and how long can it sustain that bright screen and all that hardware on a battery charge? Also, will it prove more durable than the iPod Nanos?
posted by sindark at 10:44 AM on January 9, 2007


wow.
posted by Flashman at 10:44 AM on January 9, 2007


A quote from Jobs (via Engadget) on the multi-touch interface: "So let's not use a stylus, we're going to use the best pointing device in the world -- our fingers. We have invented a new technology called multi-touch. It works like magic, you don't need a stylus, far more accurate than any interface ever shipped ... and BOY have we patented it!"
posted by EnormousTalkingOnion at 10:45 AM on January 9, 2007


EDGE is pathetically slow.
posted by fet at 10:46 AM on January 9, 2007


I just got my new T-Mobile Dash yesterday and was feeling plenty slick, with the google maps, the MP3s, the video, the gmail applet, the qwerty keyboard, the 320x240 color screen...

But no accelerometer!!!

*glares at the stupid clunky thing*
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:46 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Does it vibrate?
posted by bardic at 10:47 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Prepare for pricing...
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:48 AM on January 9, 2007


They patented my fingers?
posted by Alt F4 at 10:48 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Six hundred dollars?
posted by matthewr at 10:48 AM on January 9, 2007


Yes, but how much is it???
posted by stenseng at 10:48 AM on January 9, 2007


...about the same pricing as Mac Minis. Available in June.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:48 AM on January 9, 2007


Hahahahha. $599. PASS.
posted by fet at 10:49 AM on January 9, 2007


i hate apple. they short-circuit my brain and make me want shiny new gadgets (a disease to which i am normally immune)

i wannn it
posted by jcruelty at 10:50 AM on January 9, 2007


Aren't we already talking about this? Admittedly, this link is better as it has, you know, content. But still.
posted by quin at 10:50 AM on January 9, 2007


Six hundred dollars?

And people will pay it, oh yes, people will pay it.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:50 AM on January 9, 2007


$600 dollars??? (click / dialtone......)
posted by hal9k at 10:51 AM on January 9, 2007


Umm, does it make phone calls?
posted by JanetLand at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


...and that's with a 2 year contract. The only people who will buy this are abject fanboys. $599 is a lot of cheddar for a 1.0 Apple product.
posted by fet at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2007


In other news, 100% of internet users are now visiting digg.com
posted by ninjew at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Big letdown on the price...$600 for a phone is tough to justify, no matter how cool it is. Normally that wouldn't concern me with consumer electronics since the price tends to drop quite a bit early on, but Apple seems to ignore the price drop trend that other gadgets follow, so I don't expect that price will come down too much anytime soon.

Also, on the battery life question: "A lot of these phones have low battery life. We've managed to get 5 hours of battery of talk time, video, and browsing. 16 hours of audio playback." Not horrible but pretty sub-par. Potentially having to charge more than once a day could be a problem...
posted by EnormousTalkingOnion at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2007


It's impressive, but a little pricey since I already have an MP3 player. I think cindular is the bigger winner than apple here.
posted by I Foody at 10:53 AM on January 9, 2007


So you are pinching something on 3.5" screen and you want to move it? Where? to the other side? Seriously, most people's fingers take up about an inch together. How useful is that really going to be?
posted by Big_B at 10:53 AM on January 9, 2007


$599 is a lot of cheddar for a 1.0 Apple product.

No shit! And let's not even get into how much American pasteurized process cheese food it'll buy.
posted by cog_nate at 10:53 AM on January 9, 2007


Umm, does it make phone calls?

You have to make the phone calls. All it does is connect you and, I have to assume by the price, fellate you with a good reach around.
posted by hal9k at 10:54 AM on January 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


If this thing works as good as it looks then as of today I am officially an Apple Fanboy. This is like something out of Star Trek.

Sure, someone's gonna chime in and point at the Blackberry or the Blackjack or the Dingleberry or some other device and say the iPhone is nothing new, but it is. This is all those things done the way they should be done.

Apple is like the guy on the camping trip who watches all the other hacks attempt to get the fire lit. One guy gets it lit but it dies out after a minute, another guy can't get more than a few puffs of smoke, another guy singes his eyebrows but nobody can do it right. Apple thinks about it for a bit, walks up and says "this is how you do it..." and proceeds to build a nice, stable fire that gives you the warmth you need and the smoke doesn't even get in your eyes and annoy you.

They just seem to always do things The Right Way. I say this as someone who just a year or two ago thought all Apple users should be given mandatory atomic wedgies. Just because.

Christ, I'm scaring myself here.
posted by bondcliff at 10:54 AM on January 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


iSwoon
posted by penguin pie at 10:54 AM on January 9, 2007


It's not $600. Where are you guys getting that?

Right at the top of the article it says $499 on contract.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:55 AM on January 9, 2007


*gives bondcliff an atomic wedgie*
posted by drezdn at 10:55 AM on January 9, 2007


quin: I guess this is sort of a double, but the info in the previous link turned out to be false anyway (that picture is either a digital fake or an imagined mockup by the magazine), so I thought a thread on the real specs would be useful...

Baby_Balrog: $499 is the 4GB version, $599 is the 8GB version. If they really are marketing it as a combo photo/video/audio appliance, that extra 4GB is pretty crucial.
posted by EnormousTalkingOnion at 10:56 AM on January 9, 2007


I'm one of those people who get really cheesed when the Apple evangelists start spouting exorbitant praise for every device that Apple releases, so I clicked on this ready to sneer and chuckle at the unwarranted fan-boy love that would be displayed...

Double dammit to hell, that thing looks COOL. Wicked cool. Make me drool in envy cool.

I give. Apple rules. I'm chucking this Dell out tomorrow.
posted by John Smallberries at 10:56 AM on January 9, 2007


It's $499 for a 4 GB, $599 for 8GB.
posted by drezdn at 10:56 AM on January 9, 2007


No, Apple is the guy that takes a burning log from your fire, puts a plastic apple on it, and starts a multi-million dollar ad campaign that tells people "If you don't own an iLog already, you are a loser."
posted by Big_B at 10:56 AM on January 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


Apple is like the guy on the camping trip who watches all the other hacks attempt to get the fire lit. ... stable fire that gives you the warmth you need ...

I smell smoke. Its coming from my ass.
posted by hal9k at 10:57 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Seriously, enough people will pay $599 for this thing to make it profitable. In a couple years apple will turn around and sell iphone mini for the rest of us.....
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:57 AM on January 9, 2007


Jimmy got a Treo for Christmas. Jimmy is going to have to wait three years before his contract is up. Jimmy is upset.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:57 AM on January 9, 2007


From the article: "The 4GB iPhone will go out the door in the US as a Cingular exclusive for $499 on a two-year contract, 8GB for $599."
posted by Partial Law at 10:58 AM on January 9, 2007


$600.00?!?!?!

To hell with the fire, I can buy a camp stove for forty bucks.
posted by bondcliff at 10:58 AM on January 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


I was going to buy an iPod this year, but I think I'll wait. It's a steep price, but I'll still likely buy one. I'm no fanboy either, I've never owned an Apple product before, but this is... Wow.

The next question is who will be the wireless partner in Canada? Is there a Canuck subsidiary of Cingular?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:58 AM on January 9, 2007


Steve Jobs doesn't need to start fires at campouts. The sun shines out his ass.
posted by cog_nate at 10:58 AM on January 9, 2007


IT LOOKS LIKE WINDOWS VISTA

*ducks*
posted by Pastabagel at 10:59 AM on January 9, 2007


Apparently the purchase price includes a 2-year contract? That's $25 / month, for the phone and the service. Right? What am I getting wrong?
posted by Alt F4 at 11:01 AM on January 9, 2007


I am guessing the 8GB is flash memory. I wonder if the camera is any better than the junky ones on most phones these days. The number of megapixels doesn't matter so much when you have a cheap lens and all sorts of other constraints.
posted by sindark at 11:02 AM on January 9, 2007


$600ish is the going rate for an unlocked PDA-style phone (though quite a bit more than what both US GSM providers offer for PDA phones with contract). this has more storage than most other things in that range (where you're pretty much looking at 128MB or so), so I'd be interested to see how much it is without the Cingular contract (if you can even get it w/out it).
posted by mrg at 11:02 AM on January 9, 2007


Convergence devices are going to suck until they get the battery life end worked out.

You get on a plane in New York, decide to watch some video on your iPhone, then a little mp3.

You get to Los Angeles, your iPod iPhone is dead... and so is your cell phone. This sucks, no?
posted by fet at 11:03 AM on January 9, 2007


Apparently the purchase price includes a 2-year contract? That's $25 / month, for the phone and the service. Right? What am I getting wrong?

Your arithmetic is bulletproof, but "includes" does not mean what you think it means.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:03 AM on January 9, 2007


I guess I'd pay $600 for a single super device if it was unlocked. I'm not changing cell providers just to get it.
posted by mathowie at 11:05 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


it's a bit of a shame it's going to be on a Cingular network. I would have hoped for a more reliable Verizon network to make this equipment do it's job of being a PHONE.
posted by brinkzilla at 11:06 AM on January 9, 2007


Why the hell are they calling this thing a phone? That seems to be the least of its capabilities. For one thing, it has no raised buttons. That means that, unless this device has telepathy or voice recognition, I'm going to actually have to look at the darn thing in order to dial a number.

If I bought this thing (which I won't), it would be for everything else it does. I would keep my actual phone that I would actually use for talking to people.
posted by gurple at 11:06 AM on January 9, 2007


In other words, fork over $600 bones up front, and then agree to pay whatever the monthly service fee is for two years, on top of that...
posted by stenseng at 11:06 AM on January 9, 2007


This is going to be a tough product to bring to Canada, because data plans are so freaking expensive here, and there's no end in sight to that. This thing without a full data plan looks pretty limited at that price, but if the data plan is $60 or $100 a month (what it costs on Rogers for 25Mb or 200Mb plans), it pretty much takes this phone off the market.

But if they can do some kind of deal with Rogers, I think it would be them for sure.
posted by mikel at 11:07 AM on January 9, 2007


Getting rid of the stylus is a big step and a real innovation... but I don't possibly see how it can work on such a small screen. Also the problem with such 'gesture based' interfaces is that all the pulling, pinching, shaking and dragging quickly becomes tiresome. There's a lot to be said for the old keyboard and mouse/stylus when you're doing actual work. (How could you even respond to email on this thing without a proper thumb keyboard?) I see this being popular with the kids but as a productivity tool it doesn't look like it'd fly. The corporate market for Treos, Blackberries and other traditional smart phones probably won't be affected.
posted by nixerman at 11:07 AM on January 9, 2007


Look, I'm a sucker, but I'm gonna be first in line.

Maybe second in line.

Probably first.
posted by kbanas at 11:08 AM on January 9, 2007


It's nice and all, but I just want a f'ing full-screen iPod without the phone.

I can't help but think Apple is missing the boat here. Are they effectively saying you can't buy a half-decent iPod anymore unless you get a phone with it? Pffffft.
posted by mkultra at 11:09 AM on January 9, 2007


$600 is pretty fair, I think. This is the very, very first device I've ever seen that makes "convergence" work at all, and it knocks it out of the park.
posted by TypographicalError at 11:09 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


That means that, unless this device has telepathy or voice recognition, I'm going to actually have to look at the darn thing in order to dial a number.

As much as I have no interest in this device (my cell phone is currently sitting at home with a dead battery), I thought that having to look at the touch screen would be a problem when it was first mentioned (no raised buttons for no look dialing), but I think most people only use the buttons when they're dialing unfamilar numbers.
posted by drezdn at 11:09 AM on January 9, 2007


I am getting one next year, when it's cheaper and all the bugses have been worked out.
posted by By The Grace of God at 11:10 AM on January 9, 2007


My gripes:

1) For the asking price, it could've been called MacBook Nano
2) As it runs OS X, I can only imagine how (non-patch) updates will be handled, let alone
3) (Hardware related) planned obselescence

It'll be interesting to see how much of the MultiTouch tech makes its way into the iMacs.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:10 AM on January 9, 2007


I am waiting for someone to port Skype (or something similar) to the platform, before I even consider buying it. Seamless VoIP seems like the big missed opportunity on this device.
posted by sindark at 11:11 AM on January 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I hate Cingular with every inch of my body, like I've hated no company before. I ooze scorn for them as I can't actually answer my cell phone in my apartment because of them. Not to mention the fact that the one time I tried to download a game from them, it didn't work.
posted by drezdn at 11:11 AM on January 9, 2007


Holy crap.
posted by killdevil at 11:11 AM on January 9, 2007


This does look like a very serious attempt at a truly new device.

It's expensive, but if it looks as cool as promised, I'll be finding a way to get one. It will replace three devices I own: a Palm T|X ($299), a cheap-ass Samsung cell phone (free with plan), and an 4GB iPod Nano ($200).

In that light, the price is not so bad. Actually, it's exactly on target.

This thing has amazing promise. I haven't seen anything interesting in the handheld computer realm in quite some time.
posted by teece at 11:12 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Way cool. But I'm with By The Grace of God on waiting for the patched version.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:12 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don't count on it being cheaper...
posted by danb at 11:12 AM on January 9, 2007


Also, you have to wonder if they are missing out on a huge part of the market by not having a low end option. The device is unbelievable, but don't you think a lot of people would be happy with simply a well designed 4GB flash based music phone with a touch scroll interface?
posted by lovejones at 11:13 AM on January 9, 2007


I'm sure the full-screen iPods are forthcoming. Apple has the tradition of putting all the new features in the expensive new product and letting the technology trickle down once production is up and the manufacturing costs have fallen. It's the same thing every cutting-edge manufacturer does. The first adopters for the iPhone are essentially subsidizing the initial manufacturing costs of the screen for everyone else who will be getting it later.

Give it a year and there will be the full-screen iPods you've been wishing for.
posted by junesix at 11:13 AM on January 9, 2007


I think they mean you only pay that much for the phone when you purchase a separate Cingular contract of which you can decide the terms/prices. I am almost positive the price does not include 24 months of cell cervice.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:13 AM on January 9, 2007


I love the Apple haters here and elsewhere. Green crocodile tears...

No matter what the eventual price of these babies are, it doesn't matter - they've just created something very, very cool with the phone (let alone the other stuff). I wasn't going to tune into the usual hysteria around the keynote - I had my fill of hype at the exhibit hall at last year's MacWorld expo. But something about what that company does makes me smile, infects me with that damned fever-from-Cupertino again. Oh yeah - I remember that feeling. It's called 'falling in love with a product'. Most of us have a love/hate relationship with technology, and by focusing on good product design Apple reminds us that good products *are* possible. What a nice feeling, that.

Thank you Steve - the highlights of the keynote look good. Can't wait to try it out in person :)
posted by rmm at 11:13 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was excited, until I realized it doesn't have a keyboard or 3g. I guess I'll just have to continue streaming my music and video while I administer my servers with my smartphone's keyboard. :(

If they had built it like an 8125/8525 or a Sharp Zaurus with a slide out keyboard, I'd be much more excited.

For $600, I expect to be able to do real work on it to pay for the damn thing!
posted by wierdo at 11:15 AM on January 9, 2007


I just quit my job and dumped my wife so I can spend more time with this thing.
Christ, I guess I should get one now.
posted by hellbient at 11:15 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is a beautiful thing. I'm a little disappointed about the price and the Cingular exclusivity, but I wonder how hackable this thing is. With so much attention on it, if there is any room to mess around with this thing, then you can be sure that there will be a thousand free apps and unlocking utilities all over the place within months of release..
posted by mariokrat at 11:16 AM on January 9, 2007


Apparently the purchase price includes a 2-year contract? That's $25 / month, for the phone and the service. Right? What am I getting wrong?

Doubtful. More likely, you pay $600 for the phone and sign a two year contract with Cingular.

The best part is that if you steal someone's Cingular phone, Cingular will happily hook you up with a new contract with the stolen phone*. So you don't really need to spend $600 at all. But watch out for muggers.

*And if you manage to really sweet talk the cingular rep, they will bill the former owner of the phone for your first few months of service!
posted by b1tr0t at 11:16 AM on January 9, 2007


"Jimmy got a Treo for Christmas. Jimmy is going to have to wait three years before his contract is up. Jimmy is upset."

Then Jimmy realized he can just pay to get out of that shitty contract and go get an iPhone. He doesn't mind paying $500+ for the iPhone, and he sure as hell doesn't mind paying to get out of his 3-year contract.
posted by matty at 11:16 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


[just a little bit of hate]

Oh, for heavens sake, can we just ease up on the whole touch screen garbage?

It's great for many things, but for being able to work a phone or portable music device in your pocket, it's useless without the tactile response of a lumpy, clicky button.

Anyone with a Treo knows how gross it is to try to dial using the buttons on the screen -- you have to stare at your phone to make sure you're hitting the right keys, and that they're not getting hit twice, etc.

At the very least, you shouldn't have to be looking at the device in your hand to make it do basic to intermediate functions -- think flip-lock blade or retractable pen coming out of your pocket and being activated in one motion without you looking at it to make sure it's 'open'. Older Nokias worked like that for almost every function and menu option.

Touch screens, bah. I've got touch screen controls on my 1982 Panasonic microwave oven.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 11:17 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


All I know is I'm a gettin' one.
posted by spilon at 11:20 AM on January 9, 2007


I think Merlin Mann at 43folders totally called this. Or quoted somebody else who called it. It *is* the Macbook Nano.
posted by mecran01 at 11:20 AM on January 9, 2007


lovejones, it's classic manufacturing dilemma meets marketing. Apple has spent a lot of money to develop and manufacture this device and concurrently, the production levels just aren't high enough to build one for every man/woman/child on Earth yet. So while they tinker with the manufacturing operations and scale it up, they charge a heavy premium for the 1% adopters who are willing to pay it. These same people are comfortable with the device being buggy and limited in features in exchange for owning the top-of-the-line device first. They will be the ones essentially paying for the bulk of Apple's iPhone development costs.

In a few months, screen and device yields will have improved to the point where Apple can implement it in less expensive models and
posted by junesix at 11:22 AM on January 9, 2007


This would be awesome in a different country. Paying US cell plan + data rates on top of the $599 phone is not affordable.
posted by rxrfrx at 11:23 AM on January 9, 2007


Wait for 2nd generation.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:23 AM on January 9, 2007


Why all the sticker shock? The Treo 650 & 700 models cost $600 (or more) when they were first released, too.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 11:23 AM on January 9, 2007


then you'll have the screen in even the most basic iPhone/iPods.
posted by junesix at 11:23 AM on January 9, 2007


The funny thing about Apple is that no matter what year it is, no matter what product they have or have not introduced, all conversations about them are functionally identical.

The absurdly blazing love-fests, the willfully mindless nitpicking hate-fests -- we should really just cut & paste from prior discussions. It'd save everyone a lot of time.
posted by aramaic at 11:24 AM on January 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


It's not available until June. Jobs said in the address that they didn't have FCC approval yet, but were announcing it now because they didn't want the FCC to be the one's to announce it.
posted by matty at 11:24 AM on January 9, 2007


Looking at the spec, it's hard not to conclude that this isn't a pretty cynical piece of exploitation by Jobs. You can picture the scenario...

"Our customers want a phone Steve."
"No way. That's not on the product development plan and would cost too much to research and develop."
"So don't do any R & D. Just cobble together a bunch of existing technologies - we can even leave out some important ones - and call it the iPhone."
"What about a keyboard? Everyone knows that soft keyboards suck."
"Apple customers don't."


Over-priced, under-spec'd compared to most Windows Mobile devices.
posted by bobbyelliott at 11:25 AM on January 9, 2007


I think they just fucked every other phone manufacturer on the planet.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:26 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Put me in the "as a phone I hate it, if they had made a friggin ipod with this interface (and it cost 300 dollars less) I'd buy it in an instant" camp. I mean can you imagine trying to text someone with a touchscreen keyboard on a 3.5 inch screen? Talk about pain.
posted by aspo at 11:26 AM on January 9, 2007


Very interested to see how well the touchscreen works - that will make or break it.

(oh, and pricing)
posted by Artw at 11:28 AM on January 9, 2007


I think it was a bad move to name it iPhone. It does so much more than simply what the name suggests and yet for months, people will be using the same "I won't pay $600 for a 'phone'" line.

Surprised Apple marketing didn't wise up and push harder for a name change.
posted by junesix at 11:28 AM on January 9, 2007


Over-priced, under-spec'd compared to most Windows Mobile devices.

Unless you count the interface and usability as a specification, which apparently microsoft doesn't.
posted by mecran01 at 11:28 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


lovejones, I was just telling my girlfriend the same thing. I have no use or desire for most of the slick and high-tech features this thing promises. What I do want, though, is a 4G iPod/phone, maybe with a built-in camera, although its absence would hardly be a deal-breaker.
posted by saladin at 11:28 AM on January 9, 2007


So gorgeous. I drooled.
posted by loiseau at 11:30 AM on January 9, 2007


I just came in my pants.
posted by quadog at 11:31 AM on January 9, 2007


Amazing. I'll be in line in june.

I can't help but think Apple is missing the boat here.

Apple is the boat. Seriously, the zune will be going that direction also. Apple not jumping on this kind of device would have been missing the boat.

The biggest surprise is that the thing runs OS X, rather than the proprietary and limited systems

Only to those who don't follow apple. They'd rather keep as much as possible in-house. You're listening to the wrong people.
posted by justgary at 11:31 AM on January 9, 2007


I'm surprised that no one's making a bigger deal of the fact that they'll now be Apple, Inc. rather than Apple Computer, Inc.
posted by owenkun at 11:32 AM on January 9, 2007


At first I thought "So what?" I mean, it's a phone, right? No big deal.

Then I clicked on the link and my mind went all "hurrrrr."

I want one.
Now.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:33 AM on January 9, 2007


"Our customers want a phone Steve."
"No way. That's not on the product development plan and would cost too much to research and develop."
"So don't do any R & D. Just cobble together a bunch of existing technologies - we can even leave out some important ones - and call it the iPhone."
"What about a keyboard? Everyone knows that soft keyboards suck."
"Apple customers don't."

Over-priced, under-spec'd compared to most Windows Mobile devices.
posted by bobbyelliott


If you think this is something they just threw together you didn't follow the presentation or are helplessly clueless.
posted by justgary at 11:33 AM on January 9, 2007


I agree with the comments about naming of the device. My girlfriend just had the same reaction:

Initial view: "Wow! That's cool!!"

Second thought: "$600 for a fucking phone!? Are they nuts?!"

Having said that, the early adopters will buy this in droves. The Palm Treo was $500 when first introduced and the Motorola Q sold for around $400 when first introduced as well.

Assuming Apple moves the pricepoints steadily downward as they have with iPod, this could very well set a new standard.

And, to echo the comments about mobile phone plans in the US being outrageously expensive: THAT could be the real deal killer for very wide adoption. This product is useless (read: infinitely less cool) without unlimited highspeed data plans which are usually outrageously expensive.
posted by tgrundke at 11:34 AM on January 9, 2007


It's exclusively cingular because cingular uses GSM that works in the rest of the world. I know this because the only reason I have a cingular blackberry is so I can use it in Europe without changing sim chips or performing similar silly acrobatics.

I'm no fanboy by any means (have never owned an apple product) but it's obvious that Apple is taking over.

The stock of RIM (the blackberry company) is down by the same percentage that Apple is up.

And we all should realize that if multi-touch works well on this device and is well received by the users, we should expect a multitouch MacDesk giant tablet at some point.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:34 AM on January 9, 2007


This is the first time since the original iPod I've thought "oh fuck, I'll buy it at any price". It looks genius. It looks like it solves every single daily gripe I have about my supposed "smartphone".

Now to get a UK carrier to sell the thing without trying to cripple it. And a decent data plan. Oh god. I'll have to move to the US.

Seriously though, this is what the Newton wanted to be, and it means I don't have to carry a camera, an iPod and a phone. Though I might need to carry a power supply, from the looks of it.
posted by bonaldi at 11:35 AM on January 9, 2007


< / apologies profusely for overly fangirlish post>
posted by rmm at 11:35 AM on January 9, 2007


Apart from the beautiful interface and the touch screen, this does not do anything the Nokia N-Series multimedia computers (don't call them phones) couldn't do for the last 1.5 years.
posted by cmicali at 11:36 AM on January 9, 2007


No longer Apple Computer, now just Apple, Inc.

Sic transit gloria mundi. The big announcements? An overcomplicated TV box and an overcomplicated phone.

Ye. Fucking. Ha.
posted by eriko at 11:37 AM on January 9, 2007


For me the million dollar question is: will it sync properly with my Exchange server? That would be a real deal killer for me if it didn't.
posted by tgrundke at 11:37 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Does anyone have the original iPod thread handy (was there one)? Everyone bitched and bitched about the price then, too.
posted by mkultra at 11:38 AM on January 9, 2007


If you think this is something they just threw together you didn't follow the presentation or are helplessly clueless.

I think he was making a joke. (Ever read the slashdot thread on the original iPod.) Well that, or he actually is clueless.
posted by chunking express at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2007


will it sync properly with my Exchange server?

It will sync with iCal and Address Book. If you get those to sync with Exchange, then yes.
posted by mkultra at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2007


600 bucks phone lol

/owner of two iPods -- one of them first generation -- and one iBook
posted by matteo at 11:41 AM on January 9, 2007


mkultra -

Right on, but I was referring more to the fact that Apple's Mail has had notorious problems for not syncing properly, especially under certain SSL/assorted security settings. Time will tell.
posted by tgrundke at 11:43 AM on January 9, 2007


Hark! Captain obvious doth approacheth!

"Then Jimmy realized he can just pay to get out of that shitty contract and go get an iPhone. He doesn't mind paying $500+ for the iPhone, and he sure as hell doesn't mind paying to get out of his 3-year contract."
posted by jimmythefish at 11:45 AM on January 9, 2007


Later today, Steve Jobs is planning on taking an iDump in the iToilet. Apple fans plan to iJaculate with iXcitement.
posted by jonmc at 11:46 AM on January 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


Apple vs Palm and RIM.
posted by danb at 11:48 AM on January 9, 2007


It's exclusively cingular because cingular uses GSM that works in the rest of the world.

The "exclusive" and the "GSM" dont jibe well together in that sentence. I live in the U.S. and use T-Mobile GSM, for example.
posted by vacapinta at 11:49 AM on January 9, 2007


fellate you with a good reach around.

You can grab a picture ______ with two fingers, "pinch" it, and pull it bigger.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:49 AM on January 9, 2007


i want it iwant it i want it!!!!!
posted by mds35 at 11:49 AM on January 9, 2007


Someone should link to the original slashdot discussion of the first ipod. It has every variation of:

1. Too expensive;
2. Not really new technology;
3. Missing key features;
4. Too big;
5. Not enough battery.

Those slashdotters can really spot a successful product!

/me jams out on Rio Nomad Mp3 player.
posted by Mid at 11:50 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Interesting device. I wonder about their patents on the multitouch touchscreen interface... i've seen this multitouch thing somewhere before.
posted by freq at 11:51 AM on January 9, 2007


fixy linky oops
posted by freq at 11:52 AM on January 9, 2007


160 DPI LCD is schweet. I have that on my Samsung A900 and I love it.

For me, making DHTML apps (via Safari and/or Dashboard Widgets) is what I've been waiting 10+ years for.

I also have an HTC Apache device that cost $400. WM2005 is clunky and drain bamaged in dozens of important details (Micorsoft cites security reasons for not doing WiFi sync).

Looks good to me. If it's too expensive for you, consider yourself not the target market at this time.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:52 AM on January 9, 2007


we should really just cut & paste from prior discussions. It'd save everyone a lot of time.

So it's just a nicer looking nomad? This was supposed to be a big deal?
posted by Greg Nog at 11:53 AM on January 9, 2007


It will be fun to watch the 3 big mobile phone carriers here in Japan battle it out to see who gets to carry it....

... for they will sell a gazillion of them here.
posted by gomichild at 11:54 AM on January 9, 2007


Here's the slashdot original ipod thread.
posted by Mid at 11:54 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain why a "$600 phone" is laughable, but the idea of a $500 MP3 player was not? Keep in mind that the $500 MP3 player made Apple billions and billions of dollars.
posted by Justinian at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Apart from the beautiful interface and the touch screen, this does not do anything the Nokia N-Series multimedia computers (don't call them phones) couldn't do for the last 1.5 years.

A beautiful interface isn't enough for you? Fuck, it is to Symbian what the Mac was to DOS. It also multi-tasks (which the N80 won't do with Java apps) and appears to not crash every few hours (which the N80 will do).
posted by bonaldi at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2007


What do you think an unlimited data plan is going to run monthly?
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2007


iPods cost $400 when they came out.

I can get an iPod for $59 now from Apple. The price will come down, it always does.

Available in June means it's ready for the school year in September. and hello, Christmas market!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:59 AM on January 9, 2007


All the naysayers here are HIGH.
I've paid $600 for every cell phone I've ever owned. Last time I bought a $2000 handheld computer for the html-internet feature to go along with it. This thing is CHEAP.

And I can't understand what people are talking about having a hard time 'dialing' numbers on a touchscreen. I never dial any number more than once..[often times never]..because I use the contacts list to dial..which on this is probably going to be very iPodish in interface and so especially easy to use.
posted by Osmanthus at 12:00 PM on January 9, 2007


Meh. have fun salivating over a cellphone, I guess.

This is basically a tablet PC without a keyboard, with a phone, and with a new "multi touch" interface. It's also pretty.
posted by delmoi at 12:01 PM on January 9, 2007


Put a fork in J2ME.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:01 PM on January 9, 2007


I can get an iPod for $59 now from Apple. The price will come down, it always does.

Yeah, but that cheap one'll be the iPhone Shuffle, which calls your friends at random.
posted by brownpau at 12:03 PM on January 9, 2007 [36 favorites]


At 8 GB, it's really not an iPod replacement, is it? I suppose there isn't room for a hard drive, but I would have liked to see at least 30 GB...
posted by mr_roboto at 12:03 PM on January 9, 2007


Can someone explain why a "$600 phone" is laughable, but the idea of a $500 MP3 player was not? Keep in mind that the $500 MP3 player made Apple billions and billions of dollars.

The $500 MP3 player has an 80 GB disk and its own battery.

With the iPhone, listening to music will kill the battery. Your calls will crap out because you listen to too much music. The lack of physical buttons will make it even more dangerous to dial while driving.

There will be a big surge of people buying the iPhone, but no one will buy the second generation device.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:03 PM on January 9, 2007


I just want a phone that works well and has a long battery life. I have a non-apple MP3 player that's about the size of a pack of gum and I'll never understand why anyone would want to watch video on a 3 inch screen.
But hey, consumer whores and fanboys are what keeps our economy humming, so buy away!
posted by 2sheets at 12:03 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


With the iPhone, listening to music will kill the battery. Your calls will crap out because you listen to too much music. The lack of physical buttons will make it even more dangerous to dial while driving.

I think they said there were two batteries: one for the phone, one for music.
posted by Alt F4 at 12:06 PM on January 9, 2007


Someone should link to the original slashdot discussion of the first ipod...

Here's the Macrumors discussion
.
posted by TheDonF at 12:07 PM on January 9, 2007


does it have a volume control on the side, or is it in the touchscreen? how would you change the volume when it's in your pocket?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:07 PM on January 9, 2007


"What do you think an unlimited data plan is going to run monthly?"

In the UK (T-Mobile) an unlimited data plan costs £7.50 / month on top of your calling plan. I'm paying £35 / month for unlimited data, 500 minutes (any time, any network) and 100 text messages.

It will be interesting to see if a carrier maintains this price, especially on the data side, for an iPhone.
posted by Mutant at 12:08 PM on January 9, 2007


I hate Cingular! hate hate hate hate hate! They charge for the most incredibly stupid things my current provider doesn't. Once iPhone's available for providers other than jerkface ripoff Cingular, I'm in. And by then, all the first-gen kinks will be worked out. Awesome.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:08 PM on January 9, 2007


Can someone explain why a "$600 phone" is laughable, but the idea of a $500 MP3 player was not?

I think it would come from perception, people already have a rough idea of what they think a cell phone should cost (for most people I'd put it at between free-$200), so $600 for a phone seems overally inflated. With MP3 players, most people didn't have any idea of what they should cost.
posted by drezdn at 12:08 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The $500 MP3 player has an 80 GB disk and its own battery.

The original iPod was $499 for 10GB.

no one will buy the second generation device.

I imagine that's what a lot of people said about the original iPod too.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:10 PM on January 9, 2007


Remember back when dialup was all the rage and you had to pay by the hour and remember now how everyone has cable modems and unlimited plans? I'm waiting for that to be universal on cell phones before I start checking nytimes.com just for the hell of it. Data plans are stuck in 1995.
posted by mattbucher at 12:11 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Beautiful device. I guess now when I experience the usual dropped calls on Cingular's network I won't want to fling it across the room.
posted by hojoki at 12:12 PM on January 9, 2007


Gates gives CES keynote promising convergence.

Jobs gives Macworld Expo keynote delivering convergence.
posted by smallerdemon at 12:13 PM on January 9, 2007 [8 favorites]


I wonder how accessible this device is? With a traditional phone, I guess (but don't know) that a disabled user could at least feel the keys to navigate around and make a call. As this is pure touch screen, unless it's got OS X's Universal Access features, it's going to be useless to someone that's blind.
posted by TheDonF at 12:14 PM on January 9, 2007


The original iPod was $499 for 10GB.

The original iPod wasn't something I felt any need to buy. It was just too much money for what it did.

I wonder how many people defending a 600+2 year contract price (so closer to 800 dollars) think that the ps3 costs too damn much.
posted by aspo at 12:15 PM on January 9, 2007


Interesting in a number of ways:

1) UK has flat rate plans for data (T-Mobile), and phones are given away as part of monthly plans. Price = no problem.

2) Touchscreen. I'm currently playing with a Nokia N800 with full screen touch keyboard and it rocks. Totally great with a decent sized screen.

3) How long will such a large screen in an 11cm body last in the average pocket?

4) Edge = slow. Hope it gets an HSDPA uplift before it hits Europe.

5) iTunes integration = killer app.

6) 2 mpixel camera is not enough. Hope the lens is decent.

7) The new N95 from Nokia will blow it away in terms of performance and features (in-built GPS etc), but the iPhone UI is simply stunning!
posted by Duug at 12:16 PM on January 9, 2007


I have a year left on the contract for my stupid Cingular 8125--that should be about right for them to get the bugs out of this and for the price to drop a little. Then I'm on it, because is sure looks sweet.
posted by LarryC at 12:16 PM on January 9, 2007


People will pay $600 for a turd with "Apple" stamped on it.

*borrows $600*
posted by Mister_A at 12:16 PM on January 9, 2007


That said, the second generation (or maybe third) iPhone may very well rock a llama's ass and if so I'll buy one then.
posted by aspo at 12:16 PM on January 9, 2007


I can't wait to smear my greasy hands all over its sleek cutting edge design.
posted by boo_radley at 12:18 PM on January 9, 2007


She will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine.
posted by cowbellemoo at 12:19 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


How long will such a large screen in an 11cm body last in the average pocket?

Good point. That's the reason I haven't bought anything remotely like a Treo. I just know I'm gonna break the screen eventually.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:19 PM on January 9, 2007


It's too bad that hardware is controlled by the cell carriers so much in the U.S. (versus the rest of the world).

Imagine if the iPhone was released with Verizon -- it would be sad to see Verizon cripple all the features of the phone and force their own UI like they do with every other cell they carry.
posted by jca at 12:21 PM on January 9, 2007


Apple is very clever. They'll make sure their customers understand that this is an iPod that makes phone calls (not a cellphone w/MP3 player). You savvy?

Also it will probably break every year just like an iPod. This thing is for young uncircumcised people with too much money who need to get off my lawn!
posted by Mister_A at 12:21 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


they'll probably be on the third generation one when they get to canada anyways so i won't have the temptation to drop pints of blood just to get one.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 12:21 PM on January 9, 2007


Wow. Pretty. I was all set to hate this.
posted by Skygazer at 12:21 PM on January 9, 2007


just popped in to throw in my quick comment
I am a multi year Blackberry user, using their Enterprise software so this is coming from a business perspective
I have tried ALL other devices, Palm, Windows Mobile, all geared towards business class service

they all sucked in comparison

Blackberry has it's issues but it's prime usage, making calls AND doing email has not yet been surpassed and my concern w/ this iPhone is the lack of real buttons. I used some of those new fangled Windows Mobile devices and trying to call by FEEL is impossible. When you are a tech making a billion calls a second, tactile touch is pretty important. Trying to dial a customer by feel (so you don't drive off the road) and sun glare to find the keys was impossible. All driving while talking on the cell phone issues asside, I felt dangerous using one of those phones while in the car. It was frustrating to do when I could pay attention.

Anyway, maybe they solved that issue but I found my super slick touch screen pad phone pads on cell phones to suck major ass. I went back to the good ol Blackberry that always works.
posted by evilelvis at 12:22 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


It looks like an awesome handheld computer, but I'm not convinced that having a phone and PDA in the same device is a great idea. It's too big and expensive to want to take with you on a night out, and the camera will be quickly outclassed by much cheaper phones. Also, will you want to use it when you haven't just washed your hands? Even being careful it seems like wiping the fingerprints off that beautiful interface would get tedious.

No doubt it will be popular enough, but I don't think Nokia, Sony Ericsson etc will be losing too much sleep over this just yet.
posted by teleskiving at 12:24 PM on January 9, 2007


Don't worry, Verizon should have the phone available in 2010.
posted by dr_dank at 12:26 PM on January 9, 2007


It looks like the phone will be wildly popular, but how many people will actually own one? As people have mentioned before, the price is a major hurdle, as is its Cingular-only status.

Now, remove the phone functionality and eliminate the camera, and you've got one spectacular 6th gen iPod.
posted by roomwithaview at 12:30 PM on January 9, 2007


I predict that both the phone and the AppleTV thing will fail miserably. Sell your stock now in anticipation of the forthcoming price drop.
posted by tadellin at 12:30 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Initially I thought it was nifty, but on reflection the battery issue is decisive. Until there is a major increase in rechargeable battery capacity per size, "convergence" is a dead letter.

Also -- touchscreen for phone buttons? Don't they realize that many people can type phone numbers without looking at the keypad?
posted by graymouser at 12:31 PM on January 9, 2007


Apple said they are shooting for 1% of the market . . . in 2008.

Seems about right.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:32 PM on January 9, 2007


Visual voicemail. That's pretty sweet.
posted by Alt F4 at 12:34 PM on January 9, 2007


Does anyone know what material the phone is made out of? There were late-breaking rumors that it would be made from zirconia, a zirconium-based alloy that is EXTREMELY durable and radio transparent. Essentially a ceramic phone.
posted by mkultra at 12:34 PM on January 9, 2007


I just realized that this would mean I would get to play music in my car like I do now, but I'd get to charge my phone while it is plugged into the dock connector sending songs to my stereo.

Plus, no more phone plus ipod to carry around. I really hope someone unlocks it so I don't have to switch carriers over it.
posted by mathowie at 12:34 PM on January 9, 2007


I concur with the iPhone hata's on the touchscreen. The lack of tactile feedback for ANY function on a handheld device is a risky move. Didn't Apple learn from the UI problems that the 3G iPod had?

The basic functions of messaging and dialing really ought to have *some* kind of shortcut that doesn't require eyes on the screen. This becomes especially problematic when outdoors; the video I saw of the device leads me to believe that sunlight will be completely wash out the display, require users to rely on spatial memory without any feedback whatsoever.

There are ways around these problems; you can add in a headset with one or more buttons (which they have), or you can have very, very good voice recognition, or you can try some fancy tricks to add touch feedback to the screen itself.

Apple has often sacrificed a bit of usability for aesthetics (which is fine), but this appears to me to be a fundamental problem with the product. Apple has built a palmtop that requires the user's full attention and engagement for every interaction, which is not how most people use their mobile phones. I expect that the 2G iPhone will either add buttons or some kind of haptic feedback integrated into the touchscreen.
posted by xthlc at 12:34 PM on January 9, 2007


All driving while talking on the cell phone issues asside...

Yeah, you know, all practical and meaningful issues aside... grrr...

I can see the iPhone being basically what the iMac has been, which is the consumer answer to existing corporate technologies. The iPhone will pick up the consumer market that the Blackberry has had in the corporate market. Price be damned.

I am always amused how there's always someone who can chime in "But I can pay less can get more with product X!" Yes. Yes you can. You go ahead and do that. When by "more" you mean something a lot different than I do. You mean quantity, always. Me, well, I'm willing to pay more for less quantity and more quality in a lot of cases, and this will likely be one of them.
posted by smallerdemon at 12:34 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


the second generation (or maybe third) iPhone may very well rock a llama's ass

circumsized llama or uncircumsized? and does the llama like "elaborate" sexual practices or not?

Still. I want one, the second they come to T-Mobile Town.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:37 PM on January 9, 2007


What's the deal with the iPhone trademark? I thought Cingular or somebody had that?
posted by Alt F4 at 12:37 PM on January 9, 2007


It will never replace my old rotary dial.
posted by Iron Rat at 12:38 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


People will pay $600 for a turd with "Apple" stamped on it.

No, they won't. Laser etched, on the other hand...
posted by pardonyou? at 12:39 PM on January 9, 2007


frankly, I'm geeked out about a phone with a real OS, that has some horsepower behind it.

That's going to be the real game changer. Trust me, you ain't seen nothin yet.

Don't like their email system? Some geeks will write their own. Don't like their PIM? see above.
Dont like their Sync? Ditto.

freeBSD/Darwin on a phone. That's the real story here.
posted by Freen at 12:39 PM on January 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I own an iPhone. It's called a Palm Treo.
posted by _aa_ at 12:40 PM on January 9, 2007


How long will such a large screen in an 11cm body last in the average pocket?

Do you mean the new zirconia-ceramic iPocket? For $600 they'll even throw in one of those black suede cases!
posted by mattbucher at 12:42 PM on January 9, 2007


If these are like the ipod then they will break on schedule after 6 months .
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:42 PM on January 9, 2007


From DonF's link to the original iPod announcement, here is a somewhat typical response from the Mac faithful:

"It's now at the online Apple Store!

$400 for an Mp3 Player!

I'd call it the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time...and it's not really functional.

Uuhh Steve, can I have a PDA now?"
posted by The Deej at 12:44 PM on January 9, 2007


As much as I am impressed with what they have managed to do with the thing - there are times that I wish my cell phone was just a cell phone.

Of course, by the time I am ready to pick up a new phone, maybe this will be in the running. So far have been pretty pissed at the shitty selection that Cingular has right now for everyone not willing to shell out $400 or more.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:44 PM on January 9, 2007


All the people hating on this new and shiny toy....

Did you look at it?!?!?!?!

I've never wanted to physically make love to a gadget before, but I see myself buying flowers and making reservations for a fancy restaurant in June for this baby.
posted by Bageena at 12:47 PM on January 9, 2007


roomwithaview wrote "It looks like the phone will be wildly popular, but how many people will actually own one? As people have mentioned before, the price is a major hurdle, as is its Cingular-only status."

That reminds me: Wasn't the Moto Razr close to $500 when it first came out? And wasn't it exclusively carried by Cingular at the time, too? 'Cause everyone and their grandma has a Razr these days...
posted by caution live frogs at 12:47 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Multitouch patent - US Patent Publication No. 20060197750

(go here and type in the number to see - install alternatiff to see the images)
posted by caddis at 12:51 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I see myself buying flowers and making reservations for a fancy restaurant in June for this baby.

Babyfucker.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:51 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


this looks like a fine addition to the battery on powerful handheld computers with various uses in the home. I applaud those plunking $600 for one, and will now begin trawling for mods of that computer.

can you can stream iTunes via wifi? (saving local space on unit)

I think we've just been introduced to the PSP-killer.
widescreen video with better interoperability? hmmm

all a person needs is backup batteries, since you're using it for everything you do...
posted by Busithoth at 12:52 PM on January 9, 2007


freeBSD/Darwin on a phone. That's the real story here.

Dubious. The Widget DHTML API most like. With the Canvas extension if we're lucky. Outside chance of Quartz. But I'm just guessing here.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:52 PM on January 9, 2007


'Cause everyone and their grandma has a Razr these days...

Probably because a lot of people, like myself, got a Razr for free with a new phone contract. Just like how I got an iPod Nano when it finally dropped under $200.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:53 PM on January 9, 2007


just been introduced to the PSP-killer

Doesn't really go into that quadrant, alas. No D-pad, doubt it will have eg. OpenGL ES.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:54 PM on January 9, 2007


I also have an HTC and I would never want to iPhone as my replacement until there's a keyboard. Not having and and attempting to do work on the phone would drive me insane.
That said, mine has a pull-out keyboard so I have to use the touchscreen for dialing. As a phone, it sucks without the raised keypad. Period.

The lack of physical buttons will make it even more dangerous to dial while driving.

Dang, people are bad enough driving with and talking. Maybe they could, ya know, wait to talk until they're not driving? Safety first!
posted by jmd82 at 12:57 PM on January 9, 2007


The original iPod was $499 for 10GB.

The original iPod was actually $399 for 5GB. The 10GB model came later.
posted by bshort at 12:58 PM on January 9, 2007


A handheld computing device is disclosed. The handheld computing device includes an enclosure having structural walls formed from a ceramic material that is radio-transparent.

US Patent Publication No. 20060268528


A touch panel having a transparent capacitive sensing medium configured to detect multiple touches or near touches that occur at the same time and at distinct locations in the plane of the touch panel and to produce distinct signals representative of the location of the touches on the plane of the touch panel for each of the multiple touches is disclosed.

US Patent Publication No. 20060097991


An electronic apparatus, such as an electronic mixing apparatus and an electronic keyboard apparatus, and associated methods are disclosed. The electronic mixing apparatus or the electronic keyboard apparatus is provided on a touch screen that provides user input and display capabilities. In one embodiment, the touch screen is a multipoint touch screen so that multiple user touch inputs can be simultaneously acquired. In another embodiment, surface guides can be provided on the touch screen to assist with user input.

US Patent Publication No. 20060022956

And there are more. Yeah, they have patents.
posted by caddis at 12:59 PM on January 9, 2007


Dang, people are bad enough driving with and talking. Maybe they could, ya know, wait to talk until they're not driving? Safety first!

You are absolutely right. However this comment ignores the reality of life - people use their cell phones ALOT while driving. Requiring you to look at the pad is even worse than someone who can call by touch and at least keep there eyes on the road.

I will assume it was kinda sarcastic so that's all I am saying.
posted by evilelvis at 1:07 PM on January 9, 2007


I think we've just been introduced to the PSP-killer.


The DS?
posted by ZippityBuddha at 1:08 PM on January 9, 2007


What's the deal with the iPhone trademark? I thought Cingular or somebody had that?
W$J: Apple will likely have to pay Cisco Systems Inc. for the right use "iPhone" as the name for its new cellphone. Cisco, which owns the rights to the name and unveiled a line of Internet-based phone devices using the brand last month, said it has been in talks with Apple about the trademark and expects to sign an agreement later today. (Read more in the WSJ Law Blog.)

"Given Apple's numerous requests for permission to use Cisco's iPhone trademark over the past several years, and our extensive discussions with them recently, it is our belief that with their announcement today Apple intends to agree to the final document and public statement," said a Cisco spokeswoman.
posted by alms at 1:09 PM on January 9, 2007


Color me impressed. A lot of comments have focused on problems—battery life, keypad, camera res, etc. My guess is that we'll see software and accessories to address these problems.

The phone will have jacks on it; someone like Griffin might make a snap-on tenkey flip-pad, qwerty keyboard, battery pack, whatever. It also has bluetooth, so serious texters could carry one of the already-available folding keyboards. The phone almost certainly has enough processing power to do basic speech recognition, and I'd be surprised if people don't start working on voice navigation as soon as the SDK is released.

Sure, I'm disappointed that it's so expensive/Cingular only/not available yet/pony-deficient, but it looks like a hot little slab of technology, and I'm looking forward to the trickle-down.
posted by adamrice at 1:10 PM on January 9, 2007


Triumph of design and for designers -- Hire us now you slobs!! However, touch screen phone = ick.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 1:10 PM on January 9, 2007


3 people in my office have committed to getting one.
posted by paulinsanjuan at 1:15 PM on January 9, 2007


this does not do anything the Nokia N-Series multimedia computers (don't call them phones) couldn't do for the last 1.5 years.

Except hold more than 2 GB of data, run OSX, etc. Smaller screen, poorer colour depth, shorter battery life.

I have a Nokia, and the iPhone is a heckuva lot cooler.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:17 PM on January 9, 2007


I wonder how many people defending a 600+2 year contract price (so closer to 800 dollars) think that the ps3 costs too damn much.

I have no use for another game console, but I need a phone and have never had a cell phone that I didn't want to stomp to fucking bits. The iPhone appears, so far, to remove my desire to destroy cell phones on sight.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:20 PM on January 9, 2007


A phone? A fucking phone? I already have a phone, and apart from needing a fresh battery it doesn't need an upgrade.

How about an upgrade path for the millions of extremely patient 12" PowerBook G4 users who have already been quietly waiting around for a year to be able to buy in to the platform change? Just because I want a fastish laptop doesn't mean I want to carry something the size and shape of a skateboard or a gimpy plastic low-end 13" laptop.

I can't be the only person massively disappointed by this.
posted by majick at 1:20 PM on January 9, 2007


this is gorgeous (it actually makes me want to get a cellphone, which i've resisted all these years)--if they enlarged it another inch each way, and made sure it would run all OSX programs, including processor-intensive ones, and you could attach a mouse, i'd cream.
posted by amberglow at 1:20 PM on January 9, 2007


Even This had an answer/hangup button. Though I see why they've done it in software from the demo. That call merge is pretty sweet. I always fuck up answering on hold.
posted by bonaldi at 1:23 PM on January 9, 2007


There will be a big surge of people buying the iPhone, but no one will buy the second generation device.

posted by b1tr0t at 12:03 PM PST on January 9


Care to put money on this?
posted by pcameron at 1:23 PM on January 9, 2007


caddis: Multitouch patent....

Apple hired the guy (Wayne Westerman) who started Fingerworks, and who made a completely flat keyboard with no tactile response. The TouchStream series of keyboards are great, typing on one now, and I wish Apple would bring them back, before I kill mine. Keeps the RSI manageable-ish.

You can find his thesis (HAND TRACKING, FINGER IDENTIFICATION, AND CHORDIC MANIPULATION...) here.

I think Apple bought the company because it was cheap, due to IP issues, and are now fighting the lawsuits related to this.
(Search for Quantum)
posted by rider at 1:23 PM on January 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Dubious. The Widget DHTML API most like. With the Canvas extension if we're lucky. Outside chance of Quartz. But I'm just guessing here.

Apple's iPhone site specifically says that the device runs Mac OS X.

http://www.apple.com/iphone/technology/specs.html
posted by Mikey-San at 1:23 PM on January 9, 2007


i love that appleTV too.
posted by amberglow at 1:24 PM on January 9, 2007


I love it, but it sucks for people like me with oily skin. Keeping the screen on my SLVR clean is bad enough - maybe Apple will sell me an official iCloth to clean the skin oils and finger grease off the iPhone with...
posted by mrbill at 1:25 PM on January 9, 2007


"Someone should link to the original slashdot discussion of the first ipod. It has every variation of:

1. Too expensive;
2. Not really new technology;
3. Missing key features;
4. Too big;
5. Not enough battery.

Those slashdotters can really spot a successful product!
"

Very true, but you forgot about the incessant whining and crying about the lack of an FM tuner.

I wonder if this device will be the catalyst for major pricing changes within Cingular. Perhaps they'll even come out with a reasonably priced unlimited data plan. Hey, wishful thinking...
posted by drstein at 1:26 PM on January 9, 2007


just been introduced to the PSP-killer
Doesn't really go into that quadrant, alas. No D-pad, doubt it will have eg. OpenGL ES.


No, but it does put a limited life span on the downloadable ipod games they're bringing out. Assuming the browser supports flash and java, you'll be able to go find mahjong or some tetris knockoff for free.

Depending on what they mean by "OS X" (the actual operating system or some barebones version with everything but the name stripped out of it?), within a few years someone will find a way to play World of Warcraft on it and society will grind to a halt.
posted by Gary at 1:27 PM on January 9, 2007


I want to see an anti-greasy-fingerprints touchscreen patent. Now, that would impress me.

Still, I want one!!! Even if I have to carry a "iPhone Screen Cleaner Kit with Large Cloth".
posted by claudiadias at 1:29 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


so is this "news for nerds", or "stuff that matters"?
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 1:30 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hope everyone is braced for the inevitable AskMe threads every other day where someone asks how to fix something wrong in their supposedly easy to use iphone instead of their Apple computer.
posted by skepticallypleased at 1:34 PM on January 9, 2007


Depending on what they mean by "OS X" (the actual operating system or some barebones version with everything but the name stripped out of it?),

Typically, when you see stuff like this, they've removed unnecessary or irrelevant parts, ported what they didn't need to rewrite completely for the different hardware, and kept as much of the high-level APIs intact for development purposes.

There's no way it can be 100% identical, because this thing isn't a full desktop or laptop with all the same hardware. It's still Mac OS X, however. Equate it to there being things in Mac OS X installed on a G5 that don't get used because it's not a laptop: hardware differences between the tower and the laptop demand some places in the OS be different as well.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:35 PM on January 9, 2007


I have no use for another game console, but I need a phone and have never had a cell phone that I didn't want to stomp to fucking bits. The iPhone appears, so far, to remove my desire to destroy cell phones on sight.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:20 PM EST


I just want to see how people like them once they're in their hands. I just bought a new battery for my phone, so I'm not going to be one of those early adopters...
posted by Busithoth at 1:35 PM on January 9, 2007


Can I just glue an iPod shuffle to my Razr and call it a day?
posted by mattbucher at 1:36 PM on January 9, 2007


I hope they come up with a model that deletes the camera - many places won't let you in with a camera phone.
posted by rfs at 1:37 PM on January 9, 2007


Trying buying a phone without a camera these days.
posted by caddis at 1:42 PM on January 9, 2007


The projected battery life, more than anything, is what will keep me waiting to get one (though this is without a doubt the sexiest gadget I've seen in a long time). This looks to be another game-changer from Apple. The business-oriented PC/phones haven't appealed to me (especially because I use OSX at work and home), but this device makes me think 'hey, I could have my computer and the internet in my pocket,' mainly because it looks so easy to use.

Apple has been herding its users toward integration for years, and they have me all synced up with my work laptop and home desktop--they just make it so easy to do, that I do it and then find out how useful it is. Sort of like making a 10GB digital music player when people were thinking 'why on earth would you want that much music with you?', but once you have it, you realize why.

This seems like a logical extension of that. I think they're moving their customers to integrating all of their media (their lives, man!) into all of the devices they use--computers, phones, TVs, stereos, they all should be able to do the same basic things: connect to the internet, play your music, watch your videos, look at photos, etc. etc.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:42 PM on January 9, 2007


5 hours of talk/browsing/movie-watching time is really kind of.... shitty.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 1:43 PM on January 9, 2007


Perhaps they'll even come out with a reasonably priced unlimited data plan. Hey, wishful thinking...


I would think (at least at first) this would make them less likely to lower their data plan prices. After all, in theory, people are going to be flocking to use this device which they can only use with Cingular's network, so why not charge full price for that network, or charge a premium?

Now, if the iPhone underperforms, it's entirely possible Cingular might be pressured to drop their data plan prices. Then again, maybe Apple already made a deal with Cingular to push for lower rates?
posted by drezdn at 1:46 PM on January 9, 2007


It's 16 hours audio only, so maybe you just need to cool it on the video.
posted by chunking express at 1:47 PM on January 9, 2007


So it runs OS X? Does this mean there's an Intel chip running the phone?
posted by pcameron at 1:48 PM on January 9, 2007


Typically, when you see stuff like this, they've removed unnecessary or irrelevant parts, ported what they didn't need to rewrite completely for the different hardware, and kept as much of the high-level APIs intact for development purposes.

I guess my real question comes down to what they feel is "unnecessary or irrelevant". It'd be nice if they let you run your own applications and had enough support for them to do interesting things. I'd pay the $599 if they actually let you open up a unix terminal with a nice touch-keyboard on the display (though I suppose you'd need a stylus to fit it in properly). Although, I guess having vi running up on the big-screens would have been a bit anti-climactic for the presentation.
posted by Gary at 1:52 PM on January 9, 2007


The projected battery life, more than anything, is what will keep me waiting to get one...

5 hours is on-par with other smartphones on the market, and those don't have additional 16 hours of music-playing capability.
posted by Revvy at 1:53 PM on January 9, 2007


How about an upgrade path for the millions of extremely patient 12" PowerBook G4 users who have already been quietly waiting around for a year to be able to buy in to the platform change? Just because I want a fastish laptop doesn't mean I want to carry something the size and shape of a skateboard or a gimpy plastic low-end 13" laptop.

I can't be the only person massively disappointed by this.
posted by majick at 1:20 PM PST on January 9 [+]
[!]


You're not alone. I too was hoping that 12" replacement rumor would pan out.
posted by vacapinta at 1:54 PM on January 9, 2007


Via Macintouch:
The only two iPhones at the show were under glass, and Apple representatives said it is a "closed platform", refusing even to identify the specific processor it uses, and there's apparently no developer kit for it, though "developers who want to do applications [for the iPhone] are welcome to contact Apple developer relations."
But hey, it's running OS X, so all us geeks will love it.
posted by alms at 1:54 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anybody notice this guy's (or girl's?) third and fourth fingernails are longer than his thumb's?
posted by paulinsanjuan at 1:57 PM on January 9, 2007


So it runs OS X? Does this mean there's an Intel chip running the phone?

Intel inside, yes. Mac OS X is quite portable, if they wanted to move to something else later. Architecture-specific parts of the system tend to get abstracted away to make it easier to port around.

I guess my real question comes down to what they feel is "unnecessary or irrelevant". It'd be nice if they let you run your own applications and had enough support for them to do interesting things.

Support for hardware that doesn't exist, assume that's gone. Certain concepts are sufficiently different on "mobile" devices like this—such as windows, the "desktop" metaphor, input fields, and application/document/window layering—to warrant noticeable API changes. (Like, you wouldn't expect to run Transmit out of the box on this thing, but if the underlying APIs didn't get tossed completely into a blender, you might not have to climb a mountain to port it.)

However, if the unit is "closed", then none of that matters much, I guess. This remains to be seen.
posted by Mikey-San at 2:00 PM on January 9, 2007


Apple's iPhone site specifically says that the device runs Mac OS X.

yeah, but what it runs and what they expose are two different things. With a phone, being "carrier grade" means retaining tighter control of the UI. Going with the existing Widget API would be an excellent way to duplicate the MIDP platform for Apple.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:01 PM on January 9, 2007


iPhone... yadda yadda yadda...

anyone else pay much attention to GUI widgets?

The rumor sites were hinting at some OSX-wide GUI updates. I think we might've just had a sneak preview.

Looks a lot like the latest iTunes + Dashboard + Windows Vista. I wonder if this is going to make it onto the desktop version of 10.5. Pretty slick.
posted by C.Batt at 2:02 PM on January 9, 2007


The only two iPhones at the show were under glass, and Apple representatives said it is a "closed platform", refusing even to identify the specific processor it uses, and there's apparently no developer kit for it, though "developers who want to do applications [for the iPhone] are welcome to contact Apple developer relations."

I'll wait for the product release before believing unnamed representatives on a trade show floor. Fingers crossed we get to play with this thing on some level.
posted by Mikey-San at 2:03 PM on January 9, 2007


I am not ashamed to say that I lust for the iPhone and have been fully engulfed by iPhever.

The idea of being able to drop my iPod, camera and phone into one unit is simply too cool. And the fact that it does about 8 million other things is even better.
posted by fenriq at 2:05 PM on January 9, 2007


This is all I really want to be able to do:

[[NSPhone sharedPhone] placeCallToNumber:[NSPhoneNumber numberWithString:@"867-5309"]];
posted by Mikey-San at 2:08 PM on January 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


What about a ship date for Leopard?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 2:09 PM on January 9, 2007


Anybody notice this guy's (or girl's?) third and fourth fingernails are longer than his thumb's?

Might just be the angle of the fingers and/or the shape of the fingernails.

I guess I'm mostly disappointed at the fact they haven't made any new announcements about a higher-capacity (20GB anyone?) Nano. I don't need and most definitely can't afford a $600 phone. Nor do I feel the need to have an ipod and phone in one. I just don't like to get chocolate in my peanut butter.
posted by puritycontrol at 2:10 PM on January 9, 2007


Fingers crossed we get to play with this thing on some level.

Interest to me as a phone: 10030;
As a music player: 10030;
As both: 10030;10030;
As a handheld OS X platform: 10030;10030;10030;
As a handheld internet device: 10030;10030;10030;10030;10030;

When this thing goes WiMax it's going to rock.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:13 PM on January 9, 2007


We need an HTML entity for "d'oh!"
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:14 PM on January 9, 2007


What about a ship date for Leopard?

This is not an Apple blog but there's a lot I could vent about that side of the house . . . WTF?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:15 PM on January 9, 2007


Hey cilit bang:

E-mail me, so I can send you my address. I could really use some of that "hard cash" you talked about a few months ago :P
posted by melorama at 2:15 PM on January 9, 2007


MacBook Nano

Haw!

I may be in - I want to know more about CNG's data-plan pricing, though. I paid $700 for my last Treo, so the buy-in is old hat ffrom where I sit. I already have a $120/mo plan for myself and my wife; if they jack it (as they surely will) that might be a dealbreaker.

And by Steve it better have .Mac included. Desktop workspace datasync from phone to computer, I hope. Sweet!

The other interesting thing about this is that I had the same pricing reaction most people are having to this product at the iPod introduction, and boy was I off base there.
posted by mwhybark at 2:20 PM on January 9, 2007


I'm not getting one until it has a motion sensor that kicks in a hoverdrive when I drop it over the sink while washing dishes.

That's an expensive phone.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 2:24 PM on January 9, 2007


Here's the thing I like: the voice mail.

When I go my phone 3 months ago, it had this thing called "Voice SMS" - a type of SMS, only with voice instead of text. It really bugged me how the Voice SMS allowed for random access of messages, while I still had to climb the phone tree just to here that my mom wants me to call. Now, you can quickly grab messages...and no more (well, less) of this "oh. 7 is delete.." business.
posted by niles at 2:27 PM on January 9, 2007


This is all I really want to be able to do:

[[NSPhone sharedPhone] placeCallToNumber:[NSPhoneNumber numberWithString:@"867-5309"]];


Beeeeeeeep. Jenny's not home at the moment, please leave a message.
posted by nogudnik at 2:28 PM on January 9, 2007


Some were complaining about the lack of physical keyboard, but I'm excited to see what the voice capabilities of this thing are, in respect to it being a productivity enhancer.

"Mail: new message."
"To: Frank at Franksbratwursthouse.com"
"Subject: Profit: goatmeat bratwurst"
"Message: . . . ."

or:

"iCal: new event."
"Date: February seventh, 2007"
"Time: . . . ."

If it can do this, and do it well, oh boy.

Also, as someone who will have to move several times in the next year and is trying to reduce his physical stuff as much as possible, this changes my plans. Where I'd been in the market for a MacBookPro, possibly a new Treo, and a new television, I'm tempted to ditch the Treo, MBP and TV for an iPhone and an iMac. The 24" iMac I bought someone at work with EyeTV would solve both those problems and this device would pretty much negate the need for a laptop for me at least. That looks to save a significant amount of cash. Granted, my employer provides me a computer there, and I don't do the "work from the coffeehouse" thing requiring a laptop, at least the type of work I couldn't get done using the iPhone, especially with the abovementioned voice capability. One more nutzoid talking to himself in public.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 2:30 PM on January 9, 2007


I guess I'm mostly disappointed at the fact they haven't made any new announcements about a higher-capacity (20GB anyone?) Nano.

The next Nanos will be 16 and then 32gb. Samsung just announced the 32gb drives the other day, but they are still wicked expensive (per gb). It'll take probably two years to get in the nano and be "normally" priced.

Also, iPhone = schweet. Even if only for the interface and the fact that is the direction the iPod should be going anyway (all touchscreen). That movie of the navigation system is pee-double h-a-t.
posted by wah at 2:34 PM on January 9, 2007


From the size of this thread you'd think this thing had built-in mushroom identification.
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:35 PM on January 9, 2007


From the size of this thread you'd think this thing had built-in mushroom identification.

Given the camera and some nice widgetmagic, it certainly could at some point.
posted by wah at 2:36 PM on January 9, 2007


My post got me thinking of my Dad and the forty-something years he spent with his Dictaphone. All his correspondence he did via voice, but his company had to bear the cost of translating that to written documentation.

If this device could transfer voice reliably to multiple formats, email, SMS, Word docs, PDF files, and then transmit them over WiFi, fax, SkypeOut, etc. then I think it could be revolutionary. I haven't heard much about the efficacy/efficiency of voice to text recently, but with the full OS X behind this thing I think it has a lot of promise.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 2:42 PM on January 9, 2007


I haven't heard much about the efficacy/efficiency of voice to text recently, but with the full OS X behind this thing I think it has a lot of promise.

"Full" does not mean "identical". It remains to be seen what APIs exist on the version of Mac OS X powering the iPhone.

Hopefully, however, speech recognition exists, because the vision-impared don't get any tactile spacial clues with this phone.
posted by Mikey-San at 2:47 PM on January 9, 2007


Yes, worth noticing that on the iPhone pages they say it runs "OS X" not "Mac OS X".
posted by bonaldi at 2:50 PM on January 9, 2007


Anybody notice this guy's (or girl's?) third and fourth fingernails are longer than his thumb's?
posted by paulinsanjuan at 1:57 PM PST on January 9


Why don't you ask him yourself?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:52 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw a comment elsewhere a few days ago suggesting a better name might be MacMobile for this device. But the "OS X" as opposed to "Mac OS X" approach might be what nixed that name. Similarly the drop of "Computer" from Apple's name. Maybe the nomenclature of Apple being a company that creates "Mac" devices, computers, and "i" devices, iTV, is part of this thinking? Might the next iMacs be named something else entirely?
posted by MarvinTheCat at 2:54 PM on January 9, 2007


I see most of the negative responses here as more typical kKnee-jerk Apple Hater nonsense combined with this MeFi's irrational "hipster" phobia. This is the gadget equivalent of the MeFi "hipster" hate fetish. The iHipster.

Also people criticizing price point are not seeing the forest. This is a fairly ground breaking high-end consumer device with a superior UI and (eventually) targeted to replace portable MP3/Video players, PDAs and phones in one go - an initial $400 - 600 dollars is right on the money. The first MP3 players were super expensive. As were the first cell phones.

Also somebody said nobody will buy the second gen of this? HA!

If the iPod is any indication — and people said the SAME about that — Yes they will. They will buy the second gen. And the third. And the fourth. Anybody care to make a wager about it I'm all iEars.

I will buy one at about gen three. When they go down to $399 and up the memory to 30Gb+.
posted by tkchrist at 2:59 PM on January 9, 2007


This looks very nice and it certainly is cool and all, but it's a lot of money for a toy.

I use this phone, which was $40 when I bought it a year ago. I'm on a pay-as-you-go plan and don't make a lot of calls, so I spend about $20 every 3 months. I have never used the web-browsing or text messaging functions. Then again, I have no friends. But, I've never had a dropped call and only when I've been out in the middle of nowhere have I lost service, and I can dump it anytime. I have a 30GB Creative Zen Xtra Jukebox mp3 player that I occasionally take with me to the gym or to campus, when I remember; it is quite bulky, though. I was given a (then) top-of-the-line Palm PDA about a year ago as a birthday gift; I used it for about 2 weeks before I got sick of typing in all my appointments, etc., with a little stylus when I remembered 99% of them and could write them down on paper in half the time anyway. I gave it away to a friend. I can see how this would be useful to some people who are "on the go", but for me, eh, it's a lot of money for bells & whistles that I don't need; neither my job nor my personal life require it. I suspect that most people probably don't really "need" it and won't even use many of its functions but just like spending money on cool shit. That's fine, I guess, but they should get off my lawn.
posted by papakwanz at 3:04 PM on January 9, 2007


People who think people won't buy this don't know the people who are dying to buy this. And there is a boatload of them. Maybe not an iPod 2006 boatload, but a large enough boat nonetheless.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 3:04 PM on January 9, 2007


From the size of this thread you'd think this thing had built-in mushroom identification.

No, I'm pretty sure there's no need for that, as modern American education has clearly got that one knocked in the... um... never mind.
posted by mwhybark at 3:04 PM on January 9, 2007


4gb? 8gb? What the hell is this, 1998?

Dude, Apple, I just picked up a relatively unknown, imported "convergence" media player that does music, video, text, games, photos, FM radio and recording via line in, voice, or FM. It even has an SD slot for storage upgrades. The multisource recording is awesome.

Oh, how much? $70. Yeah, you can take your nano and your shuffle and stick 'em right up your caboose.


The iPhone is cool. Looking. Except for the multi-touch touchscreen, there's really not any huge innovations going on here.

I wonder if all the people here gushing about the iPhone would be as enthusiastic about the huge flood of Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese smartphones, ultraportable computers and media devices and more. There's some crazy, crazy suff coming out over there that will never see the light of day here, and there's a bunch of it that makes the iPhone look archaic already. Dual screen phones with folding full-function keyboards. Phones like miniature computers capable of doing translations and editing documents. Media players with gorgeous screens and the ability to record video/audio from numerous sources.
posted by loquacious at 3:07 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's a bimbo of a phone. Looks pretty, but you go to use it and it's all "Look how pretty I am! Don't call your friends, just look at me! Look at meeeeeeeeeee!". Apple will probably sell stacks of them.

I won't buy one because yes it looks sweet but I'll scratch the hell out of the finish, get makeup all over it every time I make a call, and I like having actual buttons for pressin'. I could be more convinced if i knew it had a voice recognition and command thing going on. And maybe an OS skin that made it look like a Star Trek device. And a proper lens on the camera.
posted by sataystick at 3:09 PM on January 9, 2007


A strokeable device with a lickable interface. Please tell me this vibrates!
posted by mazola at 3:09 PM on January 9, 2007


Yeah, you can take your nano and your shuffle and stick 'em right up your caboose.

Well. Those actually fit.
posted by tkchrist at 3:12 PM on January 9, 2007


caddis: And there are more. Yeah, they have patents

Nope, they've patent applications. And you can bet your ass that right now somebody in Helsinki is searching for prior art and opposition strategies against them...

Besides from that, Apple's choice of GSM is, well, interesting. AFAIK, it rules out the Japanese market and limits them in the American one. The only place where it could help them is in Europe, where a 600 USD price tag (+ VAT) is going to be a severe handicap. Weird...
posted by Skeptic at 3:14 PM on January 9, 2007


Man it sucks that a billboard post of a piece of consumer electronics can warrant 250+ posts on mefi.

and i say this without a shred of irony
posted by glycolized at 3:16 PM on January 9, 2007


Can't wait to put my hands on this piece of hardware. My Qtek 8000 it's dying of a slow and painful death, and I fear I will eventually need to substitute it with a cheaphone before the coming of the european iPhone.

A thing that worries me it's that probably they will search some kind of partnership in europe like the one with cingular.
I smell Vodafone (it's almost everywhere in Europe).
iPhone it's awesome, but changing provider to use it (and subscribing a 2-year contract) sucks.

And please, Apple, make the batteries removable.
posted by darkripper at 3:18 PM on January 9, 2007


Apple has built a palmtop that requires the user's full attention and engagement for every interaction, which is not how most people use their mobile phones.

I've seen several of you folks voice this concern. I've never really noticed somebody that did a whole lot of this "dial by touch" thing that you all think is the crucial feature of a phone.

I'd be willing to bet you at least a beer that you are completely off on this being anything remotely resembling an issue: the touch-screen keyboard will be the selling feature, and your quaint little hard-coded keyboards will be a thing of the past in a few years.

The iPhone interface seems to address several very real problems in very interesting ways, when it comes to a portable computer. If it lives up to half of the Jobs hype, this thing will be revolutionizing the phone industry, even if it has a small actual market share.

Cell phones suck. Apple looks to have made move to make them not suck. They may not succeed, but it sure as hell looks promising.
posted by teece at 3:19 PM on January 9, 2007


"I wonder if all the people here gushing about the iPhone would be as enthusiastic about the huge flood of Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese smartphones, ultraportable computers and media devices and more. There's some crazy, crazy suff coming out over there that will never see the light of day here, and there's a bunch of it that makes the iPhone look archaic already. Dual screen phones with folding full-function keyboards. Phones like miniature computers capable of doing translations and editing documents. Media players with gorgeous screens and the ability to record video/audio from numerous sources."

Languagehat - you got any good sites you'd recommend for reading up on/buying cool crap like dat ya can't get here in the states?
posted by stenseng at 3:20 PM on January 9, 2007


Languagehat - you got any good sites you'd recommend for reading up on/buying cool crap like dat ya can't get here in the states?

My name's not languagehat. And the answer is Dynamism. They even convert the Japanese to English so you can understand / type on the things.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:32 PM on January 9, 2007


As for the product:

Looks awesome. But Cingular? No dice. Sorry. You just lost me.

Maybe when they open it up to the other carriers.

Finally, with the manner in which they're actively encouraging users to touch the screen, this fucker better be at least a couple of orders of magnitude more scratch-resistant than the Nano.

That is all.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:35 PM on January 9, 2007


Hmm, looks like naysaying contradictions abound this far down the thread...

Then again, I have no friends.
vs
I gave it away to a friend.

And...

I wonder if all the people here gushing about the iPhone would be as enthusiastic about the huge flood of Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese smartphones, ultraportable computers and media devices and more.
vs.
There's some crazy, crazy suff coming out over there that will never see the light of day here...

peace out.
posted by wah at 3:37 PM on January 9, 2007


OK, I have 1 friend. But we never talk on the phone.
posted by papakwanz at 3:47 PM on January 9, 2007


"My name's not languagehat."


Oh jeez. Sorry bout that.
posted by stenseng at 3:49 PM on January 9, 2007


stenseng: it was loquacious who said all that stuff initially anyway.
posted by papakwanz at 3:50 PM on January 9, 2007


E-mail me, so I can send you my address. I could really use some of that "hard cash" you talked about a few months ago :P

melorama: Actually, I'd like your address, because what hey released is not a 6G iPod.
posted by cillit bang at 3:51 PM on January 9, 2007


Amazing.
posted by londontube at 3:55 PM on January 9, 2007


I don't like plugging products, especially on a rabid board such as this, but the Best Skin Ever is just that. I have one on my 80GB iPod and the thing is invisible unless you know where to look. No scratches, either. I'll be getting one for my iPhone.
posted by keswick at 3:56 PM on January 9, 2007


I wonder if all the people here gushing about the iPhone would be as enthusiastic about the huge flood of Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese smartphones, ultraportable computers and media devices and more.

problem is that these manufacturers have largely offloaded their OS work to Micorsoft.

who have just successfully copied Apple's ca. 2002-era work

Apple does appear to have full control of the hw/sw stack here, at least out to the end of the RF antenna.

As with the iPod, Apple's angle is superior integration and ease-of-use.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:00 PM on January 9, 2007


What's with all the Cingular hate? Is $20/mo really too much to pay for unlimited data?

On the iPhone itself (again), if it has good voice dialing, the lack of a keyboard won't be much of a handicap for most people, but when you need your phone to keep you from having to lug around your computer to work on servers/post on MeFi/whatever, the lack of a keyboard is a a drag.

Maybe, just maybe, this multitouch thing will be better than I expect and it'll be worth using for such things, but my thumbs are big and I don't usually have a flat surface on which to lay my phone while I type, so I'm still not too sure about the whole thing.

As far as the rest of it, it's just pretty..I have essentially the same web browser on my E62, a slightly worse (from the standpoint of viewing images embedded in the message, otherwise the same) email client, Google Maps, along with a pretty open platform that can run Python apps. If I hadn't lost my E61, I'd have WiFi, too. ;)

It does look pretty, though.

If people can get over the price, I think it will do well among iPod users.

And I still think that a slide-out keyboard would have been a great enhancement.
posted by wierdo at 4:01 PM on January 9, 2007


I've never really noticed somebody that did a whole lot of this "dial by touch" thing that you all think is the crucial feature of a phone.

Pay attention to how you use a familiar phone, and I think you'll be surprised. I can reach into my pocket, unlock my phone, switch it to silent mode, and then relock it without ever taking it out. It's a common, unconscious behavior that comes in handy when I'm in the middle of a meeting. I can pause my iPod or switch to the next track without looking at it while I'm in the middle of a run. None of these things are possible with a touchscreen-only interface, because all of them require non-visual interaction.

I've done studies of mobile device use, and worked with industrial designers on creating them. Unconscious, peripheral use is a critical component of personal devices; it makes the difference between something you carry in your pocket and something you lug around.

I'd be willing to bet you at least a beer that you are completely off on this being anything remotely resembling an issue: the touch-screen keyboard will be the selling feature, and your quaint little hard-coded keyboards will be a thing of the past in a few years.

I'm sure that thumbboards will evolve, just like every other HID does. This may replace them, but not without significant changes (e.g. touchscreen-integrated haptics and one or two additional softbuttons).

Right now, the design is pure marketing and gadget geek sex appeal. It won't last in its current form.
posted by xthlc at 4:03 PM on January 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


I like how this post is juxtaposed with the one right above it on the front page. Especially comparing the numbers of comments.
posted by Laugh_track at 4:05 PM on January 9, 2007


Except for the multi-touch touchscreen, there's really not any huge innovations going on here.

superior, as in not suck, PDA < -> phone feature integration.

3rd party apps (in DHTML) will hopefully be a big plus, too.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:07 PM on January 9, 2007


I was skeptical about all the rumors, but this really does look revolutionary. They got the widescreen video thing down that they screwed up with the iPod Movie.

I'm impressed. Maybe I'll get one five years from now when they're dirt cheap (and have more memory than 8G).
posted by zardoz at 4:07 PM on January 9, 2007


It looks pretty cool, but... I'm just gonna buy the copycat version done by the manufacturer which Apple uses to make their iPhones. It'll be an improvement on the iPhone, and it will be much cheaper than the iPhone.
posted by Count at 4:09 PM on January 9, 2007


NOOOOOOOOOO! Not Cingular! OHNOES!

So you're telling me not only do I have to shell out a squjillion dollars for one of these babies, but I have to pay the cancellation fee on my Verizon contract and get a new plan with Cingular that costs more per month? Say it ain't so!

At the same time: the gadget lust is strong. Oh so strong.

(Especially since I have great hatred towards my current phone. Haaaaaate.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:22 PM on January 9, 2007


It'll be an improvement on the iPhone, and it will be much cheaper than the iPhone

I find your lack of appreciation of Apple's (potential) value-add here to be quite . . . quaint.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:27 PM on January 9, 2007


(1) Isn't there a Bluetooth thumb keyboard out there? Christ. Seems like with all the people complaining about "oh, it doesn't have a keyboard like my clunky-ass smartphone," there'd be a AA-powered gadget like that floating around.

(2) iPhone = Phone + PDA + MP3 player. Three devices -> one. Less pocket space, less chargers. That's a gamebreaker for me. WiFi, OSX, touchscreen -- just sweetens the pot.

(3) Needed cell data connectivity for a long time, and it's a pain in the ass to get it working. I'm betting my Powerbook will play nice with this, and that makes me happy.
posted by spiderwire at 4:42 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pretty impressive but my SLVR isn't too old yet. Does it have Skype and SIP? I need Skype and SIP on my next mobile.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:47 PM on January 9, 2007


I hate that I just bought a Samsung Blackjack, like, a week ago. Oh well, I suppose I'll start saving now and sell the Samsung off in a couple months.

Haven't seen much talk in this thread about what the price will be for the plan on Cingular, but having just dealt with their ridiculous pricing schemes when purchasing the aforementioned Samsung, I figured I'd shed some light on the subject anyway.

Cingular offers two unlimited data plans: PDA Data Connect ($45) and Smartphone Connect ($20). As far as I can tell, the iPhone will fall under the latter, as Cingular defines the difference between the two as whether or not the device has a QWERTY keypad.

$600 is steep, but only $20 extra per month for all the functionality of this thing is pretty damn do-able, in my mind (especially considering that it'll be a $25 savings for me, as the Blackjack has a QWERTY keypad...)
posted by dj_fraudulent at 4:48 PM on January 9, 2007


It'll be an improvement on the iPhone, and it will be much cheaper than the iPhone

I find your lack of appreciation of Apple's (potential) value-add here to be quite . . . quaint.


it's been consistantly the case with Mp3 players.

My Samsung shuffle rip-off with a little screen on the side totally rocks.
posted by Artw at 4:53 PM on January 9, 2007


I'm so buying one.

That being said, a lot of people have made the comments "Why Cingular?"

1) They're largest company using GSM technology in the US
2) They probably were most willing to pay Apple for it. They're always looking to expand their customer base (given how Verizon's network is way better than theirs) and they do have a significantly better selection of phones than Verizon. That's their angle. Verizon Wireless, just doesn't care as much about the phones. They invest in their network.
posted by hazyspring at 4:56 PM on January 9, 2007


Read more, yes, quite nice. I hope everyone copies this phone. And maybe Symbian OS will handle add the widescreen.

$20 for unlimited data seems fine, its 70 euros here in France.

But, like I said before, no SIP & Skype will always be a deal breaker, period. And it needs a pen & OCR for writing, I want to take notes on my mobile.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:02 PM on January 9, 2007


A couple of thoughts from a (sort-of) industry perspective:

The price is pretty reasonable; I'd bet that Cing are subsidising this higher than any phone they've ever sold.

GSM is the logical choice - the CDMA market is way to small to bother with. I wouldn't be surprised to see an adapted version for the Japanese market, though. I'm also pretty surprised that it won't do 3G though this might be for a number of reasons: battery life / form factor / lack of support in the US market / etc.

The most obviously missing features? IM and VOIP. I'd bet anything on this being a carrier decision - all of the major carriers are crapping themselves over these at the moment. IM = lost SMS revenue. VOIP = lost call revenue. Ever notice that you can't buy any phone with a bundled IM application, despite it being a near-perfect method of mobile communication? See point 1 - big subsidies buy you influence over the bundled features.

The operating system is "OS X" only in the same way that WM devices are "Windows". You really think that a 500Mhz (guessing) device will run the same O/S as your desktop?

Don't bet on this being dev-friendly. I'd put money on this being locked down tighter than a duck's arse.

Touchscreen keyboards suck. Every single one of them. OK, Apple have no doubt got some crazy-mad technology in this thing but you won't be typing anywhere near as fast as on a BB keyboard. Occasional email? No problem. 20 emails a day? Forget it.

So, in summary: nothing new here, application-wise but the form factor, UI and design are fantastic.
posted by blag at 5:17 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cingular defines the difference between the two as whether or not the device has a QWERTY keypad.

It has a QWERTY keypad, it's just on teh screen. There's no way cingular's gonna not categorize it that way.
posted by dobbs at 5:19 PM on January 9, 2007


blag, what's IM? Instant Message? If so, it's got built in iChat thru OSX.
posted by dobbs at 5:21 PM on January 9, 2007


My Samsung shuffle rip-off with a little screen on the side totally rocks.

That's nice, but going from that application to a multi-mode PDA phone is quite a jump in the user-experience department, though.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:21 PM on January 9, 2007


After looking at the patent, it is questionable which if any of the claims will hold up. I see a lot of litigation in Apple's future. For example, a touch screen that can detect multiple touches simultaneously has been around for years, so I don't know what is new here.

Several claims pertain to having two or more separate touch surfaces. From the descriptions in the patent, they put a touchscreen on the front and a touchpad on the back. Both have been around for a while. The question is whether combining the two on one device is either novel or non-obvious. The idea is that you can operate touch buttons on the back with your fingers while simultaneously using your thumb on the front.

Regardless of the viability of the patents, you can get an idea of some of the product features by reading the patent.

For example some have questioned how you can operate the device without tactile feedback. One feature to simplify this is that they have the ability to identify the user by how they grasp the device. They then remap and relocate the touch buttons to match the user's grip. For example they can detect if you are right or left handed, have a large hand or small hand, and move the touch buttons accordingly.
posted by JackFlash at 5:24 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love the Jekyll & Hyde nature of internet fanboys.

$600 for the PS3 = FAILURE AND SHAME FOR SONY!!!!
$600 for the iPhone = HOORAY APPLE AND STEVE JOBS YOU ARE PURE GENIUS!!!!

lame
posted by GavinR at 5:27 PM on January 9, 2007


$600 for the PS3 == stupid cost for lots of shit we didn't want.
$600 for the iPhone == God, that's a bit steep, but we want it cos compared to the phones+ipods in our pockets it rocks.
posted by bonaldi at 5:30 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


bonaldi, thanks for proving my point!
posted by GavinR at 5:32 PM on January 9, 2007


dobbs writes 'blag, what's IM? Instant Message? If so, it's got built in iChat thru OSX.'

Yes, IM = Instant Messaging.

Do you know that it has iChat or are you guessing based on the applications installed on your desktop? I haven't seen anything in either the keynote or the website to indicate the presence of IM and you'd think it would be a pretty big selling point.
posted by blag at 5:34 PM on January 9, 2007


The most obviously missing features? IM and VOIP. I'd bet anything on this being a carrier decision - all of the major carriers are crapping themselves over these at the moment. IM = lost SMS revenue. VOIP = lost call revenue.
This is such a good point, and now you've pointed it out, the lack of it in the demo is glaring. which makes me think ...

Don't bet on this being dev-friendly. I'd put money on this being locked down tighter than a duck's arse.
... this could be true too. The iPod certainly is. Surely though, the ability to write apps for it is a key feature of smartphones? Both Windows Mobile and Symbian have thriving 3rd-party software, and practically everything runs Java now. And why bang on about it being OS X so much?

The operating system is "OS X" only in the same way that WM devices are "Windows". You really think that a 500Mhz (guessing) device will run the same O/S as your desktop?
Well, just last year my Mac was 450Mhz. My mum's using it now, for email and web, and it does her fine. Why wouldn't it work on a phone, especially with a stripped UI. It's not like I'm going to be using it for Aperture or Photoshop.
posted by bonaldi at 5:35 PM on January 9, 2007


What was your point, then GavinR? That if somebody sells something shit, fanboys won't like it; if they sell something better than what they have, fanboys will like it?

lame
posted by bonaldi at 5:36 PM on January 9, 2007


Yes, it looks unbelievably fantastic; now I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Does it prevent you from doing VOIP? Can you break out of their walled garden of services? Do they DRM things they've got no business DRMing? Does it phone home? Does it have a GPS locator that you can't turn off? Does it erase itself if you plug it into an unauthorized computer? Take you captive in some way I haven't thought of?

The Cingular contract is very close to being a deal-breaker. It's not just that they suck -- all the carriers suck, if slightly less than Cingular. But it's obnoxious. I want to buy one for cash and put the sim of my choice in it like you're supposed to be able to do with GSM.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:38 PM on January 9, 2007


I've never been impressed by Apple, particularly, but the UI design on this thing is really spectacular. I don't need or want one, because I don't like cell phones and won't carry one again until it's a necessity for work or something, but I'm very impressed with this device, or at least by the demos at the Apple site.

I think I'll just wait until Samsung copies and improves the design, ramps up the battery life and adds an ebook reader and other goodies, and then buy that, if anything, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:40 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


spiderwire, that's not at all the same. Having a separate keyboard requires that you have a surface on which to place the phone and keyboard where it is comfortable to view while you type on the keyboard. An integrated keyboard is much better in that respect. I've done both, and there's a reason why I no longer carry around a "normal" smartphone and a bluetooth keyboard.

I want very much to like this device, as I want to justify dropping $600 on it to try it out, but I spent $400 for an unlocked E61 that does everything the iPhone does with the exception of having a touchscreen (and therefore the somewhat interesting "pinch me" UI.

blag, it's certainly possible to run a "desktop" OS on a phone. Motorola makes Linux phones (mainly for the Asian market) and has for quite some time. There are also PDAs with much less beefy CPUs that run Linux. Sure, it can't be done with Windows, because it's not built in such a way as to facilitate scaling up and down like that. The Mach kernel that OSX uses is, as is the Linux kernel, to a lesser degree. The Sharp Zaurus is a big deal in Japan. They started out with a 200MHz ARM CPU.

And not to start a cell provider pissing contest, but network quality depends entirely on your location. It amazes me how well Verizon's advertising campaign works at making people believe that they have the best network everywhere. It is true in some instances, just as it's true that Cingular is best in other places, and T-Mobile is best in others, and in still others carriers like Alltel, US Cellular, or somebody else has the best coverage. Sorry, but hazyspring's comment set me off.
posted by wierdo at 5:41 PM on January 9, 2007


Also sorry to spam the thread, but George_Spiggott, there's an approximately 100% chance that you'll be able to buy the thing no contract for around $800, or on a 1 year for $700. That's usually the way Cingular does these things. You might run into some trouble with an ignorant salesperson at a store, in which case I suggest ordering over the phone, where they'll have no problem selling one to you without a contract.

If they won't sell one to you without your being a customer, you could always open an account and make use of the 30 days you have to cancel without an ETF, or cancel before 7 days is up and avoid the activation fee.
posted by wierdo at 5:45 PM on January 9, 2007


Thanks, wierdo (it seems strange to say that). At this point my question will be "do any of the whizzycool features actually require Cingular on the back-end?" So if I did manage to get one without Cingular, would something important be broken?
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:50 PM on January 9, 2007


The more I see things like that, I want things like this. Ahoy ahoy!
posted by IndigoJones at 5:54 PM on January 9, 2007


> I see a lot of litigation in Apple's future.

It's a novel situation for Apple to be in.
posted by ardgedee at 5:55 PM on January 9, 2007


Do you know that it has iChat or are you guessing based on the applications installed on your desktop?

Oops, sorry, I watched the site demos and mistook SMS for iChat as it had the same interface and made the same send sound.
posted by dobbs at 6:00 PM on January 9, 2007


Surely though, the ability to write apps for it is a key feature of smartphones? Both Windows Mobile and Symbian have thriving 3rd-party software, and practically everything runs Java now.
Don't get me wrong - I'd love for this to be open and I appreciate that 3rd party apps are a major selling point for other mobile operating systems. I just wouldn't be surprised to see it locked down tightly, at least early in its life. Apple's reaction could well be: The included applications are all you'll ever need! Why would you want to despoil our beautiful device with your hacked-together amateur software?

Still, we'll find out soon enough - every dev house I've spoken to tonight is interested...

And why bang on about it being OS X so much?
Because Apple know that their O/S - even the name alone - is a major selling point. As a recent Switcher, I'm inclined to agree.

wierdo: I think it likely that it will at least share a kernel with the desktop O/S. My comment was more a reaction to those who were expecting to be able to drag their desktop apps onto the phone and have them run seamlessly. Sorry. I should stop reading digg comments.

George_Spiggott writes At this point my question will be "do any of the whizzycool features actually require Cingular on the back-end?" So if I did manage to get one without Cingular, would something important be broken?'

Features like the pick-and-choose voicemail are carrier-dependent. Actually, that's one thing that really impressed me. A genuinely innovative idea.
posted by blag at 6:00 PM on January 9, 2007


What was your point, then GavinR? That if somebody sells something shit, fanboys won't like it; if they sell something better than what they have, fanboys will like it?

Maybe he doesn't realize the PS3 and iPhone are two different products? He also seems to think that "internet fanboys" refers to the same three guys who just happen to post to every single message board under different aliases.
posted by Gary at 6:01 PM on January 9, 2007


This pretty much makes the iPod obsolete then. Why would anyone buy one now?
posted by euphorb at 6:11 PM on January 9, 2007


This pretty much makes the iPod obsolete then. Why would anyone buy one now?

Costs 2x or more up-front.
This requires feeding a $20-40/mo nut to Cingular for 2 years.
Bigger form factor.
Less than 10GB space for your stuff.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:17 PM on January 9, 2007


This pretty much makes the iPod obsolete then. Why would anyone buy one now?


iPod is cheaper.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:17 PM on January 9, 2007


dobbs writes 'Oops, sorry, I watched the site demos and mistook SMS for iChat as it had the same interface and made the same send sound.'

np. Didn't mean for my question to sound so accusatory :)
posted by blag at 6:19 PM on January 9, 2007


2sheets:

I just want a phone that works well and has a long battery life. I have a non-apple MP3 player that's about the size of a pack of gum and I'll never understand why anyone would want to watch video on a 3 inch screen.

2 weeks before Christmas I got season 1 of Lost via the iTunes store as an experiment. Then I got really sick. While I was visiting my parents, I could do little more than lie on the bed and cough up phlegm. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't had ~20 hours of that dumb TV show to watch on my iPod.

But maybe that's an extraordinary case.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:21 PM on January 9, 2007


Is it triband? Quadband? Will it work with SIM cards? Can you take it overseas?

I'm based in Malaysia (GSM SIM card system) but travel often, and needed a new (well, lent) phone to use in the US, as it has a different mobile system. My phone won't even work at all in Japan. If they can make that phone universal they'll have a winner.

Also...bah, not liking the lack of actual buttons. It's thick; surely they can fit a keyboard or numerical board in there somewhere! Does the SMS option have an auto-dictionary feature?

I had a pretty cool PDA whose screen broke when I accidentally sat on it when it was in my pocket. The WiFi (what I bought it for) was broken too. Now it lays unused.

cool idea; but how's the implementation?
posted by divabat at 6:28 PM on January 9, 2007


Nope, they've patent applications.

True. We will have to see whether they mature into patents and what scope of protection they ultimately obtain.
posted by caddis at 6:30 PM on January 9, 2007


blag, I do somehow doubt that whatever CPU is in the iPhone will run x86 code, so it is fair to say that you won't be able to run any old OSX app on it, but hopefully Apple has been smart enough to make it a pretty easy recompile for vendors to release iPhone apps. I sure hope so, as I'm looking forward to v2. ;D

George_Spiggott, as blag said, probably only the voicemail app. I didn't think about it before since I don't ever listen to my voicemail. Thinking about it, though, that voicemail app would be a much easier way to delete it all without listening to any of it!

You'll have to get it unlocked, so you might not be able to buy and use it on launch day, but I have yet to see a GSM phone that can't be unlocked somehow within a month or so of release, although you might have to take/send it somewhere to have it done.

After further thought, it seems to me that Apple leaving out 3G might be a strategy to combat future confusion. T-Mobile will be deploying 3G on the recently auctioned AWS band, not at the existing cellular and PCS frequencies that Cingular has thus far used. Presumably, Cingular will also be using some of the AWS spectrum they won for future 3G services. Apple, being the type to not want to confuse their customers might be waiting for the 3G until AWS radios become available at a reasonable price. That way, they can bring out a quad band GSM/quad band UMTS/HSDPA phone (850/900/1800/1900 GSM and 850/900/1700/2100 UMTS/HSDPA) that will work with any UMTS/HSDPA network worldwide.

If they were to release an 850/1900 or 850/1900/2100 3G phone now, the current phone would be unable to use T-Mobile's 3G and any Cingular markets that had it in the AWS band. Confusion would ensue with customers wondering why their "3G" phone wouldn't work with certain carriers and on and on. People (the kind who are willing to buy one from someone other than their carrier, of course) already buy European phones thinking their 2100MHz 3G will work here when it doesn't and never will. This way, Apple's customers don't have to worry about technical issues like that. That seems a very Apple thing to do to me.

On preview: divabat, it won't work in Japan because they don't have any GSM there, only UMTS/HSDPA, which the iPhone doesn't have. It is, however, quadband, so will work in the states, in Europe, and also there in Malaysia and any other country with a GSM network.
posted by wierdo at 6:35 PM on January 9, 2007


euphorb writes "This pretty much makes the iPod obsolete then. Why would anyone buy one now?"

I have 50 GB of music.

And only $350 to spare.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:48 PM on January 9, 2007


You guys know that the price on this phone will drop. Obviously right now it's expensive but it won't be for long whether or it's for an iPhone or a knockoff. The idea of buying an object the size of a deck of cards that does nothing but play music and video on a tiny screen for $400 will seem quaint in 2 years.

The point of this device is to make money for Apple by replacing the iPod, which itself is being replaced by a new generation of phones and cheap music players.
posted by euphorb at 7:01 PM on January 9, 2007


According to engadget, you won't be able to load custom software, so the whole OSX thing is a wash from a consumer perspective.

This is basically just a hobbled PDA with a nifty interface. Nothing spectacular or revolutionary.
posted by delmoi at 7:04 PM on January 9, 2007


I hate Cingular.
posted by rbs at 7:05 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


So this iPhone... it vibrates?

No, seriously. I really want to know.
posted by jjg at 7:24 PM on January 9, 2007


According to engadget, you won't be able to load custom software

Argh. What's the fucking point, then? This could be a real PDA-killer if they'd open it up. It's like Sony with their damnable PS3. "Oh sure, you can write your own software for it!" ...and then they lock you out of the GPU functions so you can only access the framebuffer (no video acceleration == no good applications). Thanks a bunch! Where do I mail my pound of flesh?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:26 PM on January 9, 2007


As a human factors / ergonomics grad student, I'm inclined to agree with xthlc regarding the clumsiness that results when you take out tactile feedback on an input device... the flat screen looks great, but I think there'll be a few more easily-felt side mounted shortcut buttons in the 2nd generation model.
posted by anthill at 7:27 PM on January 9, 2007


Nothing spectacular or revolutionary

Having used a bleeding-edge WM2005 device, then turning off my phone plan on it since its integration sucked dick, I beg to differ.

I bought a Nike:PS Play or whatever before the iPod was announced. While I didn't think the iPod would become the runaway success it has, once I had an iPod I certainly saw the value-add in Apple's end-to-end integration (the Nike could only hold like 10 songs and had a real goofy add-on to SoundJam to load songs on it. Total PITA.

Granted, if third-party widgets aren't part of the iPhone's future then this device is a lot less compelling to me, but I think you're underestimating the Coolness of a handheld device that doesn't totally suck, as any WM2005 smartphone will serve as evidence thereto.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:34 PM on January 9, 2007


I would buy one today if I had not just signed up for a two year plan with Verizon Wireless.

In the interim, I really want the iPhone interface, screen and features in an iPod (which I doubt will happen before fall '07 if not MWSF '08).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:41 PM on January 9, 2007


Intel inside, yes.

Do you have a source for this? I actually wouldn't be surprised to see a PowerPC inside this. PPC has always been and is still big in the low-power, high-performance embedded sector.
posted by zsazsa at 9:41 PM on January 9, 2007


This is basically just a hobbled PDA with a nifty interface. Nothing spectacular or revolutionary.

The nifty interface is what's spectacular and revolutionary, at least in theory. Do you think the Macintosh or the iPod had any unique functionality even when they were new? No, they were just so easy and so pleasurable to use that people wanted them, and they shaped their relative industries.

If there's a difference here, it's that virtually everyone already has a mobile phone by now--the moment to define the nature of the appliance is long gone.
posted by Epenthesis at 9:58 PM on January 9, 2007


What was your point, then GavinR? That if somebody sells something shit, fanboys won't like it; if they sell something better than what they have, fanboys will like it?

My point is that horribly over-priced gadgets are okay whey they come from the company you worship but not from one that you have a biased perception against. You guys really need me to read between the lines for you? Over-priced tech is the same no matter where it comes from, but Apple always gets a pass.....it is a ridiculous double standard.
posted by GavinR at 9:59 PM on January 9, 2007


Different people like different things, maybe?

I, for one, think video games are for children and the developmentally arrested, but to each their own.
posted by keswick at 10:18 PM on January 9, 2007


GavinR:

I've got the leading edge phones now . . . a PPC-6700 and a Samsung A900, and this Apple thing blows them away, feature- and UE-wise.

If I can't deploy my own app(s) to this phone I highly, highly doubt I will buy one, but Apple makes its 30%+ gross margins selling stuff to people who value a superior user experience.

My point is that horribly over-priced gadgets are okay whey they come from the company you worship but not from one that you have a biased perception against

Well now you just have to demonstrate this device is "horribly over priced" (hint: the PPC-6700 is ~$400 at Amazon, and it positively sucks compared to the iPhone), we worship Apple, and we apply this hypocritical double standard towards companies we do not worship.

Good luck with that.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:30 PM on January 9, 2007


PPC-6700 is not the leading edge WM5 phone. That would be the HP hw6945 (hw6925 for Cingular customers). That's a WM5 PDA with GSM, EDGE, WiFi, BlueTooth, Skype and GPS (yes, GPS) sporting a 240x240 stylus-based touchscreen and thumb board. It's already a year old so HP ought to be releasing its successor soon.

This iPhone sounds promising, mostly because of OSX and multitouch and accelerometer. Everything else is what all future phones promise, but those are the innovations and I look forward to the competition's response and a win-win scenario for all consumers.
posted by linux at 10:47 PM on January 9, 2007


Apart from the iPod stuff, I don't see any of the new features being solid setting points. They've made it easier to set up conference calls and browse the web, but that's not going to affect most user's everyday lives. This is an Apple-branded smartphone that doubles as an iPod*, not a revolutionary new product.

(* though for some reason the iPod UI appears to be much more complex than and has little in common with a real iPod, which is an odd move)
posted by cillit bang at 10:49 PM on January 9, 2007


I love Apple threads. I get to watch people get emotional over something that some company made, and other people get emotional over the fact that the first group gets emotional, and then I jump in and get emotional over the fact that the first two groups aren't being rational enough! Pretty soon someone will get defensive at me and add yet another level of meta-anger. It's awesome.

(Meanwhile, I build up my Hipster Points by being ultra self-referentially above the whole scene and not commenting on the product itself.)

I lied: it's a pretty smartphone, priced like a smartphone, with some of the same problems that all smartphones have, and without others. If you want a pretty, locked-down all-in-one device, I won't look down on you, but I'm not going to carry a brick again.
posted by reventlov at 10:53 PM on January 9, 2007


I, for one, think video games are for children and the developmentally arrested, but to each their own.

AHAHAHAHAHA. Your personal computer and much of the consumer internet wouldn't exist as it does today if it wasn't for video games.

Note, my sarcasm detector may be miscalibrated
posted by loquacious at 10:57 PM on January 9, 2007


Your personal computer and much of the consumer internet wouldn't exist as it does today if it wasn't for video games.

Wait, you have a typo there:

Your personal computer and much of the consumer internet wouldn't exist as it does today if it wasn't for porn.
posted by smallerdemon at 11:00 PM on January 9, 2007


It's expensive, but if it looks as cool as promised, I'll be finding a way to get one. It will replace three devices I own: a Palm T|X ($299), a cheap-ass Samsung cell phone (free with plan), and an 4GB iPod Nano ($200).

In that light, the price is not so bad. Actually, it's exactly on target.


Except that they got you to buy those gadgets first. Now you'll dump those perfectly good purchases and buy an 8GB iPhone. Then they'll come out with a 32GB iPhone for more money and you'll drop your 8GB iPhone into the junk drawer.

Once you get hooked on gadgets, there is no such thing as the right one, only the next one, and the next one, and the next one...
posted by pracowity at 11:08 PM on January 9, 2007


You guys really need me to read between the lines for you?

Your lines are crooked.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:09 PM on January 9, 2007


The web browser isn't particularly revolutionary either, but it is nice to see someone other than Nokia, who uses WebKit, Safari's renderer, no less, putting a good one on a phone, (Pocket IE is bad, and Opera/Opera Mini is merely passable, IMO) and it's also nice to see Apple making good use of the touchscreen to improve it further.

There's a lot of good stuff in the iPhone, but it's not revolutionary, it's just including the best of stuff already found in other phones. Two years ago, it would have been revolutionary. A year ago, it still would have been impressive from aspects other than the pleasing form factor. Today, just a combination of good stuff found elsewhere plus an interesting ui quirk.

It will be more successful than the Newton, that much is certain.
posted by wierdo at 11:14 PM on January 9, 2007


The web browser isn't particularly revolutionary either

Perhaps not, but along with Opera, WebKit will help further adoption of CSS standards on the mobile platform, which otherwise would be dominated by the broken implementation in IE.

Also, the stretch-and-squeeze touchpad interface works with the browser in a novel way. I would argue that's a pretty "revolutionary" way to interface with a touch-sensitive screen that may end up working its way into a potential tablet product.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:21 PM on January 9, 2007


Does it sound like a ringing cell phone when it rings? Do you know how hard it is to find a modern cell phone that sounds like a ringing cell phone, and not like some bug-fucking ass when it rings? I literally cannot find a "ringtone" that sounds like a basic cell phone ring, circa 1999. I ended up paying good money to get a ringtone that sounds like an old Bell telephone.

I hate cell phones.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:24 PM on January 9, 2007


AHAHAHAHAHA. Your personal computer and much of the consumer internet wouldn't exist as it does today if it wasn't for video games.

Those things are definitely not mutually exclusive. The more I read about the founding fathers of the personal computer, the more they come across as big kids. They can be serious at times or about certain issues, and many of them were geniuses, but the ability to stay up twenty hours at a time doing nothing but writing code does not come naturally to well rounded grown ups.

Have you seen Woz lately? He's a fantastic guy but I think it's safe to say that he at least qualifies as a "child at heart".
posted by Gary at 12:10 AM on January 10, 2007


Okay. So.

Everyone in this discussion needs to read David Pogue's hands-on write up.

Also.

What's with all the Cingular hate?

You should read the above and also go skimming through this set of Consumerist posts. In particular, I'd check out this one to start with. And then there's this more recent one.

Disclaimer: I'm a Cingular customer. When I needed to get a phone, it was them or Verizon in the place I lived at the time. Cingular's been okay for me, but I know a couple people who have had problems with them, and have read about far more.

While I've not had any problems personally, their reputation is not exactly sterling.
posted by sparkletone at 12:23 AM on January 10, 2007


Looks awesome, but no GPS? Wha?

I've been using a secondary bluetooth GPS with my Treo 650 for a whole bunch of stuff, and it's awesome. The missing link... Navigation, picture tagging, intergrating with google maps etc, fitness (speed/route/trip info etc)... HP has a pda with it intergrated, but it's definetly not a jot on apple's interface design. They included everything else, why not GPS??
posted by Thoth at 1:22 AM on January 10, 2007


delmoi: It is still only a rumour that third-party apps won't be allowed on the iPhone - it hasn't been confirmed, and the source appears to be some dude on the Apple showfloor who said that it isn't open for developers at the moment (not terribly surprising, since it didn't officially exist until yesterday).

I would be frankly amazed if it didn't allow for installation of custom software in some way, since almost all new phones, smartphone or not, allow for installation of Java apps.

As for 3G, it was mentioned in the keynote as being on the roadmap. I would be rather surprised if it didn't appear in the European version.
posted by adrianhon at 2:40 AM on January 10, 2007


direct link to David Pogue hands on piece.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:44 AM on January 10, 2007


Argh. Thanks, Brandon.

Kids, this is why you always check your links on preview.
posted by sparkletone at 3:13 AM on January 10, 2007


It's exclusively cingular because cingular uses GSM that works in the rest of the world. I know this because the only reason I have a cingular blackberry is so I can use it in Europe without changing sim chips or performing similar silly acrobatics.

Huh? My Italian SIM chip worked fine in the States, picking up T-Mobile at 100% for the most part. As I forgot to activate roaming before I left, I bought a Cingular SIM just so I wouldn't be paying out the ass for 5 second calls while there. 'Twas a huge mistake. I have never seen such shitty reception, in wide open spaces even.

The difference in GSM networks, as someone has pointed out above, is the bandwidth used. Hence, for future trips to see the family Stateside, I bought the cheapest Nokia tri-band possible 3 years ago when my other 5 year old Nokia suddenly crapped out. Nowadays tri-band and quad-band GSM phones are fairly de riguer.

Your carrier's GSM SIM chip comes into play with the roaming agreements made with overseas carriers; no agreements, no access to the network(s).
posted by romakimmy at 3:22 AM on January 10, 2007


as confirmed by time's very interesting backstory, the ui is the message - it's where the inspiration came from, the idea clearly being to replicate the paradigm shift that the itunes ui/model did for music.

also: sounds like one of the main reasons they went with cingular is that they were the only ones prepared to restructure their own operations to allow i.d.'ed voicemal lists (amongst other things, i'll presume).

in this sense, yeah, the name's about the only thing that's wrong with it. but what name would've been better? iPad? MacNano?

how about just the "steve"?
posted by progosk at 4:00 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Aaaaaand, the #1 thing I was searching for:
iPhone uses quad-band GSM (website)
Oookay, it's not a US-only piece.
posted by the cydonian at 4:03 AM on January 10, 2007


I, for one, think video games are for children and the developmentally arrested, but to each their own.
posted by keswick at 1:18 AM EST on January 10


I, for one, think that people who believe other people who participate in leisure activities of their choice are developmentally challenged are complete cocks, but to each their own.
posted by juiceCake at 4:49 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm frankly quite surprised that they didn't put a secondary mini-iSight camera on the front of the phone, so you can easily do video iChats with people, ala the Macbook Pro. Considering that it supports Wifi, it would seem that it would be one of many no-brainer killer apps for the iPhone.

And what's the deal with this thing not syncing via wireless, either? That's REALLY disappointing.
posted by melorama at 4:54 AM on January 10, 2007


secondary mini-iSight camera on the front of the phone, so you can easily do video iChats with people

what's the deal with this thing not syncing via wireless

Ah, yes, version 2.0 you say?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:58 AM on January 10, 2007


The phone part of the iPhone is the least interesting part of the thing. Why couldn't they have just bit the fucking bullet and made a PDA like this?

FWIW: If it could be made to work with standard peripherals (keyboard, printer), could network easily via TCP/IP, and could run OS X apps, it'd be a great price. It would in fact be, as someone up-thread put it, an "iBook Nano."

If it's dumbed-down, it's still a half way decent price.

I do think it's kind of par for Apple to dumb it down like that. They have a history of never quite delivering up to expectations -- never quite doing what one knows they can do. They're like that elegant pro athlete who looks great doing what he does and who everyone knows could be the champ, but, you know, he just doesn't wanna.

I expect it will drive a brisk trade in external battery packs...
posted by lodurr at 5:10 AM on January 10, 2007


euphorb: You guys know that the price on this phone will drop. Obviously right now it's expensive but it won't be for long whether or it's for an iPhone or a knockoff.

The price will stay the same. (Which means it will "drop" in the sense that functionality will increase incrementally as non-computing prices increase.) That's how Apple does things. Since this will be THE hot ticket this year, they will be able to set whatever price they want to get for it.

And there will be no meaningful knockoffs. The Dark Steve, Himself has summarized the reason why quite neatly: "And BOY, have we patented it!"
posted by lodurr at 5:22 AM on January 10, 2007


Apple's patents will never prevent another established phone maker from making almost exactly the same phone. Apple's patents allow entry into the marketplace via cross licensing. Had Apple started selling phones without holding patents, patent holders would have blackmailed them. Should Apple attempt serious litigation using its patents. Nokia & friends will ensure that Apple never sells another phone again, ala IBM & SCO.

So, yes, you'll see cheaper knockoffs for the European market with 3G, VoIP, IM, and a stylus for writing. But who knows when.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:39 AM on January 10, 2007


What's intriguing to me about this device is what it does not do. It's as though they didn't want to be too revolutionary -- just a little revolutionary...

There is really only one clearly innovative thing about this device: The UI. Accelerometers? Simputer was doing it several years ago. Full-blown OS? Consider all the Linux-based devices, and then consider that Berkeley Unix is at least as flexible to build as Linux. Full-blown PDA phone? Done already (again, years ago) by Symbian, Palm and MS. (Though arguably only done really well by Symbian and Palm.) Media phone? Market's full of them -- I own one, my incipient stepson owns one (and it looks hella cool, too -- a "White Chocolate"). Media PDA? Archos PMA (which sucks as a PDA, though) and Palm LifeDrive are two examples that come to mind, and there are probably good Symbian examples that some European could offer. Touch screen? Old as the hills. (Though I hope that there's nothing about it that precludes using a stylus -- would be kind of difficult to browse tricky one-character MeFi links with my big square fingers).

It's the UI, folks, and specifically, it's the multi-touch interface. That's it.

What would have been really revolutionary would be to take advantage of the fact that it's OS X and made it a full-blown micro-laptop. Even with just flash memory, it could compete against the Windows "origami" machines -- you'd just need to supplement the mass storage, which is a cheap cheap thing to do these days, if you can hook up an external mass storage device.

And if the thing had OS X networking capability -- AppleTalk and TCP/IP over WiFi or Bluetooth -- man, that would fucking kill. That would be the breakthrough that the Simputer was trying to be (only for a lot more money, but who's counting).

But instead, as usual, they've been content with the small revolution, versus what they could do. It's another example of the peculiar conservatism that rears its head at Apple, and that I think is really indicative of Steve Jobs' micromanagement, because I think it really is his style. I continue to believe that Apple under Jobs really serves the primary end of making Steve Jobs feel important. His idea of being important includes being a bit of a rebel, so he doesn't really try to get market share most of the time. (I have argued elsewhere and still believe that the iPod took him by surprise -- it wasn't his idea, after all, and it took him a while to warm to it.)

He tries to accessorize smartly, if you will. If you wear a tie woven from platinum wire, everyone will notice; if you also wear a belt woven from gold and have a large diamond lapel pin, then some people feel it's a little over the top. Just look at Jobs's clothing, and you can see that he gets that. (I'll bitch about him endlessly, but he does sure as hell know how to dress well.)

I wonder about those touch-screen UI patents. I'd be surprised if ideas like this weren't tossed around for the Simputer, and they were pretty aggressive about protectively-patenting everything they could think of.
posted by lodurr at 5:40 AM on January 10, 2007


Yeh, but jeff, they won't be Apple, and they won't look like this. They won't have the same multi-touch UI -- Nokia, LG et al don't really need that to compete, and you've touched on why. I don't think Apple will ever have the kind of domination with this that they do with the iPod, and I don't think they'll cross-license (they typically only do that where it's useful to them, as with the iPod plug-compatible market and with some networking stuff).

Anyway, we'll see. This could have a huge impact, or it could just have the appearance of a huge impact. I'm pretty sure it will at least have the latter.
posted by lodurr at 5:43 AM on January 10, 2007


The iPhone has all of the makings of another Newton. iPhone 1.0 = Newton 2.0
posted by bobbyelliott at 5:51 AM on January 10, 2007


teece: I've seen several of you folks voice this concern. I've never really noticed somebody that did a whole lot of this "dial by touch" thing that you all think is the crucial feature of a phone.

I'd be willing to bet you at least a beer that you are completely off on this being anything remotely resembling an issue: the touch-screen keyboard will be the selling feature, and your quaint little hard-coded keyboards will be a thing of the past in a few years.


First: "dial by touch" is the rule, AFAICS. Watch kids texting sometime, or pay attention to yourself when you do it. It's all touch, and they can (and often do) do it without looking at the screen except to see the response. Amazes the shit out of me, frankly. I have a hard time imagining how much practice time went into that...

And FWIW, I do it all the time, and other manufacturers (e.g. Motorola) are apparently pretty sensitive to that in the design of some of their phones: The V710 and E815, I know from experience, are really easy to use by touch. But they also make phones for people who don't need the tactile experience (Razr/KRazr, e.g., which don't give you a lot of cues to where the buttons begin and end). Having a base set of system hardware that you can pair with different UI hardware has worked really well for the phone industry so far -- they make a shitload of money doing the newest-latest-look think by just changing the shells and the software.

That's not to say Apple is wrong to go in this direction. It's just to say that the all-touch direction narrows their market segment.

But, second: All that said, I think you may be right about the market dominance of touchscreens. It depends on how the economics work out. If it's enough cheaper, the manufacturers will just change all their lineups and users be damned. At this point I think most of them have confidence that they can just sell the users whatever they want to make, if they're willing to bite the bullet on margins for a couple of quarters.
posted by lodurr at 6:18 AM on January 10, 2007


iPhone 1.0 = Newton 2.0

I've always thought the Newton didn't get a fair shake.

No way would I have bought one, at the time -- too big, not enough features, though I did honestly want one -- but if they'd just taken the next refinement steps, it would have been the hottest PDA ride on the market and probably would have changed the way we do stuff today.
posted by lodurr at 6:22 AM on January 10, 2007


caddis : My employer doesn't have any trouble finding shit phones that don't have cameras to give me - I got my last one 3 months ago - a Verizon LG.
posted by rfs at 6:23 AM on January 10, 2007


Judging by the John Markoff Interview, Jobs hasn't decided how much to open this up to third-party software:
Others questioned whether the device would be as versatile as other smartphones if it was not truly open — that is, able to accommodate many programs from third parties, as personal computers are.

Mr. Jobs would not say how open the phone would be to other developers, but added: “I don’t want people to think of this as a computer. I think of it as reinventing the phone.”

He also said he was anxious to help protect the Cingular network from the kind of viruses and worms that bedevil the PC world today.
posted by alms at 6:48 AM on January 10, 2007


I've always thought the Newton didn't get a fair shake.

Newton 1.0 did -- and it was rightfully slammed. It wasn't ready. Newton 2.0 was vastly better, and when combined with the Messagepad 2000 (with 10 times the raw CPU, four times the RAM, and higher resolution) it really did work.

The Messagepad 100 and 110 were useless. The 120 was barely useful. The 130 was the first one that actually worked, but it wasn't until the 2000 that the Newton OS actually could show you what it could do.

By that time, the whole thing was a joke.

Anyone buying the first release has to expect problem, but Newton was way beyond problems. I'd hope Apple remembers the lesson -- if you insist on making a brand new interface be your main (or only!) interface with a device, it has to just work.
posted by eriko at 7:24 AM on January 10, 2007


396 comments.

Apple brings out the passionate ones, no?
posted by djrock3k at 7:30 AM on January 10, 2007


A lot of what makes OS X such a pleasant operating system to use is the stability and the flexibility it gives to developers to create interesting new applications.

I think what will make or break the iPhone will be how easy it is to develop new apps and whether you can build robust applications on it. If all you can do is code up Dashboard widgets, well, it'll be pretty, but it won't be that useful or compelling.

If, on the other hand, they give you the ability to get at things like the Phone application or the Music application, and provide different interfaces, interaction methods, and messaging between separate apps, then they've really made something special, and I'll be the first in line to buy one.

I noticed the music app they showed us didn't have a clickwheel-like interface. You could just drag the list up and down to scroll through songs, artists, etc. and drag the volume slider left and right. What if I want something more like a clickwheel overlay? I should be able to build it in XCode, if it's really running OS X.

I have this suspicion, though, that Cingular isn't going to allow that. They're probably going to keep you from running Skype on it, from building applications that allow you to beam songs to nearby iPhones, computers, etc. and from using it as a modem for your computer.
posted by bshort at 7:50 AM on January 10, 2007


I am particularly delighted that this appears to have been aimed at the European market first, even though it won't arrive here for a little longer. GSM then 3G for version 2. Perfect. Except that texting on it will not be as easy as using a simple alphanumeric pad with predictive on it.

My p910i, the last non-Apple phone I hope to own, has a wee qwerty keyboard, but I hate having to use it. Multitap and predictive on a 16-button board is so much faster when you get used to it. Then again, that's maybe just a 3rd party app. Which it will run, no doubt.

I spent £120 on that phone, second-hand. That's $235 to you suckas. I also got reamed when I bought my iPod, which currently retails here in Britain for £189, or $368 to you. In other words, the less useful combination (no wifi, no push email, no OS X) cost $4, even without including the iClip M I bought to make them talk to each other. I've got £300 to drop on this phone right now, and I'll sell the whole other mess of stuff for £200, I reckon. Oh yes, this is going to work. Sorry, haters. Welcome to the next time of being wrong about Apple's prospects.
posted by imperium at 8:05 AM on January 10, 2007


This pretty much makes the iPod obsolete then. Why would anyone buy one now?

I bought one last night, a 30G Video, to replace my 10G 1st-Gen iPod (bought for $500 in April, 2002), which finally gave up the ghost. $250 was the perfect price point for the replacement.

I'd been eagerly awaiting a widescreen video iPod, and was disappointed that Apple didn't release one, though I can see that they don't want to undercut iPhone sales/hype. I love the iPhone, and can see getting one to replace my Blackberry when its contract is up at the end of next year, but 8G is too small for me. With the OS, apps, documents, mail, and digital media, I need it to be at least 16G to be effective for me. I'm hoping that the 2nd-Generation units will be there in Spring '08.
posted by mkultra at 8:15 AM on January 10, 2007


*Looks up briefly from Newton MP2100, shakes head, turns up MiniDisc player, goes back to work*
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:43 AM on January 10, 2007


"%Looks Up briefly from Newton MP 2100; Sh am head J turns up Mini Disc player, goos back to Nork*", surely?
posted by bonaldi at 9:06 AM on January 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


Egg freckles?
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:12 AM on January 10, 2007


lodurr, If Symbian wasn't a multitouch UI, they can just make it & ignore Apple's patents, as Apple can not afford to start a patent war in the phone market. So its really a question of "Is the multitouch UI that much better?" and "How long does it take Symbian's owners to figure out the answer to that question?"

Sure Apple does have a certain UI flair which certian major OS companies have never matched. ;) But few serious mobile makers will fall for a UI as bad as windows. So victory lies in feature set, where the iPhone is lacking.

Where the iPhone may prevail is with rich kids who really only need an iPod and a phone together in one, i.e. never need VoIP connectivity at the office, never need to save cash using Skype, never need to write on it with a stylus, prefer SMSs to IMs, and don't have a schedule complex enough to require real PDA functionality. It'll be the prettiest phone which wins this market.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:20 AM on January 10, 2007


Steve Jobs addresses the high price and tips his hand on future intentions:
I wish we could sell it for $100 today. We can’t. It’s a little more expensive than that. As we bring the cost down year over year and can appeal to more and more people, I don’t see why everyone wouldn’t want one of these.
(Via windows media video of interview on CNBC. Quote starts at approximately 4:50.)
posted by alms at 9:23 AM on January 10, 2007


"Oh yes, this is going to work. Sorry, haters. Welcome to the next time of being wrong about Apple's prospects."

I'm curious as to how many of the iTouts here own Apple stock. I mean seriously, it's a fucking phone people, it's not going to change the world. Will the fellating of Steve Jobs never end on this site? Does anyone really need a phone that knows which way you're holding it? Confused? You won't be after the next episode of MacFilter.

Whew! I could really go for a Pepsi Blue right about now.
posted by MikeMc at 9:39 AM on January 10, 2007


From waaay upthread... The lack of physical buttons will make it even more dangerous to dial while driving.

Good, then maybe all the assholes who dial phones while driving will finally all kill themselves in a massive Darwinian die-off of stupidity, and leave the planet to the rest of us who have more sense than to do that in the first place.

It's been 5 years since the iPod was first announced, and they needed to hit one out of the park. I'd say the ball is lodged in a windshield in parking row WW. This'll sell.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:51 AM on January 10, 2007


There's lot to say about this and my take is here, but the short version is this:
Is the iPhone too expensive? Sure it is, if you're on the market for a cell phone. And it's a little pricey if you want a box for listening to music. But [...] The tasks are the main thing, are the value - the box is just a tool for accomplishing them. Steve Jobs doesn't want to sell you an expensive phone; he's selling a new way of thinking about computers that turns 'telephone' into a feature of your handheld instead of the other way around. It looks like a super-iPod and sounds like a super-phone, but the iPhone is really a Mac Nano.

And that raises a few more questions, exciting ones: how do you talk about Apple's 'PC market share' when your phone is a stripped-down PC? If Apple sells 10 million iPhones by 2008 (Jobs's goal, 1% cell phone market share), won't it really have sold 10 million handheld Apple computers? If you're calling your schoolmates in OSX, does that make you a Mac user?

Are you seeing the picture here? A computer is a component. Apple isn't in the component business. You buy a 'smartphone' - but you're basically being sold a Mac.
Complaining about the price or lack of certain features is missing the point, I think: the iPhone isn't meant to be a great phone, it's meant to make a new market for a kind of product. At $500 I imagine it won't attract many 16-year-old kids, but it doesn't have to. It'll work its way down to them, and when a consumer product of this class is available at a price they can afford, Apple will be the thought-leader and style-trendsetter in the market. The iPhone will do what the iPod did, not in money terms but in terms of altering the categories we use to talk about consumer handheld electronics.
posted by waxbanks at 9:54 AM on January 10, 2007


Hows the voice quality? The reception? Battery life?

Oh, right. It's a cell phone, an Apple cell phone, at that. We don't care about such things.

I'm sure this thing will sell like hotcakes and make Apple 747s full of cash, to the further detriment of those of us who actually want to make and receive phone calls on our phones.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:59 AM on January 10, 2007


waxbanks: Steve Jobs doesn't want to sell you an expensive phone; he's selling a new way of thinking about computers that turns 'telephone' into a feature of your handheld instead of the other way around. It looks like a super-iPod and sounds like a super-phone, but the iPhone is really a Mac Nano.

Does he, though? I wonder if he knows -- or if he's really committed to that idea.

FWIW, I happen to think you're right -- but I also think that "phone" was not the most cost-effective way to crack that market. "Mac Nano", OTOH, would have been a very powerful sell and had few critics.
posted by lodurr at 10:01 AM on January 10, 2007


Will the fellating of Steve Jobs never end on this site?

Probably not, but at least we take video about it and send it while calling each other about it.

Does anyone really need a phone that knows which way you're holding it?

Does anyone really NEED a phone?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:18 AM on January 10, 2007


"Mac Nano", OTOH, would have been a very powerful sell and had few critics.

I disagree strongly, though of course I can only guess: Apple is going to sell handheld computers to consumers who've never even *considered* buying handhelds before. And what they'll sell them is a computer running OSX that looks a hell of a lot like Leopard (and in particular its Dashboard widgets). That's a huge victory for Apple. Sell a million of any kind of PC and you force people to reconsider your place in the PC market.
posted by waxbanks at 10:27 AM on January 10, 2007


Apple is going to sell handheld computers to consumers who've never even *considered* buying handhelds before.

I doubt it. The number of people buying iPhones who've never considered a handheld will be quite small, I'd warrant. Only market researchers will know for sure, and they won't be telling. (At least, not anybody who won't pay for the information.)

In any case, I think the idea of an "Apple handheld" would be attractive primarily to people who've never even considered buying a handheld before.

Apple seems to think that the best way to submarine into the handheld market is via phones. You think that's smart. I think, not so much. Not exactly stupid, because there's a case to be made for it. But I just don't think it's a "revolutionary" play.

"Revolutionary" would have been a device that could challenge the communications infrastructure: Something that could seamlessly roam from WiFi to 3G or tunnel Skype over GSM and sync wirelessly with your home computers without relying on a central server (whether it's Cingular or .Mac) to do it. That would have been revolutionary.
posted by lodurr at 10:35 AM on January 10, 2007


I want multitouch in a tablet accessory, like Wacom's Cintiq tablet, so I can use a stylus and my fingers and have the device be able to recognize which is which. Combined with Painter, I should be able to draw with the stylus and rotate and enlarge the canvas with my fingers - as a simple scenario. It might also be nice if they work in paint flow controls for the fingers, too. And a new finger painting brush, of course.
posted by effwerd at 12:04 PM on January 10, 2007


And even if the iPhone is closed to developers, I really hope a lot of the new UI candy is available in Cocoa.
posted by effwerd at 12:07 PM on January 10, 2007


Actually, the "patent wars" aspect is probably why Apple has taken so long to enter this market and why they are sticking to GSM: the essential GSM patents must have expired by now, or be nearly close to expiring, whereas the 3G patents will still be around for quite a while. Not a bad moment for an outsider to enter the GSM market...
posted by Skeptic at 2:23 PM on January 10, 2007


Dude, it ain't a hand held computer if it don't have pen entry! You can't realistically type on this sort of thing. You may imagine its a computer if you imagine computers are for entertainment. But many people still lie using our computers for work. And that means taking words from our heads and entering them as text.

I'm an Apple fan. I've been saying how I'd love to buy an Apple hand held for years. But this just ain't it. It's jut a phone & mp3 player rolled into one. I've got that now with less, but enough, memory.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:52 PM on January 10, 2007


"edge" lol. without hdspa this won't fly in europe. at all. and if apple want to break in to the the lower-price-by-lock-in strategy over here - good fking luck. european operators are making huge amounts of money on their own music downloading services, and I don't see any reason why they would give this money to the apple music store.

nice device, though. reminds me of neonode.
posted by mr.marx at 2:53 PM on January 10, 2007


Yummy, but I'll give it 6 months while they work out the kinks.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:19 PM on January 10, 2007


The interface and the design are beautiful. The inclusion of the phone is an intuitive next step. It's a nice synthesis of products which have been out for awhile (at least widely used in the corporate sector where functionality trumps design in boardroom purchasing decisions).

I have to say I agree with anthill and others who point out the tactile feature as a possible killer. As long as it sells well enough in the consumer fetish market, so that it will last several generations, we will hopefully have something functional at that point.

I deployed a Sprint phone that you needed to flip to access the keyboard (even though there was a soft one on the screen), and it faired poorly. They are no longer used, at all. Now those who use their phone as less of a tool and more of a piece of electronics, this may not be a big deal. There certainly is a segment large enough to value the aesthetic design over functionality.

I always check to see if I'm typing the right number on my phone, but even at that I'm just glancing and going by sensation. I would consider a button switching the phone into silent/vibrate/loud mode as essential along with a dial/hangup button. To be an iPod like hit, it really needs to appeal to the average Joe who cares not about design.

Obviously Apple has found itself a very nice base of those who want its products, but its shareholders most certainly would like to see more iPod and less niche products.

If Apple would make this an upscale phone for the corporate world and add Exchange functionality it would be a huge hit. I know executives would approve the purchase of phones at a $50/per user mark up for bragging rights. Users tend to take care of things they enjoy more than the ubiquitous and ugly (e.g., Blackberry) adding in longevity.

I want to know what the terms of the Cingular-Apple exlusive contract is. I've also had really bad experiences dealing with them. They definitely need a little PR boost and something with Apple attached to it (or rather, iPod) will help.
posted by geoff. at 5:18 PM on January 10, 2007


It's really not a handheld--it can't even run stinky Office, let alone any Adobe apps.
posted by amberglow at 6:34 PM on January 10, 2007


What I'm wondering is, why not have the option to tilt the phone sideways when you want to enter text? Then the keyboard could presumably expand to a full one with larger buttons.
posted by pcameron at 7:53 PM on January 10, 2007


If the iPhone shuffle calls your friends at random...does the iPhone Nano cut your calls off right after you dial? Good thing they've teamed up with Cingular then!

PRETTY! I would never buy, but I would never refuse as a gift, either.

For the greasy fingers out there (and who hasn't used their phone while eating french fries): what about a screen that you could just hover your finger over, like I can just hover my stylus over my tablet screen?

But, for the hipsters, it's not the greasy fingers that are going to be the problem, it's the hair product.

For the button-lovers: What about a screen with hotter and colder areas so you could still feel the buttons? Might feel neat in your pocket, too.
posted by Eringatang at 10:39 PM on January 10, 2007


NYT: Cisco, Claiming Ownership of ‘iPhone,’ Sues Apple
posted by Prospero at 5:07 AM on January 11, 2007


amberglow: It's really not a handheld-....

... but it should be. Disappointing. (And it can be yet, so maybe it will become one.)

It's a weird, weird entry. Apple could kill, kill, kill, if they would just introduce an ultra-small form-factor device to compete with the "origami"-like devices; what they've got here demonstrates that such a device could be deployed by Apple (who have notoriously high pricing) for around $1K, versus teh $1800 or so that's the cheapest you can get into a Windows-based handheld. And it would most likely be a lot nicer than the Windows based handhelds. (And I say that as a dedicated Jobs anti-fanboy.)

erngatanq: what about a screen that you could just hover your finger over, like I can just hover my stylus over my tablet screen?

I'm sure it's been tested. Not that difficult in principle, though it would be pricey at this point and it would probably be harder to use than it sounds like it would be.
posted by lodurr at 6:49 AM on January 11, 2007


OK, I talked about iPhone at dinner last night with my incipient stepson, who Lives-Eats-Breathes Teh Gadget Lust. Between texting (without looking) on his White Chocolate, he heaped skepticism on any device that had no tactile feedback for data entry.

In those crowds, there's some social status accrued from having the coolest stuff. But there's a different, more durable social status that accrues from being able to deploy stuff coolly.

So: "Like, it's great that you've got an iPhone, dude, but I can still text your ass off. And by the way, since you're on Cingular and I'm on Verizon? When you text me? It's costing me money, man."*

--
*Not a quote. Your mileage may vary.

posted by lodurr at 6:53 AM on January 11, 2007


reminds me of neonode.

OK, now that's cool. Still has the tactile feedback issue, but to me, it's a much cooler form-factor than the iPhone because it's less clunky, more personal -- it can hang on your belt (or fit in your coin-pocket) without being ostentatious.
posted by lodurr at 7:04 AM on January 11, 2007


(And it can be yet, so maybe it will become one.)
I guess that's what i'll wait for then...i'm more used to getting 2nd and 3rd gen stuff from them all the time anyway
posted by amberglow at 10:03 AM on January 11, 2007


aPhone
bPhone
cPhone
dPhone
ePhone
fPhone
gPhone
hPhone
jPhone
kPhone
mPhone
nPhone
oPhone
pPhone
qPhone
rPhone
sPhone
tPhone
uPhone
vPhone
wPhone
xPhone
yPhone
zPhone

Amazingly, there doesn't appear to be an lPhone. Quick, somebody go trademark it!
posted by sfenders at 10:39 AM on January 11, 2007


Whoa, yo . . . the iPhone is cool and everything, but have y'all seen the Axiotron Modbook conversion for the MacBook? For $2200 you get a fully functional tablet mac with pen input and a beautiful rugged case, plus GPS built in. Holy cow.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:50 PM on January 11, 2007


"Steve Jobs" appears on SNL to announce the iPhone.
posted by grouse at 11:08 AM on January 14, 2007


Thanks, grouse! Me and daughter got some good laughs out of that.

Also, regarding the lack of tactile feedback for texting: Maybe the demographic for this is not the text-heavy user. From what I have seen (no stats... I'll have to find them), it seems texting is more popular among teen and college aged people. I (mid-forties) rarely text, nor do most of my friends. I have some friends in their 20s, and they are much more likely to text me. So for me, anyway, the non-feedback issue would be more than worth it or all the other features.

Apple tends to get things right. I'm sure this was an issue in their R&D. On the same line, when I used my origial Palm Pilot as a calculator, I quickly got pretty good at entering numbers without tactile feedback, just based on muscle memory. Not as good as tactile feedback, but usable.

So, it probably comes down to Apple saying: if you do a lot of texting, then this isn't for you, and we are ok with that.
posted by The Deej at 11:45 AM on January 14, 2007


More amusing video: past Steve Jobs keynote bloopers.
posted by grouse at 5:22 AM on January 28, 2007


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