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Apple iPhone

 Apple iPhone Expected June 2007 (united States)
9th January 2007

For news on the UK version click here.

It's been a long, long time coming.. but the Apple iPhone is now official. Announced at Macworld Expo today, the iPhone isn't so much a phone.. it's an ultra-compact handheld computer.

First the basic technical specifications - this is a quad-band GSM device with EDGE and WiFi support, it has a 3.5" 320x480 pixel touch-sensitive display it comes with a 2 megapixel digital camera and either 4Gb or 8Gb of memory. The internal operating system is a version of the Mac's OS X.

It would be easy to get carried away with the hype.. and it does appear to be a highly desirable device.. but ultimately the Apple iPhone is not too dissimilar to devices such as the Nokia 7710, Nokia N800, Sony Ericsson P990i or any number of Windows-based HTC handsets. But because this is an Apple device, you can expect a little more polish and a lot more attention to usability.

Apple are pitching the iPhone as an all-in-one music player, widescreen video player, phone, internet device (using the Safari web browser) and a fully featured handheld computer too. Again, this is pretty impressive.. but the competition's Windows and Linux devices offer the same sort of range of features. But the Apple edge is in the user interface - the iPhone is designed to be incredibly simple to use with your fingers (rather than a stylus). There's an onscreen keyboard for those people that need to do some typing, but otherwise this is very much a point and click (or tap) operation.

 Apple iPhone So far, so impressive.. but there are a couple of things that are immediately obvious as drawbacks. Firstly, the landscape/portrait modem 480x320 pixel display is impressive, but we feel that internet devices need at least 640 pixels in width, and the Nokia N800 beats the iPhone with a 4" 800x480 pixel display that the iPhone simply cannot match. The other drawback is that it isn't a 3G device, although it does support EDGE. Thankfully though, Apple made this a quad-band GSM handset, so this means that it should be available worldwide.

The Apple iPhone has a number of very clever tricks. It will automatically detect if its in landscape or portrait mode and will change the display accordingly. When the iPhone is lifted to the user's ear, it detects this and turns off the display to save power and prevent accidental "clicks", and the iPhone also has a light sensor so that it can adjust the brightness of the display to match ambient conditions. It's this sort of attention to detail that makes this an Apple device.

OS X is a novelty on a handset such as this, but in fact Apple's operating system is closely based on Unix - as is Linux - and it has roughly the same requirements as a Windows smartphone. The ease of use of OS X and the applications that run on it are of critical importance to the success of the iPhone.. and so far it looks promising.

Let's not forget that this is an iPod too.. so the iPhone has an excellent music player with nice touches such as a music browser that displays the album cover. The internal 4Gb or 8Gb of storage allows for plenty of music tracks to be stored, but perhaps this is one device that would have benefited from a large internal hard-disk for the true "all your music anywhere" iPod experience.

The Apple iPhone is a sleek, elegant looking device with a black-and-metal design. At 115 x 61 x 11.6mm, the iPhone isn't as big as you might expect.. and the 135 gram weight is pretty reasonable for this type of smartphone.

Initially the Apple iPhone will be available on the Cingular network in the United States at an anticipated cost of $499 for the basic 4Gb version and $599 for the 8Gb version, although it may be available with a discount from some carriers in the future if taking out a new contract. It should be available in June 2007 on Cingular, but the availability on other carriers worldwide is not known.

We have to admit that we've been a little cynical about the iPhone, but we are impressed with Apple's attention to detail with the device which might just make it a success.

You can see more of the iPhone at Apple's official iPhone site.

[Images courtesy of Apple Inc]

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Apple iPhone at a glance


Q3 2007


GSM 850/900/1800/1900




320x480 pixels


2 megapixels


PDA-style device
115x61x12mm / 135 grams



Memory card:








Battery life:

5 hours talk / 16 hours video playback




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