Apple renames itself, unveils iPhone
Well, it finally happened! This should be major – for good or bad. The cell phone industry is vicious – if they can do well here too, there's no stopping the 'Pod/Apple! Seems more than a little pricy though, as it stands now… but be sure check out all that it can do, and the simplicity of it's functionality.
“We knew we had an opportunity to entirely reinvent the phone,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing, after the Jobs keynote. “Apple has never been about doing a ‘me too’ product—we take a complicated task and make it simple.”
AP Photo: In this undated photo provided by Apple, Apple's new iPhone is shown that was introduced…
By RACHEL KONRAD, AP Technology Writer 1 hour, 10 minutes ago
SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Computer CEO
Steve Jobs on Tuesday announced the iPod maker's long-awaited leap into the mobile phone business and renamed the company just "Apple Inc.," reflecting its increased focus on consumer electronics.
The iPhone, which will start at $499 when it launches in June, is controlled by touch, plays music, surfs the Internet and runs the Macintosh computer operating system. Jobs said it will "reinvent" wireless communications and "leapfrog" past the current generation of smart phones.
"Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything," he said during his keynote address at the annual Macworld Conference and Expo. "It's very fortunate if you can work on just one of these in your career. … Apple's been very fortunate in that it's introduced a few of these."
He said the company's name change is meant to reflect Apple's transformation from a computer manufacturer to a full-fledged consumer electronics company. During his speech, Jobs also unveiled a TV set-top box that allows people to send video from their computers and announced the number of songs sold on its iTunes Music Store has topped 2 billion.
Apple shares jumped more than 8 percent on the announcements, while the stock of rival smart-phone makers plunged. The run on Apple stock created about $6 billion in shareholder wealth. While Jobs noted the explosive growth of the cell phone market, it's not clear that a device as alluring as the iPhone poses a threat to mainstream handset makers due to the price, said Avi Greengart, mobile device analyst for the research firm Current Analysis.
"My initial reaction is that this product actually lives up to the extensive hype, and I'm not easily impressed," he said. "But the vast majority of phones sold cost way less than $500." Instead, the rivals most likely to face new competition from Apple's handset are makers of higher-end smart phones such as Palm Inc.
Tim Bajarin, principal analyst with Creative Strategies, said the iPhone could revolutionize the way cell phones are designed and sold. "This goes beyond smart phones and should be given its own category called 'brilliant' phones," he said. "Cell phones are on track to become the largest platform for digital music playback and Apple needed to make this move to help defend their iPod franchise as well as extend it beyond a dedicated music environment."
Apple currently commands about 75 percent of the market for downloaded music and portable music players. But it's expected to lose market share on both fronts as rivals introduce their own gadgets and music stores. Jobs said Apple expects to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008, the first full year in which they'll be available. That's about 1 percent of the global market for mobile phones; 957 million were sold worldwide in 2006.
The Apple phones, which will operate exclusively on AT&T Inc.'s Cingular Wireless network, will start shipping in June. A 4-gigabyte model will cost $499, while an 8-gigabyte iPhone will be $599. While wireless carriers typically offer discounts and rebates on new devices when they agree to sign a two-year service contact, Cingular said it was unclear whether this would be the case with the iPhone.
Wake up Call for the Industry Here
Currently listening to: 'Pod Phone