Jobs Did His Job Again

Unveils iPHONE and Other Innovations
by: Jerry Liao

The much-anticipated announcement of Apple CEO Steve Jobs happened at Macworld – the confirmation whether Apple will be releasing its own music-playing mobile phone dubbed the iPhone.

Steve Jobs, the master of keeping one’s imagination alive, unveiled the iPhone signaling the entry of Apple into the mobile phone market. Some of the iPhone’s features are as follows:

– iPhone operations will be based on touch-screen technology called “multi-touch” – for phone calls, internet, email, text messaging, etc.

– powered by OS X and will include a full version of Safari (Apple’s browser).

– uses flash memory with memory capacity of 4 (9) and 8 (9) gigabytes.

– less then 13 millimeters thick.

– five hours of talk time and 16 hours of music playback.

– comes in two color variations: silver and black.

– headphone and SIM card slot.

– automatically synchs movies, music, photos, email content, web, and any type of digital content using the Apple’s iTunes music store.

– built-in two-megapixel digital camera.

– supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology

– comes with visual voicemail.

– dual-band GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) plus EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment) phone.

– push IMAP email provided by Yahoo.

– Google search engine and Google Maps.

I actually saw the picture of the iPhone on the web and saw it on cable TV as well. It looks like the video iPod except the entire front is your screen with icons displayed and can be activated by tapping on the screen.

Aside from the iPhone, Steve Jobs also announced a video box called the Apple TV – a gadget that users can use to watch their downloaded movies on a big screen. Apple TV is powered by an Intel microprocessor and comes with a 40GB hard drive that can store up to 50 hours of video, photos, and music and can be connected wirelessly to five computers.

Apple also introduced the new AirPort Extreme, a wireless networking solution delivering up to five times the performance and twice the range of the previous AirPort Extreme. Based on 802.11n,* AirPort Extreme extends a wireless network to even more areas in a home or office and makes streaming digital content and transferring large files faster and easier. The new AirPort Extreme Base Station features a sleek, new design with connections for networked computers, printers and a USB hard drive to quickly and easily share files or back up valuable data and content.

The AirPort Extreme Base Station features a simple, new design that is just 6.5 inches square and 1.3 inches tall; and a built-in USB port allows users to print wirelessly via a USB printer or turn any external USB hard drive into a shared drive so they can share files or backup valuable data from multiple computers in a network. New AirPort Utility software included with every AirPort Extreme makes it very easy to set up a secure, wireless network for up to 50 simultaneous users within minutes. Users can also set security restrictions, including internet access limits on their children’s’ computers. AirPort Extreme is backward compatible with Macs and PCs using previous generation 802.11b/g wireless technologies.

Just to give you an idea of the impact of Mr. Jobs’ announcement, Apple shares jumped more than 6 percent to .18 from .47 after hearing the news, while shares of Research In Motion (Blackberry) fell more than 5 percent to 4.01. Shares of Motorola, Nokia and Palm all fell as well.

The iPhone is more like a smartphone than just a mobile phone. It can be compared to some of the more popular PDA or Pocket PCs but with a more stylish packaging. Actually Apple tried entering the mobile phone market a couple of years ago by partnering with Motorola. Unfortunately the product didn’t sell as expected due to the phone’s design.

The iPhone may eat up the market share of iPod especially for those iPod fanatics who want to have a phone functionality added to their favorite entertainment device. I like to look at it as an iPod with communication capability rather than the other way around. Either way, the entry of the iPhone will give the mobile phone and entertainment industry a reason to be excited about new revenue stream opportunities, and will give competitors a run for their money–a scenario that will again benefit the consumers.

*****

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