Update: Touch tone reinvents the phone

January 9, 2007

CallingApple Chief Showman Steve Jobs unveiled the new Apple iPhone Tuesday, telling the crowd at the Macworld conference in San Francisco that: “We are introducing three revolutionary products.” Actually, it was one product, with three big features, he said:

  • Widescreen iPod with touch controls
  • A “revolutionary” mobile phone
  • A “breakthrough” Internet communications device

“We are going to reinvent the phone,” Jobs declared. The new phone will be priced at $499 for 4 gigabytes and $599 for 8 GB. Shipping is expected to begin in June in the U.S., partnering with Cingular; Europe in the fourth quarter and in Asia in 2008.CompetitorsJobs said the secret of the phone is its software — its user interface, which requires no physical keyboard, compared with smartphones like Blackberries and Palm Treos. Instead, Apple has developed a patented touchscreen device that allows users to use their 10 fingers to control the device. (Find early analyst reaction here)He called it “a revolutionary interface” changing the way consumers think about electronics in the tradition of Apple Macintosh desktop software, and the iPod clickwheel.Repeatedly Jobs mocked makers of existing smartphones during his presentation, showing feature-by-feature comparisons of e-mail and Web-browsing on the iPhone and its rivals. WidgetsApple has partnered with Yahoo and Cingular to offer a Blackberry-like “push” e-mail service, which automatically delivers one’s e-mail to the phone, rather than requiring auser to take the extra step of downloading new e-mail. Network administrators will be able to hook iPhones up to corporate Exchange mail services, Gartner analyst Van Baker said.The phone contains a two-megapixel camera and uses a GSM-based SIM card. It runs Apple’s OS X computer operating system, so thousands of applications can run on the widescreen device. IPhone is a quad-band GSM+EDGE phone plus it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.Users can download address and phone contacts from any PC or Mac. It allows users to navigate through voicemail visually, picking out which voicemails to listen to in what order, rather than needing to listen to a voicemail menu to wade through multiple messages.StarbucksJobs showcased mini Web applications known as Widgets that can run on the new iPhone, which features a full Web browser, the ability to zoom in on parts of Web pages and runs on Apple’s existing computer software, known as OS X.On the third public call ever on an iPhone, Jobs placed a crank call to Starbucks and ordered 4,000 lattes… then quickly cancelled them. His first two calls were to Apple executives.”That is the iPod. We’ve just started,” Jobs said.Full coverage here(Photos: REUTERS/Eric Auchard) 


What a great product. I can’t wait to stand in line to get one. However with the hype comes the need for more wireless capacity. Municipalities need to be smart in the way they develop their cellular tower sites. With great products like the iPhone you can be certain of one thing, we will need more cell towers to meet demand and capacity.


Another homerun from Apple. The touchtone keyboard alone is worth the wait. The prescence of Google and Yahoo essentially answers the strength of this phone.

Posted by Navin | Report as abusive

Absolutely Amazing. June won’t be here fast enough.

Posted by Mac | Report as abusive

It looks like it will blow other smart phones out of the water. I am wondering if it will sync with Outlook or Exchange, as these are the prevailing corporate email/shared scheduling solutions.

Posted by Christiaan | Report as abusive

I think i might actually get one. Dont get me wrong the product looks like it really will change the way we use phones, esepecially with visual msg checking. Only downside is its exclusive to Cingular. Which is owned by at&t etc. Either way this will be a true step forward in the wireless age.

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

Another debacle from Apple. Let’s see, I’m sure it will only work with certain other technologies available, of course, for a price from, guess who, Apple and / or their partners.

How long until their sued over this thing?

I suggest Apple concentrate on running a more ethical company than trying to dazzle us with another unnecessary piece of techno-junk.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

I’d LOVE to have one, but I am not moving from Verizon. I believe Jobs screwed up linking to ANY provider. It’ll cost Apple.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

The really big news is that it runs OSX and Safari. It remains to be seen if it is braindead like MSFT’s mobile windows, but if not, hold onto your hat!!

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

Woop di doo. $500 for a phone. Call me when Cinigular gives out one of these free with a year’s contract…

Posted by chuck | Report as abusive

iPhone may be a looker but….it lacks the most obvious feature to be a slam dunk….Integrated Skype Calling directly through WiFi.

Posted by Thomas'Co | Report as abusive

iPhone may be nice, but it lacks the obvious feature of today – Skype WiFi Calling capability.

Posted by Thomas'Co | Report as abusive

Congratulations to a true American visionary, Mr. Jobs! No doubt this will be the next “must-have” electronic gadget. But it’s more — it’s something that actually will make people’s lives better. This product (a beginning step, mind you) should keep Apple in the black for a long time. It also should quickly relegate Microsoft’s “Zune” to the bargain bin! Way to go Steve!

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

As a developer of mobile email solutions for smartphones, what attracts me to the iPhone is not particularly the user interface (though it looks great), but the fact that we, as software developers, *finally* have a real operating system under the hood of a mobile phone.

Gone will be the days of having to battle it out with Visual Studio, the Palm Development Suite, or the Blackberry JDE just to recreate features and capabilities that have been enjoyed by desktop software developers for many years.

Welcome will be developing mobile applications using Cocoa that are every bit as capable as those on one’s Mac. Today is truly a liberating day for mobile software developers.


iPhone missing main feature – Skype through a WiFi feature would have made it perfect!

Posted by ThomasCo | Report as abusive

Great new move. Forget the sour grapes from all the “dial telephone” crowd, who are sooooo attached to their legacy keypads. And it runs OSX too! WOW. My hope is that WiFi and WiMax are capabilities built in – so we can use these anywhere in the world where there is wireless ethernet !


I am excited hearing about the features, and the best part of apple devices has always been the superb design, meticulous detailing and fantastic feel good factor. Cant wait for it…! Damn me being in asia…! Smuggling alcove, here i come!

Posted by Ameet | Report as abusive

Why the naysayers, and comments from people like “Chuck” who wants a freebie? Apple has just *reinvented* an existing technology that will, as surely as the iPod jolted (read: saved) the commercial music world, revolutionize mobile communications/computing.

Network access isn’t free, telcom infrastructure doesn’t pay for itself, and by the way, music (and other content) isn’t free either! Please don’t bore us with juvenile, outdated “Napster-esque” comments. Let’s concentrate on what Apple has done here: They have, once again, set the computing world on its ear! Viva Apple!

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

I WAS really excited about it. Beautiful phone and interface. I guess they needed to pick a phone service to insure capabilities would be supported. Waiting to watch the webcast of the show. The blog made it sound like the Cingular guy was a dork.

Lots of money and it’s going to be a challenge to figure out how it work it with my MAC-phobic office IT people. It may just be too hard and/or not worth the hassle of 1) paying for it’s limited use w/ my home PC 2) fighting to constantly sync with Outlook the hard way and always forwarding mail. etc.

Plus June is a loooong time to wait.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Time to invest in Cingular? Comments?

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

Exclusive to Cingular. Maybe when Cingular gets ten million new customers they will upgrade their wireless infrastructure so that the service doesn’t suck.

In short: if I’m to buy a $600 phone, it had better work just about everywhere.

Posted by mac-daddy | Report as abusive

Hey Jerry – on this plane Phoning IS free!! That is if one uses Skype.

Posted by Thomas'Co | Report as abusive

$600 for a phone that is probably all hype and mediocre substance..Ho-hum…

Posted by Meh | Report as abusive

Unbelievable. My iPod, phone, camera and the kitchen sink all in one product. This makes other products on the market seem retro.

Posted by John T | Report as abusive

Wow, it OWNS! This is by far the coolest thing ever. I get a new phone in july/august, so I’m hoping my parents will opt for the 8GB, of course. Hey, double space for $100!

Also, is this a WordPress page, cause it kinda looks like that!

Posted by Goose | Report as abusive

WOW! Mac OS X on a phone. I’ll stand in line for it. Maybe then it won’t be a Cingular only provider. i HATE Cingular AT&T!

Posted by martin | Report as abusive

I’m in love. RAZR, Chocolate, and all other self proclaimed “next-gen” phones have just met the reaper.

Posted by Bryan | Report as abusive

I’ll buy it the instant I can. But I wonder how tough it is. I like to put my Razor in by back jeans pocket, which has cracked one Razor in half when I sat down.

Posted by Jesse | Report as abusive

Im sure you will be able to download skype. And cingular works well where I live. Just a shame its not 3g. I guess it will be in due time. Thank you apple, i can finally look forward to keeping a phone more then six months. There is a good reason the went with cingular, the company let them do some inovative things.

Posted by Lee | Report as abusive

I want one and I don’t even need one.

Wish it was out now and not June.

I hope it is under $250 eventually….

Posted by jc | Report as abusive

When someone trumps Apple they will have a ready market woth the other cellular phone companies.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Great, I just dumped my other $600 phone for a blackberry. When will this ever stop. My Ipaq went for a swim which was unfortunate at the time and considering the replacement cost was the same as the apple fone Job that we are about to get, I am about to go back to smoke signals. If it can float I may get one.


One more thing to distract drivers, and for people to use to annoy others. I, like many from what I hear, will be ordering a phone jammer this year, to disable this and all other cellphones that we have forced into our space. I am so sick of Americas cell phone obsession I could vomit.

Posted by David Stone | Report as abusive

Unfortunately, I just bought the Treo 700. I’m an avid MAC user, but they shot themselves in the foot by not doing more to promote the phone to potential users. I would ahve happily waited till this Spring with my 600, but now it’ll be years before I pony up the cash for one of these. Apple makes great products, but needs more intelligent marketing.

Posted by dave esser | Report as abusive

Innovation, Innovation. Steve Jobs has done it again. I am sure down the road, Steve will
have a device that will allow us to experience extra sensory perception, or speak to the spirit of Davey Jones and such.

While it looks great. It is simply one of many new fangled phones. Perhaps the Brand will sell it. The hype is Apple and Ipod.
Will it become the McDonalds of phones?

Maybe, but there will be new phones coming from Wendys and Burger King right around the Corner.

Enjoy it while you can Steve.


“I, like many from what I hear, will be ordering a phone jammer this year, to disable this and all other cellphones that we have forced into our space.”

That’s just brilliant. What if there’s a doctor in the vicinity, or anyone else who needs to be reached in an emergency? If you live around other people (i.e. not in the middle of nowhere), you can’t expect your serenity to trump the requirements of everyone else’s lives. How, exactly, are *you* the one being imposed upon here?

Posted by ty | Report as abusive

Is any part of this phone , perhaps the case,made of liquidmetal

Posted by Lou March | Report as abusive

this phone is nice .. for those who can use it. however, it has two problems built in. it is completely unusable by blind people because it doesn’t have voice dialing capabilities, at least, if it does it hasn’t been talked about, and it can’t be used by people with mobility disorders, either.

i wish more companies, more people, would consider things like this when making products. while it would be hard to make any phone easily useable by those with mobility problems, this phone (from what I’ve heard about it) is completely inaccessible for the blind.

Posted by Distraida | Report as abusive

I dont like the silver frame kind of thing around the phone, otherwise its great.

Posted by T | Report as abusive

CIngular? Are they nuts? They cant make a phone great enough to make me switch to that joke of a phomne service! Make it compatible with Verizon and the others and I’m buying it even if i dont need it!

Posted by Fred Rodriguez | Report as abusive

Well put, ty.

David, you’re guilty of the very frame of mind of which you’re accusing so called “cell-phone obsessed americans”(that being rampant, unconscionable selfishness). Maybe if you moved far, far away from the rest of us, you could get the peace you require – and so could we.

In the meantime, I just bought an enV, and it’s going to be a long, long time before I have the disposable income to blow on an iPhone. But that doesn’t mean I’m not coveting. :)

Posted by Liam | Report as abusive

This phone sucks. What a ripoff. 599 for a phone? That could feed a town in Africa for a week.

What is the world coming to?


iPhone does nothing new. It repackages existing functions and tries to make the human interface easier. The rest is religion wraped in 21th century marketing. Ah yes, we have millions of followers willing to sacrifice their wallets and minds to feed the religion. So Apple makes a buck. Nothing new is contributed to society, and certainly there is no revolution except in the minds of the converted. The real money is made by Asian robotic factories putting another throw-away gadget together.

Posted by tkk | Report as abusive

What Apple announced today is beyond jaw-dropping. Like so many of their other products, they simply did not make a new addition to a product category, they reinvented it. This is one of the reasons why Apple has become possibly the world’s most dynamic companies.

I applaud Apple for their amazing spirit of creativity and innovation. The leadership of Steve Jobs has turned a once-beleagured company into a world leader. Once a company gets to the size of Apple, growth becomes a greater challenge. In response, Apple has shown a dynamic approach to creativity that we typically see only in small start-ups. My hope is that other American businesses will follow the can-do, innovative spirit of Apple. It shows that American ingenuity (even if many of the great ideas from Apple are from hardware and software engineers, and product designers born in foreign countries who are part of the company) is still alive and well.

Bravo, Steve! Kudos, Apple!

Posted by Brian Teeter | Report as abusive

No Voice-Activated dialing? No Voice commands?


Another great Apple product! This is only the first iPhone, I’m sure by the end of the year, Apple will release an updated version, perhaps a flip phone but all touchscreen or another unique style. I can’t wait for June to come. I have a Treo 680 at the moment as well as an AVID Mac user. The price is right. The most expensive phone I have bougt was the P910 when it actually first came out in 2004 for $900 followed by the P990i $800 just last year….I will be saving up for June.

Posted by RD | Report as abusive

Perhaps if the doctor is on call, he should have enough manners to not go to the cinema with his much “needed” cell phone. Tell his rudeness to wait for an off duty day or just buy the dvd.

Posted by soundsgreat | Report as abusive

This tech seems fine in places like a movie theatre or resteraunts to me. As long as the patrons are told upfront. So they can go elsewhere if they don’t like it.

Posted by soundsgreat | Report as abusive

For the naysayers… Just stop fighting it!
Come join us… switch… and see why we
are so in love with our iPods, Mac Book
Laptops and now… our iPhone…

Resistance is futile… you will be fascinated.
(and more productive too ;) )

Posted by Switched | Report as abusive

“Thats just brilliant. What if theres a doctor in the vicinity, or anyone else who needs to be reached in an emergency?”

There are more self-important blathering idiots on phones these days than there are dire emergencies. These self-absorbed numskulls who drive and talk should be pulled over and have their phones removed.

Posted by S Sutton | Report as abusive

I’d like someone to explain the strategy of locking the phone in to one carrier. I’d like to hear from Verizon, T-Mobile etc.

To me, Apple screwed up. Instead of marketing this item to everyone who has been punk-drunk in love with their iPod, they just left a vast amount of them in the gutter, else they incur cancellation fees, new phone costs, and more expensive carrier deals (probable since web access is being “pushed”) for the ones they already posess.

I’ve been a huge Apple fan for years, but I won’t be buying this one until I can use it on my choice carrier.

Posted by Km | Report as abusive

There is a lot of stupid people posting comments here. Being a PC nerd and hating Mac is so lame. Get over it fan boy.


Does look like a cool phone. BUT NOT CINGULAR: Consumer Reports recent analysis of Cingular: “How good – Middling to low levels of consumer satisfaction. Static and busy circuits were widespread problems, as they have been in our previous surveys. Relatively low marks for helpfulness in handling customer questions and complaints. ” Apple must have gotten big bucks to go with a lousy cell company — probably enough to pay Apple for the fines they will get for predating stock options to Jobs and others at Apple.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Did I miss something?

Did Apple thwart a rogue astroid from destroying the Earth? Did they bring world peace? Did the cure cancer? Did they reduce my work commute? Did they improve my slapshot?

It’s really just a phone with a bunch of extra stuff….and I already have one of those.

I guess you all should sue me for seeing through the hype.

Posted by TimJ | Report as abusive

David Stone say’s “I am so sick of Americas cell phone obsession I could vomit” without even the knowledge that Americans lag far behind many countries in cell phone usage. Looks like America bashing to me.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

Agree with Steve (#7 Above) I would LOVE to have one too, and the price is not a issue to me. However; I have been with SPRINT for over a decade, and have a good longterm package. SPRINTS data rate it at least 5 times that of Cingular’s EDGE which may explain why Steve was using a cable for the demo! With the slower data rate that Cingular os known for, I am not moving from the CDMA platform. I also agree that Apple made a error in signing a multi year contract with ANY singler provider. I currently have a MOT Razer phone which works in GSM & CDMA, and also agree that no matter how much they make of if Cingular, Itll cost Apple by not being compatable with the CDMA platform.

Posted by Richard Dutchik | Report as abusive

This phone is good because it combines technologies. It’s bad because it’s not as powerful as any of the original technologies (outside of perhaps being a decent phone). It’s like that amp mobile thing, which I won’t call a phone; I also won’t call myself a customer of their organization.

I think cell phone jamming is not an appropriate way to go. I work in a dormitory, and there are times when I need to communicate. I never turn my phone off, but if I am driving or in a theater, the phone is only on so I can check who is calling, and if necessary, seek a stopping point or step out and call them back. The solution isn’t to block communications and productivity, it is to use legitimate authority against people who actively use it in innapropriate manners (i.e. forcing them to leave, giving them a ticket, etc)

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

Well it has wi-fi so if youre in a zone you should be able to use skype. 3G is coming soon he said…next generation. One reason they only picked up one carrier is that exclusivity was an incentive to pick up the phone…The other carriers want to start up their own music download service so picking up an ipod phone with Itunes would be counterproductive. Some people dont like Cingular…Wat would be a better service…Verizon. Sprint was awful when I had them.. I have T-mobil now which has average coverage but good service….

Posted by ben | Report as abusive

I already have a phone,worth $4.50 from an op shop. It plays snake 2 and calls people, and I cant see that i really need to pay that much for a new one.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

it’ll look great after a year of use… for half a grand.

Posted by baily | Report as abusive

one will be able to spot the morons with more dollars than sence easier when they are talking on their new toy

Posted by peter parker | Report as abusive

Is one year that I did not buy a new phone because of lack of functionality.
The choice was Microsoft or Blackberry nothing exciting except for business show off.
Finally a great product sure they will sell tens of million in the first year if they manage the production.


If you believe the rumor that 19.75% of Cingular’s Applephone revenues go to the New Apple Corp for 72 months, you can see why they went exclusive on the carrier. The one discussion group I read figured it would be >38 Billion over 6 years. THIS is not the product sale rev but the carrier rev WOW

Posted by Outava Job | Report as abusive

Sorry Steve, Your phone is nothing New. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!. If you look globaly. All these options are out there. Even WiFi- VOIP!. When tested against Nokia or Sony Ericsson. This phone will go down in flames. There are already non dedicated phones that sync with Macs & PCs. Software is written everyday as aftermarket add-ons. Remember the iRocker? 100 song capacity against 3000 plus already in the market. This phone is dumb idea part two.

Posted by Jon Mac | Report as abusive

Dear Mr Jobs…. WELL DONE!
EVERYTIME I think that they have out done themselves, THEY DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!!!
Awsome, Stevo…. Congratulations to you and your remarkable company.
A Mac user for 18 years!

PS / I still have a Newton!

Posted by lois jesek | Report as abusive

Steve Jobs… you put a tear in my eye!

Posted by Switched | Report as abusive

Much like the vast acceptance of plasma and large screen HD televisions the iPhone did not reinvent the tool it only improved it!

Adoption of new technology (tools) by the consumers is increased when enhancements are made that do not require learning new skills. The iPhone appears to increase the use of the tool by replacing hardware keyboards with software. For the group of consumers in the age group of 35-55, this is a plus. When this feature is united with a larger screen (remember the age group mentioned) it further solidifies the adoption.

In any adoption cycle, there are the trailblazers, the pioneers and the settlers. Apple Inc. researched, designed and offered a tool for the settlers. This tool will be quickly adopted by the largest consumer group…the settlers.

As Don King states, “Only in America!”

Posted by Marco Baeza | Report as abusive

Saw the intro at Macworld. Fantastic advance. The missing issues of Skype and iChat were glaring. I have been waiting to Telepresence from a phone on the go like I can do with my MacPro and a Verizon aircard from the car. Using only Cingular is an achilles heel if ATT does not upgrade the Data portal.

Posted by richard | Report as abusive

How is this “revolutionary”? It still relies on America’s weak cell infrastructure. There is lousy cell phone access in American suburbs, no access in subways and many buildings, and none at all when you go further from the cities. Cellular tech is only good when you can access a network, and America isn’t half as wired as even the least wired of developed countries in Asia.

Posted by Jamma | Report as abusive

Will this iphone be free in europe? i hope it will!!!

Posted by Nikos | Report as abusive

I think that when a new product is expected to “revolutionize” technology, there’s on average about a 50% chance that it will do so, and a 50% chance that it will prove to be a flop. I’ll let everyone else get one first and hear whether they cheer or moan.

I’m with everyone who thinks a cell phone jammer is a ridiculous idea, because the issue is not the ringing, it’s the rudeness of people talking loudly – and indiscriminately jamming everyone’s signals is way ruder.

On the other hand, I love those things that let you turn off any t.v. in the vicinity…quiets the space *and* totally weirds out bartenders.

Posted by so | Report as abusive

“so” says “On the other hand, I love those things that let you turn off any t.v. in the vicinity” – I think you mean TVBeGone – http://www.tvbegone.com/ – a totally wonderful social media device!

Posted by Nic Fulton | Report as abusive