Apple Computer and Cingular Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. wireless network, will join forces to market the eagerly anticipated iPod mobile phone. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone with touch-screen technology in San Francisco January 9, 2007.
With an attractive consumer ticket-price tag of $599 for 8 gigabytes of memory, and $499 for a 4-gigabyte model, Apple shares jumper 8.5 percent in anticipation of demand for the device which is to be available in the US in June, 2007. The iPhone will ship to Europe in the fourth quarter of this year and to Asia in 2008.
Cingular, the nation’s top cellular provider, confirmed it has a multi-year, exclusive contract with Apple Computer, Inc. Jobs also announced that Apple Computer, Inc., would drop “Computer” from its formal corporate name and hence be simply Apple, Inc.
According to Reuters, “Sam Rahman, a portfolio manager at Baring Asset Management Inc., which owns Apple shares, said the iPhone and Apple TV, the newly renamed device that allows consumers to send video to their home entertainment systems, could prove to be big boosts for the company.
“Right now the stock is trading on product announcements,” he said. “It could drive additional growth for Apple at a time when they need to find another hit beyond the iPod.”
MORE ABOUT THE iPHONE
Equipped with Bluetooth wireless and Wi-Fi technology, the 3.5-inch wide touch screen display has multi-touch support and a 2 megapixel camera. Operating on OS X with a Safari browser, the iPhone can handle graphics, comprehensive internet searching and, of course, e-mail, including e-mail from external sources.
To further encourage investors and consumers, Jobs also announced that the Apple TV, a “device that allows users to stream movies, music, photos, podcasts and TV shows to their home entertainment systems,” will be made available to consumers in February. At $299 suggested retail, Apple TV is a 40 gigabyte machine.
Along with movies from Disney, a vast library of Paramount-owned films also will be sold through iTunes’ online music store. At present as many as 220 small-screen TV shows are also available through iTunes.
According to USA TODAY, the iPhone, in development for two and a half years, has been one of the most highly anticipated new tech products of the last several months. “Analysts said the product, a classic invention that converges different technologies, is crucial to the ongoing success of the 6-year-old iPod and Apple.
“With the rapt attention of some 4,000 Macintosh aficionados in attendance, Jobs demonstrated how iPhone users will be able to make calls, view the Web and exchanging e-mail ï¿½â’¬” all at the same time. A home button at the bottom allows users to toggle between functions. Another feature lets users expand and shrink images.”
A potential downside to the product is the price tag, as well as its current 5-hour battery life. iPods enthusiasts counter with the observation that the multi-function iPhone will replace not only a cell phone but a PDA as well, making the price more attractive.
Price point from Cingular Wireless plays into the product’s success as well. Consumers can expect attractive introductory offers and sign-up perks.