Apple launches iPhone and Apple TV at Macworld

By Matthew Henry

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple CEO Steve Jobs has unveiled the highly-anticipated iPhone and a wireless media receiver called Apple TV at Macworld 2007, Apple’s annual showcase event currently being held in San Francisco.

The iPhone – one of Apple’s most eagerly awaited releases in recent times – combines mobile phone functionality with a widescreen iPod and an internet communications device and features a unique touchscreen user interface which allows users to control the phone without a numeric keypad.

“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Jobs.

“We are all born with the ultimate pointing device – our fingers – and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”

The iPhone will be released in the USA in June this year, but Australian consumers will have to wait until 2008.

Features of the iPhone include 4GB or 8GB internal flash memory, OSX operating system, 3.5-inch widescreen display, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi, a 2.0 megapixel camera, five hours talk time and 16 hours battery life when playing music.

On-board communications software includes Google Maps, and HTML email client and Apple’s Safari internet browser.

Australian pricing has not been announced, however the 4GB iPhone will retail for in the USA for $US499 and the 8GB model for $US599.

Apple does not expect to immediately replicate its dominance of the mp3 market in the phone space, and has set the relatively modest target of achieving one per cent share of the global mobile phone market by the end of 2008.

Macworld 2007 also saw the formal introduction of Apple’s iTV previewed in 2006 – now renamed Apple TV.

Apple TV is a compact white box which enables music, photos and video stored in iTunes on a Mac or PC to be streamed wirelessly into the users living room for output to a TV.

“Apple TV is like a DVD player for the 21st century—you connect it to your entertainment system just like a DVD player, but it plays digital content you get from the Internet rather than DVDs you get from a physical store,” said Jobs.

“Apple TV plays the same iTunes content that users enjoy on their computers and iPods, so now they can even watch part of a movie in their living room, and watch the rest later on their iPod.”

Featuring an onboard 40GB hard disk drive, the Apple TV is capable of storing up to 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or 50 hours of video, and connects to a TV through either component video or HDMI.

Apple also announced at Macworld that over two billion songs, 50 million TV shows and 1.3 million full-length feature films have now been downloaded from the iTunes store.

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