With the Macworld Keynote, it was inevitable that Apple would release some fancy new product. Among other things, the iPhone turned out the be the most significant, turning the iPod into a device which can make phone calls, and much, much more. All for only $499.
The idea of merging the very successful iPod with a cell phone has been around for a while. More recently, reports of leaked information about an upcoming iPhone have been circling around. But what I think most didn't predict was how different technologies, some made by Apple, come together into one very interesting product.
First of all, it's got the iPod capabilities. Now this isn't entirely amazing, since this phone is neither the first phone to have iTunes on it, nor is playing music on a cellphone that spectacular. However, Apple's used its superb iPod interface on it, so it works very well.
Next, it's got a built-in camera. It's not ground-breaking or anything either, but still a nice feature to have, allowing you to cut down on the number of devices you have to carry with you in this digitally-equipped era.
Thirdly, it's got a very cool internet capability. Not only can you surf the web by going through your cell-phone provider, but this phone can, when Wi-Fi is available, go through that, taking away the high price of web browsing on a cell phone.
The phone features look pretty good, too. The interface is based on Aqua, and looks quite adequete for making phone calls.
Mac OS X is also largely present in this device. Although it doesn't have Mac OS X per se, it does have a lot of the features Mac OS X has, such as widgets, Safari, photos, and instant messaging. I expect we'll see features integrated into Apple's upcoming Leopard operating system and subsequent Mac OS updates to appear in the iPhone at one point or another.
And lastly, and most significant, it's the wide screen iPod everyone's been waiting for. The 3.5" screen allows you to watch videos, movies, and display album artwork like no other iPod could. What makes this suprising is that most people weren't expecting to see the widescreen present in Apple's iPhone.
This device really, really makes me want to get a cell phone. It looks attractive as any Apple product should, and it's got that Apple look: simple, yet powerful. Of course, we won't know until we've actually tested how effective the features that Apple implemented are, but based on the success of the iPod, I'd say there's a pretty high chance this won't be one of Apple's failures.