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Apple shows iPhone & HD network media player, changes name

by Bob Crabtree on 10 January 2007, 03:41

Tags: iPhone, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qahno

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The news

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As expected, Steve Jobs yesterday announced the introduction of an Apple-branded combined mobile phone and widescreen iPod - the iPhone. This will be priced at US$499 for a 4GB model and US$599 for an 8GB. Deliveries, though, won't start until June, with the USA getting first pickings and the European launch promised only for late 2007.

Asia won't be included until some time in 2008 but, by the end of that year, Apple hopes to be selling 10 million iPhones per annum - though as Jobs admitted (in a rather more positive way), that only equates to one per cent of the total worldwide market.

Apple iPhone showing home pageClick for larger image

Apple iPhone showing HeroClick for larger image

During yesterday's keynote address at the San Francisco Macworld Expo, the Apple chief also unveiled one other product that's been on the cards for a while, a high-def-capable network media player that he'd previewed at a "special event" in September 2006 but which had been widely rumoured beforehand.

Back then, it was shown under the working name of the iTV but it's final name is the Apple TV. It will be coming much sooner than the iPhone - product is due to start shipping next month - and be priced at $299 in the USA and a VAT-inclusive £199 in the UK.

Apple TV and its interfaceClick for larger image

Apple TV - rear

Key features - in addition to HDMI and component video sockets for HD - are its interface (looking much like Apple's Front Row media-centre UI); compatibility (through iTunes 7) with Mac OS X and Windows XP; and the use of 802.11n wireless network. The wireless side is also compatible with 802.11 b and g, while wired networking is said to be 10/100 Base-T.

A third newcomer, the AirPort Extreme Base Station, was announced by Apple shortly after the keynote ended, presumably because the company didn't think it appropriate to extend Jobs' time on stage any further.

The AirPort Extreme Base Station is a next-gen wireless and wired router that's integral to the Apple TV strategy and uses 802.11n Wi-Fi and MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) "smart" antennas. It, too, will be available in February and the suggested price is US$179 or £119 (inc VAT).

Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station - rearClick for larger image 

Unusually, it has a built-in USB port and this is reckoned to allow wireless printing to a USB printer or the ability to access a USB hard drive the same way. Maddeningly, though, the wired network side is only 100Base-T Ethernet, not gigabit, which seems daft given the relatively high price and that all of today's Macs, like most Windows PCs, are equipped with gigabit.

One thing that we hadn't realised but which Apple has now made clear is that many currently shipping Macs already contain Airport wireless chips compatible with 802.11n. All that's required is a software updater and this will be included with the AirPort Extreme Base Station. The compatible Macs take in all Xeon models and all Core 2 Duo except the basic 17in  iMac with a 1.83GHz CPU.

The keynote lasted for two hours - half an hour longer than usual - and that's plenty of time to test the bladder strength of even an audience of Apple die-hards (Jobs, of course, was able to leave the stage now and then).

But a more important reason for stopping after two hours was that the company wanted to be able to email the world with the news of the product  launches, something that soon helped boost the value of its stock significantly!

What a contrast with Bill Gates' keynote address on Monday at CES 2007, which contained little to catch anyone's imagination. Okay, Gates isn't the showman that Jobs has always been but Jobs had some wonderful lines, most notably these about the iPhone:

Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. You're very fortunate if you get to work on one of these in your career. In 1984, we introduced the Macintosh. It didn't just change Apple, it changed the whole computer industry.

Then in 2001, we introduced the Apple iPod, which changed the entire music industry.

Today, we're introducing three revolutionary products and they're all in the one product - which we call the iPhone.

iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone. 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.

And the iPhone looks to have the features-set to back up those fancy words and these are detailed on page two. It's a quad-band GSM phone with EDGE and Wi-Fi wireless technologies for data networking, plus a 2 megapixel camera, a 3.5in widescreen display and a rich HTML email client said to fetch emails in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and display photos and graphics along with the email's text.

Tech specs

Screen size

3.5 inches

Screen resolution

320 by 480 at 160 ppi

Input method


Operating system



4GB or 8GB


Quad-band (MHz: 850, 900, 1800, 1900)

Wireless data

Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) + EDGE + Bluetooth 2.0


2.0 megapixels


  • Up to 5 hours Talk / Video / Browsing
  • Up to 16 hours Audio playback


4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches / 115 x 61 x 11.6mm


4.8 ounces / 135 grams

The headline feature, of course, is that finger-activated touch screen but something of the kind is also found on the N800, the next-gen phone that Nokia unveiled yesterday at CES - and which also impresses on paper.

Oh, and according to CNET, Apple is only using the iPhone name courtesy of Cisco.

CNET says that one of its reporters was contacted during Jobs' keynote with the following statement,

Given Apple's numerous requests for permission to use Cisco's iPhone trademark over the past several years and our extensive discussions with them recently, it is our belief that with their announcement today, Apple intends to agree to the final document and public statements that were distributed to them last night and that address a few remaining items we expect to receive a signed agreement today.

Jobs, though, did disappoint the long-term Mac faithful in one way. There was no significant news about Mac computers. He said nothing about the state of play of Leopard, the next version of the OS X operating system, and made no mention of introducing top-end desktop Mac using the new Quad Core 2 CPUs that Intel formally announced at CES 2007.

And, underlining Apple's shift in focus, Jobs rounded of his keynote with the news that the company had been renamed. It is no longer called Apple Computer Inc, just Apple Inc.

Got any views about the new products, Jobs himself or the name change? Well, check out Apple UK's press releases about the new products on the following pages, then share your thoughts with us in this thread in the HEXUS.lifestyle.news forum.


HEXUS.community :: discussion thread about this article

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Apple UK - home page
Apple USA - home page
CNET - Live Macworld coverage