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January 09, 2007

Apple: Thumbs Up to 'iPhone'

By Johanne Torres, TMCnet Contributing Editor

CNBC just reported that Apple's co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs (News - Alert) finally made the long awaited announcement at Macworld Conference & Expo about Apple introducing an "iPhone" which will integrate three functions in one, including a 2-megapixel camera.

 Jobs was quoted by the Associated Press as saying Apple’s iPhone would “reinvent” the telecommunications sector and “leapfrog” past the current generation of hard-to-use smart phones. Jobs also confirmed that Cingular (News - Alert) will be the service carrier for the new phone. According to the news, Apple will also launch a widescreen iPod, as well as a new Internet device.
Apple's stocks climbed almost five percent at the time of the announcement to $88.66.
The Wall Street Journal leaked a story this morning about the company announcing a calling device to be serviced by Cingular Wireless. The news contradicted JP Morgan's prediction's yesterday about the company not making the Apple "iPhone" release until the end of this quarter. 
Jobs called the device an "iPhone" during the conference, but as far as the "iPhone" name goes, Apple might have already missed the boat. Just last month, Linksys' (News - Alert) new VoIP offering, the iPhone suite of VoIP handheld devices hit the market. The suite integrates services from Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, to help enable real-time presence features, which allow consumers to see when their friends and family are actually online and ready to talk. Local Search, weather forecasts and access to music, photos, and streaming video are also available. Included in the suite are two new products: the iPhone Dual-Mode Internet Telephony Kit for Skype (News - Alert) and the iPhone Wireless-G Phone for Skype.
CNBC's Jim Goldman reported this morning that Apple could sell an estimated 12 million mobile phone units in its first year, with possible revenue of $6 billion from the sales of these devices alone.
This is what Forrester Research (News - Alert) principal analyst Charles S. Golvin told CNBC's Morning Call today: "iPhone is a big opportunity for Apple, but if you look at the overall global market for mobile phones, even if they were to reach this figure of 12 million that seems to be floating around there, that's a very small piece of the overall market—it will be a big impact on Apple, not so big of an impact on the overall market." 
"The big challenge for Apple, what they will be focusing on, if this product does come out, is about a really good consumer experience, like they do in so many other areas. What Apple has always done, is do an excellent job in focusing on the user experience and making things simple. If this product does come out, it will be an excellent voice product, and an excellent music product, its not going to be something that does everything for all people," he said.
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Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet and Internet Telephony magazine. To see more articles by Johanne Torres, please visit her columnist page.

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