iPhone finally debuts

The much-anticipated iPhone, a combination iPod and mobile phone launched today in San Francisco, will not be available in Australia for at least a year.

Details of the device, which combines a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod and a desktop-class internet browser, all accessible through touchscreen controls, were announced by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs today at Macworld in San Francisco.

During an extensive demonstration, he went on to describe this new device’s features. In addition to making calls, in iPod mode, the screen can shift between portrait and widescreen modes and allows users to browse through playlists of album covers with a flick of their fingers.

Movies and TV shows can also be viewed in widescreen with touch controls for play-pause, chapter forwarding and volume, while photo images can be resized on-screen by a pinch of the fingers across the LCD.

As an internet device, the iPhone will offer desktop quality push email in full rich HTML. A Safari web browser will provide what Apple claims is the first fully useable HTML browser on a phone, capable of displaying full web pages and able to zoom in on page items of interest.

The device will also offer a Google Maps application, allowing users to view maps, satellite images, traffic information and directions.

The iPhone will launch in June in the USA, in an exclusive partnership with the States’ biggest mobile telco Cingular.

Europe will see the phone late this year and Asia and Australia in 2008.

Source: SMH, Australian IT

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