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Live from MacWorld: Apple launches the iPhone

[intro]Steve Jobs has announced a revolutionary portable device - the touchscreen iPhone. [/intro]I've seen the iPhone with my own eyes now, and it'

I’ve seen the iPhone with my own eyes now, and it’s absolutely brain-shattering. You can find my first thoughts over on my aptly named Future Stuff blog.

I’ve also confirmed that Apple TV will be available in the UK in February priced £199. Also available at the same time is the new Airport Extreme, in a new square enclosure with 802.11n wireless networking for up to five times the speed and twice the range of 802.11g. It’ll set you back £119.  

11.08 The keynote closing, so I’m going to see if I can get hands on with an iPhone, and also find out any details about UK price. I’ll post any further details on this blog. 11.00 The crowd has given Seve a standing ovation as he wraps things up. It certainly was an impressive keynote, and it’s only the delay that leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth. But I think the iPhone will be worth the wait. What do you think?

10.59 Steve’s talking about the market now – almost a billion phones were sold last year, it’s about 10 times the size of the MP3 market. Apple is aiming for 1% of the market in 2008 – that’s 10m units. Because of this move, the name of the company is changing from Apple Computer Inc to Apple Inc.

10.51 The iPhone in the US is only on Cingular – as I thought, visual voicemail is a network-specific service developed in partnership with Cingular. THe CEO of CIngular Stan Sigman is up on stage. No news on networks in Europe. Might be time to change you contracts, people… and you’ve got almost a year to get out of your old contract. The delay in shipping is because apple needs FCC approval, and they wanted to announce the iPhone before it leaks. I hope the iphone isn’t delayed further…

10.50 it doesn’t ship until June in the US, and fourth quarter in Europe. Nooooooo! Asia won’t get the iPhone until 2008.

10.45 There are 200 patents in iPhone “and we intend to protect them”. iPhone “is the ultimate digital device”. So what is it priced at? Smartphones average $299 with contract, plus another $199 for iPod nano. So the price is… $499 for 4GB, $599 for 8GB

10.43 5 hours of talktime/video/browsing battery life, 16 hours of audio playback. Doesn’t say what the standby is

10.41 – STeve is comparing rival smartphones to the iPhone and… well, he’s got a piont. The iPhone is better. Then he’s revealing accessories – stereo headphones come with it, with inline microphone. A bluetooth headset is extra, but looks fantastic – a tiny black obelisk (it’s not stereo).

10.39 ‘Real life scenario’ of using the phone. Listen to a song, when phonecall comes in the screen shows a big picture of who’s calling and pauses the music. Phil’s on the other end, asking for a photo. While still on the phone, Steve goes into photos and emails it to him – while still talking on the phone. It’s impressive multitasking, and all done with wonderful animations and true App’e eye-candy. Then Phil asks about going to a movie, so while talking Steve goes to the web app and checks what’s on. As soon as the call ends, the music restarts.Wow.

10.35 Yahoo! search is built in as well as Google, so Steve has Jerry Yang, Co-Founder and Cheif Yahoo! (great job title, huh?) onstage. “We are really proud to be partnering… hopefully on a whole variety of services. Our new products Yahoo Go! and One Seach will hopefully come to this phone.” The yahoo push mail is “like Blackberry without the exchange server”. And its free. This phone has so many killer apps, it’ll be interest to see how Apple markets it.

10.34 Google CEO Dr Eric Schmidt is coming on stage to talk about the iPhone. He also happens to be on Apple’s board of directors. “There are a lot of relationships between our boards – we could merge the companies and call it AppleGoo”. But this device does help merge the two – and presents a real challenge to Microsoft. Ultramobile PC anyone? Or how about a Zune? Incidentally there’s been no talk of sharing music using the iPhone’s Wi-Fi functions.

10.30 Steve’s shown off widgets – which look just like Mac OS X widgets – and Google Maps. Steve uses the latter to zoom into san francisco, find the local starbucks. Then he calls them and asks for 4000 lattes to go. Then hangs up. The wag. The application also has satellite images – obviously all of this is streamed from the web rather than stored locally. You can use gestures to navigate maps too.

10.24 THe web browsing looks great – you can see the whole page, and it autoswitches from landscape to portrait when you turn the device. You can use gestures to zoom in and out, or just double tap on one seciton of the site to zoom in to readable level. It looks comparable to – if not batter than – the Nokia 770, really making the most of a hi-res screen. I have to be honest, I need one of thse phones. We all do.

10.20 The iPhone comes with free IMAP push email from YAhoo! – roll over Blackberry. Steve’s now demoing Mail. Picture attachements are displayed in the message body, formatted for the screen. and you can touch mobile numbers to call them. You can also use a split-screen view for email like a desktop client. It does look like real, PC-based email. 10.18 Web – it has Safari web browser and rich HTML email. It also has Google MAps built in, plus widgets. iPhone auto detects Wi-Fi and switches to it when it can. We’re publishing pics in a news story on the stuff.tv site – keep an eye open.

10.15 iPhoto-style application ; you swipe the screen to move between pics, and you can zoom in and out by using two fingers and pinching them together or moving them outwards. Very Minority Report.

10.11 SMS texting is formated like iChat – looks really cool. The keyboard looks quite small but it has error correction- Steve managed to type without a spelling mistake!  10.06 Steve is calling Jonathan Ive. Then Phil Schiller has called – you just push a button to create a confernce call. Clearly this is something Apple will need to work with the networks on.  10.04 We’re on to the mobile phone functions. “We wanna reinvent the phone – the killer app is making calls! Most people use ‘recents’ as address book.” You can sync your contacts with mobile phone, and you also have random access voicemail = ‘visual voicemail”. It’s a quad-band GSM + EDGE phone – “We plan to make 3G phons in the future”. And Wi-Fi plug Bluetooth 2.0.

10.00 The user interface looks good, although it might be a bit complex. Steve is showing a video on it, and it looks really good. I wonder what battery life is like? With a huge hi-res screen and a profile thinner than the Moto Q, it can’t be great.

9.59 The iPhone has coverflow animation like iTunes.

9.56 iPod functionality. You can scroll through artists by flicking the screen – and he’s playing the BEatles, which means they must be coming to iTunes.

9.55 It has a proximity sensor – it turns of the touch senor and screen when you raise it to your ear. it has an ambient light sensor to adjust brightness. And it has an accelerometr that autoswitches from landscape to portrait.

9.53 3.5in screen, 160 pixels per inch. 11.6mm – thinner than any smartphone including the Q. It has a 2MP camera on the back. Man, this looks hot!

9.51 “it’s 5 years ahead of anything.” I’ll post pics as soon as I can! It syncs with iTunes. It looks like it’s a bit bigger than an 80GB iPod but we can’t see how thick it is.

9.50 iPhone runs OS X! It’s an ultramobile PC!

9.48 the iPhone doesn’t have a keyboard, but a touchscreen – we’ve seen the first pics – it looks amazinng, just a huge screen. No stylus – you use your fingers isntead. Its’ reminiscent of the Benq Siemens concept phone. The screen uses a system called ‘multitouch’ – “boy have we patented it” – you can use multiple gestures. It’s up there with the mouse and the clickwheel, says Steve. 

9.46 The iPhone – and it IS called iPhone – is not a ‘smartphone’ because smartphones are hard to use. The iPhone has a revolutionary user interface.

9.45 But they’re all one device! The ultimate iPhone

9.44 Three revolutionary products =- first is Widescreen iPod, second is mobile phone, third is breakthrough internet communications device. 9.43 “This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for 2 and a half years.” Apparently there’s a revolutionary product in the wings.   9.41 AppleTV will cost $299 and ships next month.

9.39 Phil Schiller is on stage, showing how friends can bring along laptops and you can stream content to AppleTV (it’s PIN protected so you can’t just hook up to your neighbour’s music collection without him knowing.

9.36 Steve is showing he TV Shows part of AppleTV now. At present, neither TV shows or movies are available from iTunes outside the US. I hope that’s going to change soon = Jobs has yet to mention it. The AppleTV music features shows off the album artwork really nicely, and the screensaver uses animated photos from your iPhoto collection. You can also move your photos to the hard drive, or stream them to your computer and play them with music. I hope they disable the automatic Ken Burns effect. It does my head in.

9.33 We’re getting a demo of AppleTV now – Jobs keeps referring to it as ‘iTV’ by mistake. Sounds like they’ve only just changed the name. The user interface is really slick. He’s showing movies from iTunes which look much higher resolution than the 640×480 pixel. but maybe it’s just my eyes.

9.30 AppleTV will autosync content from iTunes on a PC or Mac, copying the movies to the hard drive. It can also stream from up to 5 comptuers around the home. It works with PCs or Macs

9.28 iTV is called AppleTV (with an Apple logo instead of the word Apple). It has Wi-Fi, HDMI, analogue and digital audio. It delivers up to 720p hi-def video. 40GB hard drive for storing video. It has 802.11b+g+n. And it’s got an Intel processor.

9.26 Now Steve’s dissing the Zune – during launch month (November) Microsoft garnered 2% market share, compared to 62% of market share. “No matter how you try to spin this… Um… what can you say?” Then it’s on to some new iTunes ads.

9.24 50m TV shows sold, 1.3m movies sold. New partner for movies – Paramount. Including all six Star Trek movies. 9.22 iPod is a huge success – what a shock – and iTunes has sold 2bn songs. Despite rumours, iTunes sales are up this year – second billion songs sold in just 10 months. Selling 5m songs a day. Which means iTunes is the fourth largest music retailer in the US – above Amazon.

9.18 Steve is talking about the transition to Intel, which has now been completed. In the US, over half of Macs are selling to switchers – people who’ve never bought Macs before. He’s made an ad for Vista – it’s the ‘I’m a mac, I’m a PC’ ad. The crowd loves it. I get the feeling they’ll cheer everything. That’s the end of talking about Macs – no more computer announcements. On to music…

9.15 Steve Jobs is onstage, after an intro of James Brown’s I Feel Good. “We’re gonna make some history here today” 9.08 The keynote is about to start.

8.57 I’m in, but there’s no wireless access in the venue so I’m using my phone as a modem. It’s an N80. Hope the battery lasts! The hall is still filling up, so I think the start might be delayed by a few mintues. The buzz outside the hall is that the iPhone is coming – because the usually reliable Wall St Journal says so.