CES 2007 + iPhone
Even though the MacWorld event overlapped with CES this year, we still managed to have someone on the floor at Macworld to deliver some first impressions of the new iPhone for you.
Unfortunately Apple sealed what few iPhones they had on hand behind glass cases, so these impressions are strictly from seeing - not touching - the new handset.
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Looking at the specs that Apple has posted and comparing them to other products, the iPhone is the same size as the current 30 GB iPod only it is a centimeter (a little less than half an inch) taller. Some people have seen the pictures from the presentation and said "that thing is huge." But everyone we spoke to who saw the actual phone on the show floor has said only one thing: "holy $@&%, that thing is tiny!"
Well that and "wow." The iPhone has left people, even people who were very skeptical about it speechless. Most people are reeling from the sheer number of technologies integrated into the phone. Even so, our mobile technology fiends who were at the keynote are disappointed that Apple couldn't integrate 3G into the first model.
The front of the iPhone is dominated by a 320 x 480 touch screen which you can touch in more than one place at once. This is the only control for the phone except a discreet home button below the screen and an application button and volume rocker on the left side of the phone. However there is a hold control on the top that turns the screen on and off and locks the phone. The sides are curved and the curve flows into the back of the phone. The curve from the sides to the back is much more gentle than on the iPod, which should make the iPhone more comfortable to hold. There is a 2 megapixel camera in the upper left hand corner on the otherwise smooth back.
Like many smartphones, the iPhone packs an ARM processor capable of multi-tasking many applications at once. However the industry will argue over whether the iPhone is truly a smartphone since users won't be able to load third party applications onto it. Developers who spoke to Apple said a development platform for the phone is about two years away. Many are hoping that the ability to create widgets for the phone might be available sooner.
Everything else we know about the iPhone comes strictly from what was said in the keynote and on Apple's site. Other than the information available directly from Apple, a few interesting tidbits have surfaced - Apple and Cingular have entered a multi-year agreement to be the exclusive distributor of the phone. This might be because, according to Time, it was Apple who forced Cingular to adopt the visual voicemail technology that will launch with the iPhone.