The Apple iPhone unveiled Tuesday, described as jaw-dropping by one analyst, will be offered in the United States exclusively through Cingular Wireless, both companies announced at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco.
Apple iPhone 
The iPhone will be available starting in June through Cingular and via Apple online and physical stores. It will be priced at US$500 for a device with a 4GB hard drive or $600 for an 8GB hard drive. Those prices require a two-year Cingular service contract at extra cost.
Apple, the new corporate name replacing Apple Computer, said the iPhone will be available in Europe in late 2007 and in Asia sometime in 2008.
The iPhone will operate on Cingular’s EDGE data network based on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) wireless platform. The iPhone also supports 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 wireless technologies.
Besides the phone, the device includes a camera, a video iPod, address book, calendar and other organizer functions, and a Web browser more robust than that available on other smart phones.
Apple iPhone 
“This phone rightfully drops jaws,” said Roger Entner, a mobile phone industry analyst with Ovum. “This is going to raise the bar.”
Entner was surprised that Cingular agreed to sell the iPhone, as its last collaboration with Apple didn’t go so well. Cingular carried the Rokr phone made by Motorola that was the first mobile phone installed with Apple’s iTunes service for downloading and playing music.
“Rokr force-fitted crippled iPod software onto an old [phone] platform. That phone was a disappointment all around,” Entner said.
The iPhone will likely be much more successful and will challenge other smart-phone makers such as Palm and Research In Motion to improve their smart phones, he said.
“IPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive officer. “Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”
-Robert Mullins, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)