Apple announces the iPhone

Apple’s iPhone. Source: Apple.

Much like rumors about the AMD-ATI merger, which persisted for months before the announcement, rumors about Apple’s iPhone have been discussed by rumor sites and analysts alike for the better part of last year. Well, as expected, Apple unveiled its iPod phone during the Macworld keynote this morning. The device is rather striking, sporting a 3.5″ wide-screen display and no keypad of any kind. Instead, the iPhone—as it is indeed called—is operated by finger gestures via an interface Apple has dubbed “multi-touch.”

The iPhone runs a version of MacOS X and can do a host of different things, from the expected phone and music-playing features to playing TV shows, keeping track of multiple SMS conversations, surfing the web with a stripped-down version of Apple’s Safari browser, snapping photos with the built-in camera, and more. Apple has even partnered with Google to integrate Google Maps with the device.

On the nitty-gritty side of things, the iPhone sports a 3.5″ 320×480 display, 4GB or 8GB of storage capacity, Wi-Fi, EDGE, and Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity, and a 2.0 megapixel camera. The integrated battery allows for up to 16 hours of audio playback and five hours of phone calls, video playback, or browsing. And despite all those features, the iPhone weighs in at just 135g (4.8 ounces) with a thickness of 11.6mm (0.46 inches.)

Apple has selected Cingular as its sole network provider for the phone. The device will become available in June from both Cingular and Apple stores at prices of $499 for the 4GB version and $599 for its 8GB sibling. Both prices are assuming two-year Cingular contracts.

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