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Apple Releases Apple TV and Combines iPod, PDA and Cell Phone with New iPhone Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 January 2007
While electronics companies around the world gathered at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Apple shook up the digital world yesterday from hundreds of miles away in the Moscone Center Theater in San Francisco. Apple has just announced the release of their new $299 Apple TV, a home theater device the company says allows users to wirelessly play iTunes content from the Mac or PC on their widescreen televisions. This service can be used for movies, TV shows, music, photos and podcasts. Although the technical specs are not overwhelming, with a 40 GB hard drive and no 1080p video, this marks the first major video device that users can put into their home theater systems with the Apple logo on it.

Using Apple TV’s interface, users can browse and view their entire collection of digital media from across the room, using the Apple remote. Apple TV connects to almost all modern widescreen television sets. Proprietary video formats with resolutions ranging from 480i up to 720p are supported, and the Apple TV unit can store 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs and 25,000 photos.

Apple TV can be connected to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems. It comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports. Using high-speed AirPort® 802.11 wireless networking, Apple TV can auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers right to your TV without any wires.

The integration of Apple TV and iTunes lets users choose from over 250 feature-length movies and 350 TV shows in near-DVD quality, along with four million songs, 5,000 music videos, 100,000 podcasts and 20,000 audio books.

In his keynote speech, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told the audience that Apple has introduced three revolutionary new products: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a cell phone and a revolutionary new Internet device. As he kept repeating the phrase, “a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device” over and over, the crowd began to understand that he actually wasn’t talking about three separate products. What he was referring to is in fact one new device that could potentially do away with smart phones, such as the Treo series and Motorola’s Q.

Featuring a 3.5-inch diagonal screen that supports widescreen movies, a thickness of only 11.6 millimeters, a two-mega-pixel camera, a quad band GSM+edge cell phone and Macintosh’s OS X operating system, this new device has more features than any other smart phone and, from watching the hands-on demo, the interface is extremely simple to use.

Shipping in June 2007, the phone will be exclusively on the Cingular service and will be sold in Apple retail outlets including Apple.com and the Apple stores, as well as Cingular.com and Cingular retail stores. AT&T has recently acquired Cingular and, according to Cingular, has the largest wireless network in the country, with the fewest dropped calls.

In 2006 worldwide sales, MP3 players sold 135 million units. Personal computers sold 209 million units, whereas cell phone sold over 930 million units. By tapping into this new market, Apple hopes to gain at least 1% market share in the cell phone world, which would see them selling about 10 million iPhone units in 2007.

To reflect the fact that their new products include the iPod and the soon-to-be released iPhone, Apple Computer Inc. has dropped the word “computer” from their name and are now known simply as Apple Inc.

After hearing this announcement, Cisco systems, the company that just released the Linksys VoIP phone, announced they are the copyright owners of the name iPhone. Rumor has it, however, that the two companies are going to come to an agreement on the use of the name and it should not delay the early summer launch of the Apple iPhone.

The iPhone will be in the $499 to $599 range, depending on the size of the internal hard drive (4 GB or 8 GB). There may be discounts based on two-year service deals with Cingular Wireless.

Sources: news.yahoo.com, Engadget.com

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