Glenn Fleishman explains the iPhone, in 20 questions
1. What makes an iPhone distinctive?
A: It is a full-featured music and video player that can place and receive calls and, unlike most smartphones, it lacks a physical keypad or keyboard. Instead, it uses on-screen touch-sensitive typing and can interpret finger gestures, like spreading or pinching, into actions such as zooming out or zooming in.
2. What are five things it can do?
A: Make and receive calls. Surf the Web with a real browser. Play music, movies and video and stream YouTube videos. Visually display voice-mail messages, which can be played back individually in any order. Display rich HTML e-mail.
3. Who provides the phone service?
A: AT&T (formerly Cingular Wireless). It has an exclusive deal with Apple for an unprecedented five years.
4. Do I have to own a Mac?
A: Apple says that the iPhone works equally well with Windows and Mac OS X, just like an iPod with iTunes. Windows users will use special software for synchronizing contacts and calendars, however.
The iPhone goes on sale Friday at AT&T Wireless stores across the United States for $499 and $599 (with a service contract). The phone giant has added 2,000 extra salespeople to its store workforce for the June 29 launch. Reaching the 1 million sales mark in the first few months is quite possible, but the device’s unusual design, limited distribution and resistance from the corporate world may temper the product’s appeal long-term, says CNN.
Mobile phone carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have closely controlled what cellphone users watch, explains the NY Times, much the way the networks did with television before new technologies loosened their grip. Many in Hollywood and Silicon Valley hope the iPhone’s multimedia features will open up the cellular market.
Om Malik says the big rumor of the day is whether Google is buying GrandCentral. GrandCentral features “one phone number for all your phones, for life.” What happens when someone calls your number depends on his/her relationship to you, and what you are doing at the time.