Jobs introduced the phone as three seperate products, a widescreen iPod, a mobile telephone and an internet comminucator all rolled in to one. It's the fusion of these three products that Apple is expecting to give it's product a leg over the existing mobile marketplace.
It has only one physical button on the front of the device, the rest is given over to a small speaker and a full width, hi-res, touchscreen. The touchscreen is the heart of the device's interface, with no stylus the use of finger gestures manipulates the onscreen action as numbers are dialed, music is played, videos watched and photo's manipulated.
The iPhone truely is a spectacular product to watch in action and one that couldn't be done justice in this article so head on over to the Apple iPhone page to get all the details, photos' and videos.
This phone clearly isn't going to appeal to everyone. Just as the iPod isn't the most technically adept or feature packed music player so neither will the iPhone be the most technical smartphone. For those who want a phone on which you can install any software or where you have a tactile keyboard this isn't for them. For those regular mobile users who want a phone that offers a little more, is a doddle to use and gets rid of one of the devices in their pocket this hits the nail right on the head.
Cost is clearly going to be an issue. At $500 for the 4gb and $600 for the 8gb model this isn't a cheap phone, especially when coupled with a 2 year smartphone network contract. However, the original iPod was $500 and as component costs fell the user base swelled and the market for lower end models opened up - expect the same thing to happen with the iPhone. They also have a huge global market to aim for, where just a 1% market share will offer great return on investment and give the springboard to further development.
Also an issue will be the choice of single network carrier in the US and the use of the GSM/EDGE technology as opposed to 3g connectivity. Ultimately these choices can be attributed to the US market. In developing the phone Apple required market knowledge and the only way they could get that was through partnering up with a network. The use of GSM rather than US only CDMA does show that Apple is starting this phone off as a global player and in that regard teaming up with Cingular, the largest US network and one that uses GSM, made sense. The use of EDGE rather than 3g was also logical as the 3g converage in the US is patchy at best. Expect / hope that the iPhone comes with 3g by the time it hits the 3g friendly Euro and Asia markets.
Also announced at Macworld by Apple were the Apple TV (previously known by its development name iTV), a set-top box for streaming iTunes content from a Mac or iPod on to a TV, and an upgrade to their Airport Extreme wireless base station, implementing the 802.11n standard and offering transmission speeds of up to 540 Mbit/s.