The iSsential Guide to the iPhone


The new iPhone does practically everything but tie your shoes. Apple Inc. hide caption

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A phone that triples as an iPod, a PDA and a camera. A device that streams movies and TV from your computers to your TV. When Apple CEO Steve Jobs — the black-turtlenecked, bespectacled geek-turned-guru — announced that Apple would release the iPhone and AppleTV in 2007, techies started to salivate.

But the real question is: Should you rush out and get them?

Well, you can't right now. The AppleTV ($299) won't ship until February, and the touchpad-enabled iPhone ($499,4GB; $599, 8GB) is only available to Cingular customers and won't ship until June. Bob Cringely, host of the PBS tech-nerd show I, Cringely, says you might want to wait even longer.

"Apple always tries to say 'available right now' on any new product, and the fact that they couldn't do that says something," he explains. "The fact that they can't deliver the iPhone until June suggests that there might be production problems."

Other tech gurus focused on the things that were missing from Jobs' announcement. Like the word 'computer', which Apple is dropping from its official title (it's now Apple Inc.) because they're focusing more now on non-computery items. And the fact that Jobs didn't mention expected updates to the iLife software suite or the next version of the Mac operating system. BusinessWeek questioned the battery life of the new phone, which will pull double duty as a battery-slurping iPod. And focused on Steve Jobs' odd musical choices. (John Mayer, who was there in person (!) sans Jessica Simpson.)

Still, many Mac enthusiasts were overjoyed at the prospect of annihilating their pocket protectors full of electronic devices. Within hours, more than 1,000 pictures were posted on Dana Gardner at said he "practically needed a shower" after Jobs' speech. MacWorlders couldn't put their thoughts into words. And the staff of Artstechnica can all yell Bingo! — their preemptive possible-Jobs-announcement game card overfloweth.



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