iPhone dazzles, leaves many questions

Jason Hall

The lights were dim in the auditorium of the Moscone Center in San Franciso, Calif. As usual, rumors of the event had been swirling for months, and journalists and fanboys alike were gathered to watch them come to fruition. Something big was about to be announced, something revolutionary, and the tension was thick.

According to video feed of the conference on Apple.com, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers, walked on stage in his trademark black turtleneck. He was ready to announce the iPhone.

The iPhone, as he described it, was designed to be the combination of a widescreen iPod with a touch screen, a revolutionary new camera phone, and a cutting-edge Internet device. The device, only slightly larger than the newest iPod, has a shiny jet black finish, with just one button on the front.

All the buttons required to make phone calls, play songs, take pictures, write text messages and browse the Web will appear as needed on the 3.5-inch touchscreen as if by magic. The iPhone includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a battery of high-tech sensors.

Jobs promised the phone would revolutionize the mobile phone industry, and with such a device in his hands, it was difficult to argue.

But even after its unveiling, there are still many unanswered questions about the iPhone.

First, the iPhone is not currently available in stores. In fact, the device hasn’t even been granted FCC approval, a process that can take months. Because of this, Jobs announced the device would not be available for purchase until June.

As for the price of the phone itself, Jobs made it clear that you only get what you pay for. He relisted the features of the iPhone, and compared them to those of an iPod and a smartphone, neither of which are cheap. He added the iPhone would include many more features than even these. All told, the final price was set at $499 for the 4GB model, and $599 for the 8GB model, a price which may be out of reach for many buyers -ÿespecially college students.

Another blow was struck to Apple the following day when Cisco Systems, Inc., the company who owns the trademark on the term “iPhone,” sued Apple for violating its trademark, according to Givmodo.com.

Between the lawsuit and pending FCC approval, it remains to be seen if the iPhone will ever make it to stores by June.

Steve Jobs announced the iPhone as a revolutionary, life-changing device. And on paper it may seem that way – but there are still many obstacles yet to overcome for the device. Only time, and at least $500, will tell.

For more information, go to http://www.apple.com/iphone.

Contact ALL correspondent Jason Hall at [email protected].