For those who did not see it, Apple announced the iPhone at MacWorld in San Francisco today. Here are some links to articles:

This is a very interesting announcement that has been rumored for a while. The interesting thing about the phone is that it is a new smartphone design that combines phone functionality with media player functionality. The other interesting element is that it runs Apples OS X, and is not running a specialty phone-only OS. (Of course, it must have cell phone optimizations.) The device is touted as one that can handle many of the tasks of a standard computer including web browsing, email, and the like. The other interesting element is that it does not include a keyboard, and instead the face is entirely one high resolution touch screen. It certainly looks very cool and the early reviews are positive. I am interested in how it actually works in practice.

In some respects, I would love to have this phone. My issue is that it looks to be primarily a consumer targeted device. While it does support email, it is only one feature of many. (Jupiter highlights these criticisms.) Compare this to a Blackberry where email is a key, if not the key, feature of the PDA. The Blackberry is primarily an email device that does other things while it looks like the iPhone is primarily a multi-media device that does email. Since email is the killer app for me, I need an email centric device. (I spend a heck of a lot more time doing email than I ever would using multimedia features.) Still, this product may delay any phone upgrades because I may want to wait until it is released to validate my thoughts above. One a side note, the downside of the device is that it won’t be available until June and is extremely expensive. (Including a 2 year Cingular contract — 4 GB of memory, $499 – 8 GB of memory $599.)

In the end, the phone is very cool and I predict that it will be a big success. However, I think that the success will come from mainstream consumer sales and not business customers.

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