I didn’t think it would actually happen, but Apple announced the iPhone at today’s Macworld Expo keynote in San Francisco. Apple’s website has all of the juicy details (QuickTime required), but here’s a preview:
Apple calls this a combination mobile phone, widescreen iPod with touch controls, and an Internet communications device. It’s a testament to great design, especially if you see any of the demo videos on Apple’s site. It runs a version of Mac OS X and uses gestures to navigate the interface. For example, to zoom into a Google map, you squeeze your fingers together like you’re pinching something. It’s even got Dashboard widgets. Very cool.
This is my and lots of other people’s dream phone, but there are a couple of problems. First is the price – $499 for the cheaper of the two models. That’s expensive for a phone, but not too bad for a smartphone. The second problem is a killer though. The iPhone is Cingular only, and will be for two years.
Cingular has practically no presence in North Dakota. I’m guessing their closest store is somewhere in the Twin Cities. We’re pretty much stuck with Verizon, Sprint, and Alltel. Verizon gives us the best coverage, but I’d put them as the last carrier waiting in line for the iPhone. They’re all about lock-in and nickel and diming customers by forcing them to pay for ringtones, wallpaper, songs, etc. instead of just syncing with a computer. I hate that they do it, but I don’t feel like we’ve got a better option for mobile phones in Grand Forks.
So, I’m excited to see the iPhone, but I’m not holding out any hope that I’ll ever be able to actually get one. Sucks, but that’s one of the realities of living in North Dakota…