Apple Has Its 'i' on New Cell Phone
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Apple Computer has formally changed its name to Apple, Inc. to reflect the company's new emphasis on consumer electronics. Yesterday the company unveiled its long-awaited iPhone. For now at least the buzz is drowning out talk of Apple CEO's Steve Jobs and his involvement in a financial scandal over stock options. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN: Each year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes the stage at the Macworld Expo and with great fanfare shows off the company's latest invention. This year it's a combination iPod, Internet communications device, and a mobile phone.
(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE RINGING)
KAUFMAN: Unidentified Man: Hello, Steve.
STEVE JOBS: Unidentified Man: I'm good. How you doing?
JOBS: Well, I can't tell you how thrilled I am to make the first public phone call with iPhone.
KAUFMAN: To listen to music, watch movies, send e-mail or search the web, iPhone users simply touch an icon with their finger. Although many of the features already exist on some smart phones, industry analyst Mike McGuire of the Gardner Group says Apple's total package is unique.
MIKE MCGUIRE: I think it's an extremely slick device that bears all the hallmarks of an Apple breakthrough product.
KAUFMAN: With a price tag of $499 for the four-gigabyte version, it's not for the masses. Still analysts, including McGuire, believe that for Apple entering the mobile phone market makes financial sense.
MCGUIRE: It gets them into a whole new class of products where they were not before. The total available market for mobile phones, as we know, it dwarfs everything else.
KAUFMAN: Wendy Kaufman, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.