Introducing the iPhone… (finally!)

Capping literally years of speculation on perhaps the most intensely followed unconfirmed product in Apple’s history — and that’s saying a lot — the iPhone has been announced today. Yeah, we said it: “iPhone,” the name the entire free world had all but unanimously christened it from the time it’d been nothing more than a twinkle in Stevie J’s eye (comments, Cisco?). Sweet, glorious specs of the 11.6 millimeter device (that’s frickin’ thin, by the way) include a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 touchscreen display with multi-touch support and a proximity sensor to turn off the sensor when it’s close to your face, 2 megapixel cam, 4GB or 8 GB of storage, Bluetooth with EDR and A2DP, WiFi that automatically engages when in range, and quadband GSM radio with EDGE. Perhaps most amazingly, though, it somehow runs OS X with support for Widgets, Google Maps, and Safari, and iTunes (of course) with CoverFlow out of the gate. A partnership with Yahoo will allow all iPhone customers to hook up with free push IMAP email. Apple quotes 5 hours of battery life for talk or video, with a full 16 hours in music mode — no word on standby time yet. In a twisted way, this is one rumor mill we’re almost sad to see grind to a halt; after all, when is the next time we’re going to have an opportunity to run this picture? The 4GB iPhone will go out the door in the US as a Cingular exclusive for $499 on a two-year contract, 8GB for $599. Ships Stateside in June, Europe in fourth quarter, Asia in 2008.

The basics:

  • Single front button.
  • 3.5 inch widescreen display featuring the highest pixel density ever shipped in a portable device.
  • 2 megapixel camera.
  • iPod dock.
  • Proximity sensor which switches between modes and screen orientation based on how a user holds it.
  • 11.6 mm thick.
  • Syncs with iTunes
  • GSM/EDGE
  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth
  • Cinglar only.
  • Visual voicemail – shows a list of your voicemails like you see a list of emails.
  • Error correcting on-screen keyboard.
  • Gestural interface
  • Mail.
  • Safari.
  • Google Maps.
  • Widgets.
  • Switches seamlessly between EDGE and WiFi.
  • Free Yahoo! IMAP email to all iPhone customs.
  • GPS
  • 5 hour video battery life.
  • 16 hour audio battery life.

The 4GB costs $499 and the 8GB $599 (includes a 2 year contract). It is shipping in June.