Jobs introduces iPhone, new name for company
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs on Tuesday made the company's long-awaited jump into the mobile phone business and renamed the company to just "Apple Inc.," reflecting its increasing focus on consumer electronics.
The iPhone, which starts at 499, is controlled by touch, plays music, surfs the Internet and runs the Macintosh computer operating system. Jobs said it will "reinvent" the telecommunications sector and "leapfrog" past the current generation of hard-to-use smart phones.
"Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything," he said during his keynote address at the annual Macworld Conference and Expo. "It's very fortunate if you can work on just one of these in your career. ... Apple's been very fortunate in that it's introduced a few of these."
He said the name change is meant to reflect the fact that Apple has matured from a computer manufacturer to a full-fledged consumer electronics company.
"I didn't sleep a wink last night," he said. "I was so excited."
During his speech, Jobs also unveiled a TV set-top box that allows people to send video from their computers and announced the number of songs sold on its iTunes Music Store has topped 2 billion.
Apple shares jumped more than 6 percent on the announcements, while the stock of rival smart-phone makers plunged.
Jobs demonstrated the iPhone's music capabilities by playing "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid," from the Beatles' "Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band," as the album's psychedelic album art graced a wide-screen monitor.
IPhone uses a patented touch-screen technology Apple is calling "multi-touch."
"We're going to use a pointing device that we're all born with," Jobs said. "It works like magic. ... It's far more accurate than any touch display ever shipped. It ignores unintended touches. It's super smart."
The phone automatically synchs your media -- movies, music, photos -- through Apple's iTunes Music Store. The device also synchs e-mail content, Web bookmarks and nearly any type of digital content stored on your computer.
"It's just like an iPod," Jobs said, "charge and synch."
The phones, which will operate exclusively on AT & amp;T Inc.'s Cingular wireless network, will start shipping in June. A 4-gigabyte model will cost 499, while an 8-gigabyte iPhone will be 599, Jobs said.
IPhone is less than a half-inch thin -- less than almost any phone on the market today. It comes with a 2-megapixel digital camera built into the back, as well as a slot for headphones and a SIM card.
Apple shares were up 7.10 to 92.57 in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of 50.16 to 93.16. Meanwhile, shares of other smart-phone makers slid: Treo-maker Palm Inc. dropped 5.7 percent, BlackBerry's Research In Motion Ltd. lost 7.9 percent and Motorola Inc. shed 1.8 percent.