It's been rumored for months, and now it's real — or at least it's about to be. CBS News science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg reports that Apple's billionaire in a black turtleneck and jeans came calling today, and he wants you to answer with an iPhone.
"The iPhone is like having your life in your pocket. It's the ultimate digital device," Steve Jobs said during the unveiling at MacWorld in San Francisco.
Naturally, the iPhone incorporates the music and video features of its cousin, the iPod, more than 70 million of which have been sold since 2001. But there's much more: global position, Google mapping software, Web surfing, e-mail, and, oh yeah, a phone.
And look, Ma Bell: No buttons. You let your fingers do the walking on a touch screen.
"We're going to use a pointing device that we're all born with. It works like magic," Jobs said.
Some analysts are wary of Jobs' lofty claims. After all, Apple is not the first tech company to offer an all-in-one device. But you can't underestimate the power of that shiny logo.
"The iPhone's not the only thing that can do most of that stuff. But it's cool and well-designed — and it has the Apple chic about it," says Dave Hamilton, publisher of MacObserver.com.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Apple doesn't have a presence, reaction was mixed.
"Sometimes it's overkill, just too much for me sometimes," a man at the show said.
"Everyone loves iPod and what would you want, but a phone attached to it," one woman said.
The device won't be available until June, and it won't be cheap: The price tag will start at about $500. But if it replaces all a lot of the devices we use today — cameras, iPods, Blackberrys and cell phones — then who knows how many people may be willing to pay the price?
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