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The iPhone Has Landed

By Matt Wood in News on Jan 10, 2007 2:49PM

chicagoist_200701_iphone.jpgThat sound you heard yesterday was the collective orgasm of gadget freaks, Mac nerds, and tech investors all over the world when Apple announced the new iPhone, the long-awaited convergence of the iPod with a cell phone and PDA. We'll spare you the technical details--chances are you heard one of the IT guys whooping it up at work yesterday, but let's just say that Steve Jobs has managed to package sex into a 3x5 piece of plastic and metal.

The important part for now is that it will come in 4GB and 8GB models at $499 and $599, and will be available in June from Cingular. We know we're a bunch of Apple fanboys and girls at the Chicagoist offices, but this thing is five years ahead of every other smartphone on the market. We would have liked to see it come with more storage space on a hard drive instead of flash memory, but some people are even predicting that the iPhone could kill the standard iPod too.

You may have also heard some screaming coming from Schaumburg yesterday when all those Motorola marketing reps started slitting their wrists. Moto had just introduced a new music phone called the MotoRizr Z6 at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday. The MotoRizr can hold over 500 songs from a user's collection or purchased from hundreds of online stores--except iTunes of course. We're not saying that Moto's new offering isn't a worthy product, but its announcement was all but drowned out by the media circle jerk over the iPhone.

So why shouldn't you buy an iPhone? For starters, it's pretty expensive; not everybody can afford to carry $600 worth of electronics around in their pocket. The new MotoRizr will likely clock in at under $200, although it comes with much less functionality. Of course, if you're in the market for a smartphone though, chances are you aren't shopping for bargains anyway. Secondly, while Cingular has a massive user base, there are a lot of people in the Chicago area loyal to Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Cusack Cellular who don't feel like breaking their contract just yet. However, we expect Apple will either make deals with other carriers or start selling unlocked versions of the iPhone soon after it launches this summer. And while Stevie J didn't say so specifically yesterday, many of the iPhone's PDA-ish features like syncing with calendars, addresses, photos, etc, may only be available to Mac users. The music functions will sync through iTunes, meaning it will likely work for Windows folk too, but we would be surprised if Apple started building in conduits to Outlook or Lotus Notes right away.

Finally, believe it or not, some people just don't need a cell phone to take pictures, send email, play music, predict the weather, and walk the dog; they just want to make phone calls. Even Chicagoist swore off spending that kind of money on gadgets this new year, resolving to stick with our plain jane phone and old school iPod until they die a natural death. Of course, that resolution is getting harder to keep the longer we type this.

Image from Apple