Apple shares up on iPhone launch(Well finally..)

Apple iPhone

Shares in Apple Computer closed some 8% higher on news that it is launching a touch screen mobile phone, the iPhone.

News of the device – to be used exclusively on the Cingular Wireless network – sent shares in smart phones, iPhone’s competitors, sharply lower.The iPhone, costing from $499 (£257) to $599, will be on sale from June in the US and from October in Europe.The phone with 4 gigabyte (GB) of memory will cost $499 while the higher price is for a model with twice the memory space.

Also at the Macworld event in San Francisco Mr Jobs said that the firm would change its name to simply Apple.

The move to switch from calling the firm Apple Computer to Apple is an indication of the firm’s focus on consumer electronics, Mr Jobs said.

Mr Jobs predicted that in 2008, when the phone will start being available in Asia, the firm could sell 10 million iPhones, equivalent to 1% of today’s yearly mobile phone market.

Competition from other players in Smartphone catagory

Andrew Seibert, of Stewart Capital Advisors, said phone firm Verizon might have to watch out and other manufacturers “may have some problems”.

Analyst Shannon Cross of Soleil Cross Research said the move would lead consumers to “upgrade some of the existing iPods” but more crucially it would cause greater competition for existing smart phones.

Shares in smart phones fell on the news, with Research in Motion – the maker of Blackberry devices, tumbling nearly 8% on the Nasdaq.

“We won’t find out for another six months what real impact (the iPhone) is going to have in the channels,” said Research Capital analyst Nick Agostino.

But after the news the market was reacting to potential stiff competition ahead between Apple and smart phone makers – including Nokia, Motorola and Palm, for high end consumers.

Mr Jobs said: “Most advanced phones are called smart phones. But they are actually not so smart, and really not so easy to use.”

‘Revolutionary’

We are all born with the ultimate pointing device – our fingers – iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse

Steve Jobs, chief executive, Apple Computer


Users will be able to play music from iTunes and take photos with the new phone.

“We are all born with the ultimate pointing device – our fingers – and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse,” said Mr Jobs.

The iPhone name is currently owned by Cisco and the firm said it expected to reach an agreement with Apple Computer over the trademark following the announcement by Mr Jobs.

The two firms have been in talks and a Cisco spokesperson said she expected “to receive a signed agreement [on Tuesday]”.By close of trade Apple shares were $7.10 higher at $92.57. AT&T, the firm behind Cingular Wireless, saw its shares add 13 cents, to $33.94.

The full specs:
Screen size: 3.5 inches
Screen resolution: 320 by 480 at 160 ppi
Input method: Multi-touch
Operating system: OS X
Storage: 4GB or 8GB
GSM: Quad-band (MHz: 850, 900, 1800, 1900)
Wireless data: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) + EDGE + Bluetooth 2.0
Camera: 2.0 megapixels
Battery: Up to 5 hours Talk / Video / Browsing, Up to 16 hours Audio playback
Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches
Weight: 4.8 ounces / 135 grams

Final word – Drool..