Apple Shares "Leapfrog" On New 3-in-1 iPhone


Apple shares are jumping higher this afternoon--up around 6.5% after the company unveiled it's new iPhone. “We’re gonna make some history today,” said Steve Jobs, the inconic head of Apple, during his annual presentation at the MacWorld conference in San Francisco. “This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two and a half years. Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”

Both analysts and Mac addicts alike were anticipating the release of an Apple iPhone, but it turns out Jobs has given them much more than that. CNBC’s Jim Goldman reported live from the conference. He says it's a "compelling 3 in 1 product."

Apple’s new iPhone (besides being a phone) will be a widescreen iPod and have internet capabilities, which will put it in a direct competition with Motorola’s Q, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry, Palm’s Treo and Nokia’s e62 smartphones. Jobs said this new product is as important as the release of the Mac personal computer in 1984 and the iPod MP3 player in 2001.

“What we wanted to do is make a leapfrog product,” said Jobs, who is calling the gadget an “iPhone” despite Cisco Systems owning the rights to that name (negotiations are continuing between Apple and Ciscco to determine naming payment rights).

The phone will also have a 3.5-inch touch-screen controller that replaces any need for buttons or a stylus pen. And it will have new mobile software “that’s at least five years ahead of anything else out there,” Jobs said. The iPhone will run Apple’s OSX operating system, and it will be able to sync with iPods. A 2-megapixel camera is also built into the phone.

Jobs also announced the partnership of Apple with both Google and Yahoo!. Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Chief Yahoo! Jerry Yang appeared on stage with Jobs today. The iPhone will have Google maps, GPS and Yahoo! e-mail, but there was no talk of revenue sharing or any other details of the deal.

Cingular will be the carrier for the new Apple iPhone, which will cost $499 for a 4-gigabyte model and $599 for 8GB.

Goldman says another potential partner for Apple is Paramount Pictures--for movie downloads.

FYI: it took Apple three years to get to a billion songs sold for IPod downloads. It took only ten months to get to the next billion downloads--with some 5 million songs sold daily. Itunes has sold 50 million TV shows so far--and in just four months--sold 1.3 million films for downloading.