The Apple iPhone is mainly operated via a touch-sensitive display (a conventional mobile phone keyboard or mini-keyboard are not available). The idea is not entirely new: Some other manufacturers already offer smartphones and PDAs that can be operated via touchscreen, but usually, a pen is needed. All it takes is a simple tap of your finger to navigate through the nicely animated menus and to enter text via the keyboard.
Thanks to the so-called multi-touch function up to four-finger touches can be detected simultaneously. Fluent text input is thus guaranteed – if the small dimensions of the virtual keyboard on the 3.5 “display cause no problems. Broader fingers may quickly mistype. In addition, the entry of German special characters such as -ä-, -ö-, -ü- or -ß- make it difficult as they are not directly accessible via the soft keyboard. Only after a long press on the corresponding standard keys do the umlauts appear in a menu that appears above them.
Unattractive result of the touch screen operation is also inevitable fingerprints on the smooth surface. Otherwise, the operating concept seems well thought out, the arrangement of the menu icons is clear. For example, the four most important functions – phone calls, e-mail, surfing, and iPod – are highlighted separately in the lower part of the display. The remaining functions (SMS, camera, calendar, etc.) can be found above. The position sensor detects whether the iPhone is held horizontally or vertically and adjusts the display of photos or web pages accordingly.
As already mentioned, Apple’s first mobile phone has an iPod function at the same time: on the iPhone, songs, but also photos and videos can be stored and played back. When connected to the Internet, new music can be downloaded via Apple’s iTunes. Photos can be taken with the built-in 2-megapixel camera.
In the face of such multimedia capabilities, the flash memory rated at 8 GB might be too meager for many, especially since the memory can not be expanded with a memory card. The still available in the US as a discontinued model 4-GB variant of the Apple iPhone is not intended for the German market launch.
Surfing and sending e-mails should be relatively quick on the GPRS connection in combination with EDGE, although not as fast as on UMTS. A UMTS version of the iPhone is scheduled for next year. Alternatively, however, it is also possible to connect to the web via WLAN. Connected to the Mac or Windows PC, the iPhone independently searches for the personal email settings, contacts and web favorites of the user and accepts them.
As in the US, the Apple iPhone is also distributed exclusively in Germany. In this country, T-Mobile has been awarded the contract. A bargain, the iPhone is not straight: 399 euros to cost it. In addition, a two-year contract with T-Mobile must be completed. T-Mobile has not yet provided any information about the planned tariffs.
Technical details about the Apple iPhone in the overview:
The provider (Germany): T-MobileSpecification: Processor ARM1176JZF with TrustZone function and Vector FPU for 3D graphics (620 MHz)Memory: 8 GB FlashDisplay: 3.5 “LCD with capacitive touch screen (320 × 480, 18 bit, 163 dpi)Integrated camera: 2.0
megapixelsAudio Interfaces: mono speakers; Microphone; 3.5mm headset jackSync Port: USB 2.0 High Speed Short Range Wireless 802.11b / g, Bluetooth 2.0 EDRTerm (manufacturer): 250 h readiness, 8 h speaking mobile: GSM / GPRS / EDGE 850/900/1800/1900Operating System: Mac OS X for iPhone 1.0Included in delivery: USB docking station, power supply, cable stereo headset, cleaning cloth, quick start guides: 115 × 61 × 12 mmWeight: 144 g