Investors also cheered, pushing Apple shares 8 per centhigher, while those of rival high-end phone makers Palm Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. fell.
In a nod to Apple’s widening influence in consumer electronics, Jobs said it would drop “Computer” from its name.
Most of what Apple Inc. sells now is mobile technology, whether it be iPods or notebooks, which now outsell desktop Macs.
The iPhone is thinner than some of the cell phone industry’s sleekest devices, such as Motorola Inc.’s RAZR.
It will cost $499 to $599 when it debuts in the United States in June. Sales are expected to start in Europe in the fourth quarter and in Asia in 2008.
Cingular Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. wireless network and a unit of AT&T Inc., has a multiyear, exclusive agreement to provide U.S. service for the iPhone.
Jobs said that in 2008 Apple could sell 10 million iPhones, representing roughly 1 percent of the current annual mobile phone market of 1 billion units a year.
Analysts said iPhone is a potentially huge source of growth as Apple seeks new revenue streams and ways to build on its 70-percent-plus U.S. market share for digital music players.
“I’ve already ordered two,” said Nick Kaiser, president of Saturna Capital. “I don’t know what the cost is and I don’t care ... The higher it is the more I like it as a shareholder.”
While iPods are still selling well, growth has moderated. In the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2006, Apple sold 8.73 million iPods, up 35 percent from a year before.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005, Apple sold 6.5 million iPods, more than triple in the year-earlier period.
Analysts cautioned, however, that the comparatively high price would keep the iPhone from becoming a mass market hit soon, though the price would almost certainly drop, as with most consumer electronics devices over time.
“This (iPhone) does have the potential to shake up the competitive landscape even if it’s not a device that’s targeted to mass consumers,” said Stanford Group analyst Michael Nelson.
The iPhone is 11.6-millimeters (0.5-inches) thick, has five hours of continuous talk time and 15 hours for playing music, and includes a camera. It runs Apple’s OS X operating system, has the Safari browser for Web access and e-mail functions that can handle graphics and work with external services.
The iPhone can connect to the Internet wirelessly via Wi-Fi and has Bluetooth, a short-range wireless technology that supports wireless headsets or links to devices like printers.
Separately, Jobs said AppleTV, the newly renamed device for streaming movies, music, photos, podcasts and TV shows to home entertainment systems, would ship in February. AppleTV, which comes with a 40-gigabyte internal hard drive, will cost $299.
Apple has now sold 70 million iPods and consumers have bought more than 2 billion songs for about 99 cents each on iTunes. More than 220 TV shows are also available on iTunes.
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