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Apple unveil iPhone

Story by Jack Foley

APPLE have officially unveiled their long-awaited iPhone, confirming the US company’s move into the telecoms industry.

The new phone was demonstrated to a crowd of around 2,000 people at the annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco and attracted a generous round of applause.

Steve Jobs, head of Apple, showed how the iPhone will enable users to download music and videos in a widescreen format using a touchscreen. The units also feature wireless internet and Bluetooth, as well as a built-in camera that would make video voicemail possible.

Owners will be able to stream videos and music without being tied to a computer.

Although no UK price has yet to be attached to the iPhone, Mr Jobs said that it will cost between $499 (£257) and $599 in the US following its release in June. European distribution will follow later in the year.

The iPhone will use the network of AT&T’s mobile unit, Cingular, and will run Apple’s OS X operating system. It will be available in two versions – one with 4GB of storage space, the other with 8GB (for widescreen).

Describing the unit as a “magical device” that was five years ahead of any other mobile phone technology, Mr Jobs went on to predict that it would “revolutionise the industry”.

The iPhone has no conventional buttons and uses a large touch-screen. It’s essentially a computer with a blank screen that users can configure in order to operate the monitor with their fingers.

In addition, a full touch keyboard is available for text messaging and there’s an in-built two megapixel camera.

“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,” explained Mr Jobs.

The buzz of excitement surrounding the release of the iPhone almost overshadowed another of Apple’s latest products – namely, the Apple TV, which enables users to stream music and movies from a computer to their living room.