Give credit on two fronts to Apple Computer, er, sorry, just Apple Inc.: They make wicked cool stuff, and they know how to generate maximum buzz. Yesterday’s iPhone announcement and demo by Steve Jobs at Macworld has everyone slobbering all over themselves in praise of the new device. It’s being called everything from a killer app for mobile advertising (thanks in part to its 3.5-inch screen and its seamless convergence of phone, video and music functions) to the Holy Grail of gadgets. (Holy cow, I need one now!)
Jobs even teased the crowd by using the phone to play “Lovely Rita,” a subtle sign that Apple may finally be ready to strike a long-awaited deal with the Beatles’ holding company to add the bands extensive portfolio to iTunes. (I’ll take two!)
Jobs thinks Apple can sell 10 million of these puppies in 2008, which would be a small slice of the overall cell phone market but a significant new chunk of business for Apple. And at this point, who’s to doubt them? They’ve come a long way in the 15 years since former Apple CEO John Sculley introduced the first PDA, called the Newton, and showed a clunky, non-working prototype of the device. I think it was made of balsa wood.