Have you ever heard the phrase "game changing"? That's what TechCrunch said about the new iPhone that was announced this morning. And they are so right. GPF and I sat around the kitchen table watching it unfold in stilted real-time text messages & photos from the convention center.
It's everything the blackberry is, plus a super-intuitive and slick input method (multi-touch), plus GPS (instant maps if you're lost!) AND an iPod (oh yeah, that old thing?) AND a cell phone. The holy grail of integration, done right like only Apple could. Just watch the videos.
It's also brilliant how they announced it - not available till June, but announced now because the FCC needs time to approve it, and they'd rather it come out this way than in an FCC filing (though I'm sure those are a barrel of laughs). What they didn't mention is that that also gives 6 months to a) work out the bugs & glitches, and b) get 3rd parties to develop iPhone-targeted apps (which they can start doing immediately because the thing runs full fledged OSX!)
As Slashdot said, this is basically a printing press for cash for Apple.
Will the money equation work out for consumers? $499 / $599 isn't cheap for a phone. But - it's also an iPod, and a GPS, and a blackberry, and a 2-year phone contract is included in that price (though presumably you'll need to "upgrade" that to get a decent amount of talk-time). I'm thinking the answer for me will be a "yes" because I already pay for SMS and a bunch of minutes via Sprint (whose customer service really stinks), AND I'll be due for a new phone this summer anyway. I guess the devil's in the details. But even if it's more money than we're currently paying ... it's so cool, I may get one anyway.
After I get my Wii, of course. :)