SAN FRANCISCO: Apple once again reverted to the dramatic unveil and Steve Jobs' showmanship in announcing its long-anticipated iPhone at the annual Macworld Expo.
It wasn’t until half way through Job’s Tuesday morning keynote address at San Francisco’s Moscone West that he even brought up the subject of the Apple phone.
And in true Jobsian fashion, he held his event at the same time most of the world’s consumer-tech companies were converging in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
An estimated 48,000 people attended Macworld this year. The conference organizers issued media passes to journalists from all over the world, and attendees hailed from publications varying from Fortune to obscure Mac-related publications.
Apple corralled the journalists on the second floor of Moscone, while it allowed VIPs in first. Journalists took up at least a fourth of the crowd; with a bank of cameras flanking the entire left side of the stage.
Jobs said his goal was selling 10 million iPhones a year in 2008, which amounts to 1% of the global cell phone market. Reached on Wednesday, an Apple spokeswoman said the company does not discuss its marketing strategies.
Despite consumer adulation for the phone found on blogs, some analysts and journalists offered criticisms - that since the phone is designed for consumers, it lacks the business-focused tools that existing smartphones have. Another complaint is the price: $499 for the 4G and $599 for the 8G model. Most, such as competitors Blackberry, Treo and the Motorola Q, sell for about $300, with substantial discounts from providers’ contracts.
The day after Apple introduced the iPhone, Cisco Systems said it would sue Apple for using the name, which it owns. The company did not return calls for comment.
Jobs also announced that the company has changed its name from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc., to better represent its range of products.