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AT A GLANCE: Apple Rings In With IPhone Cellphone Debut January 9, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Economic News.
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Tuesday marked the start of the annual MacWorld summit in San Francisco, and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) ended months of speculation about the products it has in store for this year. The company confirmed the expectations of many by announcing the launch of an iPhone cellphone, and it also unveiled plans to enter the interactive television business with a product named “Apple TV.”

But Apple isn’t the only technology company in the news, as its rivals use the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to show off features such as new applications of touch screens, more powerful pocket PCs and sleekly designed systems that connect to television sets.

Developments at the CES suggest that personal computer makers aren’t retreating from a long-running campaign to promote the concept of the “digital home,” including hardware that is used in the living room.

APPLE LAUNCHES IPHONE: Apple said it plans to launch a cellphone, dubbed the iPhone, as it hopes to parlay its success with the iPod digital media player into the larger, wireless business. The iPhone has no keyboard or dial pad; rather, it will use touchscreen technology and work with the company’s iTunes music store. Apple plans to partner with AT&T Inc.’s (T) Cingular Wireless on the iPhone.

Apple also unveiled a widescreen iPod product and “Apple TV,” which allows users to play television shows and movies downloaded from the Internet on their TV sets. The device, which contains a 40-gigabyte hard drive, will cost $299 and begin shipping in February.

In addition, Apple announced it will sell movies from Viacom Inc.’s (VIA, VIAB) Paramount Pictures on iTunes.

APPLE SHARES RISE: Apple shares rose 8.4% to $92.64 on volume of 116.3 million compared with average daily volume of 26 million as of 3:55 p.m. EST.

NO LONGER APPLE COMPUTER: After 30 years, the company once known as Apple Computer changed its name to Apple Inc., reflecting the importance of its iPod and other digital entertainment products.

RIVALS HURT BY IPHONE: Shares of wireless-device makers were hurt by the announcement of the new Apple products. Those affected included Research In Motion (RIMM), Palm Inc. (PALM), Motorola Inc. (MOT), Nokia Corp. (NOK) and Ericsson (ERIC).

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