NEW YORK (
new iPhone is getting glowing reports from analysts who see the revamped device hitting all the marks.
Yesterday Apple chief Steve Jobs unveiled the very same phone that tech blog
exposed weeks ago, yet the drama at the Moscone Center was high and the phone itself did not disappoint.
The impossibly thin, 9.3-millimeter, glass and steel-encased, multitasking, dual-camera iPhone seemed to have all the right features to keep Apple's sales momentum going. Everything except compatibility with the
RBC analyst Mike Abramsky saw big significance in Apple's decision to rename the iPhone operating system iOS. For Abramsky, this marks a "reassault" on the mobile device market and the promise of some 100 million iOS-powered devices like iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads.
The move serves to further delineate the software rivalry between
Android movement and Apple's iOS systems as computing moves toward more nimble devices.
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But if there's any one area where enthusiasm may be on track for disappointment, it might be the excitement around video calling. Jobs saved his "one more thing" moment for FaceTime, Apple's take on a Skype-like video calling service that uses WiFi to connect iPhone 4 users.
Some analysts were impressed.
"We found the FaceTime and higher resolution display features very compelling in our trials and observations at the WWDC," Barclays' analyst Ben Reitzes wrote in a note Tuesday. "We believe these new features will be the main driver of upgrades and create a 'networking effect' that will compel more upgrades than usual since the device only works between iPhone 4 devices on WiFi."
Yet despite the extremely touching ad Apple crafted for FaceTime, there's still a degree of reluctance for real-world callers to want to see each other as they talk. As tech observers will note, the history of video phones has been long and unimpressive. Ask
, which introduced the idea with the Bell Labs Picturephone in 1964.
Sure, the technology has improved. And with the exception of TV, Apple usually succeeds where others have failed. But a revolution in mobile video calling might enjoy more hype than actual user adoption.
Either way, Apple has a shiny new device for upgrading fans and investors can still look ahead to the big gating factor known as the
later this year or next.
Apple shares did not reflect the glow from analysts Tuesday as the stock fell 1% below Monday's close.
--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.