The buzz surrounding Apple's new iPhone reverberated throughout the halls of the massive show because of its potential to shake up the mobile device market by combining phone, Web access and the traditional iPod music player into one sleek product.
"(Apple CEO Steve) Jobs did a beautiful job," said Kip Kokinakis, CEO of MicroOptical, which was showcasing at CES its myVu personal media viewer that allows consumers to watch their iPod with a headset that provides a large TV viewing experience. "Everybody was at CES calling each other on the cell phone to see what Jobs did at MacWorld. That's pretty cool. Let's face it. Jobs is an icon. He's clever. The stuff he does is brilliant and his products are pretty good."
Kokinakis said the new iPhone has a bigger high-tech glitz quotient than anything at CES, but he did give plaudits to SanDisk for its USBTV, a new, industrywide initiative unveiled at CES aimed at allowing consumers to move digital content from their PCs to their televisions for viewing on a big screen. He also liked Verizon's new V CAST Mobile TV Service from Verizon Wireless.
Kokinakis said mobile handheld device market is moving rapidly to video broadcast capabilities. He said iPhone could accelerate that video-on-the-go revolution by as much as two years in the United States. "This is dramatic in the sense that it is Apple. Apple adds validation," he said. "Apple realizes they could lose their MP3 business to the phone. That's why it's a powerful statement."
The biggest in-person iPhone bang at the show came at a packed press conference Wednesday at which Cingular touted its multiyear exclusive agreement to provide wireless service for the iPhone.
"It really did put a buzz throughout all of CES," said Glenn Lurie, president of national distribution for Cingular. "It's hard to argue that it isn't one of the coolest things that people have seen. That reaction tells you that it is pretty incredible."
Lurie said the new iPhone is yet another testament to Apple's software prowess. "Look at the software Apple built in this device. It is unbelievable," he said. "The thing that blows my mind is just the (Internet) browsing experience," he said. "I have never seen anything like that."
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