Apple’s iPhone threatens Korean Phone Makers
Dressed in his usual black T-shirt and jeans, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the much-anticipated smart phone, iPhone at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Combining Apple’s best-selling iPod music player with a mobile phone, Jobs’ introduction was a declaration of war on handset market leaders like Nokia, Motorola, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. Apple will sell the new product with Cingular Wireless, the top U.S. wireless network, from June. The iPhone displays Apple’s strengths in eye-catching design and technological innovation. Like the iPod, the iPhone is capable of playing music files, digital photos and video clips. It also adds a 2.0-megapixel digital camera, and a touch screen. Essentially a portable computer that makes phone calls, the device is also equipped with wireless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies and a Web browser with built-in Google and Yahoo! search functions.
Having smashed Korean MP3 players with its iPod, Apple’s latest device spells bad news for Korean handset makers, already facing a somewhat grim market outlook. According to a market researcher, Apple could sell up to 12 million iPhones a year in the U.S. alone, generating more than US$6 billion in sales. Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, which focus on building premium cell phones, will have to battle it out with the American giant.
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