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Features |  17 Jul 2007 20:03 |  By RnMTeam

Fruit of temptation

It`s named after the fabled forbidden fruit, and not surprisingly, the Apple iPhone`s current unavailability on these shores has raised temptation levels among music and gadget buffs.

There are many in the industry who own equally fancy pieces of hardware, but it`s the not the same as an Apple iPhone, is it?

Says VH1 business head Keertan Adyanthaya, It should hopefully launch in India by next year, though I haven`t heard of any company having acquired it here. I currently use the Nokia N73 and I am satisfied with it. But when this Apple iPhone comes to India, I sure won`t miss it.

The iPhone comes with all the trappings expected of a high tech gizmo - a trackball, touch screen joystick, key pad, and touch pad. Some other features of the iPhone are true lifestyle integration, multitasking, media management, longer battery life (16 hours), and spontaneous input methods. According to Adyanthaya, I checked out the features of the Apple iPhone online, it looks pretty cool. I liked it personally. The features are very interesting, especially because you can listen to music, watch a movie and surf; all in one go.

The iPhone and the iPod are well integrated, according to online posts put out by users in the US. When a call comes in while listening to a song, the music fades out and the ringtone fades in. A small microphone on the headset cord also is the switch to answer. Click it again to hang up, and the music fades back in.

What do music phones lack?1Good battery life 2Capacity to manage play lists 3Good earphones 4Adequate memory 5Capacity to side-load music files

`The bigger 3.5-inch screen is more detailed, the video is smoother, and scrolling through CD covers in the iPod`s Cover Flow function is like fingering through a box of albums,` say users.

Not surprisingly, serious gadget freaks back home are sold on the concept, but would prefer to play the wait and watch game. Says actor ?“ anchor Karan Oberoi, I checked out the Apple iPhone online and I liked the features. The body and wide screen are particularly impressive and can get addictive too. But I am in no hurry to buy this phone; I would rather wait for it to be tested. The selling point of this phone is of course, the brand Apple. But Nokia is also an established brand and I don`t regret having bought my Nokia music phone.

Adds a cautious Amar Deb, head honcho of music channel [V], I think, this Apple iPhone will work out well for the fact that it is Apple, a very superior interface, easily simplified. Apple itself is such an established and trusted brand that any product from their end has to work out well.

Will the cautious Indian pay the punishing price to own a piece of Applie pie? Serious gadget watchers like Deb would do anything to own the iphone. I actually watched the minute-to-minute update on a blog when it was being launched. Trust me, I am trying to get at this phone through my friends and friends of friends but then, no great rays of hope. I badly want it.

What does Apple iPhone offer?1Featureless front panel (except dock and a few buttons) 2Possible dock on the bottom of the phone 3PDA-like capabilities (email, calculator, iCal support, games and more) 4An auto adapter for hands-free talking 5Software like iTalk, total privacy, IM and sync features

Currently, Deb uses a PDA phone, a Sony Ericsson P99Ti, which he says does everything an Apple iPhone can do. "But Apples interface design is far more superior. I use both MAC and PC, I should know! It`s simply like chalk and cheese!

VerticalCentric CEO Bharat Potdar puts matters in proper perspective. From the perspective of a mobile, its features are not revolutionary. The difference is simply that Apple has been successful in identifying what others havent till date. I even think the sales of the iPhone might cut into the sales of the iPod, but I am sure Apple has thought of a strategy to counter that. I am excited about its launch in India, but I am of the opinion that its price should be revised to make it a success in the Indian market.

Naturally. At a $ 499 for a 4 GB model and $ 699 for a 6 GB model, the iphone isn`t exactly everyone`s cup of tea. But good news seems to be on its way. There are now reports that Apple will launch a cost-down version in September this year, with prices ranging from US$249-299.

JP Morgan has also contributed to the speculation, issuing a report earlier this month discussing the possibility of a low-end Nano version of the iPhone in the near term, with the financial firm basing its forecast on channel checks and a public patent filing. Officially, JP Morgan now believes that the next iPhone iteration will be a 3G phone.

Apple itself has not officially announced any plans for a new or next generation iPhone,and says it plans to introduce the model launched in the US on 29 June 2007, in Europe later this year and Asia in 2008.

Meanwhile, a new mobile phone launched jointly by Korean major LG and fashion label Prada, sports a buttonless, touch-screen interface very much like that of Apple`s iPhone. The LG Prada Phone, alias the KE850, features a no-button interface with the entire phone face covered by a touch-sensitive screen. Like the iPhone, this phone too, is super-thin; it`s just 12 millimetres thick, which is only about 0.4 millimetres thicker than the iPhone. Also like the iPhone, the LG Prada Phone can play most popular digital music/video formats, and has a two mega pixels camera. However, unlike the iPhone, the LG phone`s memory can be expanded with the help of cards. Other features of this new phone include: MP3 player, video player, document viewer, music/messaging multitasking capability, Bluetooth, and USB 2.0 port. The price tag ? 780 dollars.

Some teething problems - users claim following problems while using the iPhone1low call volume on most units 2poor battery life3screen freezes4At eight gigabytes, storage is inadequate. At least 16 would be better5No Flash or Java support for the browser yet

For the man on the street here, consequently, it is the Sony Erricson, Nokia and Motorola models that might continue to appeal, due to the cost factor. It`s only the seriously musically inclined with the cash to spare that will look appreciatively at the likes of the iphone. As 28-year old gadget freak and music maniac Arjav Agrawal says, The major drawbacks in the presently available music phones are poor battery life, failure to manage play lists, the not-so-good earphones, inadequate memory, sluggish and at times no capacity to side-load music files. If the Apple iPhone wins over these features then it is a sure shot success anywhere around the world."