Apple today revealed the iPhone, a multi-functional mobile handset that combines the touch-sensitive iPod aesthetic with mobile phone capabilities and Internet access. It will go on sale in June in the US for $499 for a 4GB model and $599 for the 8GB version, hitting Europe this autumn, and Asia in 2008.
Looking more like something out of a science-fiction movie than a traditional mobile handset thanks to a front-to-back depth of just 11.6 mm, the device has a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 widescreen display, so it can be used to watch movies and TV, as well as surely, in the future, playing games.
More sensational, however, is what the iPhone hasn't got – there's no keypad and only a single 'home' button. Instead, the device is operated entirely at the touch of a finger.
By using a patented system called 'Multi-touch', the iPhone apparently does away with the need for a traditional keypad, control nub, or even the sort of stylus used by the Nintendo DS.
"It works like magic," Apple's legendary CEO Steve Jobs promised the audience at MacWorld 2007, the expo where the phone was finally revealed today after much speculation.
While the iPhone's widescreen and touch interface are clearly groundbreaking, there's plenty of revolutionary fervour hidden beneath its sleek looks, too.
The phone runs OS X – the same operating system that powers Apple's Macintosh computers – enabling it to support fully graphical interfaces for music, movie and TV access and consumption.
Other applications revealed by Jobs included a graphical QWERTY keyboard for SMS messaging and Photos, which is software for managing the snaps you take with the phones camera.
But that's really just the beginning. Jobs cited everything from a Safari web browser and Google Maps to the desktop Widgets familiar from Apple's desktop computers as being supported by the device.
Inevitably, at Pocket Gamer we've been left drooling by anticipation of touchscreen games for the iPhone, although there's been no mention of games so far.
Watch this space, and be sure to bookmark our unique iPod games section, where we expect to be also covering iPhone games before too long!
(For more iPhone details, we suggest Engadget)