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Welcome to iPhone-Pedia™ -- The iPhone Encyclopedia


The original iPhone (left) and the iPhone 3G (right).

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iPhone:
The iPhone is an internet-connected multimedia smartphone designed and marketed by Apple Inc. with a flush multi-touch screen and a minimal hardware interface. The device does not have a physical keyboard, so a virtual keyboard is rendered on the touch screen instead. The iPhone functions as a camera phone (including text messaging and visual voicemail), a portable media player (equivalent to an iPod), and an Internet client (with email, web browsing, and local Wi-Fi connectivity). The first-generation phone hardware was quad-band GSM with EDGE; the second generation also adds UMTS with HSDPA.

Apple announced the iPhone on January 9, 2007. The announcement was preceded by rumors and speculation that circulated for several months. The iPhone was initially introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007, and has since been introduced worldwide. It was named Time magazine's "Invention of the Year" in 2007. On July 11, 2008, the iPhone 3G was released. It supports faster 3G data speeds and Assisted GPS. On March 17, 2009, Apple announced the iPhone firmware version 3.0, due to be released in mid 2009.

History and Availability:
The iPhone is an internet-connected multimedia smartphone designed and marketed by Apple Inc. with a flush multi-touch screen and a minimal hardware interface. The device does not have a physical keyboard, so a virtual keyboard is rendered on the touch screen instead. The iPhone functions as a camera phone (including text messaging and visual voicemail), a portable media player (equivalent to an iPod), and an Internet client (with email, web browsing, and local Wi-Fi connectivity). The first-generation phone hardware was quad-band GSM with EDGE; the second generation also adds UMTS with HSDPA.

Apple announced the iPhone on January 9, 2007. The announcement was preceded by rumors and speculation that circulated for several months. The iPhone was initially introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007, and has since been introduced worldwide. It was named Time magazine's "Invention of the Year" in 2007. On July 11, 2008, the iPhone 3G was released. It supports faster 3G data speeds and Assisted GPS. On March 17, 2009, Apple announced the iPhone firmware version 3.0, due to be released in mid 2009.

Like the iPod, the iPhone is managed with iTunes version 7.3 or later, which is compatible with Mac OS X version 10.4.10 or later, and 32-bit or 64-bit Windows XP or Vista. The release of iTunes 7.6 expanded this support to include 64-bit versions of XP and Vista, and a workaround has been discovered for previous 64-bit Windows operating systems. Apple provides free updates to the iPhone's operating system through iTunes, in a similar fashion to the way that iPods are updated. Security patches, as well as new and improved features, are released in this fashion. For example, iPhone 3G users initially experienced dropped calls until an update was issued.

Interface:
The interface is based around the home screen, a graphical list of available applications. iPhone apps normally run one at a time, although most functionality is still available when making a call or listening to music. The home screen can be accessed at any time by a hardware button below the screen, closing the open application in the process. By default, the Home screen contains the following icons: Text (SMS messaging), Calendar, Photos, Camera, YouTube, Stocks, Maps (Google Maps), Weather, Clock, Calculator, Notes, Settings, iTunes (store), and App Store. Docked at the base of the screen, four icons for Phone, Mail, Safari (Internet), and iPod (music) delineate the iPhone's main purposes. On January 15, 2008, Apple released software update 1.1.3, allowing users to create "Web Clips", home screen icons that resemble apps that open a user-defined page in Safari. After the update, iPhone users can rearrange and place icons on up to nine other adjacent home screens, accessed by a horizontal swipe. Users can also add and delete icons from the dock, which is the same on every home screen. Each home screen holds up to sixteen icons, and the dock holds up to four icons. Users can delete Web Clips and third-party applications at any time, and may select only certain applications for transfer from iTunes. Apple's default programs, however, may not be removed. The 3.0 update will add a system-wide search, known as Spotlight, to the left of the first home screen.

Almost all input is given through the touch screen, which understands complex gestures using multi-touch. The iPhone's interaction techniques enable the user to move the content up or down by a touch-drag motion of the finger. For example, zooming in and out of web pages and photos is done by placing two fingers on the screen and spreading them farther apart or bringing them closer together, an gesture known as "pinching". Scrolling through a long list or menu is achieved by sliding a finger over the display from bottom to top, or vice versa to go back. In either case, the list moves as if it is pasted on the outer surface of a wheel, slowly decelerating as if affected by friction. In this way, the interface simulates the physics of a real object. Other visual effect include horizontally sliding sub-selection, the vertically sliding keyboard and bookmarks menu, and widgets that turn around to allow settings to be configured on the other side. Menu bars are found at the top and bottom of the screen when necessary. Their options vary by program, but always follow a consistent style motif. In menu hierarchies, a "back" button in the top-left corner of the screen displays the name of the parent folder.Phone:
The iPhone allows audio conferencing, call holding, call merging, caller ID, and integration with other cellular network features and iPhone functions. For example, if a song is playing while a call is received, it gradually fades out, and fades back when the call has ended. The proximity sensor shuts off the screen and touch-sensitive circuitry when the iPhone is brought close to the face, both to save battery and prevent unintentional touches. The iPhone only supports voice dialing through third party applications and video calling is not supported at all.

The iPhone includes a visual voicemail (in some countries) feature allowing users to view a list of current voicemail messages on-screen without having to call into their voicemail. Unlike most other systems, messages can be listened to and deleted in a non-chronological order by choosing any message from an on-screen list. AT&T, O2, T-Mobile Germany, and Orange modified their voicemail infrastructure to accommodate this new feature designed by Apple.

A music ringtone feature was introduced in the United States on September 5, 2007. Users can create custom ringtones from songs purchased from the iTunes Store for a small additional fee. The ringtones can be 3 to 30 seconds long from any part of a song, can fade in and out, pause from half a second to five seconds when looped, or loop continuously. All customizing can be done in iTunes, and the synced ringtones can also be used for alarms. Custom ringtones can also be created using Apple's GarageBand software 4.1.1 or later (available only on Mac OS X) and third-party tools. Custom ringtones are not supported in some countries.

Multimedia:

The layout of the music library is similar to that of an iPod or current Symbian S60 phones. The iPhone can sort its media library by songs, artists, albums, videos, playlists, genres, composers, podcasts, audiobooks, and compilations. Options are always presented alphabetically, except in playlists, which retain their order from iTunes. The iPhone uses a large font that allows users plenty of room to touch their selection. Users can rotate their device horizontally to landscape mode to access Cover Flow. Like on iTunes, this feature shows the different album covers in a scroll-through photo library. Scrolling is achieved by swiping a finger across the screen.

The iPhone supports gapless playback. Like the fifth generation iPods introduced in 2005, the iPhone can play digital video, allowing users to watch TV shows and movies in widescreen. Unlike other image-related content, video on the iPhone plays only in the landscape orientation, when the phone is turned sideways. Double-tapping switches between widescreen and fullscreen video playback.

External TV tuner cards are available for watching mobile TV, via TV stations on 1seg in Japan (SoftBank), and for soon for the proprietary subscription-based FLO TV in the U.S. (Qualcomm). There is also a "converter" for watching DVB-H in Europe and elsewhere via WiFi streaming video (PacketVideo).

Internet Connectivity:
Internet access is available when the iPhone is connected to a local area Wi-Fi or a wide area GSM or EDGE network, both second-generation (2G) wireless data standards. The iPhone 3G also supports third-generation UMTS and HSDPA 3.6, but not HSDPA 7.2 or HSUPA networks. AT&T introduced 3G in July 2004, but as late as 2007 Steve Jobs felt that it was still not widespread enough in the US, and the chipsets not energy efficient enough, to be included in the iPhone. The iPhone 3G has a maximum download rate of 1.4 Mbp/s in the US, although faster speeds are available in Europe (T-Mobile in The Netherlands, for instance, provides 2048 kbyte/s down/384kbit/s up). Support for 802.1X, an authentication system commonly used by university and corporate Wi-Fi networks, was added in the 2.0 version update.

By default, the iPhone will ask to join newly discovered Wi-Fi networks and prompt for the password when required. Alternatively, it can join closed Wi-Fi networks manually. The iPhone will automatically choose the strongest network, connecting to Wi-Fi instead of EDGE when it is available. Similarly, the iPhone 3G prefers 3G to 2G, and Wi-Fi to either. Users can disable all wireless connections by activating Airplane Mode.

Safari is the iPhone's native web browser, and it displays pages similar to its Mac OS X counterpart. Web pages may be viewed in portrait or landscape mode and supports automatic zooming by pinching together or spreading apart fingertips on the screen, or by double-tapping text or images. The iPhone supports neither Flash nor Java. Consequently, the UK's Advertising Standards Authority adjudicated that an advertisement claiming the iPhone could access "all parts of the internet" should be withdrawn in its current form, on grounds of false advertising. The iPhone supports SVG, CSS, HTML Canvas, and Bonjour.

The maps application can access Google Maps in map, satellite, or hybrid form. It can also generate directions between two locations, while providing optional real-time traffic information. Support for walking directions, public transit, and street view was added in the version 2.2 software update. During the iPhone's announcement, Jobs demonstrated this feature by searching for nearby Starbucks locations and then placing a prank call to one with a single tap. Apple also developed a separate application to view YouTube videos on the iPhone, which streams videos after encoding them using the open H.264 codec. Simple weather and stock quotes also tap in to the Internet.

iPhone users can and do access the internet frequently, and in a variety of places. According to Google, the iPhone generates 50 times more search requests than any other mobile handset. According to Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann, "The average Internet usage for an iPhone customer is more than 100 megabytes. This is 30 times the use for our average contract-based consumer customers."

Text Input:
For text input, the iPhone implements a virtual keyboard on the touchscreen. It has automatic spell checking and correction, predictive word capabilities, and a dynamic dictionary that learns new words. The keyboard can predict what word the user is typing and complete it, and correct for the accidental pressing of keys adjacent to the presumed desired key. The keys are somewhat larger and spaced farther apart when in landscape mode, which is supported by only a limited number of applications. Holding a finger over a section of text brings up a magnifying glass, allowing users to place the cursor in the middle of existing text. The virtual keyboard can accommodate 21 languages, including character recognition for Chinese. The iPhone does not currently support cut, copy, or pasting text, but the feature is planned for the 3.0 update.

E-mail and Text Messages
The iPhone also features an e-mail program that supports HTML e-mail, which enables the user to embed photos in an e-mail message. PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint attachments to mail messages can be viewed on the phone. Apple's MobileMe platform offers push email, which emulates the functionality of the popular BlackBerry email solution, for an annual subscription. Yahoo! offers a free push-email service for the iPhone. IMAP (although not Push-IMAP) and POP3 mail standards are also supported, including Microsoft Exchange and Kerio MailServer. In the first versions of the iPhone firmware, this was accomplished by opening up IMAP on the Exchange server. Apple has also licensed Microsoft ActiveSync and now supports the platform (including push email) with the release of iPhone 2.0 firmware. The iPhone will sync e-mail account settings over from Apple's own Mail application, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Entourage, or it can be manually configured on the device itself. With the correct settings, the e-mail program can access almost any IMAP or POP3 account.Text messages are presented chronologically in a mailbox format similar to Mail, which places all text from recipients together with replies. Text messages are displayed in speech bubbles (similar to iChat) under each recipient's name. The iPhone currently has built-in support for e-mail message forwarding, drafts, and direct internal camera-to-e-mail picture sending. Support for multi-recipient SMS was added in the 1.1.3 software update. Support for MMS is planned for the 3.0 update for the iPhone 3G only. A lack of focus on text-messaging is widely considered a chief weakness of the iPhone, although a large number of users evidently have no issue using the device for this purpose.

Camera and Photos:
The iPhone features a built in 2.0 megapixel camera located on the back for still digital photos. It has no optical zoom, flash or autofocus, and does not support video recording. Version 2.0 of iPhone OS introduced the capability to embed location data in the pictures, producing geocoded photographs.

The iPhone includes software that allows the user to upload, view, and e-mail photos. The user zooms in and out of photos by sliding two fingers further apart or closer together, much like Safari. The Camera application also lets users view the camera roll, the pictures that have been taken with the iPhone's camera. Those pictures are also available in the Photos application, along with any transferred from iPhoto or Aperture on a Mac, or Photoshop in Windows.

Third Party Applications:
At WWDC 2007 on June 11, 2007 Apple announced that the iPhone would support third-party "web applications" written in AJAX that share the look and feel of the iPhone interface. On October 17, 2007, Steve Jobs, in an open letter posted to Apple's "Hot News" weblog, announced that a software development kit (SDK) would be made available to third-party developers in February 2008. The iPhone SDK was officially announced on March 6, 2008, at the Apple Town Hall facility. It allows developers to develop native applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as test them in an "iPhone simulator". However, loading an application onto the devices is only possible after paying a Apple Developer Connection membership fee. Developers are free to set any price for their applications to be distributed through the App Store, of which they will receive a 70 percent share. Developers can also opt to release the application for free and will not pay any costs to release or distribute the application beyond the membership fee. The SDK was made available immediately, while the launch of applications had to wait until the firmware update which was released on July 11, 2008. The update was free for iPhone users, but not for iPod Touch owners, whose devices can run iPhone applications only after paying a small fee.

Once a developer has submitted an application to the App Store, Apple holds firm control over its distribution. For example, Apple can halt the distribution of applications it deems inappropriate as has happened with a US$1000 program that has as sole purpose to demonstrate the wealth of its user. Apple has been criticized for banning third party applications that enable a functionality that Apple doesn't want the iPhone to have. In 2008, Apple rejected Podcaster, which allowed iPhone users to download podcasts directly to the iPhone claiming it duplicated the functionality of iTunes. Apple has since released a software update that grants this capability. NetShare, another rejected app, would have enabled users to tether iPhones to laptop (or desktop) computers and thereby use the iPhone as an Internet modem.

Before the SDK was released, third-parties were permitted to design "Web Apps" that would run through Safari. Unsigned native applications are also available. The ability to install native applications onto the iPhone outside of the App Store will not be supported by Apple. Such native applications could be broken by any software update, but Apple has stated it will not design software updates specifically to break native applications other than applications that perform SIM unlocking. As of March 13, 2009, iPhone software version 2.2.1 is still "exploitable" by the same method that enabled unsigned applications in software versions as early as version 1.0.1.

Accessibility:
The iPhone can enlarge text to make it more accessible for vision-impaired users, and can accommodate hearing-impaired users with closed captioning and external TTY devices. Nevertheless, Apple states that "[e]ffective use of the iPhone requires a minimal level of visual acuity, motor skills, and an ability to operate a few mechanical buttons. Use of iPhone by someone who relies solely on audible and tactile input is not recommended." The iPhone 3G has not been rated under the United States Federal Communication Commission guidelines for hearing aid compatibility at either level M3 or T3.

Intellectual Property:
Apple has filed more than 200 patents related to the technology behind the iPhone.

LG Electronics claimed the iPhone's design was copied from the LG Prada. Woo-Young Kwak, head of LG Mobile Handset R&D Center, said at a press conference, “We consider that Apple copied Prada phone after the design was unveiled when it was presented in the iF Design Award and won the prize in September 2006.”

On September 3, 1993, Infogear filed for the U.S. trademark "I PHONE" and on March 20, 1996 applied for the trademark "IPhone". "I Phone" was registered in March 1998, and "IPhone" was registered in 1999. Since then, the I PHONE mark had been abandoned. Infogear's trademarks cover "communications terminals comprising computer hardware and software providing integrated telephone, data communications and personal computer functions" (1993 filing), and "computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks" (1996 filing). Infogear released a telephone with an integrated web browser under the name iPhone in 1998. In 2000, Infogear won an infringement claim against the owners of the iphones.com domain name. In June 2000, Cisco Systems acquired Infogear, including the iPhone trademark. On December 18, 2006 they released a range of re-branded Voice over IP (VoIP) sets under the name iPhone.

In October 2002, Apple applied for the "iPhone" trademark in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and the European Union. A Canadian application followed in October 2004 and a New Zealand application in September 2006. As of October 2006 only the Singapore and Australian applications had been granted. In September 2006, a company called Ocean Telecom Services applied for an "iPhone" trademark in the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong, following a filing in Trinidad and Tobago. As the Ocean Telecom trademark applications use exactly the same wording as Apple's New Zealand application, it is assumed that Ocean Telecom is applying on behalf of Apple.] The Canadian application was opposed in August 2005 by a Canadian company called Comwave who themselves applied for the trademark three months later. Comwave have been selling VoIP devices called iPhone since 2004.

Shortly after Steve Jobs' January 9, 2007 announcement that Apple would be selling a product called iPhone in June 2007, Cisco issued a statement that it had been negotiating trademark licensing with Apple and expected Apple to agree to the final documents that had been submitted the night before. On January 10, 2007 Cisco announced it had filed a lawsuit against Apple over the infringement of the trademark iPhone, seeking an injunction in federal court to prohibit Apple from using the name. More recently, Cisco claimed that the trademark lawsuit was a "minor skirmish" that was not about money, but about interoperability.

On February 2, 2007, Apple and Cisco announced that they had agreed to temporarily suspend litigation while they hold settlement talks, and subsequently announced on February 20, 2007 that they had reached an agreement. Both companies will be allowed to use the "iPhone" name in exchange for "exploring interoperability" between their security, consumer, and business communications products.

The iPhone has also inspired several leading high-tech clones, driving both Apple's popularity and consumer willingness to upgrade iPhones quickly.

Restrictions:

SIM Lock Removal:
While initially iPhones were only sold on the AT&T network with a SIM lock in place, various hackers have found methods to "unlock" the phone; more recently some carriers have started to sell unlocked iPhones. Although AT&T is the only authorized iPhone carrier in the United States, the older, "hackable" iPhones can thus be used with an unauthorized carrier or a Wi-Fi connection after unlocking. More than a quarter of iPhones sold in the United States were not registered with AT&T. Apple speculates that they were likely shipped overseas and unlocked. AT&T has stated that the "iPhone cannot be unlocked, even if you are out of contract". The iPhone 3G has resisted being reliably unlockable for some months.

On November 21, 2007, T-Mobile in Germany announced it would sell the phone unlocked and without a T-Mobile contract, caused by a preliminary injunction against T-Mobile put in place by their competitor, Vodafone. On December 4, 2007, a German court decided to grant T-Mobile exclusive rights to sell the iPhone with SIM lock, overturning the temporary injunction. In addition, T-Mobile will voluntarily offer to unlock customers' iPhone after the termination of the contract.

On carriers where removal of the iPhone's SIM lock is allowed, the carrier can submit a request to Apple which will then remove the carrier locking on the next restore of the iPhone through iTunes. Note that in certain countries, where unlocked phones are required to be available by law, the iPhone is sold without a contract and without a SIM lock; on average, such units carry prices of US$700+ for the 8 GB model. Examples include Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, and Russia. In Australia, all three carriers (Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone) will also provide an unlock after requesting it from the carrier.

Activation:
The iPhone normally prevents access to its media player and web features unless it has also been activated as a phone with an authorized carrier. On July 3, 2007, Jon Lech Johansen reported on his blog that he had successfully bypassed this requirement and unlocked the iPhone's other features with a combination of custom software and modification of the iTunes binary. He published the software and offsets for others to use.Unlike the original, the 3G iPhone must be activated in the store in most countries. This need for in-store activation, as well as the huge number of first-generation iPhone and iPod Touch users upgrading to iPhone OS 2.0, caused a worldwide overload of Apple's servers on July 11, 2008, the day on which both the iPhone 3G and iPhone OS 2.0 updates were released. After the update, devices were required to connect to Apple's servers to authenticate the update, causing many devices to be temporarily unusable.

Users on the O2 network in the United Kingdom, however, can buy the phone online and activate it via iTunes as with the previous model. iPhones purchased in Australia as a pre-paid kit likewise do not require in-store activation, but require activation online at the Optus website and iTunes. Buyers can also activate iPhones via iTunes on Spain's Movistar network. Shops usually offer activation for the buyer's convenience. On March 26, 2009 AT&T in the United States will begin selling the iPhone without a contract for $599 for the 8GB and $699 for the 16GB model. The phones will be still SIM-locked to AT&T network. In-store phone activation will be optional.

Third Party Applications:
The iPhone's operating system is designed to only run software that has an Apple-approved cryptographic signature. This restriction can be overcome by "jailbreaking" the phone, which involves replacing the iPhone's firmware with a slightly modified version that does not enforce the signature check. Doing so may be a circumvention of Apple's technical protection measures. Apple, in a statement to the United States Copyright Office in response to EFF lobbying for a DMCA exception for this kind of hacking, claimed that jailbreaking the iPhone would be copyright infringement due to the modification of system software needed to jailbreak the iPhone.

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