Apple iPhone Arrives as iPod Approaches $10B Annual Sales and Growth Slows

At the Macworld expo today, Steve Jobs announced Apple's long-awaited jump into mobile phone business with the launch of iPhone and renamed the company to just "Apple Inc.," from Apple Computer, as the company's focus shifts to consumer electronics. Apple iPhone Starts at $499. 

iPhone will operate exclusively on AT&T Inc.'s Cingular wireless network and start shipping in June. A 4-gigabyte model will cost $499, while an 8-gigabyte iPhone will sell for $599. 

Apple sold 39.4 million iPods that brought in $7.68 billion in revenue during its most recent fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2006, but the growth in iPods is slowing from the 409% pace in 2005 to just 75% in 2006. 2007 will see further stabilization of the market as Apple is expected to sell some 45 million iPods during the 2007 fiscal year ending Sep 30, and bring in just under $9 billion in sales.

The iPhone would give Apple access to the huge wireless business, with nearly a billion handsets shipped every year, compared to the nearly 70 million iPods sold over the past five years.

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