Can Apple top the iPhone?

January 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
There is eager anticipation about what will happen Tuesday at Apple's Macworld convention. What gadgets and gizmos will Steve Jobs unveil? There's a lot of speculation about what's coming.

The rumor mill is working overtime, trying to guess what CEO Steve Jobs has up his sleeve. There is no doubt that last year's big announcement, unveiling the iPhone, has had a big impact on technology, on Apple and on the future of handheld devices.

You see smart phones everywhere -- handheld devices that now behave more like small computers.

"I think that's where we're all going at this point. We all want to have our information right there, every time we open up our mobile device," says Jim Dalrymle, news editor for Macworld Magazine.

And when Macworld opens its doors to 50,000 people, a major focus will be new applications for mobile devices.

"The Mac market share, especially the mobile market share, is rising and rising and rising, so we are very excited and very happy," says Jan Fuellerman with Nova Media.

Jan Fuellemann is here from Berlin to show off a $19 application that can transfer contacts and other data to an iPhone from any other cell phone.

Developers in particular are anxious to create games for the iPhone. Mark Johns says the iPhone's game potential is huge.

"It's got the touch sensitivity, a microphone, a camera and the phone. There's a lot of creative and interesting games that can be developed specifically for the hardware," says Johns with Danlab Games.

Apple is expected to release an iPhone software developer's kit soon.

Redwood Shores-based Electronic Arts already has seven games available for the iPod, plus over 100 games for other mobile devices.

"There are about three billion handsets out there, 85-percent of which are game capable. So right there, that's just a huge market," says Matt Marquess, an Eletronic Arts spokesperson.

It's such a growing market that EA has 300 developers working on mobile games.

"We have development going on in North America, Europe and Asia," says Trudy Muller with EA Games Entertainment.

It's still a secret what Apple CEO Steve Jobs will announce Tuesday. There's speculation about downloadable movie rentals on iTunes. If so, Creative Labs has an iPod docking station that will upgrade video for HD sets.

"We would be very excited to be able to be that bridge for any kind of movies or video services that might be available," says Jared Peck, product marketing manager for Creative Labs.

One year ago, when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, Apple stock jumped $7.10, closing at $92.57. The stock price has nearly doubled in the past year, closing today at $178.78.

Can Apple top the iPhone? We'll find out Tuesday morning when Steve Jobs gives his keynote speech.

Web sites and blogs devoted to tracking the MacWorld Expo: