Apple may have stolen the press when it introduced its new iPhone at Macworld— but for technophiles at the Consumer Electronics Show, reaction has been mixed and muted.
On Tuesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled theiPhone, a touch-screen-controlled device that plays music, surfs the internet and delivers voice mail and e-mail. Itwas certainly well-received by investors, as the company's shares went upsix per cent that day and rose another 4.79 per cent on Wednesday.
Atleast one attendee at the Consumer Electronics Showin Las Vegas saidApple had a success on its hands.
"It's going to be a hit," said Nelson Pinero, an associate planning director for the New York division of MindShare, an advertising company that works with Verizon.
"Everyone who has an iPod knows about the iPhone," he said. "They don't necessarily know the small companies that are here. It definitely stole the show."
But Pinero was in the minority among thepeople CBC News Online spoke with at CES, which for the first time overlapped with Macworld and was thus competing with it for the attention of technology observers.
Many conference attendees said the announcement was much ado about nothing.
"Just because Apple makes a phone it doesn't mean the world stops," said Michael Feldman, the president of California-based audio furniture maker Pyramat.
"I've had a few people talk to me about it but there's a lot going on at the show."
Joseph McCann, a vice-president with Pennsylvania-based Connectid, which provides location-based services, said people in the industry knew the phone was coming for awhile.
He said he finds the price — the two models retail for $499 and $599 US — a bit high. He also had concerns about the naming issue.
Cisco Systems, which owns the rights to the name iPhone, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday saying Apple had infringed on its trademark.
Many conference attendees said the iPhone didn't come up in conversations on the floor of the CES, which runs until the end of Thursday.
Tracy Garcia, a senior account manager at CarryOn Communication Inc. in Los Angeles, said Wednesday that she hasn't had anyone at the conference ask about the iPhone since it was announced a day earlier.
Griffin Benger, a 21-year-old professional video gamer from Toronto who was at CES, claimed he hadn't even heard of the iPhone.
"They should market it better," he said.
Heather Keckler, a spokesmodel at the conference, said she only heard about the iPhone from CNN, not from anyone at CES.
Keckler's husband, Peter Dobler, said he was unimpressed with what he saw from the news. Hesaid he thought there wasa downside to have something that does so much because it makes one vulnerable.
"I own an iPod, and I use it for music to my PC only. I don't want [that device] to be everything because I drop my phone all the time," he said.
Connectid's McCann said he thinks phone manufacturers are increasingly moving away from high-end technologies and more towards fashion retail models because that's what the phone carriers want.
Because of that demand, manufacturers have produced more stylish phones like LG's ultra-slim Chocolate or Nokia's L'Amour collection of mobile phones.
"Increasingly I'm seeing phones as more fashion items as opposed to high-tech devices," said McCann.
Where the iPhone fits into that market is unclear, since while its look is in keeping with the iPod's style, its extra high-end features and price could make it less appealing.