When Steve Jobs said that he was going to announce a new iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough Internet communicator, for a slight moment, we thought he really meant three different products. Our assumption wasn't totally wrong though, because the iPhone is exactly that: three products rolled into one unit.
Apple wants to revolutionize the user interface of the mobile and according to Jobs, one major problem with mobile phones these days (even new smartphones) is the static keypad and keyboard - Sorry, Blackberry and Palm lovers, but you're passe. Buttons and controls can't be changed, making it hard for manufacturers to add new features to existing products.
For a truly revolutionary UI, both hardware and software have to work hand in hand. The iPhone does away with traditional external input. There are no physical buttons and even a stylus is shunned for the touchscreen. So how does one input anything into the phones? Why - by using our fingers (and thumb) of course! To quote Jobs' keynote address, "The patented Multi-touch input works like magic, needs no stylus, is far more accurate, ignores unintended touches and allows multi-finder gestures". The iPhone in essence is "Five years ahead of any other phones".
The other bombshell dropped is that the iPhone runs on OS X. This certainly sounds like a logical choice for Apple. The networking, syncing, multi-tasking, and security advantages of OS X as well as its power efficiency are some of the reasons behind this choice. Of course, we mustn't forget other important components of OS X such as Core animation and Cocoa. At the end of the day, the iPhone is capable of providing desktop class application and networking capability. Because the iPhone is essentially an iPod as well, software updates work just like any iPod and available only through iTunes. One thing's for certain though, Apple is still tight lipped on what processor is powering the iPhone.