Trust Steve Jobs to marry tech with cool, time and again. The founder of Apple Inc. who first introduced computers to the home with his Mac and later portable digital music players to the world with his iPod, took the year with him ever since he announced last January the iPhone - a multi-media enabled handphone that bundles in a camera, Internet and a music player, in addition to state-of-the-art capabilities for Wi-Fi connectivity.
The special twists came in the form of a to-diefor touchscreen keyboard and Jobs's own marketing tactic of offering the handsets only to those who subscribe to services by select players, such as AT&T in the US, which started selling it in June. UK's O2, France's Orange and Germany's TMobile are others that belong to the alliance, which provides that tag of exclusivity and snob value to the slick, aesthetically charged machine.
That's where Apple's mystique lies. Controversy and media attention arrived in events surrounding attempts to supply "unlocked" versions of the iPhone in the grey or black markets outside the hold of authorised service providers.
Named by Time magazine as Invention of the Year, Apple's sales crossed one million in September. Not officially yet in India, iPhone handsets with questionable legal value have been lapped up by tech-snobs and the uber-cools in places like Delhi's dingy Gaffar Market.