LAS VEGAS Steve Jobs's voice carries. Apple's (AAPL.O) chief executive in San Francisco drowned out much of the buzz on Tuesday from the biggest U.S. consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, hundreds of miles.
In one meeting at the Consumer Electronics Show, an analyst receiving an email turned to colleagues and whispered simply "iPhone." Several nodded knowingly: Apple had finally announced the much-anticipated iPod mobile phone, dubbed the iPhone.
The nearly razor-thin phone -- slimmer than Motorola Inc'sMOT.N trend-setting Razr -- offers communication, entertainment and the Internet in a half-inch thick package that features a large touch screen devoid of the buttons and flip tops of rivals.
In a Las Vegas press room, reporters set aside deadlines to debate whether the engadget or Gizmodo blog had better coverage of Jobs' Macworld speech unfolding in San Francisco. Others simply asked whether they were at the right conference.
A senior executive of a major media company looked at a reporter's screen to get a glimpse of the iPhone and excitedly discussed its potential while the world's largest mobile phone maker, Nokia NOK1V.HE, treated the announcement as vindication of its own strategy.
"This confirms Apple have the same vision as Nokia has had for many years, how the mobile phone market is moving to multi-purpose devices," a spokesman said. However, Nokia's shares edged down while Apple stock soared.
Not even Michael Dell, founder of the PC maker that bears his name, could escape questions about the new iPhone device during a news conference on a Dell Inc.DELL.O environmental project.
"I haven't seen it yet," Dell said. "I heard about it while walking in the hallway. I was a little busy with my own things. Ask us in a couple of days."