Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It's official: iPhone due on 6/29

In a series of television commercials that debuted over the weekend, Apple revealed that it would release the iPhone, its highly anticipated combination cellphone and iPod digital-media player, June 29.

The iPhone will come in two versions: a $499 model with 4 gigabytes of storage and a $599 model with 8 gigabytes of storage. AT&T will be the exclusive wireless carrier for the iPhone for two years. Both Apple and AT&T will sell the iPhone at their stores. It will come with a two-year service contract.

In addition to being a phone and an iPod, The iPhone will serve as an Internet-access device and a digital camera.

Apple boss Steve Jobs first showed the iPhone in January at the Macworld show. He said that within a year the company hoped to claim a 1 percent share of the worldwide market of 1 billion cellphones.

AT&T plans to use the iPhone to enhance advertising for its newly branded wireless business. The company has phased out the name Cingular Wireless and is adopting the AT&T brand.

Although AT&T is the largest wireless carrier in the US in terms of customers, Verizon Wireless is gaining fast. AT&T executives believe the iPhone could swing momentum back to their company. The iPhone won't be subsidized by Apple or AT&T, allowing AT&T to drop prices on other handset models and put more pressure on its rivals. Sprint Nextel could be the biggest victim of the iPhone's success. (info from ContraCosta Times)

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