This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2007-06-04 at 5:05 p.m.
The permanent URL for this article is: http://tidbits.com/article/9018
Include images: Off

Apple to Release iPhone on June 29th

by Glenn Fleishman

Through a trio of commercials [1], Apple has revealed that Friday, June 29th will be the release date of the iPhone. The ads demonstrated some of the iPhone's unique combination of capabilities, including watching video, a "glass" (key-free) keyboard, rich email, and integration with Google Maps and local results (see "iPhone Seeks to Redefine the Mobile Phone [2]," 2007-01-15) . While each of these capabilities is available on existing smartphones and other devices, no phone combines all of them, nor offers a library of music and video anywhere as extensive as Apple's iTunes Store.

It's unclear what Apple means by the June 29th release date: that the iPhone will arrive on your doorstep if you've ordered one or that you will be able to go to an Apple Store or an AT&T (formerly Cingular) corporate store to obtain one. AT&T has not yet started to accept orders for the iPhone, but I would imagine that will occur soon. AT&T recently changed the signage and other details at its many corporate stores to shed the Cingular logo and name in preparation for the iPhone launch, the company said a few weeks ago.

The advertisements confirm that an iPhone requires a two-year commitment through AT&T. Recent rumors suggested that a prepaid option would be available, but that seemed unlikely given the premium nature of the phone and the exclusivity that results from it.

The iPhone will appear in two models: a 4 GB unit for $500 and an 8 GB model for $600. The iPhone includes Wi-Fi and EDGE support, the latter being a cell data standard that runs two to three times faster than a dial-up modem, and is widely available. Pricing for Wi-Fi and EDGE plans hasn't yet been announced.

T-Mobile offers the closest competition for such a package, with $30 per month providing unlimited use of EDGE data everywhere and Wi-Fi connections at over 7,000 T-Mobile Wi-Fi hot spots in the United States.

[1]: http://www.apple.com/iphone/ads/
[2]: http://db.tidbits.com/article/8810