Apple's iPhone coming on June 29
Apple will launch its iPhone in the U.S. on June 29, the company said in TV commercials that began airing on Sunday.
The much-talked-about iPhone combines the features of an iPod music and video player with those of a cellular telephone and will be available through AT&T Wireless Services.
AT&T, which acquired Cingular Wireless, hasn’t yet announced details of how it will sell the phones although long lines outside outlets are almost assured if the phone will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Two models will be available. One with 4GB of memory will cost $499 and a version with double the memory will cost $599, the companies said previously.
Announcement of the launch date ends a five-month guessing game that began on Jan. 10 when Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone during his keynote speech at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.
During the keynote Jobs touted the iPhone as “revolutionary” and demonstrated its features to an enthralled audience. Chief among the features is Multi-Touch, a touchscreen display system that can differentiate and react to simultaneous touches from two fingers. Typically touchpanels cannot handle input at more than one point on the screen.
In addition to the 3.5-inch display, the phone will feature a 2-megapixel camera, headset and audio jacks, and an iPod dock.
Last month, Apple announced the iPhone had received approval from the Federal Communications Commission, putting it on track to meet its scheduled June ship date.
The first iPhone model will be quad-band GSM (global system for mobile communications), meaning it should work in almost every major country in the world. Exceptions to this will be Japan and South Korea, where GSM is not used. Data transmission will be supported by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and EDGE.
Behind the iPhone’s slick user interface is Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. Apple had previously said that third-party developers wouldn’t be able to write applications and load them onto the phone, but speaking last week Jobs said Apple is working on a way to allow developers access to the phone.
Apple has also posted three of the TV commercials on its Web site. Never Been an iPod notes the similarities between the iPhone and Apple’s popular iPod music player—the ability to play music and movies, chiefly—while also highlighting the iPhone’s advantages such as MultiTouch and a screen that automatically rotates as you turn the device vertically and horizontally. How To offers a 30-second overview of the device. And Calamari highlights iPhone’s Internet capabilities.
Macworld.com staff contributed to this report.