As promised, Apple and AT&T will launch the iPhone this month — June 29, to be exact, so they can use up as much runway as possible without the appearance of a delay. That’s a Friday for anyone planning a campout. The companies announced the date Sunday night — I saw one of the ads on ESPN late in the Yankees-Red Sox game; others caught it on 60 Minutes. The ad demos the phone, showing how easy it is to use touch to turn it on and off, play music, check email, go vertical and horizontal, view pictures, read the New York Times (
not sure what app is being used to show it off) advanced Safari browser that shows “any” web page as designed, and allows zooming), answer the phone. Apple has posted the ads. The one I saw is called “How to.” You can also take a series of QuickTours for various features.
— iPhone buyers will be required to sign a new two-year contract. Based on current Cingular/AT&T rules, this means anyone who has signed a two-year plan in the last 18-plus months won’t be eligible unless he or she adds a line or opens a new account.
Update: If you thought the hype was intense before this, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The likely main difference: less conjecture about launch features.
NYT: John Markoff has the prototypical anecdote of a potential customer seeing an onscreen demonstration and being surprised that it’s a cellphone, too.
— Apple CEO Steve Jobs may be willing to bend a bit when it comes to outside software. “A person briefed on Apple