Apple's iPhone has been surrounded in a thick cloud of hype
ever since it was announced in early January. The phone was announced at MacWorld 2007
in January, but it was all the talk at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las
Vegas which was being held at the same time.
From the beginning, Apple said that the iPhone would ship in
June of this year and would be a Cingular Wireless (AT&T Wireless)
exclusive phone. Late last month, an unofficial launch date of
June 11 was reported by CNET. The
launch would coincide with Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San
Francisco which is slated to run from June 11 through June 15.
Things took an even more interesting turn when Apple
announced that it would delay the launch of its OS X 10.5 Leopard operating
from June until October. At the time, the iPhone was blamed for
the delay. "iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever
shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a
price -- we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from
our Mac OS(R) X team," said Apple on April 12.
Apple noted at the time that a "late June" launch
date was in sight for the iPhone. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer reiterated
yesterday that the iPhone will indeed ship in late June. "We look
forward to shipping the iPhone in late June and are very excited," said
Oppenheimer also noted that the company's impressive gross
margin of 35 percent would not be sustainable going forward due to fluctuations
in component prices.
Apple's iPhone will be priced at $499 for the 4GB model and
$599 for the 8GB model -- both prices are with 2-year contracts. The phone
doubles as a portable audio player (a la the iPod) and includes a 3.5"
320x480 display, WiFi and OS X. The exact processor used by the phone is
unknown at this time, but it is likely some variant of
quote: to go out of my way and pay $500 for these features...you are outside your mind.