Cupertino, Calif.— Recent Apple advertisements announced a date of June 29 for the availability of the much-anticipated iPhone at AT&T/Cingular, Apple stores and online.
The smartphone/iPod is to be offered at $499 and $599, according to the originally announced plan in January.
The iPhone is expected to alter the smartphone market through its styling and functionality if not its initial sales.
IDCmobile device research director Shiv Bakhshi noted, “It’s going to tempt or force other vendors to look at how they can improve the look and feel of their phones, so it’s going to have a serious impact on the industry in that sense. Is it going to cause a major change in shipment volumes? Well, Apple’s ambition is to sell 10 million phones by the end of the year. Even if it were to meet its goals, and there’s no reason to believe it shouldn’t, it’s 10 million out of 1-odd billion that will be sold next year worldwide.”
Bakhshi notes that some consumers may also delay a purchase of the iPhone until their service contract with another carrier expires as the iPhone is offered only through AT&T/Cingular.
The iPhone has no keypad but uses a touch-sensitive screen. It allows Web browsing including Google and Yahoo! searches. Users can read Web pages while downloading email in the background over Wi-Fi or EDGE. It also provides access to information such as traffic and map directions.