The much-hyped Apple iPhone will be available in Europe in late 2007. The device, unveiled by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the Macworld Conference will be offered in the US from June.
The phone, which will be offered exclusively through carrier Cingular Wireless, has the hefty list price of
US$500 for a device with a 4GB hard drive or $600 for one with an 8GB hard drive, although customers will probably be offered a discount when they sign a contract with Cingular. European pricing is yet to be announced.
Apple has had an unhappy history with Cingular: their previous collaboration involving Motorola's Rokr phone installed with Apple's iTunes service was a flop.
This time, Apple has got it right insists Jobs. "IPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone," he said. "Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone." The device will be based around a touchscreen rather than the more conventional buttons.
The iPhone will operate on Cingular's EDGE data network and will also supports 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 wireless technologies.
There is still some doubt as to whether Apple has the right to use the iPhone trademark. The name is a registered trademark of Linksys, a division of Cisco. Linksys picked up the iPhone name when it bought a company called Infogear Technology in 2000.
Cisco has been in negotiations with Apple for a few years over a trademark licensing agreement, and intensively in the last few weeks, said Cisco spokesman John Noh. As late as Monday night, final terms were being added to the contract, he said.
"It is our belief that with their announcement, Apple intends to agree to the final document and public statement that were distributed to them last night and that addressed a few remaining items. We expect to receive a signed agreement today," he added.
Original reporting by IDG news service