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.
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″ 320×480 display, WiFi and OS X. The exact processor used by the phone is unknown at this time, but it is likely some variant of Marvel’s PXA320.
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