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iPhone Latest: PAYG? Dodgy Keyboard? Plentiful Stock?

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Despite the official announcement, impending launch date and Apple product page there are still a great many unknowns about the year's most eagerly awaited technological device.

One of the biggest is whether the iPhone will be available without the brutal two year network contract and according to unofficial Apple weblog tuaw the answer is 'maybe'. It notes that the 'Use requires minimum new 2 year activation plan' scrawl at the end of the recent iPhone ads has been omitted. Of course it could just be shoddy ad splicing by the networks, but a PAYG option – even if it was locked to AT&T – would perhaps broaden the appeal and could set a precedent for the European market.

Personally speaking however, I have a bigger phobia of what a contract free iPhone would cost than I do of a two year contract…

Also up and running is talk that the iPhone virtual keyboard is – quite frankly – pants. Who says? Traditional Apple hater John Dvorak in his latest rant, but there is also chat that the device's developers are none to enamoured with it inside Apple HQ. My take: the love-fest that will inevitably greet the iPhone's launch will equally inevitably spark a massive backlash. If anything can fuel it a virtual onscreen keyboard can…

Finally doing the rounds this week is news from the rather more impartial source of BusinessWeek (a site which shares our fondness for scrapping the spaces between words). It claims Apple will have nearly three million iPhone units ready for launch. Given that some analysts claim the company will only shift this number of phones during the whole of 2007 some could say Apple is being extremely optimistic here. I would say Steve J clearly has something up his sleeve… …and that Apple has nowhere near this number of handsets ready come 29 June!

Just 20 more days to go, thankfully. Then my nightmares can be restricted to the number of Euro related iPhone stories I'll have to write!

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