I've waited so long to say this: IT'S HERE!!!
After unprecedented speculation, hype and subsequent expectation the iPhone officially goes on sale today in the US. Queues began forming outside Apple & AT&T stores more than 100 hours before launch (apparently a record, though how do you accurately measure these things?) and stores across the land have adjusted today's opening hours (9am – 2pm, with launch at 6pm to midnight) to try and satisfy voracious demand (noble, but fat chance).
A two year network contract and $499 (4GB) or $599 (8GB) bill will await the 'lucky' minority who do get their hands on the fabled "Jesus Phone" though tariffs are reasonable ranging from $59.99 per month right up to $200pm with 'family packages' based on multiple handset purchases also available – though two units per person is the day one limit.
As for the pros and cons of the device I've already aggregated the early reviews but the basic gist of it goes like this: beautiful hardwearing design, revolutionary interface, breakthrough multimedia functionality and superb battery life verses no 3G, limited third party applications, a weak, non-video capable camera, no document editing, no flash or embedded video browser support, no A2DP capable Bluetooth or MMS, no cut and paste commands or music ringtone support and average call quality.
We hope some of the latter issues are fixed in future firmware updates but we hear the absence of 3G in particular has scared many of the European telcos off the iPhone as it runs counter to their policies for high end handsets. Despite this (and reports of outrageous Apple arrogance demands) I would suspect a European – if not global – announcement(s) to be made soon after the US hubbub has died down.
Now can the company please get back to making iPods...?!?!?!?!?!