It's launch day!
Yes, after years of rumours concerning its existence, a lavish unveiling, frenzied US launch and chaotic carrier bidding the iPhone touches down in the UK today.
The hallowed device - often dubbed the 'Jesus Phone' or 'God Phone' - will go on sale at 6.02pm precisely at Apple, O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores nationwide (though official Apple resellers are somewhat cruelly left in the cold).
The iPhone itself will cost a monstrous £269 (the cheaper 4GB variant was canned soon after its US launch) and tariffs are little better at £35, £45 and £55 for 200 minutes/200 texts, 600 minutes/500 texts and 1200 minutes/500 texts respectively. A truly unlimited data package sweetens this somewhat however as does free access to more than 7500 Cloud WiFi hotspots.
Darkening this is news that police are already warning potential owners to keep their iPhones out of public view for fear they will be targeted by muggers. Furthermore, a rash of sites are promising to unlock the handset for use on other networks, though given the UK model ships with software version 1.1.2 it is likely to be some weeks before a new hack is developed for it.
So is all this cost and hype worth the effort? In a word: Yes. While a 3G capable, Bluetooth A2DP sporting model with GPS might be the holy grail the iPhone itself is the best, most user friendly convergence device on the market with an interface literally years ahead of the competition.
Don't believe me? Go check out our in depth review then get queuing...
Update: Carphone Warehouse is now selling iPhones at 6pm not 6.02pm - giving two fingers the way of Jobs. In addition, v1.1.2 gets its global release today. It does relock iPhones and iPod touches but hackers have already opened it up (!) so expect some user friendly unlocks to appear soon.
Apple iPhone UK
O2 iPhone Page
Carphone Warehouse iPhone Page
iPhone Launches In UK!
It's launch day!