iPhone Countdown

By: Philip Stewart Email
By: Philip Stewart Email

June 28, 2007

Perhaps it's the way Apple marketed the iPhone that created such hype. The company is quick to point out that the iPhone is not just a phone. Among other things it can act as a camera, a music player, a movie player, and a web browser.

It is not out yet, it is scheduled to be released Friday at 6pm, but already lots of potential buyers, know all about it.

"It's what everybody is looking for," said Chad Hackman, the store manager at the AT&T Wireless store on Emmett Street in Charlottesville. "It's a dream phone come true."

The iPhone features a touch-screen. There are no number keys. Tech-savvy consumers across the country and in Charlottesville are talking about it.

"It's a great device by Apple, which has been given a lot of hype," explained Hackman. "And yes, there has been quite a bit of inquiries about it."

The local AT&T Wireless store on Emmet Street could not say how many phones they would have, but, like all other stores across the county, they will close their doors at 4:30 Friday afternoon, to prepare the store for the launch of the iPhone. Stores will reopen at 6pm, when the iPhone officially goes on sale.

"We're going to have all of my sales associates ready to to be here tomorrow, so we're going to be fully staffed," said Hackman. "More than likely, I think if you want the phone, you're going want to be here a couple of hours before we reopen. I really don't know what to expect."

But in Manhattan it was a different story. Store managers there know exactly what to expect: crowds. Thursday morning dozens of people were already camped out outside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue for the release.

But among all this hype, there are no reviews out on the phone yet. And it's not cheap. The price starts at about $500 and goes up to about $600. Plus, some consumer experts say the battery life may not live up to expectations.

Even still, Apple is banking on the success of the i-Pod to carry over into the cell phone market.

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