The Apple iPhone will cost $599 when it is released at 6 p.m. June 29.
But that cost is just for starters.
Although the iPhone is being positioned by one Mr. Jobs for its Wi-Fi coolness, the folks at AT&T Mobility are going to require you to sign up for a two-year data plan before you can get access to much of the cool stuff.
Triston has been talking with an AT&T Wireless store manager who tells him that distribution materials that are now reaching stores clearly state users must purchase data plans to buy iPhones. "In fact," writes Triston of his conversation with the store manager, "he said the iPhone will come with a unique contract that doesn’t exist for any other phone AT&T sells...
"Though Steve Jobs clearly stated the the connectivity dependence of the iPhone will focus on WiFi and Blu-tooth, visual voicemail, Google Maps, or any of the other main features will be available only through a contractual AT&T data plan," Triston continues.
"Though this might not sound bad, prices on iPhone plans have yet to be released; I, for one, am constantly immersed in the world of WiFi, nearly everywhere I go…a data plan (for the actual data transfer capabilities) would be a complete waste of money," he adds. "I don’t want to be locked into a 2 year data package when I use WiFi constantly…but apparently it isn’t an option."
Actually I can see the business sense of this. Why would AT&T, in their position of exclusive provider of the iPhone, want to cede mobile minutes to Wi-Fi?