Speed Bumps For The iPhone

Apple cashiers rush to ring iPhones on portable credit card terminals Friday, June 29, 2007 inside the Apple store at The Grove in Los Angeles. The iPhone's price tag: $499 for a 4-gigabyte model and $599 for an 8-gigabyte version, on top of a minimum $59.99-a-month two-year service plan with AT&T. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

As Apple and its customers work out the speed bumps in what has been one of the most highly anticipated tech product launches in years, software developers are thinking about just one thing: the endless opportunities the iPhone may have for them.

There's no time to waste: software developers anxious to find ways to write and market programs tailored to the iPhone's Web browser will be meeting in San Francisco this weekend – just one week after the launch of the hot new device - at an ad hoc conference called iPhoneDevCamp.

Unlike many high level tech conferences, this one is free – organized by volunteers who say the goal is to bring web designers, developers, testers and iPhone owners together to develop web-based applications and optimize web sites for the iPhone to improve the web experience for iPhone.

Consumer advocates are also focused on improving the user experience for the device, an all-in-one cell phone, iPod media player and wireless Web-browsing device.

The Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights has sent a letter to Apple and AT&T Inc., the cell phone's exclusive carrier, complaining that customers were being left in the dark about the procedure and cost of replacing the gadget's battery.

The iPhone's battery is apparently soldered on inside the device and cannot be swapped out by the owner like most other cell phones.

Apple spokeswoman Jennifer Hakes said Thursday the company posted the battery replacement details on its Web site last Friday after the product went on sale.

Users would have to submit their iPhone to Apple for battery service. The service will cost users $79, plus $6.95 for shipping, and will take three business days.

The procedure is similar to the one it has for the company's best-selling iPod players, but because some users will not want to live without their cell phones, Apple is also offering a loaner iPhone for $29 while the gadget is under repair.

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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