The Wait Is Over: iFriday Is Here

Friday, June 29, 2007 will forever be known as iFriday: The iPhone will be released tonight at 6 p.m.

CBS News technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg took one last look at the iPhone on Friday's The Early Show before it became available to the public later in the day.

Since Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone on Jan. 9, the hype leading up to iFriday has been unprecedented. There is a Web site that counts down the milliseconds until the iPhone is officially released. Some people have waited in line for days for the opportunity to be one of the first to purchase an iPhone.

NBC's Conan O'Brien even parodied the hype and the all-in-one nature of the iPhone. He said, "It blow dries your hair. It's a condiment dispenser. A hand grenade."

Some analysts believe that Apple could sell 100 million iPhones by 2010 because of its unique design. David Pogue of The New York Times said the iPhone is "the most sophisticated, outlook-changing piece of electronics in years."

"I think when people touch it or see their friend with it, (they) will say, 'That's what I want. How long until I can get that?'" said Richard Dougherty of The Envisioneering Group.

The iPhone is priced at $499 for the 4 GB model and $599 for 8 GB of storage. Additionally, there is a $36 one-time activation fee. In addition, you'll need to sign a two-year contract with AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone, starting at $59.99 a month.

While the iPhone is advertised as very user-friendly, Sieberg says that it takes a while to get used to the touch-screen format. Unlike most phones, there's no physical keypad. "It's a virtual keypad. You need narrower fingers than me," Sieberg said. "I'm not good at the typing part yet."

The music capability differs from an iPod. While the iPhone doesn't have a click-wheel, it does feature Cover Flow, which lets you flip through album covers rather than simply searching through a digital list of albums and songs. The Cover Flow feature is enabled when the iPhone is flipped horizontally while you search music.

In addition to the unique keypad, Sieberg noted that the iPhone has a few other drawbacks. It is a long-term commitment, unlike other Apple products. "You do have to think of this as an investment. You've got this two-year contract to think about," he said. Sieberg also was skeptical about the iPhone's battery-life.

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