For those of you not accustomed to caring about Apple products, prepare yourselves: the hype machine is officially in overdrive. With iPhone set to launch this Friday June 29 at 6pm (literally), Apple's legendary buzz-making forces are in full effect. The company has installed giant iPhone-shaped widescreen monitors in many of their retail locations, showing iPhone demos on continuous loop. Plans to close Apple and AT&T retail stores have also surfaces: outlets tapped to sell the handset will be closing at 4:30 pm to prepare for the launch, and then reopening at 6pm. Extra employees have been hired to help with everything from sales to crowd control, and store managers have been directed to talk with neighbors regarding expected lines that could interfere with sidewalk traffic.
Apple has also announced that iPhone will be YouTube compatible out of the box, and they've posted a mammoth 23-minute "Guided Tour" video walkthrough outlining iPhone's features and how to use them. Additionally, photos have surfaced of some of the 20+ accessories said to be ready for sale come Friday evening - including Apple's own $129 Bluetooth earpiece.
Beyond that, speculation regarding the cost of iPhone's data plan has turned into a Boy Genius post outlining some purported details on "iPlan," In typical Apple fashion, nothing official has been said about how much an iPhone-compatible data plan will cost, and whether or not the plan will be a mandatory part of iPhone service. Boy Genius is reporting the plan will cost between $35 and $45/month, and include unlimited data and either 2,000 text messages or unlimited text messaging. The report also contains some interesting/amusing info on the the highly orchestrated FedEx delivery schedule to make sure that no iPhones wind up at retail outlets ahead of time or get stolen en route.
Read - Boy Genius on "iPlan" Data Plan: boygeniusreport.com/2007/06/25/iphone-data-plan-dubbed-the-iplan/
Watch - Apple Guided Tour of iPhone: apple.com/iphone/usingiphone/guidedtour.html