As of Sunday evening, the tech world's worst-kept secret is finally out of the bag with the news that Apple will begin selling its iPhone in the US on 29 June. The confirmation of the late-June on-sale date we've long expected came when US television began to air commercials for the phone yesterday evening.
A European launch date has still to be confirmed (we anticipate it will be around November). But readers this side of the Atlantic are free to work themselves into a tech-lust frenzy by watching several of the TV spots on Apple's US website .
The iPhone was first made public by Steve Jobs at the MacWorld trade show in January. It'll be available in two varieties and only on the Cingular network owned by AT&T. A 4GB model will cost $499 (£252), while an 8GB version will go for $599 (£302). Details have yet to be announced, but Cingular could require a commitment of up to two years from prospective iPhone owners.
Although the new Apple device has been one of the most eagerly anticipated consumer products for years, many observers predict that the high price -- among other factors -- could hold it back. As ever, our wallets will have the final say. But the amount of hype generated by Apple's trickle-down marketing machine makes it a relief that the waiting game is almost over.