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Media (Apple) Media Communications Handhelds Businesses Hardware Apple

Apple and AT&T Announce iPhone Service Plans 538

daveschroeder writes "Apple and AT&T today announced service plans for iPhone, 4 days before its release in the US at 6pm local time on Friday, June 29. The plans are $59.99/mo for 450 minutes, $79.99 for 900 minutes, and $99.99 for 1350 minutes, and all include unlimited data, 200 SMS messages, rollover minutes, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling. Any other standard AT&T service plan may also be used. A two year service plan is required, with a $175 cancellation fee if terminated early. In addition, activations are done via iTunes, so only the hardware is purchased in the store. Interestingly, activation of a contract via iTunes is required to enable the iPod/syncing functionality of the phone as well. (It will remain to be seen whether there are workarounds for this for those who only want the iPod functionality of iPhone, and whether the iPhone is easily unlockable for those who wish to try it on alternate carriers, and so on.)"
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Apple and AT&T Announce iPhone Service Plans

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  • whether the iPhone is easily unlockable for those who wish to try it on alternate carriers, and so on.

    I thought one could purchase an unlocked iPhone from the Apple stores, instead of going to AT&T?
    • by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <Falcon5768@comca ... t minus caffeine> on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:33AM (#19649321) Journal
      nope, its only Apple stores and select AT&T stores are carrying it. In no way has it ever been stated that you can buy a unlocked phone. Jobs was very clear to the fact that the iPhone was a 2 year AT&T exclusive.
      • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:40AM (#19649395)
        Actually, it's not quite that simple.

        Here is who's carrying it:

        - Apple retail stores []
        - Apple online store []
        - AT&T corporate stores [] (not corporate kiosks or resellers initially, but those may come in the future)

        As to the other points:

        Yes, it's always been generally said that iPhone would require a two year contract, but what was said at the keynote was that the agreement between Apple and AT&T was a "multi year exclusive", which has subsequently been revealed to be five years. Until today, it appeared that AT&T would be selling the phones with mandatory activation, whereas you could just walk out with a phone from the Apple store. So, a lot of people were hoping that the phone was hackable or easily unlockable, so as to use it with other carriers. If the iTunes activation thing is easily worked around AND the phone is unlockable in some way, then you might be able to move it to another carrier. The worst case scenario - assuming the phone is unlockable - is that you sign on with AT&T, have them unlock the phone after 90 days (assuming it's unlockable in this way), cancel the contract, and move to another carrier. Obviously, a lot of people are hoping they can just buy the hardware, unlock it somehow, and use it on the carrier of their choice. That may still be possible, but we really won't know until people start playing with these things.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MindStalker ( 22827 )
          The very fact that its activated through iTunes means that even if you can unlock it to a different carrier it will then be completely unusable through standard iTunes. So meaning even if you can unlock it it won't be very useful for anything but a mobile phone. I'm guessing after the 5 year contract (Apples contract with AT&T not yours) other vendors will also appear in the iTunes activation. So in reality your 2 year contract is 5 years as it will be 5 years before you can use anything but AT&T.
    • by adamstew ( 909658 ) * on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:36AM (#19649351)
      Nope...The iPhone is exclusive to AT&Tingular for a "Multi year exclusive" So...unless someone finds a way to unlock it, the iPhone at AT&T are married for a minimum of 2 years in the USA...there has been speculation that it's a 5 year exclusive for the USA, but no one knows for sure yet.

      According to the article, you buy the phone from apple or AT&T unactivated...You then use iTunes to activate the phone and your plan. It seems Apple wanted total control over the unboxing and activation experience...they didn't want oily prepubescent AT&T sales reps get their greasy fingerprints all over someone's brand new iPhone :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mmeister ( 862972 )
        That fact alone is almost worth the cost of the iPhone.

        Also, they make it super easy to transfer an existing number. Bravo Apple!!
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by soft_guy ( 534437 ) *
          I have to second this one. Everyone was worried that it would take 30 minutes in the store to activate the phone. This way, you can do it at home. It also has some benefits in that it gets people used to using iTunes with the phone which obviously benefits Apple. This is a very slick product. Some people don't like slick and I can appreciate that, but I love slick.
      • by adamstew ( 909658 ) * on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:43AM (#19649437)
        Also...check out .html [] for a video on how to activate using iTunes...It would seem that this is the same for iPhones bought at AT&T stores and Apple Stores. So...lines should be quick...just go in, pay for the phone, and go home to activate... None of this activating a plan and taking 30 minutes to get going bull that normally comes with buying a cell phone...In, Pay, Out, Activate.

        Lines should move fairly quickly.
  • A few other notes (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:26AM (#19649229)
    - iPhone DOES have a user-accessible SIM tray.

    - Since one would presume the iPod functionality of the device still needs to work when the contract expires, there is probably going to be a fairly easy hack/workaround to use only the iPod functionality (e.g., perhaps just a file sitting somewhere, a la .AppleSetupDone).

    - It will be interesting to see whether AT&T will unlock the phone on request, as they do for other GSM phones (for international travel and prepaid SIMs), and if that is the case, how well other carriers' networks work with iPhone (obviously sans things like Visual Voicemail).

    - Still no word on battery replacement specifics, but it seems safe to assume that iPhone is the same as iPod in this respect; namely, that it is sealed and that the battery isn't "user accessible", but that there will still be plenty of ways to replace the battery [] yourself or via third parties if you so choose (battery failure under warranty would be covered by the warranty []). I'm going to be tracking this issue here [].

    - Still no word on insurance or AppleCare, but since all iPods have AppleCare options ($59 for two years), iPhone probably will as well.

    - Two more days to determine this for certain, but it appears that if only the iPod/syncing functionality (or first time setup, anyway) is what is tied with iTunes activation, WiFi via the browser will probably work fine as-is without a contract. Note: it is not certain that this is the case, but it seems likely. (Just a point of information; not stating this as inconrtovertible fact. The only way this might not be the case is if the entire phone is just locked until activated, which seems unlikely.)

    - Also remains to be seen how "hackable" the phone is in general. Here's to hoping.
    • by Hungus ( 585181 )
      I for one will be waiting for the 2nd generation iPhone. some rumour mills have it supporting GPS and some other goodies. If so, and the phone can be unlocked, w/o ATT service then I may well just stay with MetroPCS and use it to replace my dead newton. Oh and here's hoping that sqlite or something similar is in the build.
      • by Tibor the Hun ( 143056 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:02AM (#19649671)
        Everyone knows that the 3rd gen will have a ball massager and and a cheek flosser. However, I am really stoked for the 4th gen which will cut the price of the phone to .25 of its original price, as Apple always does.
        According to the rumor mills, the 4th gen may also come in watermellon red, which as far as I'm concerned is the color of Kings.
  • Yes but (Score:4, Funny)

    by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:28AM (#19649247)
    What about the iPhone?
  • Unlimited Data. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Silas Palmer-Cannon ( 973394 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:28AM (#19649251)
    Some carriers define "unlimited data" as some arbitrary level, which once you break you either lose service, or are charged a hefty fee. Just something to keep in mind.
    • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 )

      Some carriers define "unlimited data" as some arbitrary level, which once you break you either lose service, or are charged a hefty fee. Just something to keep in mind.
      Yeaaah, so does anyone have any hard data on what Cingular's track record was on unlimited use of their unlimited data plan was so as to be a predictor of how The New AT&T will define abuse of their unlimited data plan?
    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      With those prices, a two year contract, and unsubsidized handsets, AT&T had better not be playing any of the usual telco tricks with the definition of "unlimited".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by k_187 ( 61692 )
        Unless there's someway to tether the iphone to a laptop and use it as a modem or something, I highly doubt that you'd use enough bandwitdth for them to think about turning you off.
    • Re:Unlimited Data. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:03AM (#19649675) Homepage
      Defining "unlimited data" should be easy:

      Maximum transfer rate per second * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 24 hours * 31 days.

      That should give you your monthly limit.

      Anything below that should be called "limited".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cyngus ( 753668 ) g al/plan-terms.jsp [] contains the usual cellular crap language. Basically, you can't use it for video, movies, music, aka "any service we'd like to gouge you for because we don't believe in net neutrality." I suspect that this clause is legally unenforceable and eventually a suit will go forward on this. It seems like if you ran a VPN (which is allowed) that handled all your traffic, they wouldn't be able to discern the type of data you were transferring. Bits
    • Re:Unlimited Data. (Score:4, Informative)

      by MatchbooksAndSarcasm ( 1111757 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @12:54PM (#19651485)
      I had verizon's 'unlimited' plan a while ago, and took it to be just that. After a month of remote desktoping, music and video dl-ing (some of which was even legal), I found that my service wasn't working anymore. I called Verizon, who told me that they'd detected abuse, based on the fact that I'd gone over the usage limit (that I hadn't been told about) on my 'unlimited' account, and they summarily canceled my service. At least they let me return the PC access card (still burned me with the restocking free, though). I'm on AT$T's 'unlimited' plan now, but since I just use it with my blackberry, I can't imagine I'm in danger of going over. But, I bet their 'unlimited' plan is just like verizons....quite limited.
  • iPod functionality (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Poromenos1 ( 830658 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:28AM (#19649267) Homepage
    I don't understand the part about users "only wanting the iPod functionality of the iPhone". Why not just buy an iPod then?
    • by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:32AM (#19649311) Homepage
      Bigger screen for video.
    • by matthew.thompson ( 44814 ) <`matt' `at' `'> on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:34AM (#19649335) Journal
      Because there isn't an iPod with 3.5" touchscreen?

      It's a great looking iPod and I'd be tempted if it were a little cheaper even with just 8Gb. But I live in the UK so we're not going to see it until Christmas anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by adamstew ( 909658 ) *
      Bigger and widescreen screen with the multitouch interface. If apple made a version of the iPod in the iPhone form factor (basically, an iPhone without the phone) and charged $100 less for it, i'm sure they could make a good bit. Put a hard drive in place of the phone circuitry, and you have a sure fire winner.
      • by Shabbs ( 11692 )

        If apple made a version of the iPod in the iPhone form factor (basically, an iPhone without the phone) and charged $100 less for it, i'm sure they could make a good bit. Put a hard drive in place of the phone circuitry, and you have a sure fire winner.

        Now THIS would have my attention. I don't need a new phone, but would LOVE an iPod with the iPhone screen/touch interface and large iPod capacity (40/60/80/100GB). I'd be all in on that one. Hell yeah.


    • I don't understand the part about users "only wanting the iPod functionality of the iPhone". Why not just buy an iPod then?
      iPhone has a much larger screen and a better experience for video than a video iPod. It also has cover flow which the video iPod doesn't have. And less storage :-(
    • The iPhone has a larger screen that is touch-sensitive, and can handle widescreen formats beautifully (automatically senses the orientation of the screen). You would assume it would have longer battery life than a regular iPod if you do not use the phone/wireless functionality at all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcwop ( 31034 )
      I would like one to use as a web browsing device (using WiFi, and not the cell network). Basically a slick alternative to the Nokia N800.
  • Alternate carriers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Diordna ( 815458 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:29AM (#19649273) Homepage
    (It will remain to be seen whether there are workarounds for this for those who only want the iPod functionality of iPhone, and whether the iPhone is easily unlockable for those who wish to try it on alternate carriers, and so on.)

    Apparently, Apple had to make AT&T make changes to the voicemail system to accommodate some nifty features, so if you switched carriers, you might lose voicemail.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rekoil ( 168689 )
      Well, you'll lose the Visual Voicemail system - you can always just call the VM number to check messages like everyone else does today.
  • AT&T? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:30AM (#19649295)
    "The plans are $59.99/mo for 450 minutes, $79.99 for 900 minutes, and $99.99 for 1350 minutes,"

    Man, it sure is expensive these days to get illegally wiretapped.
  • MetroPCS was charging $99 a month here for unlimited minutes & no data, their service was terrible though, my brothers had alot of explaining to do with people since he's been using them.

    I'm on a T-Mobile contract myself, 3000 minutes that are valid to any non-tolled number of the 48 contenental United States at anytime, unlimited mobile-to-mobile, & data for rates similar to the contracts from AT&T.
    The service is ok, though I had to manually set my phone to piggyback on Cingulars' network w
    • > unlimited mobile-to-mobile

      This is in the summary as well, "unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling". Could you explain what this means? Maybe it's just because I don't live in the US, but why would you get a limited number of minutes, but "unlimited" calls to other mobiles? Aren't most calls made from a mobile phone to another mobile phone?

      /me is confused
      • by xjerky ( 128399 )
        Isn't 'mobile-to-mobile' a misnomer? It's probably "unlimited Cingular-to-Cingular" instead. Currently, if I call someone on Verizon Wireless, it still comes out of my minutes.
      • by Joebert ( 946227 )
        mobile-to-mobile as in other mobile users with the same carrier, but not necessarily the same service plan.

        For instance, if I use T-Mobile & so does my friend, then neither of us are charged minutes when we talk to eachother on our mobiles no matter what time it is, & in my case, wherever we are in the United States.
        I could talk to a friend in California using T-Mobile from here in Florida untill our batteries died every day & still have the same bill at the end of the month.

        If my friend
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 )
        "Aren't most calls made from a mobile phone to another mobile phone?"

        No, if I had to think about it...most of my minutes are cell phone to landline. I don't have a landline anymore (ditched it after becoming a nomad post-Katrina). But, I mainly use my phone on weekends to talk to parents, and friends using the free long distance (weekends and after 7pm weekdays). I usually try to call my friends on their landline number first...and if no answer, I leave a message on the machine, and then try their cell ph

  • Re IPhone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by anand78 ( 832850 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:46AM (#19649479)
    Last phone I bought was a Treo 650, thnking that I will be using the applications. A year later I use my phone for " Making phone calls".
    • I got a cingular 8525 five months ago (aka HTC Hermes), and dropped the full data to a non-pda data plan (NATed access, email requires a workaround). I don't do email or IM, but I've used the browser for lookups when I'm out, and it's my full up planner and GPS (in the car with a BT GPS unit). I've even used it to entertain my 4yo when she gets antsy (the bubble game is her favorite, though I put Madagascar on the phone as a test of the video and that's nice for longer waits).

      Oh, yeah, it makes phone calls
    • re: Treo 650, etc. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by King_TJ ( 85913 )
      Yeah, yeah.... I did the same thing, and had a Kyocera 7135 before it, even. Both times, I was convinced the phone was finally "good enough" at running useful apps that I'd do a lot more with it than than make/take calls. Both times, I was wrong.

      But you have to admit, the iPhone looks FAR more capable than any of these other "smartphones". With my Treo 650, for example, my web browsing experience was a total joke. Most sites I tried to pull up simply crashed the browser with some kind of exception erro
  • by xjerky ( 128399 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:54AM (#19649561)
    I currently pay $60 for 450 mins, unlimited data, and 1500 text messages for my Treo with Cingular. Thing is, I bought the Treo on eBay, and I swapped SIM cards from my old Motorola. So as far as Cingular is concerned, I'm still using that. They normally want to charge $40/month for unlimted data for Treos (as opposed to the $20 I'm currenly paying), which doesnt really make sense since unlimited dats is unlimited data.

    With that in mind this isn't too bad of a deal. It's the same as what I'm paying though 200 text messages instead of 1500. I assume there will be iChat for the iPhone which will use the data plan, so that won't be so bad.
    • by C10H14N2 ( 640033 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:23AM (#19649961)

      IIRC they have a blurb in the TOS of the $20 plan saying you may not use the handset as a modem and they certainly do their damnedest to try and prevent you from using that feature, though basic GPRS is pretty crap on their network. I just got a 3G data card and they want $50/month for "unlimited" data for that.

      I wonder if the SIM card trick would work on it. I mean, they had to assign it a telephone number (quoi?), so methinks they might not be able to tell the difference.
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:58AM (#19649603) Homepage
    From this announcement: []

    System Requirements ...iPhone activation requires an Internet connection; an iTunes Store account or a major credit card; a valid Social Security number (as required by AT&T); the latest version of iTunes available at and a PC or Mac with a USB 2.0 port and one of the following operating systems [blah, blah, blah...]

    Social Security number? WTF? This is 2007, companies that want my business should need my social security number.

    As the Social Security Administrationtells us, [] "Your number is confidential... You should be careful about sharing your number with anyone who asks for it (even when you are provided with a benefit or service)." I reluctantly give it to banks and brokerages who need it for tax purposes. I very, very reluctantly give it to medical organizations.

    A phone company? No, thank you.
  • I get 750 minutes, free nights/weekends, unlimited data (EVDO), and insurance (if the phone dies or starts acting weird, I get a new one at no charge) for $68.00/month from Sprint, and the HTC 6700 will do just about everything the iPhone does, is easily hackable, can be safely overclocked, has a wide variety of compatible software, has an easy to develop for platform (Windows Mobile), and it will even run linux.

    And Apple/AT&T want the general public to pay HOW much for WHAT again?

    I can't wait to laugh
    • by CavemanKiwi ( 559158 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:31AM (#19650085)
      Problem is you are using a check list style comparison. While sometimes these are useful let clearly indicate a case when they are not.

      Bentley Vs My Car (VW Passat)

      Both have 4 doors. Tie
      Both Seat 5 People. Tie
      Both drive on the same roads and get the passengers from A to B. Tie
      Fuel Consumption. My car is better. Win my car
      Price. My car is about 1/10th the price. Win my car
      Speed, the Bentley is faster although given both a limited most of the time by the law and traffic conditions. Just win for the Bentley
      Space. Win Bentley
      Insurance cost. Win my car.

      So is my car better then a Bentley. Nope although it is better value then a Bentley. It also doesn't go into all the little detail that make a Bentley better quality of finish etc. just like you fail to mention the experience of using the iPhone.
      • by SnowDog74 ( 745848 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:52AM (#19650403)
        Not to be a picker of nits... but the Bentley's insurance isn't necessarily more expensive.

        Contrary to popular belief, insurance rates are determined by the frequency/cost of medical claims far more than the cost of auto body repair work... because medical claims are, by comparison, astronomical.

        Case in point: I paid slightly less insurance on a Mercedes Benz than I am paying on my VW... the Benz performs better in 40mph frontal offset crash tests with little or no intrusion into the cabin. The Benzes are tanks... I've seen footage of two 100mph crashes on the Autobahn where the occupants of the vehicle got up and walked away.

        I don't know the case with the Bentley specfically, but it is very possible that the insurance rates could be less given the number of safety features typical of luxury vehicles.
    • by jaysones ( 138378 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:47AM (#19650339)
      I couldn't build that plan out on the Sprint website. I can get 900 minutes for $59.99 but Unlimited EVDO for that phone is $39.99 (called "Unlimited Data Plan for Phone as Modem"), Insurance is $7 (called "Total Equipment Protection"). That is $106.98 per month by my math.

      I assume you get no text messages since you didn't mention that but with Sprint those are 300 for $5 or unlimited for $10. Oh, and of course the phone which (subsidized) is still $400.

      Can you help us out on how to get your deal?
  • 74GB capacity? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by berj ( 754323 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:10AM (#19649765)
    Did anyone else notice this screenshot in the video? []

    It shows an iPhone with 75GB of storage. Earlier in the video they show the storage as 8GB.

    Any speculation as to a hard drive version becoming available sometime soon?
  • iPhone + Laptop? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BigZaphod ( 12942 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:53AM (#19650441) Homepage
    Has anyone read anywhere if you can use the iPhone as a generic internet source via bluetooth/802.11 for a laptop or something like that? If it has unlimited data, it'd be nice to be able to pair it up with my laptop and get on the net from a "real" computer if I need to while I'm on the road and can't find a wifi hotspot. (Note.. I currently don't have a fancy-pants cell phone with data capability, so I'm a bit out of the loop on this kind of thing and I'm not sure if that feature is "normal" or not on these kinds of smart phones...)
  • by gvtech ( 1120431 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @12:52PM (#19651459)
    unlimited = limited read the fine print! Just like everyone else there is no free lunch: Prohibited and Permissible Uses: Data Service sessions may be conducted only for the following purposes: (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) corporate intranet access (including access to corporate email, customer relationship management, sales force automation, and field service automation applications). Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to, using Services: (i) with server devices or with host computer applications, including, without limitation, Web camera posts or broadcasts, continuous jpeg file transfers, automatic data feeds, telemetry applications, automated functions or any other machine-to-machine applications; (ii) as substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections; (iii) for Voice over IP; (iv) in conjunction with WWAN or other applications or devices which aggregate usage from multiple sources prior to transmission; (V) Using the Services for any activity that adversely affects the ability of other people or systems to use either the Services or other parties' Internet-based resources including, but not limited to excessive consumption of network or system resources (whether intentional or unintentional) and "denial of service" (DoS) attacks against another network host or individual user; or (vi) Interference with or disruption of other network users, network services or network equipment. except for CONTENT formatted in accordance with AT&T's CONTENT standards, Unlimited plans cannot be used for uploading, downloading or streaming of video content (e.g. movies, TV), music or games. Furthermore, unlimited plans (except for DataConnect and Blackberry Tethered) cannot be used for any applications that tether the device (through use of, including without limitation, connection kits, other phone/PDA-to-computer accessories, Bluetooth® or any other wireless technology) to laptops, PCs, or other equipment for any purpose. Service is not intended to provide full-time connections, and the Service may be discontinued after a significant period of inactivity or after sessions of excessive usage. AT&T reserves the right to (i) limit throughput or amount of data transferred, deny Service and/or terminate Service, without notice, to anyone it believes is using the Service in any manner prohibited above or whose usage adversely impacts its network or service levels and (ii) protect its network from harm, which may impact legitimate data flows. You may not send solicitations to AT&T subscribers without their consent. You may not use the Services other than as intended by AT&T and applicable law. Plans are for individual, non-commercial use only and are not for resale. Security: AT&T does not GUARANTEE SECURITY. Data encryption is available with some, but not all, Services sold by AT&T. If you use your device to access company e-mail or information, it is your responsibility to ensure your use complies with your company's internal IT and security procedures. Changes to the terms and conditions: These terms and conditions may be changed from time-to-time. AT&T will post the most current version of these terms and conditions on the MEdia Net web site ( or other appropriate location. Please check these regularly to inform yourself about changes to the terms and conditions, policies, news, etc.
  • by MidKnight ( 19766 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @06:00PM (#19655953)
    Somewhat off-topic, but there's another interesting iPhone rumor/tidbit floating in the ether today: A ZDNet Blog [] claims that Apple will be announcing sometime this week that they've licensed the MS Exchange ActiveSync API... which would signal that the iPhone is almost definitely compatible with Exchange Servers. For folks whose IT departments are in love with that particular software stack, I'll bet that will be big news.

Don't get suckered in by the comments -- they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. -- Dave Storer