Apple has announced that, in order to obviate delays at the time of purchase, iPhones will be activated via iTunes rather than in-store. Apple says "Activating iPhone takes only minutes as iTunes guides the user through simple steps to choose their service plan, authorize their credit and activate their iPhone. Once iPhone is activated, users can then easily sync all of their phone numbers and other contact information, calendars, email accounts, web browser bookmarks, music, photos, podcasts, TV shows and movies just like they do when they sync their iPods with iTunes."
According to a press release, 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 and a PC or Mac with a USB 2.0 port and one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later; Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later; or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Enterprise or Ultimate Edition. iPhone requires a new two-year AT&T service plan. Customers with existing AT&T accounts will have the option of keeping their existing phone number and upgrading their account to work with iPhone.
The iPhone goes on sale at 6:00 p.m. (local time) on Friday, June 29 and will be sold in the US through Appleâ??s retail and online stores and AT&T retail stores