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Tuesday, May 29, 2007, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

More Google apps on their way to Apple's iPhone

It won't be long after next month's iPhone launch that several new Google-based applications will begin making their way onto the first-ever Apple handsets via software updates, says an official for AT&T Wireless.

Speaking to The Seattle Times, AT&T's iPhone point man Glenn Lurie said the anticipation mounting ahead of next month's launch has far exceeded his firm's expectations.

The exec, who has been testing an iPhone but declined to produce the unit for a photo shoot, also addressed skepticism regarding the device's high entry-level price point of $500.

"I think when people get their hands on it and really experience it — the touch screen is phenomenal, this touch screen is like nothing you've ever used — to experience that, the skepticism, I think, around some of those things will go away," he said.

There are other things, added Lurie, such as widgets and "some of the Google applications that are coming" that will serve to distance pricing concerns from the minds of consumers.

"There are just so many things here that the price will not be an issue," he said, declining to discuss any plans for subsidies on the handsets.

Lurie also dropped on final tidbit on services plans when asked whether iPhone's full-powered browser capability will soften demand and revenues from existing AT&T services such as directory assistance,

"No, actually it won't. I think it will be great for us, and here's why," he said. "One of the things with this device — people are going to be asked to have an unlimited package — people are going to have to have a package with us to browse."

Apple has said that the iPhone will ship with Google Search and Google Maps but has not commented on plans for any additional applications from the search giant. Similarly, the company has not yet revealed the data plan options and pricing tiers that will be made available alongside iPhone.