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Monday, June 11, 2007, 03:15 pm PT (06:15 pm ET)

Apple to launch iPhone at 6 p.m. on June 29

Closing out his keynote address at Apple's annual developers conference on Monday, chief executive Steve Jobs announced that iPhone will not go on sale until the early evening of June 29th.

Jobs told a crowd of developers in San Francisco that the inaugural Apple handset would be available beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, June 29th, but did not specify whether that time was pacific time, eastern time, or local regional time.

Representatives for Apple did not respond to inquiries seeking clarification.

It was previously assumed that the device would be made available through Apple and AT&T retail stores in the early morning hours.

The later timeframe appears to have been selected as part of a broader bid by the Cupertino-based Apple to entice a media frenzy with large crowds, in which those with day jobs are not at a disadvantage when it comes to snagging an iPhone on day one.

Reports as to how many iPhones will actually be available on June 29th have ranged from less than 40 per AT&T store to 3 million in total. The device is due to go on sale at approximately 1800 AT&T locations in addition to over 170 Apple retail stores.