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Tuesday, June 26, 2007, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET)

Apple says iPhone can be activated by users at home

Apple and AT&T Inc. said Tuesday that iPhone users will be able to activate their new iPhones using Apple's popular iTunes software running on a PC or Mac computer in the comfort and privacy of their own home or office, without having to wait in a store while their phone is activated.

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, Apple said. 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.

"Users will be able to activate their new iPhone in the comfort and privacy of their own home or office, without having to wait in a store while their phone is activated," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. "There are tens of millions of people in the US who already know how to sync their iPods with iTunes, and syncing their new iPhone with iTunes works the same way."

iPhone, which goes on sale at 6:00 p.m. (local time) on Friday, June 29 at AT&T and Apple retail stores, introduces an entirely new user interface based on a revolutionary multi-touch display and pioneering new software that allows users to control iPhone with just a tap, flick or pinch of their fingers.

The device combines three products into one small and lightweight handheld device — a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod, and the Internet in your pocket with applications phone for email, web browsing and maps. It will be available in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac.

iPhone activation will require 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 v10.4.10 or later; Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later; or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Enterprise or Ultimate Edition.

iPhone will require 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, Apple added.

An iPhone Activation and Sync video has been posted at Apple.com.