updated 04:50 pm EDT, Tue March 27, 2007
iPhone Shown at CTIA
Apple's iPhone has surfaced in the public eye after a long absence, photographers noted Tuesday at the CTIA phone expo. During his keynote speech earlier today, AT&T Chief Operations Officer Randall Stephenson brought out the elusive device when discussing the success of the carrier's e-mail sign-up program.
The device was tightly guarded at the event, according to the report, but Stephenson joked that a brief tryout before the presentation by FCC chariman Kevin Martin demonstrated both how easily people could adapt to the iPhone and how desirable it was compared to most other phones.
"He spent more time with it than I did," he said lightheartedly after the speech. "It seemed like he wouldn't give it back."
The chief also adopted a more serious tone during the keynote, commenting that AT&T's decision to offer the iPhone came regardless of frustration with Apple's habitually closed-off approach to development.
The iPod-turned-phone designer contrasted sharply with other cellphone manufacturers by refusing to open up its design process, frequently hiding features of the cellphone and dictating the term under which the phone will become available. Even so, the offering was worth the trouble, Stephenson added.
"There was some internal rankling," he said. "But this was one of those opportunities that you latch a hold of as a carrier."
Until CTIA, the phone had largely been absent from the public since its formal debut at Macworld San Francisco in January. The device on display this morning was virtually unchanged save for the use of the AT&T logo in place of the now outdated Cingular brand, reflecting the small cosmetic change first seen during the "Hello" Oscars ad. [via Forbes]
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