AT&T plans exclusive stores for iPhone

Apple's highly anticipated iPhone will only be sold at stores owned by Apple and AT&T, which has an exclusive deal to offer service for the device when it's launched June 29, an Associated Press report said.

It will also be available at launch on Apple's web site, the Associated Press report added.

AT&T spokesman Fletcher Cook said the limited availability will only be for the initial launch, the report said.

Later, it will be sold on AT&T's web site and through other outlets, it added.

AT&T owns 1,800 retail stores which it has been re-branding from Cingular since taking over complete ownership late last year, but thousands of other franchise outlets carry the AT&T or Cingular name.
In all, AT&T has 8,000 franchise outlets and retail carriers, though retailers usually carry AT&T competitors as well.

The Associated Press report also quoted Cook as saying that the AT&T-owned stores are branded that way, whereas other franchise outlets still carry the Cingular name.

The iPhone will sell for $499 and $599, but AT&T has not disclosed what the contract service fees will be.

The device, which uses a touch-sensitive screen rather than a keypad, has been hotly anticipated with more than 1 million people signing up with AT&T to receive notice when the device is available, the report said.