Apple ended months of speculation on Sunday night when it ran a series of television spots demonstrating the iPhone's features and announcing its official release date: June 29th (watch the new ads). How many iPhones will be available on that day through Apple and AT&T? Neither company is saying, though analysts at Merrill Lynch estimate that it could be as few as 200,000. In a recent report, Merrill Lynch analysts indicate that monthly shipments of iPhones from Apple will initially be around 200,000-300,000 units per month, with a planned ramp up in production toward the holiday season to fill retail channels with as many as a million units per month. That means a total of around 4 million iPhones this year and as many as 12 million units in 2008.
In other news, the New York Times recently revealed that Steve Jobs's recent announcement regarding 3rd party applications wasn't just lip service. "A person briefed on Apple's plans said that at its software developer conference this month, Apple intends to announce that it will make it possible for developers of small programs written for the Macintosh to easily convert them to run on the iPhone," the Times reports. Additionally, the Times has suggested that the high level of anticipation for the device has a few folks worried in Cupertino. "Some Apple executives worry privately that expectations for the one-button phones may be too high and that first-generation buyers will end up disappointed."