California-based Apple Inc. has officially confirmed the retail arrival of its long-awaited iPhone handset on June 29 through three television commercials touting the phone’s looks and features, including its large touch screen display and multimedia (video, music, image) playback capabilities.

The iPhone will cost $500 or $600 for the 4GB and 8GB respectively and will be sold through the online and physical stores of Apple and AT&T Inc. which is the exclusive service provider for two years. The June 29 release date currently only applies to the United States, with no concrete date outside the US yet.

Apple rumors blog, Think Secret, has also revealed iPhone-related details like the lack of an insurance plan offered for the iPhone. However, an AppleCare plan for the iPhone is in the works similar to AppleCare for iPod. Also yet to be confirmed are reports from sources that say Apple will allow iPhone activations through iTunes for customers who purchase it through Apple's Web site.

The iPhone could be a serious contender in the mobile phone arena and will arrive as a direct rival to Nokia, Motorola and others who are already coming up with competing products. However, there is some criticism concerning the iPhone’s high price label and the fact that it will function on GSM wireless technology, which is slowly being replaced with the new much faster 3G networks.