According to an article on InfoWorld, Apple has a bit of a surprise in for iPhone adopters. It seems in order to use the phone, you will need an iTunes account. Need? Force? It seems that on top of your contract with AT&T, the sole distributor of the iPhone at first, you'll need a contract with Apple as well. While Apple isn't commenting directly on the situation, they are clearly are making it obvious that it will be required on their site.
With a $500-600 pricetag, the units impending release in 16 days already has many things going against it. Why does Apple want to complicate the situation further more? For billing, apparently:
Apple will require customers to establish a separate account with its online media service in addition to one with AT&T Wireless Services Inc., which has signed an exclusive U.S. distribution deal for the iPhone.
The move will allow Apple to create its own billing relationship with iPhone customers, rather than collecting payments for any iTunes purchases they make via the mobile operator.
Will this extra step impede sales? Some might find it a bit distasteful. With their goal of 10 million iPhones sold by the end of next year, one must wonder.