Maine lacks signal for Apple’s iPhones


BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – Customers in several states, including Maine, won’t be able to take advantage of Apple’s iPhone because it will be offered by a wireless carrier that doesn’t maintain a network in those states.

The iPhone, which combines an iPod music player, cell phone and full-featured Internet browser, is due to go on sale in June, but only in areas served by AT&T’s Cingular Wireless. Apple has an exclusive distribution deal with AT&T’s Cingular Wireless.

The iPhone service won’t be available in all or large portions of Alaska, Colorado, the Dakotas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, upstate New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming, among other places.

“It was a pretty big letdown,” said Don Mayer, CEO of Small Dog Electronics, an Apple dealer in Waitsfield.

“I would have much rather seen them come out with a variety of carriers so places like Vermont won’t be left out in the cold.”

Cingular customers can roam on other networks or other carriers, but new customers must live in communities the company serves. Cingular spokeswoman Kate MacKinnon said the company has no plans to expand in Vermont, at least before 2009.

The iPhone was unveiled earlier this month during the annual Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. The device is a cross between another of Apple’s industry-changing devices, the iPod, and a cell phone.

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined comment on the iPhone’s geographic availability.

Information from: The Burlington Free Press,