Regulators approved Apple’s iPhone for sale in the United States on Thursday paving the way for the much anticipated device to be sold by the wireless unit of AT&T in late June.
News of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission certification helped send Apple shares up 2.2 percent to $109.70 in late afternoon trading.
“That’s the primary reason why the stock’s up today,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research, adding that it was welcome news despite there being little doubt the device would win approval.
“They are a brand new player in this space, so it is a big deal,” Wu said.
The iPhone, unveiled by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs in January, is expected to make a splash in the market — despite its $500 price tag — due to its sleek design, large touch screen and ability to play music like the company’s iPod digital media players.
“The iPhone has passed its required FCC certification milestone and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.
Kerris said reports earlier this week that Apple had sent an e-mail to employees saying that the iPhone and next version of the company’s computer operating system would be delayed by several months were not true.
“That communication was a fake and did not come from Apple,” Kerris said.
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