The iPhone Dials Up the Competition

As Apple's new gadget debuts, some start-ups are looking to reinvent mobile-phone service

Apple expects to sell 10 million iPhones within a year. Its mobile phone rivals are juicing up their services to compete.

Poor Harry Potter. As he prepares for his swan song, it's the iPhone's wizardry--not his--that's stirring up the fevered anticipation usually reserved for a summer blockbuster. Nineteen million Americans say they want the hyper-hip gizmo sight unseen, reports research firm M:Metrics. And that collective clamor is not just about branded bling. It's about a widespread yearning for a better phone, a cooler calling tool that always works, that is easy to use, fun to play with and comes in a stylish, sexy shell.

In Apple's shadow, a slew of mobile upstarts is quietly rethinking what phones can do, making them operate...

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