Consumers at U.S. military bases in the Pacific will have to settle for reading about the hype surrounding Friday’s stateside launch of Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

The gadget that combines a phone, Web browser and music player is, at the moment, for sale only from Apple and AT&T.

“From what we understand, because of the exclusivity agreement between Apple and AT&T, no other retailers will be carrying the iPhone,” said Navy Exchange Service Command spokesman Phil Garcia, in an e-mail response to Stars and Stripes last week.

“The NEXs may carry the i- Phone in the future, if and when it becomes available in the retail channel.”

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials also said they won’t be able to carry the iPhone until Apple releases it to retailers.

According to several news reports, the iPhone is expected to debut in Europe in late 2007 and in Asia in 2008.

iPhone currently retails for $499 to $599, with the pricier model carrying more memory.

POW/MIA recovery team examines sites in LaosA Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team from Hawaii is in Laos to examine sites for the possible recovery of remains of servicemembers lost in the Vietnam War.

Four recovery teams, totaling more than 50 personnel, will excavate one ground combat site and three sites where aircraft went down, according to a command press release Friday. The mission is the 100th joint field activity in Laos, the release said.

Evidence found at the sites will be transferred to the command’s central identification laboratory for further analysis and identification.

USS McCain to make port visit to NiigataThe guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain was to call on the Japanese port of Niigata on Saturday, according to a Navy news release.

While at Niigata, the ship’s crew of 325 sailors will participate in a range of community relations events, including competing with local sports teams and visiting families.

The ship is forward-deployed to Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan.

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