Apple will require iPhone customers to have an active iTunes Store account, in order to set-up their device, the company has revealed.

Apple despatched an email to US customers who had signed-up for information when the iPhone ships last night. The email describes a number of features to the product, and warns prospective customers that they should open an iTunes account.

A wave of US reports questioned why this ID is required, but given the iTunes application's increasing status for managing more than just music, it's likely to be predicated on the basis that many users will want to play iTunes purchase on the iPhone.

It's also possible that Apple wants to ensure a certain level of security for user's data, address book contacts, images and other information that shall be carried by the iPhone - and passed across to that device from within iTunes.

Some reports predict that the requirement of an iTunes account may cause problems when the first wave of iPhone customers try to buy their phones, as AT&T employees may not be fully aware of the requirement. They anticipate some problems setting up the device initially as a result.

The email also offers some other tidbits as to iPhone operation, as disclosed by iLounge.

It confirms the device will be able to take contact information from Address Book, Entourage, Outlook, Outlook Express, or Yahoo! Address Book, and grab shedule reminders from iCal, Entourage, or Outlook. Users will also be able to enter contacts directly.