Possible sat phone alternative
Pricing is supposed to be around $250 US for the device, with monthly plans starting at $9.95. This is considerably cheaper than an Iridium sat phone (around $1,000) and $30 to $40 monthly fees, plus airtime. Scheduled availability is sometime in the fall of 2011. There's more information about inReach, including photos, here.
Technology always looks good on paper before it's released and it's best to wait a bit and pay attention to the early reviews before purchasing a significant number of new electronic devices.
As a note, one downside to Iridium is coverage is blocked in certain parts of the world due to U.S. regulations (currently that includes Taliban controlled Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan). I suspect Thuraya, which has more of a foothold within the humanitarian community (and so far has offered more rugged handsets) will also get into this market and other similar, competitive devices will emerge. Speaking of Thuraya, the British TV show Gadget did an un-scientific comparison of Iridium and Thuraya handsets last year. Check it out on YouTube.