updated 09:30 am EST, Thu November 29, 2007
AT&T: 3G iPhone in 2008
A long-anticipated 3G version of the iPhone is guaranteed for 2008, AT&T's head has told a meeting of the Churchill Club in Santa Clara, California. "You'll have it next year," said CEO Randall Stephenson. The executive would not elaborate on how fast the new phone would be, but AT&T currently operates 3G through an HSPA network, theoretically capable of speeds up to 3.6Mbps. Stephenson is also refusing to comment on whether or not it will cost the same as the current $399 iPhone, except to say that Apple CEO Steve Jobs "will dictate what the price of the phone is."
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris has refused to comment on the topic, but Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster argues that the early revelation of a new iPhone may be enough to deter some savvy shoppers from buying an iPhone in 2007. Munster adds, however, that the number of delayed purchases will likely not be enough to affect Apple's bottom line.
Steve Jobs has in the past told the press that 3G was highly sought-after, but that no iPhone would have it until battery life was not as severely affected. "So as you know, the handset battery life used to be 5-6 hours for GSM," Jobs explained at a London Q&A, "but when we got to 3G they got cut in half. Most 3G phones have battery lives of 2-3 hours [of talk time]." The company is shooting for a minimum of five hours of 3G before the iPhone makes the switch.