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AT&T confirms 3G iPhone due next year

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How could Apple...

    solve the problem that fast. I know that recently Broadcom and Qualcomm introduced low power 3G chipsets. Still, I'll bet the iPhone 2 will be thicker and heavier. Battery technology hasn't evolved fast enough to double the talk time in the same size factor.

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Solving the Problem

    Apple will solve the problem in a variety of ways...

    First, they will wait for Broadcom or Qualcomm (or someone else entirely) to release a 3G chip that does what is needed.

    Second, they will cut power utilization of other components with minor updates. The screen, flash, touch interface, and processor are probably all candidates for efficiency improvements.

    Third, they will save space with improvements to other components, to make room for a somewhat larger battery. If necessary, the form factor may change slightly to allow for further efficiencies based on the size/shape of various components.

    The iPhone 3G will start out costing less than the original iPhone started at. Whether it will debut at $499, and then drop, or replace the iPhone at $399 probably depends on component costs that aren't known yet.

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    again, keep in mind...

    3G will not be available in many areas for some time. There's no rush here...I'll be surprised if 3G is widely available by the time most iPhone users' 2-year contract runs out.

  1. Paradise Pete

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dumb Randall

    Well old Randall has just made a powerful enemy. I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T never gets it now. And I've little doubt that there is some sort of "keep your pie-hole shut" clause in the Apple-AT&T contract, and that Jobs is waving that at him right now.

  1. Johnny Niles

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I have memories of what Apple (well, Steve anyway) has done to people who broke Apple secrets early. A hit squad is probably already on their way to Randall's house.

  1. edinburghmac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: again, keep in mind..


    It may be that 3G is limited in the States but it is mature in Europe - I'm surprised Apple haven't pushed 3G through quicker for their European launch. Little wonder the response to iPhone has been lukewarm in Europe. Don't expect major uptake here until 3G support and multiple network availability/unlocking.

  1. drbroom

    Joined: Dec 1969


    who cares...

    As long as it only runs on AT&T I still won't buy one!!!

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    apple piss off

    Apple so piss of at ATT revelation that it decide join force with Verizon Wireless.

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Osborne Effect, anyone?

    Will sales drop off now that a forthcoming 3G iPhone has been effectively confirmed? I mean, technically "next year" is barely more than 30 days away.

    Could you even imagine the bitching we'd hear if Apple lowered the price so soon after launch to sell iPhones like hotcakes over the holiday season, and then turned around and announced a new, better version in January? People would be setting themselves on fire in front of Apple stores in protest. :-)

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I doubt that people would mind prices going down. Anyone who's bought from Apple before knows they're VERY closed mouthed about upcomig releases. Whether it's for garnering media attention or to sell out as much of their stock as possible, they've reaped the rewards of springing surprises in the past.

    I've been one of those few who got caught by a "surprise" from them. Not 3 months from when I bought the best powerbook money could buy did they switch to intel procs, which would have been really helpful for running apps like AutoCAD instead of on my VERY slow PPC emulator. There's no complaining from me because their product is still great.

    I don't see much justification for people who complain about a DROP in price. If you thought it was worth paying $x** weeks prior, what does it matter to you if someone else got it for less? Do you get mad at people who wait to buy things when they're on sale?

    When you're looking for the best tool available, it's always a moving target in the technology world, whether it be specs or price.

    So just freakin enjoy what you've got!

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