updated 10:50 am EDT, Wed April 2, 2008
AmTech: 3G iPhone sooner
A new iPhone equipped with 3G broadband may be arriving much sooner than anticipated, says Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. Although AmTech had predicted a 3G phone for later in the second half of 2008, based on checks with supply chain sources, Wu now believes the new hardware will come in late June or possibly July. This should roughly coincide with the launch of the iPhone 2.0 firmware, which will bring added functionality to the iPhone platform in general.
If the 3G release does occur ahead of predictions, it is believed that Apple CEO Steve Jobs may announce it during his WWDC keynote, scheduled for early June. Wu cites other sources as saying that the current "2.5G" iPhone could remain on the market, using a newer case, but discounted to between $299 and $349 instead of the $399 for a current 8GB model.
As a result of 3G and the new firmware, Wu expects Apple to not only hit its sales target of 10 million phones for 2008, but beat it by reaching 11 million. Adoption is expected to increase dramatically in the second half of the year, and in the long term the iPhone is expected to grow from 2 to 3 percent of Apple's revenue to as much as it currently makes from Macs ($15-20 billion). AmTech's new price target for stock is $175.