updated 03:05 pm EDT, Tue May 20, 2008
Piper on 3G iPhone changes
People should not expect the first 3G iPhone to be radically different from the current 2.5G model, write analysts from Piper Jaffray. The firm says it believes that 3G will be the only major difference between the two editions, despite suggestions elsewhere of components such as GPS. This is not ruled out, but it is believed that differences beyond 3G will mostly be cosmetic, such as a new faceplate and increased thickness, the latter attributable to a bigger chipset needed for 3G.
The same is true of the software, as the v2.0 firmware will available for current iPhones as well, giving both devices access to native applications. Apple may however enable some features on 3G phones that are otherwise impractical, such as cellular access to the iTunes Store. 2.5G phones can only access the store through Wi-Fi.
Piper says it once again expects the 3G iPhone to be announced on June 9th at WWDC, but that the device may ship as soon as mid-June, creating a lucrative surge of sales before the end of the third quarter. 3G technology is expected to add between $12 to $18 to the manufacturing cost of each iPhone.