updated 12:05 pm EST, Tue February 3, 2009
Third iPhone Due June
A report from Business 24/7 today that the iPhone will launch in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates may also provide a clue as to the next iPhone launch. Dow Jones tells the newspaper that Emirates Telecommunications - etisalat now expects to offer the iPhone 3G in the two countries on February 15th but also claims that the next-generation iPhone will arrive in June, shipping "at the same time" in the UAE as in other countries.
Whether or not the claim is a statement from etisalat iPhone director Mark Davis or else a separate assertion by Dow Jones is unknown, though a June timeframe is largely consistent with Apple's publicly avowed schedule of making iPhone-related updates at the start of summer.
Apple's 2.2.1 iPhone firmware also makes reference to a new iPhone 2,1 hardware string and has implied a major revision of the handset sometime in the relatively near future; current iPhones are listed as iPhone 1,2.
In addition to the hint of a likely new iPhone this year, 24/7 adds observations from Davis that there will likely be "growth" for iPhone sales through etisalat's affiliates elsewhere in the Middle East as well as Africa, though he declines to provide a timetable. He also anticipates very high iPhone sales as frequent trade-ins for newer phones will mean quicker adoption of Apple's hardware.
"On an average a phone is replaced here every nine months, therefore there is tremendous potential for the iPhone," he says. [via AppleInsider]