3G iPhone launch around the corner

Speculation over the release of Apple’s next generation iPhone is building.

Apple and US Telco partner AT&T signaled in late 2007 an expected rollout of a third generation (3G) wireless iPhone for some time this year. That time now appears closer than first thought.

Bank of America analyst Scott Craig has set tech tongues wagging with a prediction that the 3G iPhone will already be on the US market as early as June 2008.

The rumors are beginning to compound with fresh reports emerging that Apple has signed an exclusive manufacturing contract with a Taiwanese company. An anonymous source told Dow Jones that Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (Foxconn) has won a contract to manufacture the 3G iPhone.

Many see Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference scheduled for June 9 to 13 in San Francisco as a potential launch date for the faster 3G iPhone.

The release of the 3G iPhone will also increase talk of the iPhones’ Australian debut. Rumours in the past months have linked all of Australia’s major carriers with the iPhone – Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and also now Hutchison.

Whilst Apple has been muted, speculation has Telstra as the favored network, with the 3G iPhone to be carried on the advanced Next G network. Tech lifestyle website SmartHouse has added to the scuttlebutt this week:

“Currently running at 7.2Mb per second it is tipped that Telstra will time the release of their Next G network upgrade with the release of the Apple iPhone… Already divisions of Telstra are starting to develop applications to run on the new 3G phone. Among those divisions are Sensis which operate the Telstra White and Yellow pages divisions.”

With US sales of the existing iPhone range surging and with this new rollout, it is now expected that production of the entire iPhone range will hit 8 million in the summer quarter alone. Apple’s plan to shift 10 million units this year now appears far too conservative.

One Wall Street analyst Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray believes that iPhone sales could hit 45 million units in 2009 on the back of booming Asian markets and cut price offerings.

The new 3G iPhone is expected to include;

  • GPS tracking
  • Dual camera video calls
  • Upgraded stylish look

Tech watchers have guessed that upon release the 3G iPhone will cost around US$600 with a mass rollout later leading to reduced prices.

For the latest info on iPhone development see AppleInsider.



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