AT&T Mobility CEO Speaks: iPhone 3G Coming "in Months"

iphone_3G_3.jpg

Gizmodo reports they "did lunch" with AT&T, where CEO of Mobility, Ralph de La Vega dropped the 3G bomb:

He had mentioned earlier in the event that he expected all of their smart integrated devices to be 3G in the next couple months. Sascha Segan from PC Mag asked it that included the iPhone. De la Vega responded, "Let me repeat what I said: I think that you're going to see our integrated devices be 3G devices in the not-too-distant future, and I mean months. That should be clear enough."

Clear as slightly less than crystal, but then pretty much everyone and their rss-feed has been expecting as much...

So is this just another tease, or are we officially beginning the count-down to the WWDC Jobsnote? (Boom.) What do you think?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 15 comments. Add yours.

renn says:

Say hey Ralphyboy! (Mr de La Vega started the clock)

marcol says:

What do you think?
I think 'the next couple of months' and 'the not-too-distant future, and I mean months' are not the same at all.
Clear as crystallized mud :)

Bad Ash says:

Announcement coming in June... phone coming in September... just my guess.

marcol says:

Announcement coming in June... phone coming in September... just my guess.
Do you really think the gap between announcement and availability will be that long? Apple just doesn't do that, except with new product categories (first iPhone, Apple TV) or when there's some other very good reason (Intel Macs). They could still be playing the game of catching people who might otherwise go elsewhere I guess, but a whole quarter of slaughtered (first gen) iPhone sales?

Rene Ritchie says:

They will probably have to due to the FCC approval process. Apple will want to break and control the story, not let an FCC leak break it.
BTW- Apple is apparently saying supply chain glitch...

Bad Ash says:

I honestly think we will see a 32 gig iPhone before we see 3g.

Draiko says:

Silly people... there is no 3G iPhone. AT&T is going to double the speed of EDGE, which would technically make it "3G". That's why he said that all smart devices will be 3G.

Rene Ritchie says:

I believe 3G stands for the technology (3rd generation), not the speed. If EDGE became 10x faster, it would still be 2.5G (improved 2nd Gen), not 3G (HSDPA) or 4G (what is that now, LTE?)

marcol says:

@ Rene. I'm pretty sure that it used to be that both application for FCC approval and approval itself could be kept confidential for some period of time. Unless my memory has me completely wrong, it was true for at least one of the Treos (and probably thus generally the case) that the FCC released nothing until the phone went on sale. Has this changed? Do I have it wrong?
@Draiko. Wanna bet?

marcol says:

Alternatively, perhaps T-Mobile just announced the release date.
Spring is truly in the air with these prices. In conjunction with a Complete XL contract, the iPhone from T-Mobile costs just EUR 99 as part of the promotion running from April 7 through June 30. The price for the Apple iPhone handset has also been reduced substantially in conjunction with any of the other Complete two-year contract options.http://www.t-mobile-international.com/CDA/08-04-03_tmd_iphone_from_just_eur_99,20,,newsid-6238,en.html

marcol says:

Bit more on FCC confidentiality. TreoCentral reported the Treo 650 announcement on October 25 2004 (seems just like yesterday :)):
http://www.treocentral.com/content/Stories/472-1.htm
and that the first FCC documents were available to the public on October 28:
http://www.treocentral.com/content/Stories/482-1.htm
The FCC lists the 'Grant date' as October 27. This implies that everything can be kept confidential until after the FCC authorisation is complete.
TreoCentral readers started receiving their 650s on November 17:
http://www.treocentral.com/content/Stories/488-1.htm
so there was about three weeks between the 650 appearing on the FCC site and it being in users' hands.

Rene Ritchie says:

Engadget and Gizmodo have often (least in my memory) posted leaked info from the FCC (Dieter may remember better).
Info on a new iPhone would be a killer leak, so almost inevitable.
Of course, component manufacturers are probably much higher leak risks.

marcol says:

Engadget and Gizmodo have often (least in my memory) posted leaked info from the FCC (Dieter may remember better).
I had the notion that they just typed 'Apple', 'Palm', 'Nokia' or whatever in the Applicant Name box here:
https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/GenericSearch.cfm
I could certainly be wrong though.

marcol says:

Silly people... there is no 3G iPhone. AT&T is going to double the speed of EDGE, which would technically make it "3G". That's why he said that all smart devices will be 3G.
Did you see the widely reported observation that the 2.0 firmware alludes to what looks like the baseband chip for the next iPhone? Here's Endgaget's take:
The folks at ZiPhone spotted some code in the brand new 2.0 beta iPhone firmware that could point to the chip to be used in the upcoming 3G iPhone. The code makes mention of "SGOLD3," which could very well refer to Infineon's followup chip to the S-GOLD2 which powers the current iPhone. Infineon's less fancy name for the S-GOLD3H chip is the PMB8878, a 7.2Mbps HSDPA chip with all the video acceleration and media playback features iPhone users have come to expect. Advantages over its predecessor include higher resolution camera support (5 megapixels instead of 2), a 2x speed MMC / SD interface and DVB-H module support, but that doesn't necessarily mean any of those specs will end up in the ensuing iPhone 3G -- S-GOLD2 has plenty of features the current iPhone doesn't take advantage of. The processor speed, however, remains the same.http://www.engadget.com/2008/04/08/iphone-3gs-baseband-chip-revealed/
It would be odd wouldn't it to use an HSDPA chip and limit it to EDGE?
More details of the chip from Infineon (pdf):
http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/PMB8878_S-GOLD3H.pdf?folderId=db3a304312fcb1bc0113000c158f0004&fileId=db3a3043136c9a8b01136d6407dc003c

marcol says:

Alternatively (this is the bit where I eat my words) the reference in the 2.0 software is in fact 'SGOLD3';
http://www.ziphone.org/2008/04/evidence.html
Infineon make (at least) two chips with 'GOLD3' in the name: 'S-GOLD3H' (details in link above) and 'S-GOLD3'. S-GOLD3H is HSDPA, S-GOLD3 tops out with EDGE (link to pdf):
http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/PMB8877_S-GOLD3.pdf?folderId=db3a304412b407950112b408e8c90004&fileId=db3a304412b407950112b40d37c80d0c
I guess the reference in the Apple code could refer to either.
(Via caliminius in this thread at AppleInsider)