It's that season again. No, not football -- Apple iPhone rumor release season. The fans smell 3G. The pundits smell 3G. The press smells 3G. And boy do the analysts smell them some Apple cooked 3G.
Risking feet to fall firmly in mouth, the bold, brash predictions are now coming hot and heavy. The rumors are flying faster than Vista downgrades. Everyone knows its coming. (It's gotta be coming!) And while no one outside the Jobspod knows precisely when, the interweb pools are filling up fast and furious.
Starting now and working back, Macrumors does some myth-on-math and determines that "Apple will announce before the FCC leaks" amounts to a 6 week shipping window. So if Apple announces today, and the iPhone 3G shows up in the FCC database tomorrow, it could be shipping as soon as late May. If it announces in June, then it could clear FCC by July/August.
Uncle Walt, the Wall Street Journal's own Mac Daddy, went and brought'nd'it saying we'll see the iPhone 3G within 60 days. That's early June.
iPod Observer brings us a pic of what may be the 3G iPhone in the wild, all dressed up in glossy Vader black. The iPod Nano fatty pics leaked online immediately prior to launch, could this be another breach of the nigh-impenetrable Apple vault? If so, a special Jobsnote would have to be around the corner... Like WWDC?
Every Apple-site and their feed server have been reporting wide spread shortages of the current iPhone at Apple Stores, and a longer-than-usual wait of 5-7 days for shipping online. A sign of inventory clearing ahead of a new release? Despite denials, Apple's done that before. But Roughly Drafted disagrees, believing its simply an incredible increase in gray market demand around the globe.
AT&T Mobility's CEO may or may not be part of the Jobsian inner-circle, but he's saying their integrated product line will be 3G in a matter of months, and when pressed on the iPhone, he repeated his repetition repeatedly. A matter of months. June is certainly a month that matters. Unfortunately, so are July through December.
Shaw Wu of American Technology Research claims some inside checks on supply chains show an iPhone 3G heading our way in June or July, a quarter earlier than he believes was/is to be expected.
Macrumors also lays out their evidence and makes their case for a June release. And Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray agrees, and tosses in a lower-price iPhone, and a mind-boggling 45 million units prediction to boot.
Some EGDE 2.75 technology promises notwithstanding (now with half the slow!), Gartner's Kim Dulany thinks Apple has already ordered 10 million OLED equipped iPhone 3Gs from their suppliers. Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek believes there's 3G fire in the current out-of-stock Apple Store smoke signs.
Batting next-to-zero on current generation iPhone speculation also hasn't stopped Digg's Kevin Rose from stepping up to the plate and swinging for the sky with predictions for a June launch with built in GPS and iChat.
Personally, I've taken WWDC as my pick for the iPhone 3G announcement pool. What's your pick?