USB: 3G iPhone to Launch Q3 2008?

iphone_3G_3.jpg

In the always entertaining game of analyst hot potato, Apple Insider brings word from global equity research analyst Nicolas Gaudois who writes that his checks agree with their Apple analyst, Ben Reitzesa's checks, that a 3G HSDPA "will be released by mid-year".

According to Gaudois, current iPhone chip supplier Infineon, in anticipation of the switch, is ramping down production of 2.5G Edge basebands.

Everyone, everywhere seems to agree that Apple will need to drop a 3G iPhone this year in order to make good on the 10 million unit sales prediction (by end of 2008) most recently reaffirmed by COO Tim Cook, so this isn't exactly Nostradamus-level prognostication, but the Apple rumor-mill has gotten better as of late (fatty Nano and MacBook Air being prime example).

So, will we see a 3G iPhone sporting Infineon by the summer? Does Intel's mobile platform fit in anywhere?

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 6 comments. Add yours.

Dieter Bohn says:

I have to say this is the first 3G rumor set that actually sounds believable to me -- not so much the UBS report but the Infineon bits specifically. I personally think that the 3G version is further out than most thing -- my money's on a mid-November release.

Rene Ritchie says:

If Apple wants to break the story before the FCC leaks it, that will probably necessitate a 6-month pre-announce like the original iPhone. With Macworld already past, and WWDC not being the typical venue, that leaves an Apple Paris Expo style event in September, in the 3G cradle of Europe.
But if Apple only announces in September, how soon could they ship? If they want to ship by September, they'd have to announce at a "special event" around April (and we already know they're having one March 5 for the SDK and "enterprise").
Curiouser and curiouser...

marcol says:

Here's the FCC page for the current iPhone:
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=268052&fcc_id='BCGA1203'
Seems to have been submitted 9 March but news didn't get out until approval in the middle of May, e.g.:
http://www.itweek.co.uk/vnunet/news/2190193/iphone-gets-thumbs-feds
At least to a point, confidentiality seems possible.

Rene Ritchie says:

Ars speculates:
Time for some speculation: the mediocre sales figures in the UK, Germany, and France gave Apple pause, and it're now working on a new version of the iPhone that's more compelling to overseas markets—and carriers. It's widely accepted in the telecom business that voice minutes aren't going to keep the industry afloat in the long run, much less bring in the revenue growth that Wall Street demands. There is only so much talking on the phone that you can do in a day. Data, on the other hand, is a different story: the growth opportunities are unlimited. So an iPhone that can make use of that expensive 3G spectrum would be very helpful. However, what the iPhone really needs in addition to 3G is new features that make use of the increased bandwidth—preferably in a way that users are prepared to pay extra for. One obvious way to accomplish that would be for the iPhone to act as a wireless modem for a laptop—a MacBook Air, perhaps?—for a modest extra fee, of course. And leave it up to Apple to come up with more, less obvious new features on the iPhone that will do the same.

marcol says:

Apple really ought to do a bit more with BT IMO. DUN would be good - but I certainly hope it wouldn't be limited to the Air. I hope it would work with the MBP I just ordered!

Rene Ritchie says:

For me, a killer feature would be the ability to use the iPhone (or even iPod Touch) as a wifi controller for Macs (including Mac Mini attached to a TV), Apple TV, iTunes, etc.
Like one of those fancy (but annoying) Logitech home theater remotes, but infinitely more customizable and powerful.
The idea of sitting back on the couch with an iPhone rather than the sometimes-too-zen Apple remote is compelling.