Optical/IP Networks

iPhone II: Touching 3G

Hey kids! Get ready to jump around like blithering technophile idiots once again, because next week will, in all likelihood, see the coming of the 3G iPhone.

Yep, sometime around 10:00 a.m. Pacific time on Monday, June 9, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs is widely expected to unveil the second generation of the iPhone, which will run on significantly faster 3G wireless networks and may boast some interesting new features.

Apple, along with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and its other carrier partners, has been prepping the channel for the arrival of the new iPhone for a while, with a particular attention on cutting prices on the original EDGE devices in Europe. AT&T has also been upgrading the uplink speeds available on parts of its high-speed packet access (HSPA) 3G network. (See AT&T's 3G Overhaul and The $200 3G iPhone?)

Questions still remain, however, about the price of the phone, when it will become available, and what features will be on board.

Avian Research LLC is the latest to weigh in on the pricing issue, claiming that Apple will move to a subsidized model with the gadget.

"This is the right strategy to drive iPhone volumes," says Avian's Matt Thornton. "We believe consensus is looking for the subsidized price point on the 3G iPhone to fall in the $200 to $300 range."

This should enable Apple to become an even more fierce competitor to the likes of BlackBerry , because it would bring the iPhone in line with the price range of the BlackBerry Pearl or the Curve.

Reuters, meanwhile, is reporting that Telecom Italia Mobile SpA (Milan: TIM) will announce the new phone Monday or Tuesday and the release dates immediately thereafter. Most analysts have been anticipating a late June or early July launch for the smartphone; the release could easily be staggered around the 70 countries that the iPhone is or will be be available in.

Feature-wise, GPS positioning is one of the most noted additions on our Hunt for the 3G iPhone thread. VOIP players are also getting into the game with applications such as iCall's free calling over WiFi.

Whatever the case, the iPhone is already changing how people use their smartphones. Dewayne Nelon, CEO of video transcoding house Avot Media, tells Unstrung that his firm's network operations center serves up "north of 10,000 videos" a day to mobile devices. He estimates that around 60 percent of that traffic is for iPhones.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

Be the first to post a comment regarding this story.
Sign In