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Analyst: 3G iPhone is 'imminent'

updated 01:25 pm EDT, Tue September 11, 2007

3G iPhone imminent?

An analyst from a research group called Forward Concepts argues that a 3G broadband version of the iPhone is not only in development, but may be announced in the very near future. Wireless and DSP specialist Will Strauss claims that some form of announcement could happen as soon as this week, and that the possibility exists that a 3G WCDMA iPhone may be revealed at the same time as Apple reveals European carriers for the product. It is unknown whether Apple will opt for the high-speed HSDPA protocol or a more generic UMTS interface, but a separate leak suggests the former.

The basis for Strauss' predictions is news involving Infineon Technologies, known to be the key supplier of the EDGE technology used in the current iPhone. Infineon is said to be producing UMTS baseband chips for "at least two cellphone companies," according to Strauss, and it is the "only non-captive source" for WCDMA/UMTS transceiver chips. More importantly, Apple has officially signed a seven-year deal with InterDigital, which has 3G technology that Infineon is in a position to help manufacture.

The lack of 3G has been one of the most popular criticisms of the iPhone, whose EDGE option has been alternately labelled 2G or 2.5G. Even Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been quoted as calling it slow, saying it is "good enough, but you wish it was a little faster." Jobs has instead placed focus on Wi-Fi, which offers tremendous speed but is tethered to local hotspots.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Rezzz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    clear them inv. channels

    makes sense as to why apple is having a iphone firesale. get that 1st gen stuff out the door before the bread-n-butter 2nd gen hits the streets.

    i just can't buy the 'holiday season' line starting in early September. too soon. too soon.

  1. Mactarian

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007


    Too Bad

    This won't help us in the US that are locked in to AT&T. Most of AT&Ts network does not support 3G yet. So, if my iPhone is 3G and my network is not, what have I gained? On the other hand, good news for Europe.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005



    Smart comment regarding 'too soon' for the holiday season -- albeit, just because everyone else starts selling after Halloween/Thanksgiving, is no reason for Apple to follow that.

    But, yeah, it's to clear 1st gen inventory out, since they managed to move quicker on the 2nd gen product.

  1. chas_m



    Not really a 2nd gen

    The iPhone plus a slightly different chipset isn't really a 2nd gen. It won't look any different or act any differently inside the US than the "first gen" one does. The phone is almost all software, so upgrades come mostly from that.

    Apple will probably eventually offer a "world traveler" model inside the US for people who need it, but essentially it will be the same iPhone as you can have right now, with one added ability.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    re: world traveler

    I would welcome that, but wouldn't that conflict with the exclusivity deal w/ AT+T? If I could buy a 'world traveler' model in the US, then I could use it in the US with !AT+T.

    "Eventually" probably means in 5 years, which is when the Apple/AT+T deal expires (hopefully they won't ink a new one! Unlocked is the only way to go for me)

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    FCC filings?

    We will know what is coming when we see the FCC filings and test results, anything else is magic eight ball.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: fcc filings

    Except Apple could ask the FCC to keep it under wraps for a period of time (it is allowed).

    But we all know this must be true! An analyst has said so!

  1. lklarson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Locked to AT&T

    THAT is the problem! On the other hand, if it was on Verizon or Sprint, with their GOOD 3G networks that are pretty widely deployed, I would have bought one by now. Look at the money Steve has saved me. I can't understand why people are upset with him.

  1. 83caddy16v

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2000


    if Verizon ...

    many of my friends and co-workers are happy with Verizon in the DC market and the AT&T switch is the ONLY hold up for us. paying the $275 to get out of a contract is a little easier now with the $200 price reduction but its too bad that the iPhone won't be on more networks. Sprint is another alternative, I've been using their USB broadband card with my MBP and have decent performance.

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