updated 10:25 am EDT, Tue May 20, 2008
3G iPhone at WWDC
Apple will not only introduce a 3G-capable iPhone at the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 9th but will make it available almost immediately, according to a rumor circulating from Gizmodo. If accurate, the report confirms that phones may be available well ahead of anticipated schedules and launch in at least some countries right away. Some launches may be staggered; one report has Telefonica launching the phone in Spain through a flagship Madrid store on June 18th with wider availability on or near the same day. Other European launches may follow suit, says the new claim.
The purported insiders also reinforce previously uncorroborated rumors that Apple will allow subsidized phone prices and that the iPhone with 3G will "no longer be available" at one fixed price, with its actual price hinging on the customer's contract. This may not apply to all countries, the report warns.
European stores in particular have been the most sensitive to Apple's insistence on a fixed price, with sluggish sales until O2 and T-Mobile promotional subsidies all but cleared stock. The continent has historically seen heavy subsidies for smartphones, with even premium devices such as the Nokia N95 or LG Viewty being available for free with certain plans.
Other sales strategies are also suggested as possible and may include the ability to trade up to an iPhone at a reduced price on an existing subscription as well as extra discounts for those signing up for specific services.
No reports have yet surfaced of the iPhone being available any later than June in other countries, with Canada, Italy, and other nations all planning to carry the iPhone sometime next month.