updated 09:20 am EST, Tue December 29, 2009
Old iPhone 3G shipment shows new model
Rumors of an 8GB iPhone 3GS gained credibility late yesterday with a post from a German shopper. After buying a refurbished 8GB iPhone 3G, the Hamburg resident received the promised device but with a label on the back pointing to an "iPhone 3GS v2.2, 8GB." The model (A1241) and part number (MB490DN/A) point to the older model, but "iPhone 3GS" appears elsewhere on the packaging and implies that its mention wasn't a mistake.
Prospects of a lower-capacity 3GS have grown both hot and cold over the past several months and surfaced as early as August through Rogers, culminating in a rumor of an AT&T release that many thought was false after it failed to materialize. Outside of the label there doesn't appear to be any signs of an imminent launch, but Apple has been known to adjust capacities of its handhelds in winter and in early 2008 launched a 16GB version of the original iPhone several months before the iPhone 3G appeared.
The initial rumors had Apple replacing the 8GB iPhone 3G with the new model once old models were out of stock, both to reinvigorate sales as well as to fend off a new wave of $99 smartphones that now includes handsets like the HTC Droid Eris and Palm Pixi.