iPhone 3G Launch Date ConfirmedS



UPDATE: See the Gizmodo iPhone 3G Review, FAQ, iPhone Firmware 2.0 Review.

We all suspected it, but now it is confirmed: someone very, very close to the 3G iPhone launch has told me that Apple will announce their new model at the WWDC Keynote on June 9th. The second-generation iPhone will be available worldwide right after the launch (the worldwide release date is July 11, starting at $199) and not at year's end, as previously thought. The new model will also herald new sales policies in some countries.

In Spain, for example, the 3G iPhone will be available for sale at the June 18th (according to our sources, the release date was changed at the last moment by Apple, and it's now July 11) grand opening of Telefonica's megastore—an Apple Store-like shop located in the company's historical building in Madrid's Gran Vía— with nationwide availability the next day or after a few hours. The other European countries with iPhone availability will have similar launch schedules.

According to another source involved in the launch, the 3G iPhone will no longer be available at a fixed price point—at least in some countries, and its launch will also bring new sales policies, although these have not been completely specified yet.

The move is a logical step, since the iPhone has clearly solidified its position as the cellphone to beat during the last 12 months, and companies in the cutthroat European cellphone market need to use it as an incentive to capture clients aggressively.

This most probably means the new 3G iPhone will be integrated in the usual marketing systems of carriers, with point-based trade-ups, discounts for carrier switchers and other service-based subvention packages.