iPhone 3G Launch Date Confirmed

Illustration for article titled iPhone 3G Launch Date Confirmed



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.

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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.

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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.

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DISCUSSION

I think Apple did pretty good with the first iPhone, considering it was the first product of its kind for them. The first 3G phones with any capabilities (not a little worthless American flip) were huge battery hogs, not even lasting a day. The Nokia N75 has a 2 hour talk time for crying out loud, and it's not even HSPA. My 2G Sony Ericsson has a 9 hour talk time, and would be 3 hours if it was 3G. I think Apple probably did wise by waiting for better 3G chipsets and relying on Wifi...

And of course they want everyone to now go out and get the 3G one, but at least they're updating the 2G one along the way and not leaving it to rot like all of the other carriers do. It is getting huge upgrades with firmware 2.0, and people need to realize no other phone has ever done that with their firmwares. They're usually just bug fixes with maybe a feature or two. Apple certainly has stood behind their product in my opinion (and no, I'm not a fanboy).

And, if someone can afford the original $600 iPhone in the first place, they shouldn't freak out when the price is lowered $200. Seriously, if you couldn't afford it, why did you buy it? Apple was pretty nice to give a $200 voucher that, if you kept in your pocket, you can now spend on the 3G iPhone. :-)

Apple isn't one to piss off its fan base, which is mostly American. Will be interesting to see how much the world loves them.