Yeah, it’s official. Bloomberg reports at 3 a.m. this morning that Apple will sell an updated iPhone this spring, which will download the internet much faster using the 3G network. News came from AT&T’s chief Randall Stephenson.
Why on this good green Earth AT&T would say such a thing a few weeks before Christmas, with the holiday shoppers in full swing, is beyond us. Steve Jobs must be screaming now that word is out. Apple is targeting 10 million iPhone sales worldwide in 2008, which would give it 1% of the world’s mobile market. This won’t help sales.
It’s not a done deal yet, though. Apple has serious kinks to work out of the 3G upgrade, including battery life, since the high-speed data transfer can drain juice fast. Jobs himself noted Apple was having difficulty getting the battery life of a 3G iPhone up above 5 hours. The Samsung BlackJack, by comparison, uses the speedy 3G network and got slammed in reviews for a short battery run — what good is a sexy cell phone if you have to tether it to a wall outlet?
As for us, we returned our first iPhone in July. The guy at the Apple counter looked shocked, even after we explained we didn’t want to wait 2 minutes for every email with HTML to download. The current iPhone is a beautiful, glimmering paperweight. Can’t wait for it to work with the real internet come Easter.
Update: A reader notes Stephenson did not explicitly say spring, just “next year.” We bet spring anyway because now the news is out, iPhone sales will tank, and as the holiday spending frenzy ebbs Apple will need to juice its spring sales. If only we could get 3G for Christmas.