Thursday, April 3, 2008

iPhone shortage fuels 3G rumours

The recent shortage of Apple iPhones has sparked speculation the US company is preparing to launch a new generation of the wildly successful mobile phone.

Reports from the United States suggest widespread shortages of the iPhone, with estimated lost sales of up to 40,000 phones each week.

While over half a million phones remain unaccounted for - meaning they have either not been activated in the United States - or remain in inventory, the shortage has sparked speculation over a potential new release of the iPhone.

It was reported yesterday that Apple may now be preparing to release a new 3G version of it's phone - an upgrade to the current 2.5G or EDGE technology used in the devices.

3G technology will allow faster speeds and bandwidth for those using the iPhone on telecommunications networks.

The company was widely chastised for it's decision to not include 3G capability within the phone - a key technology to deliver extra bandwidth and speeds for media files, photos and video.

A former founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak last month let rip on the iPhone - saying that it was a mistake to not include 3G within the iPhone's launch.

"To tell you the truth I was really disappointed when the iPhone was introduced... half the phones in the AT&T store at the time were 3G phones," Mr Wozniak said while in Sydney.

Apple said that the technologies omission was due to concerns over battery life.

There is now however speculation that the company will release a 3G version of the iPhone by May.

While the phone is yet to ship to Australia, Apple has kept coy over who and when the iPhone will launch in the country.

Telstra is believed to be a frontrunner for the phone's sale - with Apple choosing to select an exclusive reseller network in order to recoup further charges from the phone's use.

With the introduction of 3G, it is now believed that the iPhone could be marketed on any number of mobile phone networks in Australia, including Hutchison Three and Vodafone.

While production on the new 3G phone is not believed to have started yet, Chinese and Taiwanese media reported that several manufacturers were bidding for the production contract on the new phone.


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