It seemed unlikely that Apple could go any other way, but AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson finally confirmed that 2008 will see the iPhone upgraded with 3G connectivity. The handset, which has been robustly criticised for making use of last-gen EDGE data rather than one of the newer, faster technologies, was limited to the slower network as the company felt battery life would suffer unduly from power-hungry 3G chips. Speaking at a meeting of the Churchill Club in California, Stephenson told reporters querying the updated phone that “you’ll have it next year.”
When pushed on price, AT&T seemingly have little say in what Apple charge for their hardware; “[Steve Jobs] will dictate what the price of the phone is” Stephenson explained. Nonetheless, it’s potentially enough to delay some shoppers over the coming holiday period, although ever-verbose Gene Munster of analysts Piper Jaffray & Co dismissed those buyers as “not enough to make a difference.”
The confirmation comes a month after Broadcom unveiled what some believe will be the 3G chipset the upgraded iPhone will use, that boasted 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity, onboard graphics support and image processing for up to 5-megapixel cameras, as well as lower power demands than existing chips.