AT&T’s Stephenson: 3G iPhone coming ‘next year’

Speaking at a meeting of the Churchill Club in Santa Clara, California, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that Apple will bring out a version of the iPhone that runs on faster 3G data networks in 2008. “You’ll have it next year,” Stephenson said in response to a question on when the highly-anticipated device would debut. Previously, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said that current 3G chips are too power-hungry to use in the device, calling them “real power hogs” in a news conference in London. “We’ve got to see the battery lives for 3G get back up into the five-plus hour range,” Jobs said. “Hopefully we’ll see that next year.” When asked, Stephenson said that he didn’t know how much the faster 3G iPhone will cost, saying that Jobs “will dictate what the price of the phone is.”

  1. I think it would be entertaining if Apple prices the new iphone very high and then a month or 2 later cut the price by 1/3. That will show those early adopters who their daddy is!

  2. So will we have to sign up for another 2 years when buying the new one? I don’t mind technology upgrades, but I do mind contract extensions. This is why I wonder if we will see anything before June 29 2009.

  3. We’ll have to read the fine print Jim, but given that there is no handset subsidy, hopefully upgrading to a newer iPhone won’t trigger an contract extension… But you never know.

  4. It would be nice (for iPhone upgraders) if you could pop in the SIM card from your existing activated iPhone and it would just work. That way you wouldn’t have to activate or extend contract. Then you put the unactivated SIM from your new phone into the old one and put it up for sale on the bay of E.

    Of course it will probably take longer for 3G coverage to reach my area than for the 3G iPhone.

  5. How do other 3G phone manufacturers manage to overcome the ‘power hungry’ aspects of these devices?

    Maybe if Apple gave the consumer the ability to change batteries, as with other phones, then the problem is solved. Carry a spare battery….

  6. Other manufactures of 3g phones use bigger batteries to overcome the power hungry aspects of the phone. I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but for me I’d rather not have one more extra thing to carry in my pocket or bag.

  7. Do you guys think that current iPhone owners will get a trade in discount or something or do we have to drop another $400 or so on the new one?

  8. I’m with Ed here. I think it’d be nice to see an incentive program for iPhone owners to upgrade at a more reasonable rate. Probably won’t happen, but it’d be a great way for Apple and AT&T to show they are committed to dominating the marketplace.

    That said, the iPod has been upgraded basically on an annual basis, and really all you can do to step up to the new model is resell your old one and pay the difference.

  9. Do you think buyers of this year’s iPod models will get a trade in or discount on next Fall’s iPod models? ‘Cuz that would be really sweet.

    Nope, I didn’t think so either.

  10. Well Apple has their recycling program where they take your old ipod and give you a  discount for the health and well being of the planet. I hope they do this for the iphone to protect Steve Jobs’ health and well being cause if not, then he’ll get an iPhone v1 up his A$$.

  11. dodo: Transfer an active SIM card from one phone to another? And have it just work? Surely, you jest!

    Oh, wait – anybody on a GSM network that DOES NOT USE AN IPHONE can already do this. In fact, they’ve been doing this for years and years.

    To the rest of you: (1) If you read the entire Engadget article, you’ll discover that Stephenson is a clueless tool. (2) “Next Year” is likely measured in dog years. (3) Whatever pricing and contract terms hurt the consumer the most, are the ones Apple and AT&T will follow.

  12. I think he’s in trouble for even mentioning it. Why would anyone in business mention or even hint to a time when a new product will be released? All of the existing versions of that product will immediately lose their attraction because people are now going to think, “Well, I’ll just wait for the new model that’s supposed to be coming out.”

    This is why Apple is extremely strict about commenting on future products, especially ship dates.

  13. I am going to buy an iPhone (I have a 16GB iPod touch) now.
    3G is only in one area in Oklahoma and nowhere near me.
    It may take years for us to get it, so it’s a waste.
    I would rather buy ‘todays’ technology and not buy into the Apple hype (new product coming!!) and just enjoy it now.
    How deep are our pockets?
    Sure as heck Apple won’t sell it for any less than $599.
    I also hope support for our ‘new’ 1G iPhone is still top priority and we are not left in the wake of a ‘bigger/better’ iPhone.

  14. I have to admit that it is quite entertaining to read these comments. As an American living in Europe and other parts of the world where the cell phone markets are much more mature than in the US, it is funny to see how things are viewed. Example, I and others have been saying that a non-3G iPhone will have very little impact considering Nokia, SE and the other brands have had this technology for years. In the UK, the iPhone is floundering because O2 and most other operators had decided to bypast EDGE or consider it so antiquated that many phones no longer have it. Look up HSDPA (3.6 m/sec and 7.2 m/sec) and see what much of the rest of the world is moving on to. The battery issue is also laughable considering 1500 mAh is about the largest in some phones with most settling in at 1000 mAh, so Apple’s battery issue is a lie. Nothing more, nothing less. I would not get my hopes up for a 3G phone anytime soon as Apple (I could be wrong) has not even applied for FCC type approval and this takes months and months. Even if they by an off the shelf radio for the phone, it has to be type approved to go into an iPhone. Once again months and months. In the mean-time, Nokia will release a new touch screen phone that has 3G HSDPA, 5 megapixel cam, 8 or 16 gigs of memory, etc…. The iPhone will be shown for what it really is: a 3 year old phone with a TS UI. A more appropriate name would be: iPod with Phone.

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