Yesterday, Apple unveiled a new 16GB iPhone ($499) that will work on AT&T’s faster 3G network. When the iPhone was first announced in January 2007, Steve Jobs said 3G would need to become more widespread in the United States and much more energy efficient before it’s included in the iPhone. I guess that time has come.
The lack of 3G in the current iPhone model was a major turnoff for many people because AT&T’s data network in the United States in notoriously slow. Typically, 3G networks provide users with service at 5-10 Mb per second – fast enough to watch good quality streaming video.
Current iPhones use AT&T’s non 3G data network, EDGE, which is painfully slow and sucks ass.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “the new version of the iPhone is the first step in what many analysts expect to be an effort to expand the gadget this year into a broader family of products, possibly with a less-expensive model and a version that’s compatible with 3G, a fast, wide-area networking technology that lets users access the Internet at broadband speeds.”
3G technologies enable network operators to offer cell phone users a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved spectral efficiency. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephony and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment.
Apple says it has sold 4 million iPhones to date.