Gizmo lovers excited over likely launch of 3G iPhone Monday

June 8th, 2008 - 12:54 pm ICT by IANS  

By Himank Sharma
New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) Even as gizmo lovers await the official launch of Apple’s new iPhone towards the end of the year, the market in India is abuzz - as in the US - that the company would debut the iPhone ver.2 or the 3G model as early as Monday. Apple Inc is hosting the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) starting Monday in San Francisco and it was during the same conference last year that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs announced the launch date for the original iPhone.

“I have the first iPhone and I am mighty pleased with its out-of-the-world functionality. I’ll sell it as soon as I can lay my hands on the new one,” said Geet Tandon, an avid techie, unable to hide his excitement.

“I can’t wait to get my hands on the new iPhone, which supposedly will have additional features and better looks,” he added.

The buzz over the new version being showcased in San Francisco was further fuelled by a memo to employees in May sent by AT&T, iPhones’s sole provider in the US.

“No additional vacation will be approved between June 15 - August 12,” said the company, which had issued a similar notice last year before the phone’s launch.

When the original iPhone from the apple stable - a crossover between an iPod and a smart-phone - hit the market last year, lack of 3G capabilities and a built-in global positioning system (GPS) receiver were seen as few of the disadvantages.

Nevertheless, the flaws did not seem to deter the buyers, according to a recent study by the technology think-tank Gartner. Apple rose to number three position in the worldwide smart-phone category in terms of market share, selling more than 1.7 million handsets in just about nine months.

The serpentine lines outside Apple and AT&T stores made headlines in India, despite the fact that apple at that time had not disclosed any plans of marketing their new product in the country.

The phone was named the Time magazine’s invention of the year. And despite not being officially available in the country, the phone was voted as the gadget of the year by most tech shows in India.

Gaffar market in Karol Bagh, the go-to place in the city if you want the shiny chrome plated phone, does not seem to know about by the new development. Santosh Singh, who deals specifically with the iPhone, said he had no idea if a new version of the iPhone was being launched.

“If that happens, it will be good for the business as the new phone will take sometime to seep in the Indian market and when the supply is less the profits are always high,” he said.

It is not all rumours that make the whole hype surrounding the 3G iPhone believable given the secretive and surprising marketing strategies of Apple.

During a meeting in California in November 2007, AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson (in what has been regarded as a slip-up) told reporters that his company was working with Apple for the 3G version of iPhone.

Apple fan websites and iPhone forums all across the web are on fire. Not only can one find the “leaked pictures” but also copies of apple’s patent application for the phone to the US Patent Office on these websites.

And what can one expect of the new phone? The list is endless but 3G and a GPS are more or less confirmed. Apple might also include flash player in its Safari browser and the phone would have window’s media format.

Avid blogger Zibri (real name not disclosed), who has founded the popular blog ziphone.org and also creator of ziphone - an unlocking utility software for the phone - says the launch of the next iPhone version will be sooner than expected.

“We’re near the event everyone is expecting. It seems Apple at last has included an embedded GPS. It features a category 8 HSDPA connection (3G) for a top speed of 7.2 MB/s. The main iPhone CPU will remain unchanged.”

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