O2 drops the iPhone
Just when you thought the Apple iPhone hype had died down, we have surprising news that there are no more 8GB iPhones on sale in the UK. Carphone Warehouse has completely run out of stock, all online stores are telling their affiliates not to promote it anymore (no point, really, as there aren't any to sell!), O2 only have a few more left in their stores, and no more additional stock is expected. What's going on? Is this the end of the iPhone in the UK?...
The answer is both yes and no. Yes in that the current 8GB iPhone has now gone; and no, in that the current 16GB model is still available. Of more interest is the number of rumours that are circulating that suggest that a new 3G iPhone is on its way, possibly as soon as June. A 3G iPhone is an absolute necessity if Apple is to keep the momentum with the iPhone going. It's current success rests largely on its fantastic interface (as well as the hysterical hype surrounding the device), but that will only be a novelty for so long.
Every other mobile phone that's been released in the past year has sported a touchscreen, and it won't be long before the other manufacturers are able to get the software right so that the overall user experience matches that of the iPhone. When this happens, the iPhone's poor feature set will make it look outdated almost overnight, and with no other model to fall back on, Apple's foray inot the mobile phone market could well be brief.
Make way for the 3G iPhone
Fortunately, they know this, too, and so a 3G iPhone is definitely on its way; the only question is when. Apparently development has already been accelerated to meet the needs of us fortunate Europeans, who see 3G as a necessity for mobile Web browsing, simply because, well, it is! Also, we have almost ubiquitous 3G network coverage, so a high-tech phone without 3G is like a Bugatti Veyron running on coal!
One of the reasons 3G wasn't included in the initial iPhone was its effect on battery power. A 3G radio is necessarily heavier on battery consumption than a 2G radio, and so Apple made the decision to go with 2G as the 3" touchscreen already draws significant power from the battery, meaning that battery life would have plummeted. Some reports suggest that Apple hope to get round this for the new 3G iPhone by equipping the touchscreen with OLED rather than the current LCD technology. However, OLED is not a cheap technology, so it remains to be seen what price-point the new 3G iPhone will be set at.
All is expected to be revealed in June, apparently, when the new Apple iPhone OS 2.0 also debuts as well as Apple's online App Store. As ever we'll keep you updated of any more breaking news in the meantime.
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