Not to be outdone by AT&T’s rumored 8AM iPhone 3G launch in the US, the UK’s O2 is now reportedly set to open their stores at 7AM, an hour earlier than usual, on July 11 to eager customers. This rumor comes second hand from a poster in the Mac Rumors forum who claims to have received the information from an O2 employee. According to the employee, O2 will be signing up customers for iPhone 3G service starting July 1. By July 11, the credit check and service contract would be in place so users can waltz into their local O2 store and pick up their new iPhone. The source also claims that O2 stores will be receiving shipments of 5,000 iPhone 3G’s per location. That’s a mighty number, causing some to question the validity of the source. Although the employee also states that O2 stores received the same number for the original iPhone launch in November. If the winners in this picture are O2 customers, then the losers are the UK Apple stores. Because there is no O2 account activation system and a lack of proper training for employees, Apple may be forced to sell only pre-paid iPhones in their stores. Via AppleInsider
The much anticipated iPhone 3G apparently costs less to make than its predecessor. iSuppli released a report concerning the first round of a preliminary “virtual teardown” of the phone’s hardware and reported that the Bill of Materials (BOM) on the 8GB model is only $173. That is pretty extraordinary considering the next-gen iPhone is loaded with new features and is now well equipped to take advantage of AT&T’s 3G network.
A source for Gizmodo claims that it's "highly probably" that the iPhone 2.0 operating system Golden Master will be out this Friday. That's two weeks earlier than the iPhone 3G hits the streets and just in the nick of time for Apple to make good on its promise for a June iPhone update. "The iPhone 2.0 operating system Golden Master will follow the release of build 345, which has seen the activation of two code-signing and encryption features not previously available." Although this date is not officially confirmed, Gizmodo's source was confident enough to say that "this is the plan." The 'plan' just might help out the iPhone Dev Team which is working furiously on unlocking the final build before July 11.
The Boy Genius Report got a tip that the iPhone 3G will be launched at 8AM instead of the evening launch favored by Apple during the OG iPhone launch. The early morning launch may be because of the in-store activation issue. No one wants to have their employees working until 5AM the next day activating iPhones. Think of the overtime! If your original plan to leave work and get and iPhone is smashed by this leaked information, we have a few tips to help you call out sick on July 11.
The Times Online warns UK iPhone users of the high price of downloading data outside of the country. Apple’s UK partner, service provider O2, allows unlimited downloads within the country, but once abroad downloading fees are applied. Charges range from £3 (roughly $6) per MB on data downloaded in the EU to £6 in the rest of the world.
AppleInsider is reporting that customers who want their iPhone service pre-paid may be paying more than $600 for the device. A report from Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster, estimates that 53 percent of the new iPhone 3G’s market is made up of customers who forgo service agreements and go the pre-paid route. But, if they want the new iPhone 3G they’ll be paying a hefty price. As Apple charges an average of $425 per handset, the estimate assumes that carriers will tack on another $175 or so to make a profit. With a price more than three-times the subsidized price, it is estimated that only 10-15% of iPhone 2.0 users, mostly international customers, will go with a pre-paid plan. AT&T has yet to announce an unsubsidized price for the iPhone 3G in the United States.
SoftBank Mobile Corp. has announced they will be selling the iPhone 3G in Japan for $215 8GB and $320 16GB. iPhone customers will recieve a discounted price on mobile internet, $56 instead of the regular, $91 for unlimited internet access on other smartphones. Customers will have to sign a two-year contract with the carrier in order to qualify for the subsidized prices. The iPhone is expected to face an uphill battle winning over the hearts of Japanese mobile customers. The country is saturated with mobile devices and many of those devices have features beyond that of the iPhone, including the ability to watch live TV. The iPhone will go on sale in Japan on July 11.
iPhone 3G - It's like a magical money tree. According to Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner, AT&T is paying a subsidy of $325 for each new iPhone 3G. The typical smartphone gets a subsidy of about $200. The analyst goes on to state this high rate "reflects AT&T's faith in the iPhone's ability to attract new subs and increase ARPU (average revenue per user)." If the trucks of cash headed to Apple weren't full enough, AT&T will pay $100 for each new subscription that signs up at the Apple Store. That means, for every iPhone sold at the Apple Store, AT&T will pay Apple a total of $425. The analyst doesn't state if there is a price difference for the 8GB and 16GB models. No wonder AT&T is charging $5 for 200 text messages. Via AppleInsider
The ever present specter of Flash on the iPhone has once again, reared its head. Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen, stated during Adobe's Q2 earnings call that the company has Flash running on the iPhone within emulation: "We have a version that’s working on the emulation. This is still on the computer and you know, we have to continue to move it from a test environment onto the device and continue to make it work. So we are pleased with the internal progress that we’ve made to date." If Apple allows Flash on the iPhone, this would introduce a feature many iPhone users have been clamoring for. Just don't hold your breath. Steve Jobs has been critical of Flash Mobile, suggesting that it isn't powerful enough for the iPhone. Hopefully, the two companies will iron out their differences and give customers the option to install Flash on their iPhones. Via Silicon Valley Insider
According to O2, consumer interest in the iPhone 3G in the UK has eclipsed interest in the current by an unprecedented rate. Well, maybe not unprecedented when you realize that the iPhone 3G can be had for free in the UK on the O2 mobile network. More than 130,000 people have pre-registered their interest in the new iPhone. Compared to the 35,000 people who pre-registered for the original iPhone and it seems the iPhone 3G could be a huge hit in the UK. The iPhone 3G will hit the British Isle on July 11.