Monday, April 21, 2008

3G iPhone Details: "Radically Different," May Have Keyboard


iphone.jpgWhat's the latest on the 3G iPhone? Still on track for June launch, and...may have a keyboard!

The Times of London reports:

Times Online understands that Apple has placed an order with its Asian suppliers to produce 200,000 of the new 3G iPhones by the end of May, rising to 2 million - 500,000 per week - in June.

With a four week lead time between production and placement, that would leave Mr Jobs free to launch the device during an annual developers conference at which he usually speaks.

Industry sources told Times Online that the device will have a "radically different" appearance to the current device, which has a 4.5 inch screen and slick, aluminium backing. Among the possibilities are flip version, which would enable the screen to be larger, and a sliding model with a regular qwerty keyboard - as opposed to a touchscreen one.

"I think ultimately you going to see multiple versions," one Asia-based analyst, said. "One for customers who want it principally as a music and video device, which will be similar to the existing model, one for people who want to communicate - with the keyboard, and one for people who want it as a substitute for their laptop - that will let them browse the internet on a larger screen."

The new phone may also usher in a change in the way Apple strikes distrtibution deals.... Apple will eventually break with its policy of favouring one network to be the exclusive distributor of the iPhone in a given territory - possibly as early as next year.

If the new iPhone has a keyboard, it might look exactly like Research in Motion's iPhone-killer.

See Also: RIM's iPhone Killer: Just Like iPhone, But Crappier