June 7 is now a near-certainty to be the launch date for the latest iPhone, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs kicking off the firm's Worldwide Developers' Conference on that day (and with US retailer Wal-Mart halving the prices of the current iPhone 3GS in readiness). That would suggest that the new handset would hit the shelves in early July.
The pattern is a familiar one, since the original iPhone launch in June 2007, but the big difference is that Google is now Apple's avowed enemy, not close ally. Google executives used the firm's own developer conference last week to attack Apple at every turn, and Jobs is likely to respond during his own keynote. In a weekend open email, he said there was "not a chance" that Android could surpass Apple on the technology front, says Gizmodo.
Amid speculation over whether Verizon would get an iPhone this time around (and even some rumors that Sprint would gain a CDMA version instead), research by Morgan Stanley found that an Apple handset would benefit Verizon, with 17 per cent of its subscribers "very likely" to purchase the device if offered. That compares with 14.6 per cent of AT&T customers who express interest in the product.
Wal-Mart is to cut the price on the entry level iPhone 3GS, with 16Gb of memory, by $100 to $97 with a two-year AT&T contract. When Apple introduced the iPhone 3GS last June, it cut the price of the older iPhone 3G to $99.
Copyright © 2010, Wireless Watch
Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.