Apple to launch 3G iPhone in June?

O2 said yesterday that the iPhone has been its most successful device launch ever

Another day, another 3G iPhone rumour, this time from analysts at investment firm UBS.

UBS analysts have been telling their clients that the 3G iPhone will arrive 'mid-year' (ie June / July), and that Apple is already scaling back production of the current 2G version, according to CNN Money.

A 3G iPhone launch in June would actually make a lot of sense - as by then it will be almost a year since the original version went on sale in the US.

Apple confirms 3G launch

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at the 2.5G iPhone's UK launch last September that a 3G-capable model was definitely on the cards for 'late 2008', suggesting we're likely to see the new iPhone in September - again one year on from its UK debut.

UBS has named German chipmaker Infineon Technologies as the supplier of suitable chips in the iPhone. Other analysts have also named InterDigital as being in the frame, with Apple signing a 7-year $65 million deal with the firm for "2G and 3G technologies".

Rumours of a 3G iPhone have been circulating for almost as long as the iPhone has been in existence. In November, a senior manager at O2's parent company Telefonica said he expected a 3G iPhone to surface in May.

Apple 'not married' to O2

There has also been some speculation over whether O2 will retain exclusive rights to sell the iPhone. Rumours surfaced last November that suggested Vodafone may also offer the 3G iPhone - something that were subsequently denied.

However deals like this could tie in neatly with comments made by Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook yesterday. He told Goldman Sachs analysts that Apple wasn't wedded to the idea of exclusive contracts, and that the company was pleased that so many phones were being sold unlocked, since it showed how strong demand for the device was.

Our advice then is to hold out a little longer for an iPhone - it could well be worth the wait.