3G iPhone in 2008: didn't we know already?

Apple will release a 3G version of its iPhone late next year

Exclusive US iPhone carrier AT&T says that a 3G model of the Apple iPhone will launch in 2008. But while blogs and fanboys excitedly discuss the news, the big question is: why does anyone care? After all, Steve Jobs has already said that a second generation 3G iPhone was due out next year. It's the worst kept secret in tech. But more importantly, is there really anyone out there who gives a stuff about 3G?

At the UK iPhone launch on 9 November, we asked hundreds of queuers if the lack of 3G had any baring on whether they would buy the phone. Not a single person we spoke to said they cared. Instead, we got people saying things like, "We don't need 3G," and, "I don't care at all. I have 3G on my current phone and I never use it".

It's not about the phone

The fact is that as a phone, the Apple iPhone isn't very exciting. It makes phone calls and sends texts. That's standard. It's the unique multitouch interface which makes it the most fascinating tech product of 2007. It's unlike anything ever seen before. That's why so many people go goggle-eyed when they see one for the first time.

The lack of 3G is often talked about because it's in our nature to pick faults. When was the last time you heard someone say, "It may be a jolly nice phone but the I think the lack of 3G is truly distressing. I shall not be getting one for that very fact"?

Is a 3G iPhone likely to spark a massive sales boom when it launches? Almost certainly not. Unless, of course, the new model comes with other new features such as improved storage capacity. Do you care that the iPhone doesn't have 3G capability? Let us know.