Europe to get 3G version of Apple iPhone?

3g.jpgSome of us have been confused since the moment the iPhone was announced with a lack of support for 3G (third generation) networks. The iPhone is, after all, a next generation device. Why, then, would a next generation device lack support for the next generation of wireless mobile connectivity?

For investors, the question may have farther reaching implications. A recent informal survey by InformationWeek suggested that a majority of prospective European customers would not consider purchasing the iPhone due to the lack of 3G support. In Europe, 3G services are more widespread and day to day usage of common mobile features would be either impossible or considerably unbearable without third generation data speeds.

It is likely, however, that European customers won't have to worry about whether or not to buy a 3G-lacking iPhone.
Early reports have indicated that the iPhone will be released in Europe either late in 2007 or early in 2008. Though unconfirmed, some outlets have made mention of an October iPhone launch in Europe.

Apple, savvy as they are, are unlikely to release a non-3G version of the iPhone in Europe. Though the lack of 3G on the upcoming US version of the iPhone (June 2007) has been questioned, most US consumers won't be bothered by the lack of support. Most US customers use their devices for non 3G applications, such as voice calls and SMS, especially due to the lack of 3G services in the states. In Europe, as previously mentioned, 3G has been around for years and cannot easily be ignored.

Many things have pointed towards a 3G iPhone headed to Europe. Reports early this year from Japanese and Taiwanese iPhone component manufacturers indicated that Apple was preparing to build two versions of the initial iPhone - both a GSM/EDGE and a 3G version. It was later reported that European service providers, considering backing out of a comittment to offer the iPhone to their customers due to delays and a lack of third generation network support, were given assurance that the GSM/EDGE would be available to them by September 2007, with a 3G version overseas by January 2008.

All of this stands to reason. Apple has been forthcoming about both its intention to develop a 3G version of the iPhone (and soon) as well as it's reasoning behind leaving 3G out of the upcoming innaugural release. Third generation technology, especially when intermittent, is a major drain on battery power. In the US, 3G service is not available in most areas. Although AT&T is continuously expanding its 3G coverage, until recently only a limited number of major metropolitan regions offered support for third generation devices. The addition of 3G to the initial US of the iPhone, some have suggested, would be more of a wasteful nuisance than a valuable addition.

European customers likely have little to worry about. If not immediately available upon the European iPhone launch, a 3G version will not be far behind.



yeah - i doubt we'll ever see a non-3G version of the iPhone released in Europe

It's just a shame US service providers had to give Apple so many good reasons to leave 3G out of the mix.

I have a 3G LG CU500 right now, and even though it isn't a smartphone, I can for one say the 3G services in the US are pointless right now. The latency is horrible and it's all just dumb video clips from CNN and E!.

Who cares about 3G at this point. Just find a WiFi hotspot if you need to browse quickly.

"Just find a WiFi network"............
Ahhhhh, ok. Mind telling us where that would be since all major cities have now abandoned
the idea of "Public WiFi"?

I guess it depends on your perspective.

I am on my second 3G phone now. I was absolutely determined to get a 3G phone. Since I've gotten it however, it hasn't been all it's cracked up to be.

Yes, the faster download speeds are nice - as infrequently as they play in. In the areas I hoped to gain convenience in - web browsing, wireless multimedia, etc - it certainly has been unimpressive.

Of course, it is faster. Once connected. That's the key. The latency on the US 3G at the current time is significant, which destroys a large part of the 3G advantage.

If you're a *heavy* business user I think you need 3G. For casual mobile internet users - I think you can live without it. Especially with a really good EDGE implementation.

With WiFi - downloading a browsing can be done at a hotspot if speed is crucial. Downloadable music isn't a big feature, that's done at home. So ....

GSM/EDGE in US? that's crazy talk, even if Steve said it. I don't believe it. It would be like releasing a G4 PowerMac in 2007.
without 3G, UMTS 850mhz on AT&T/Cingular, it's just another phone.

Alex - I'm not saying it was a good thing to do either, but I do believe the majority of buyers won't miss it. Especially if they aren't coming from a 3G device, which most aren't.

Stephen - now a days the 3G service regions are expanding beyond metro areas. However, less than a year ago, that was far from the case.

I don't know... I live in an area that I definitely wouldn't call metropolitan (a good 45 - 90 min.s from LAX, depending on traffic) and there's 3G service pretty much everywhere I go.

Anyone have any idea why 802.11n is not
included in the iPhone?

The iPhone being marketed as a 'cutting edge' device, I am not entirely sure that the omission of 3G for US networks was a smart move. Battery life essentially only tanks if 3G is used, not if EDGE is in use. A good example are the Nokia Nseries phones (N93i and N95) - with them you have the option of selecting the mode. Neither of these two Nseries phones use the US-specific band for 3G networking, so even Nokia is not considering 3G compatibility to be of relevance to them, I guess.

i guess it will be vodafone 3G broadband high speed no limit ;-)
f***k you for free!

No G3 (UMTS) for Europe or Japan? ... Correct me if I am wrong: So apple wants to compete with other major brands such as "HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, and etc" on the Pan-European and Asian market with this "Ancient" technology such as a smartphone supporting ONLY GSM (dual, tri, quad band)+ EDGE or GPRS?!?! ...

Are you out of your mind Apple? Can you tell me why, a celler/ smartphone-user in Europe would ever go back from a fast G3 network to the more slower EDGE networks? And even so, in The Netherlands and other European countries, we even don't HAVE an EDGE networks....

so Apple, c'mon you guys you can do better than that?!?!!?? Think for once OUT-of-the-box !!!

i think apple has always been thinkin outside of the box. its just that the right thing for the right market. i think its pretty reasonable to not include 3g in US version, simply because they dont either have coverage enough, or just dont use it that much. and europe version will have that. because we do use it very often.

i think they WILL include 3g in the europe version because you couldnt possible be stupid enough not to. otherwise you wouldnt get the sells.

I agree with this and other comments. This is a pretty electronic candy toy I just want to grasp my hands on! Then again, the iPhone is Apples first (1st) cell phone. So I can see why they would wait to see how it would handle before getting all supernova fancy.

As a consumer being ready to commit to a new service and upgrade to the next-gen phone with my first (real) mp3 player; it has come to a final conclusion. Yes, I will sit this one out. Though much to what the iPhone can offer, other phones can offer just as more. The market is a thriving palace of goods which can be surprisingly hard to ignore. When the iPhone gets ready to go with third party applications, a keyboard that can be used sideways, open customize features, and some of the other needed tweaks… then please Apple.
Take my money.

Guess I will just have to put my chin up and wait for the next version ;-)

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