Analysts: 3G iPhone to debut June 9

Citigroup's Richard Gardner and Yeechang Lee said in a research note Thursday that they expect Apple to introduce the 3G iPhone during Job's keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

That date makes some degree of sense, considering WWDC is also a likely candidate for the introduction of the final release of iPhone Firmware 2.0. Jobs speaks at the beginning of each conference, this year being held from June 9-13.

Typically, WWDC keynotes are reserved for the company's software-related announcements. However, with the iPhone SDK being released at that time along with a new device firmware, such a rollout seems logical.

In addition to the 3G version, the 2.5G model could see a refresh and price drop to $299 and $349, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu added in his own research note to clients.

Both changes could help accelerate iPhone sales and make Apple's 10 million device goal during 2008 a reality. It has already sold 1.7 million so far this year. Since it's launch last June, 5.4 million devices have been sold worldwide.

AT&T itself may be delaying a launch of one of its upcoming 3G BlackBerry models to make way for the iPhone. While the official reason given has been call quality concerns, many are speculating that the company does not want to have two of its highly anticipated 3G models competing for business with each other.

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