There's nothing like a price cut announcement to set us tech journalists off like pro-Tibet protesters chasing a flaming baton. Yesterday O2 quietly announced it's going to reduce the price of the 8GB iPhone by a whopping 100 pounds until 1 June (about $198)--but before you could say the words, "that's not a bad deal," tech sites everywhere were posting that this is a sign of the 's imminent arrival.
It's easy to see why we've all got so hot under the collar, though--this price cut's end date perfectly coincides with the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. The conference usually delivers some new Apple goodies, and it's not insane to think one of them could be the 3G iPhone. But before we break open our piggy banks and start counting out all the pennies, let's look at what we already know.
This morning we had a chat with the peeps at O2, who insisted the price cut is simply an exercise in selling more iPhones and not a way of clearing out stock before the 3G model turns up. The chaps at Carphone Warehouse said they didn't know whether a 3G iPhone is around the corner. We couldn't get through to Apple, but we're certain its PRs wouldn't have told us when the 3G iPhone is going to launch anyway--ninjas that they are.
So what's really going on? It could be that the 8GB model is being phased out, and they want to shift stock. Or it could be even simpler. From a consumer perspective, the iPhone has always been very expensive indeed--we've beenfor Apple and O2 to drop the price of the iPhone for some time now. It stands to reason that they've seen the light and realized that here in the U.K. we don't like paying oodles of boodle for our phones.
But before we close the lid on this one and tell you that the 3G iPhone isn't going to launch in June, I must point out that I personally, Andrew Lim, mobile phones editor extraordinaire, was completely wrong about the launch date for the original iPhone and said I'd eat my chair if it came out last year--which of course it did. So maybe--just maybe--all the 3G iPhone speculation is right and it really is coming this summer. In which case I won't be eating any furniture, but I might buy a new iPhone.