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As the iPhone turns

After weeks of iPhone bashing over unlocked units and demand projections, suddenly everything is rosy again with Apple investors and the iPhone after a series of developments yesterday.

In the wake of yesterday's iPhone software development news, a few positive tidbits related to Apple's iPhone surfaced here and there regarding 3G support, carrier exclusivity, and shipment expectations.

First off, UBS analyst Nicolas Gaudois posted a research note--spotted by AppleInsider among others--declaring that Apple has a 3G iPhone slated for the middle of this year using a modem chip from Infineon. The 3G model has long been expected to arrive at some point this year, and could help boost its standing with European customers and business types.

Apple COO Tim Cook, believe it or not, still likes the iPhone. Apple

Secondly, Apple COO Tim Cook took the stage at the Goldman Sachs Investment Symposium in Las Vegas to reiterate Apple's goal of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008. Over the last several weeks, several analysts had gone on record predicting Apple would fall short of that goal, dragged down in part by a souring economy, but that was before news broke yesterday of the pending enterprise applications scheduled to be unveiled next week.

Cook also noted that Apple wasn't "married" to the exclusive carrier rollout strategy it has used so far in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France. That could imply that Apple is thinking about adding other carriers in those places, although I still think it's unlikely that Apple will release a CDMA-based iPhone that would work on Verizon and Sprint's networks anytime soon. It could also imply that Cook is angling for a better revenue-sharing deal with the carriers already in Apple's fold.

The combination of all of these developments--the prospect of a more business-friendly 3G iPhone that could be available through multiple carriers--seems to have revived interest in Apple's prospects. After getting killed over the last few weeks, Apple's stock is up over 5 percent today, swimming against the tide of a broader downturn on higher unemployment numbers.

Following this company is sometimes like watching a tennis match. Or maybe it's closer to hockey, where everybody scurries around on one end of the ice before flying around on the other end.