3G iPhone Not As Easy As It Sounds

Apple 2.0: Want a 3G iPhone for Christmas?

The latest bit of misinformation on this front comes from Robert Cringely, whose column for PBS this week is subtitled “Expect a 3G iPhone for Christmas.” “It is my understanding,” he writes, “that Apple and AT&T are planning a fall rollout for full 3G iPhone service, with technical trials already underway in certain AT&T markets.”

Because he “can’t believe that even Steve [Jobs] would make us buy new phones” only months after the iPhone’s debut, Cringely spins an elaborate fantasy: inside the 2G iPhone, he speculates, Apple has hidden a 3G chipset and is just waiting for Christmas to turn it on. Or, as Cringely puts it:

It is very likely that a firmware upgrade will awaken the 3G within all you iPhone owners.

If only it were that easy.

Contradicting Robert X. Cringely’s speculation that Apple will release a firmware update that enables the iPhone to work on 3G networks, this blog points out that it’s likely not that easy. It claims that teardowns of iPhones to date have revealed only standard EDGE radios that can’t be updated without new hardware.


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