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Last Updated: Monday, 31 March 2008, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
3G iPhone talk starts to heat up
By Jim Reed
Newsbeat technology reporter

The iPhone was launched last November in the UK
Apple is preparing to launch a new version of the iPhone as early as June, according to financial pundits and internet rumour sites.

It is thought the second generation model will support faster 3G data speeds.

The original iPhone was criticised for its slower 2.5G Edge connection.

Apple is refusing to confirm or deny any of the speculation.

But internet gossip sites are buzzing with talk of a new model.

New iPhone features

Bloggers point to Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference on 9-13 June as a possible launch event.

There has been criticism of the iPhone's 3G capabilities
Kevin Rose, the founder of the popular news site Digg, reckons Apple is working on a video version of its iChat application to run on the new phone.

According to his Diggnation podcast, the latest model will come with an extra digital camera hidden behind the touchscreen to film the user in conversation.

Apple might also replace the standard LCD display with more expensive Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology.

That would save on battery life and reduce the thickness of the phone.

Satellite navigation could also be built in as standard.

Possible launch dates

Financial analysts that track Apple's share price say orders have already been placed for the microchips and other electrical components that are needed to build the new phone.

Scott Craig from Bank of America reckons it will go on sale in June in the USA.

There is no word yet on the timing of a UK launch.

A summer release date would put the new iPhone in direct competition with rival multimedia devices expected to hit the market about the same time.

Sony Ericsson has been showing off prototypes of its own touchscreen phone, the Xperia.

The final version, built around Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform, will go on sale in the second half of the year.

Nokia has also confirmed the next generation of its multimedia N-Series phones will feature a full touchscreen interface.

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