AT&T Puts Employee Vacations On Hold: Remember last year when an internal AT&T memo limiting employee vacations from June 15 to July 15 saw the light of day? Pretty much the same thing is happening again. This time the dates have been changed slightly. AT&T retail employees are verboten from taking off between June 15 and July 12. The new memo reads, in part, "We'll meet the challenge "head-on" by providing an exciting Summer Promotional Launch to enable your sales to soar. We again anticipate heavier than normal customer traffic in our stores, providing an excellent earning opportunity for every front line retail sales consultant (RSC) in company owned retail stores." Read into that little gem what you will.
Austria To Launch 3G iPhone: This comes from some German-language newspapers. CrunchGear writes, "T-Mobile in Austria has said it would soon be getting a UMTS version of the iPhone. This puts Austria on a short list of countries to get the 3G version. The previous rumor of multiple iPhone models is being backed up by another article posted by derStandard. The translation is obviously lax, but what I've been able to glean is that an announcement will be made at WWDC, which we already knew, and that Apple will sell the iPhone unlocked for a higher price."
iPhone Exclusive No More: Vodafone has said that it will sell the iPhone in 10 countries, including Italy. The iPhone already is for sale in Italy, thus meaning the iPhone will no longer be an exclusive for that carrier. Many people think that this expanded availability of the iPhone points to a general release of the device in an unlocked state. Whether or not that will carry over to the United States isn't known.
One thing that I am anxious to see regarding a 3G version of the iPhone is which bands it will support. In the U.S., AT&T's 3G network operates in the 850/1,900 MHz bands. In Europe, 3G is in the 2,100 MHz band. In Asia, 3G is in the 900 MHz band. Which ones will Apple support? Will there be one quad-band 3G version that supports all four bands? This would be ideal for Apple, as it would only need to build one version of the 3G iPhone/. Also, its users could travel across much of the world with access to 3G networks wherever they happen to be. But I doubt it will happen. My guess is that Apple will make a version to be primarily used in Europe/Asia, and another version for the United States.
Either way, it looks like the 3G iPhone will be available at or near the end of June.