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3G iPhone available in 2008

We figured this would happen, but now AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has made it official: The company, along with Apple, will release a new, faster iPhone next year. This one will function on AT&T’s 3G network, which seems to be growing by the day. This is good news for those who decided to play the waiting game with the iPhone rather than rush out and get one of the first generation models. We wonder, though, how first generation buys will react, though, seeing an upgrade offered a year after the original device was released.

“You’ll have it next year,” Stephenson said in response to a question about when the 3G iPhone would debut. He said he didn’t know how much more the new version will cost than the existing model, which sells for $399. Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs “will dictate what the price of the phone is,” he said.

The big holdup is the battery life. The current iPhone has eight hours of battery life, but a 3G version would be far less. Stephenson says that they’ll have to see some new batteries that can handle the 3G network before the device can be released. “Hopefully we’ll see that late next year,” he said.

Our question: If you planned to buy an iPhone or buy someone an iPhone for the holidays, does this affect your plans? Why buy the device now when you can get a better one next holiday season? Of course, we could all just be good consumers and buy the iPhone this year and then buy the new one when it’s released next year.