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Tuesday, September 18, 2007, 07:10 am PT (10:10 am ET)

Report claims iPhone will go 3G, gain GPS in early 2008

A new report claims that Apple is already aligning component suppliers for a major iPhone overhaul due early next year that will package, among other things, support for faster 3G networks.

The rumor, which was accompanied by claims that the handset would also include features like global positioning for navigation services (GPS), was reported Monday by The Street.com, which has little to no track record in predicting Apple's future business moves.

The claims also arrive in stark contrast to comments made by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs early Tuesday morning regarding a timeframe for an Apple-branded 3G handset.

While introducing the iPhone for UK customers, Jobs was asked by reporters about his firm's decision to forgo 3G access in the version of the iPhone that will be made available in the region later this November.

"[3G] chipsets work well apart from power. They're real power hogs. Most phones now have battery lives of 2 to 3 hours and that's due to these very power-hungry 3G chipsets," he explained. "[iPhone] has 8 hours of talktime life. That's really important when you start to use the Internet and want to use the phone to listen to music. We've got to see the battery lives for 3G get back up into the 5+ hour range. Hopefully we'll see that late next year."

Nevertheless, The Street believes the 3G iPhone will arrive "sometime in the first quarter" of 2008 and include assisted GPS chips from Broadcom's Global Locate unit and power amplifiers from TriQuint.