2.5m AT&T iPhone users; Piper on WWDC Macs; 3G stock panic

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AT&T now counts more than 2.5 million iPhone users among its ranks. Also, analysts at Piper Jaffray give a 60 percent chance of Macs at WWDC; the New York Times has developed a new version of its Times Reader for the Mac; and a plunge in Apple stock value on Thursday was triggered by fears of an iPhone delay.

AT&T touts 2.5 million iPhone subscribers

AT&T can now lay claim to more than 2.5 million active iPhone subscribers, the carrier's chief financial officer Rick Lindner revealed Thursday.

Historically shy on details, the company also notes that the typical iPhone user on its network spends about $100 per month for service. This compares closely to fees spent for the BlackBerry Curve, he says, but nets AT&T more up front: where an iPhone sells for as much as $499, the Curve can be had for as little as $99 in the right conditions, Lindner says.

He notes, however, that pricing for an expected next-generation iPhone hasn't been set.

Piper: 60 percent shot at MacBook redesigns for WWDC

The 3G iPhone isn't the only likely star for WWDC, according to an investors' note from Piper Jaffray.

Senior analyst Gene Munster estimates that redesigned MacBooks, revealed first by AppleInsider, stand a 60 percent chance of an introduction at the developer conference in June. Those odds increase to 80 percent for a launch before the end of the summer, he adds.

The age of the systems' designs, combined with the looming education season, are both cited as support for the prediction.

In addition to Mac forecasts, Munster also echoes the most recent rumors and calls for a 3G iPhone announced at WWDC with availability by mid-June.

New York Times offers Times Reader for Mac

Readers interested in browsing the New York Times' back catalog from their Macs while offline now have access to a beta client of Times Reader for the platform.

The beta is free to try but requires the installation of Microsoft's cross-platform Silverlight plug-in; the final version is expected to require a paid Times subscription.

Brief Apple stock dive triggered by 3G delay rumor

If Apple's shareholders were wondering why their stock value plunged on Thursday, they may be surprised at the nature of the drop, according to a claim by Barron's.

Trader sources allege that the frantic sell-off was due to "rumors of a rumor" of a delay in the release of a 3G iPhone; shareholders were reacting to delays for a device that isn't confirmed yet, the report indicates.

Apple stocks promptly bounced back on Friday.