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More evidence surfaces of 8GB iPhone 3GS replacing $99 iPhone 3G

A new, speedier 8GB iPhone 3GS is once again rumored to replace the existing $99 iPhone 3G, this time evidenced by an alleged label referencing a new model.

A German customer who purchased a refurbished 8GB iPhone 3G found a label on the back that said "iPhone 3GS v2.2, 8GB." The model number, A1241, and part number, MB490DN/A, are identical to the existing iPhone 3G, but other materials on the packaging reference an 8GB iPhone 3GS. The forum post from a Hamburg resident was discovered by Electronista.

Currently, the lowest-capacity iPhone 3GS is a 16GB model for $199 in the U.S. with a two-year AT&T contract. It sports a fast PowerVR SGX GPU core that supports Open GL ES 2.0, which the existing $99 iPhone 3G cannot do.

In August, reports of a 8GB iPhone 3G were detailed in internal information from carrier Rogers Wireless in Canada. However, that was later discredited as a formatting error on the company's computer systems.

A mid-cycle upgrade for the iPhone would not be a new approach. In early 2008, Apple introduced a 16GB iPhone for $499. Months later, the iPhone 3G was released.

Recent reports have said Apple has scheduled a special media event for Jan. 26, 2010. New products are expected to be announced at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif.

During the company's earnings report in October, Chief Operations Officer Tim Cook noted that the $99 iPhone 3G did not impact sales of the high-end iPhone 3GS. In fact, he said, that demand for the iPhone 3GS exceeded the company's expectations. The average selling price of iPhones last quarter was just over $600, demonstrating gravitation towards the iPhone 3GS.

8GB iPhone 3GS 2

Components for the new iPhone 3GS were initially restrained in supply due to demand for the device. Executives with Apple have said that those issues were addressed this fall.