2008-06-03 06:48:59 GMT 2008-06-03 14:48:59 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
BEIJING, June 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Industry experts expect Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs to announce a new iPhone when he takes the stage at Apple's developers' conference Monday.
The new iPhone will be accompanied by support for corporate e-mail and a slate of new programs that could help boost sales of the devices, which sport a touch-sensitive screen, wireless Internet access and iPod-style media functions.
"The thing for Apple is to be able to leverage the iPhone for further innovation, or they run the risk of being the next (Motorola) RAZR, which was iconic in its own way, but for which innovation did not come fast enough," Shiv Bakhshi, director of mobility research for market research firm IDC.
Apple has declined to comment on what Jobs will announce, but analysts are betting he will show off a long-rumored phone running on a so-called 3G, or third-generation, network.
That would address one of the chief complaints about the current iPhone: the speed at which it calls up Web pages on AT&T Inc's sluggish EDGE network.
That is a particularly important concern in Europe, which is ahead of the United States in building new networks and where sales of the iPhone have lagged.
"I see 3G as important for the U.S. but essential for overseas," analyst Avi Greengart of Current Analysis said of a faster iPhone. "It will be appreciated by technology enthusiasts and anybody who wants to get fast Web browsing outside the hot spots."
There is also speculation Apple could bow to a cellphone industry practice and offer a subsidized iPhone, an arrangement where AT&T could kick in a couple hundred dollars to make the devices more affordable. AT&T already gives Apple a slice of the monthly service fees it gets from iPhone subscribers.