We may be little more than five weeks away from an official 3G iPhone announcement, but as the rumour mill heats up a pattern is emerging which suggests we may be getting more than just hardware changes.
According to respected Italian broadsheet La Repubblica (not usually the sort of paper to indulge in aimless tech speculation) it has it on strong authority the shared revenue model for new Apple handset will be going the way of the Dodo.
In a long and in-depth article, La Repubblica says Steve Jobs has been convinced not only of the worth of 3G (a controversial omission first time around) but also that the company should move away from its equally notorious revenue sharing model to a subsidised open network approach. On the back of this Telecom Italy is said to have already tied up a non-exclusive deal with Apple - something the telco has refused to confirm or deny.
Interestingly, this news breaks at the same as talk Orange is about to cut the price of the iPhone in France to bring it in line with the cuts first made in Germany by T-Mobile earlier this month then mirrored by O2 last week in the UK (above). On the back of this could we see these moves not only as the clearing out of old stock, but of the networks bracing themselves for an open 3G iPhone market?
La Repubblica (Google Translation)