Jobs: why no 3G

Ah, I see. It’s the battery life.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs slammed 3G phones for having limited battery life as he launched the iPhone in the UK through an exclusive deal with network operator O2.

O2 is thought to have signed an unprecedented agreement passing around 10pc of all revenues from the iPhone to Apple, whose tough commercial terms some other mobile networks baulked at.

One of those was Vodafone, whose chief executive Arun Sarin has pointed out that the first version of the iPhone will not run on 3G mobile networks, thus offering only the slower web browsing speeds of 2.5G unless customers are in a wi-fi hotspot. Mr Jobs, however, said Apple had decided against incorporating 3G for now because it drained battery life. “The 3G chipsets work well apart from power. They’re real power hogs. Most phones now have battery lives of two to three hours,” he added.

“Our phone has eight 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 five-plus hour range. Hopefully we’ll see that late next year.”

Translation: It will give us an opportunity to force all those early adopters to upgrade after the Christmas rush.