iPhone 3G to be subsidized?

Financial Times has received word from unnamed sources that the iPhone 3G – which is widely expected to be announced today at WWDC – will receive carrier subsidies that will dramatically reduce its price. The new version of the Apple iPhone is set to be sold at significantly lower prices than the existing one, in a tacit acknowledgement by the US technology company that its previous sales strategy was not sustainable.

Financial Times has received word from unnamed sources that the iPhone 3G – which is widely expected to be announced today at WWDC – will receive carrier subsidies that will dramatically reduce its price.

The new version of the Apple iPhone is set to be sold at significantly lower prices than the existing one, in a tacit acknowledgement by the US technology company that its previous sales strategy was not sustainable.

According to the FT piece, Apple "bowed to pressure from mobile phone operators" in the US and Europe, and more directly, from consumers who apparently will only pay so much for a phone.

"Apple has accepted that the new iPhone should be subsidised in the US and western Europe by the mobile operators who sell it to consumers, according to people familiar with the matter."

You'll recall that the original iPhone went on sale in June 2007 for US$499 (4GB) and US$599 (8GB) and that two months later Apple dropped the price to US$399 for the 8 gigger.

The FT piece doesn't have a specific price target for the iPhone 3G, but previously rumors have circulated that the U.S. version could sell for as little as US$200 with a heavy subsidy from AT&T.