Yesterday MacWorld's Dan Moren posted this entry: 3G iPhone Getting Closer to Reality. One of the big beefs with 3G is how much energy it consumes. It goes on to talk about how a new 3G chip from Broadcom uses less energy.
Now, we don't know for sure if this chip would "do the trick" for the iPhone. Or if it would fit in the case with all the other stuff, etc. We don't even know concretely if Apple will make a 3G phone. I would say it is highly probable that they will make a 3G iPhone eventually. It is likely that they will make a 3G iPhone. I guess I find it humorous that the title is 3G iPhone Getting Closer to Reality when really, most likely no one outside of Apple knows this as gospel truth. I think I would have called it something like: 3G iPhone Possibly Getting Closer to Reality.
One thing Dan mentions is "and the lack of widespread availability of 3G networks in the US" as a reason Apple didn't go with it here. This is something Apple really has no control over. The phone companies (in this case AT&T) have to provide the better coverage. I can tell you its not as simple as telling your engineers: "Ok have all the 3G networks up by the end of the week." All the equipment needed to setup the network costs money. And, allot of time and man-power is needed to install and test those new network nodes. This isn't setting up a small LAN in a local business. This is an ongoing task that has many people working on it. When will 3G networks be ubiquitous in the United States? I don't know. My point is though, even if Apple came out with a 3G iPhone tomorrow with good battery life doesn't mean things would be better (near term) they might actually get worse!
It will be fun to see this all play out over the next couple years!