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New iPhone may be in works for business users

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs may unveil an iPhone that works with faster wireless networks in a bid to lure business users from the BlackBerry and reach more international customers.

Jobs, in a keynote speech scheduled for Apple's developers conference in San Francisco on Monday, probably will announce an updated iPhone that works with so-called third-generation, or 3G, networks, said Gene Munster, a Piper Jaffray & Co. analyst. The iPhone combines an iPod with a phone that serves up Web pages and e-mail.

Higher speed, combined with software due this month that links the iPhone to corporate e-mail systems, may make it a bigger threat to Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry and help Jobs reach his goal of selling 10 million phones this year. The lack of 3G capability also has limited the iPhone's appeal among overseas users accustomed to fast data feeds.

“The iPhone is going to become much more mainstream if they can get corporate acceptance,” said Munster, who is based in Minneapolis. He expects Apple to sell 12.9 million units this year and as many as 45 million in 2009, based on his prediction that Apple will add two new models in January. “The engine is just starting to warm up.”

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