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Latest iPhone 2.0 Firmware Has 3G On/Off Option

Earlier today we posted a screenshot on our dedicated iPhone blog (RSS) that claimed to depict a new On/Off option to enable 3G speeds. This new preference was found in the latest iPhone 2.0 Beta 5 distributed to developers. By default, the preference is hidden, but one developer (Chronic Productions) claims to have activated it. We have since confirmed that the text shown is indeed in the iPhone 2.0 Beta firmware, so the screenshot appears to be legitimate.

While the iPhone 2.0 firmware appears to contain 3G code, current iPhone owners will not be able to take advantage of the 3G speeds without buying the new iPhone. It appears that Apple will be using a common firmware for both the existing iPhone and the unreleased 3G-capable iPhone.

Also of interest is that due to the higher 3G power consumption, Apple is giving users an option to fall back to EDGE speeds in order to prolong battery life.

The 3G-capable iPhone is widely expected to be released in the coming months, possibly at the Worldwide Developer Conference in June.