CUPERTINO, California: New versions of Apple's hip but slow-selling iPhone, that will operate via faster 3G mobile networks, will go on sale across twenty-two nations as of July 11.

Not only will iPhone mark two be faster and trendier, it will ticketed at around half the retail cost of its overpriced predecessor.

Insiders say that the price of an 8-gigabyte model will drop to  $199 (from $299) and a 16gb version to $299 ($599). The price-slash reflect subsidies from cellphone networks who scent additional dollars from the sale of ongoing monthly data services.

Earlier this week Apple ceo Steve Jobs conceded that the iPhone needed to be "more affordable" to reach a wider audience.

He admitted that Apple had sold only 6 million of the gizmos since they went on sale late last June, an indirect admission that sales so far this year are lagging at around the 2m mark – one fifth of Apple's 10m target for 2008.

AT&T is expected to account for the bulk of new iPhone global sales. The shift to the subsidized business model will also be subsidized by other carriers, among them Spain's Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile, Vodafone Group, France Telecom's Orange and Japan's Softbank.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff