AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has spilled the beans about a new 3G version of the iPhone that would connect to the Internet at much faster speeds than the current model, addressing one of the major shortcomings of the device.

With the Christmas shopping season just around the corner, however, news of a faster iPhone comes at an awkward time for Apple as some people may put off buying the device until the newer version is released. Apple has declined to comment on Stephenson’s statement, but Steve Jobs has previously suggested a 3G iPhone could be available sometime next year once battery life issues are solved:

“We've got to see the battery lives for 3G get back up into the five-plus-hour range,'' he said at a news conference in London in September. “Hopefully we'll see that late next year.''
There is yet no word of just how much a new 3G iPhone would cost or when/if it will be officially unveiled.