Times Online is reporting that the next-gen 3G iPhone will surprise Apple fans with a "radically different" appearance to the current offering.

According to a business article on the site: "Industry sources told Times Online that the device will have a 'radically different' appearance to the current device, which has a 4.5-inch [sic] screen and slick, aluminium backing".

"Among the possibilities are flip version, which would enable the screen to be larger, and a sliding model with a regular Qwerty keyboard - as opposed to a touchscreen one."

The article also states Apple has placed an order with its Asian suppliers to produce 200,000 of the new 3G iPhones by the end of May, rising to 2 million in June.

The 3G version of Apple's mobile phone is due in 2008, with June, which would mark the year anniversary of the device's launch, hotly tipped to be the month it debuts.