One general expectation in the tech community is that Apple will release a new iPhone sometime in 2009. After two years of consecutive hardware releases, people would likely be more surprised if Apple didn't release a new phone this year.
Still, Apple and its U.S. service provider AT&T have remained coy about upcoming hardware updates. The iPhone OS v3.0 preview came with not a hardware mention to be seen, after the last two OS updates accompanied new hardware.
However, recent reports cite a high-level source at AT&T as saying that a new iPhone may indeed be coming. The source says that yearly iPhone hardware releases are "becoming a tradition" and comments that in mid-June (around the time of the OS v3.0 release) , Apple and AT&T will have a big announcement.
They also hint that customers soon will not have to choose between the iPhone or high end smartphones with more features. This indicates that new features may be added to the iPhone with the next hardware update, such as autofocus/flash for the camera, video sharing, etc.
Furthermore, the reports say that the source hinted that a new Infineon chipset may be used in the hardware successor, possibly a faster HSDPA (7.2Mbps) chipset. This chipset would speed up the iPhone's network connections to run even faster than the current 3G model.
While rumors have the tendency to not come true, Boy Genius, who originated the reports, claims that the comments are "100% confirmed." If indeed true, things may get even more interesting in the smart phone market in just a couple short months.