Report: Next-generation iPhone specs confirmed? | iLounge News


Report: Next-generation iPhone specs confirmed?

Suggesting that he has direct knowledge of the features of Apple’s next-generation iPhone, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber claims that recent rumors “are indeed accurate” that the new iPhone will include a magnetometer and improved camera with autofocus capabilities, a higher-resolution image sensor and video recording features. While the device’s video feature will not be spectacular, he suggests, it will be convenient, easy to use, and “one of the major features Apple plans to tout regarding the new model.” He also says that he “believe[s]” reports that the device will sport a 600MHz processor, 1.5 times faster than the prior iPhone models, and expects a doubling of both the device’s storage capacity and RAM for the same $199 and $299 prices as prior models, collectively making the new iPhones faster at loading and switching between apps. Additionally, Gruber notes that the new iPhone’s shell will be so similar to its predecessor’s that earlier cases will remain compatible, with only “subtle” changes.

Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone model at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on June 8, 2009.

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We’re obviously coming up on something big, with this report and what Engadget mentioned earlier this week. I guess it’s as good a time as any to offer my speculation on what we can expect from the third iteration of the iPhone.

The storage bump is a given. The first-gen iPhone was eventually increased to 16 GB after a few months, so when you think about it, we have been rocking along at that maximum capacity for about a year-and-a-half. I don’t think there’s any doubt that a 32 GB model is on the way.

The camera improvements are a given. I also think the decision to maintain the existing dimensions of the iPhone is probably a certainty, too, because frankly these accessory developers have probably lobbied Apple heavily to this effect. Each slight physical change means that the proverbial die has to be recast, so honestly, I think the next iPhone is going to look remarkably similar (although I do think the purported matte rear finish is a must, what with all the scratching and fingerprinting that the 3G inevitably encourages).

The rumor about the OLED screen seems dubious. That technology is impressive but I would think still too expensive to be cost-effective. Maybe this is something that makes it into the next generation, but I really just can’t envision it here.

Won’t be surprised if the chrome bezel disappears, due again to its propensity for scratches and, for some users of the 3G, the “light-leaking” defect on the edges of some screens. A glowing Apple logo on the reverse is one of those cool touches that you just know Apple has explored and probably envisioned with the third-generation device, so I expect that cosmetic addition in concert with the subtraction of the bezel.

I anticipate another significant improvement in the on-board speaker and, for that matter, I feel like the fidelity of the microphone will be substantially better. The iPhone still doesn’t function well as a speakerphone so I think these are priority physical changes that we’ll absolutely see when the next device releases this summer.

Internally, the boost in processing power is a must and I fully concur with Gruber’s “wager” on this point. With apps being so prevalent now and with most users having at least three or four pages of Home screen materiel to flip through, this seems to be a no-brainer. I think we’ll see an iPhone that starts up faster and switches from app to app more seamlessly. The OS upgrade will facilitate some of this as well, of course, but added speed and RAM will work hand in hand with a streamlined OS.

Battery life will be the wild card. The original iPhone’s battery life was average, at least for me, and the 3G’s charge cycle would range from deplorable to mildly disappointing. I am hopeful that Apple has this issue at the forefront, and so I would speculate that we’ll see small but nonetheless significant improvements in this regard. I still do not anticipate that Apple will ever offer a user-replaceable power source.

Lastly, I suppose if I had to tack on my own personal wager to the list complied by Mr. Gruber, I’d put a lot of coin on the third-generation iPhone ditching that trademark Apple white for the pack-ins. I see the wall charger, USB cable, and headphones all taking on the color of the device itself—to me, the marketability of the white has peaked and users want to see the carpet matching the curtains, to borrow a someone crude but totally applicable phrase.

Posted by Flippy Hambone in Toronto on May 22, 2009 at 4:02 PM (CDT)

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