Summary: What We Know About iPhone 2 [updated x5]

Summary: What We Know About iPhone 2 [updated x5] 1

Ever since Apple’s first-generation iPhone unexpectedly began to disappear from Apple and its partners’ store shelves, and supposed images of a next-generation device started to appear, discussion of the iPhone 2 has dominated the news. Unfortunately, many different reports, rumors, and proclamations are now floating around, so it’s hard for fans to keep everything straight. Today, to make things easier on our readers, we’ve gathered up everything we do know, may know, and don’t know about the next-generation iPhone. Here’s the big picture.


The nickname “3G iPhone” has been used to refer to the upcoming handset since before the current-generation iPhone was released. Though this name is based on the “third-generation” cellular phone technology it’s expected to employ, it is unlikely that Apple will adopt this name for the final product. In years past, with products such as the iPod, the company has chosen to keep its single names intact, instead referring to newly-updated products as “The New iPod” or “The New iPod nano;” it seems likely to do the same with the iPhone. The one case in which Apple might add an extra tag to the new device’s name would be if it plans to sell two models. Speculation has centered upon whether Apple will sell both the original model and the updated version side-by-side in the same market, but industry sources have described this as unlikely, and repeatedly dwindling stocks of current iPhone models suggest that Apple is not making enough to last for even two months, let alone the rest of the year. However, two new models—a la iPod and iPod nano—are a possibility.


The most well-established feature of the next iPhone is its move from dependence on “2.5G” EDGE cellular networks to the ability to use “3G” HSDPA and possibly WCDMA networks, which could conceivably provide between four and eighty times the data transferring speeds of current iPhones. Though these speed bumps are both carrier and infrastructure-dependent—you won’t be able to get these connections everywhere you travel within many countries—where they’re available, they could make for a much better web, e-mail, and streaming video experience. This feature has been more or less confirmed by everyone from the CEOs of carrier partners to Steve Jobs himself, and is a given to appear in the new device. It is unclear whether companies will charge extra for 3G iPhone data plans.


The rest of the iPhone’s possible new features remain shrouded in mystery. True GPS capability is a feature that has popped up in many speculative reports, and some evidence supporting its appearance has been found in beta versions of the iPhone’s upcoming 2.0 software. With the new software, Apple may also enhance its .Mac service to tie in more with the iPhone. Other user-requested features have not been supported by direct evidence. For instance, a front-mounted iSight video camera for video chats is possible, and what purport to be photographs of a new iPhone model show one or two new sensor-sized dots hidden near the device’s screen, but their purpose and legitimately are unclear. A chip called the S-GOLD3 or S-GOLD3H is very likely to be part of the new iPhone, and as discussed in this article, adds certain potential capabilities to the device. Based on what’s currently known and likely, additional feature possibilities rate as follows:

Beefed-up Camera – Possible; S-GOLD3H supports up to 5-Megapixel sensors
Video Chat – Possible; S-GOLD3H supports 30 frame per second full-screen telephony
Slide-Out Keyboard – Very Unlikely; Apple would likely only offer this in an enterprise-specific model
Removable Battery – Very Unlikely; Apple likes to make you replace the whole device
WiMax Wireless Networking- Extremely Unlikely; Apple doesn’t support this standard in any other device
802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 – Possible; 50/50% as Apple already sources chips for other devices that include these features

Form Factor(s)

Possibly the most-debated aspect of the next iPhone has been its form factor. A Taiwanese newspaper report suggested that the updated iPhone would be smaller in size, with a smaller, 2.8” screen to match. While this might represent the design of an iPhone mini, we don’t believe that these specifications would pertain to a true next-generation iPhone, and based on information we’ve heard from overseas, developers are betting that the new iPhone will look like this. Basically, the expectation is that the next iPhone will be similar to the original, with small cosmetic changes, including different curves and less use of metal in the casing. White and black glossy plastic versions are said to be a lock, with a red version also possible. These images may be elaborate fakes, but they track completely with what we have been hearing.



Carriers and Partners

We have moved the ever-increasing collection of iPhone data service providers to a new article, The Complete Guide to iPhone Service Providers. For its second-generation iPhone, Apple has opted to embrace a wider array of partners than it did the first time around, allowing certain countries’ telecom providers to compete against each other in offering service for the device. The list, already covering a huge swath of the Earth’s land, will surely continue to grow over time.

Rollout Dates

Most analyst research and speculation regarding the next iPhone suggests that the device will be released in at least the United States on or around the one-year anniversary of the original iPhone launch, June 29. Traditionally, Apple has placed US launches ahead of foreign ones when it believes that it will be difficult to gather a sufficient supply of a new device for a worldwide launch on the same date. Instead, we may see a launch on the existing carriers at that time, with rollouts continuing over the following months as more carrier partners and countries are added to the fold. It is also quite possible that Apple will target its initial rollout to the Americas and Europe, with Asia to follow later in 2008, but a nearly global rollout appears to be in the cards.



The pace and timing of these announcements points towards a June unveiling of the next iPhone, most likely during Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address during the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference, scheduled for 10:00a.m. PT on June 9. The annual event, not always known for consumer product announcements, has been touted by Apple as “A landmark event in more ways than one.”

This language could simply be referring to the first non-beta release of the iPhone SDK, accompanied by the announcement of a release date for iPhone software 2.0. However, it appears more likely that the “landmark” announcement is a reference to Apple’s desire to see the iPhone touch ground in previously unconquered territories all across the world. It is also possible that the event will be landmark in the sense that the iPhone will be firmly established as a larger platform, operating on multiple devices. In any case, we’re betting that many questions regarding the next iPhone will be answered in the second week of June, during the keynote speech.

Your comments are, as always, welcomed below.

  1. “discussion of the iPhone 2 has dominated the news.”


    What news? Does CNN have a dedicated iPhone channel now?

  2. “landmark” = GPS. How do we know? Jobs always puns, 1 figurative + 1 literal. He gets away with it because we think he is all word play, missing the literal. Why? Hint: it helps internal and external negotiations.

  3. Mary, until you have an iPhone i dont beleive you can make claims about the speed of the location finder. I just did the process you described and it took less than 15 seconds from putting the phone in my hand to having directions (take phone out of pocket, unlock, open gmaps, click ‘locate me’, type ‘starbucks’, click on desired starbucks, done).

    Anyhow, i still disbeleive the rumors of the next-gen iPhone coming out next month, based solely of the fact that AT&T and Apple have a two-year exclusive contract (wether or not that stipluation includes any new hardware releases i do not know). I would love to see the iPhone 2 come out, but i doubt they’ll want to overshadow the SDK with new hardware. I think what we’re going to see is the SDK alongside a 3G iPhone (with 3G being the only addition/update to the hardware), perhaps with capacity updates (both with the 3G then incrementally until the next hardware update).

    So im not going to hold my breath until June 2009. It sounds far away but remember; Apple/Steve Jobs are notorious for creating a lot of buzz, rumours, and press for their company and products (what company wouldnt want that!), but when it comes time for the speech they usually dont deliver what everone was expecting. Just because the same rumour is circulating everywhere doesnt make it true, highschool has proven that time and again. 🙂

  4. Cliff,
    You can figure out the address of a new location in 15 seconds then enter the address?

    It’s had to believe! I tried on iPhone in person!

    Stop by a gas station and find a guy willing to tell you the address would take more than 3 minutes!

  5. Figurative re: “everything mac.” (“everything iphone gets the literal land marking hardware upgrade, see comments above) Keys to the figurative re: mac = (1) “more ways” in the way that (2) two copies of a bridge would take different approaches to arrive at the same endpoint, figuratively speaking. Say what?? Likely re: software alternatives. Can you be more specific? Possibly re: iPhone, but that’s likely too narrow for this event, unless enabling enterprise folk on one and gaming on another. More likely, some software platform alternatives that tie a broader range of hardware into this event.

  6. Facts:
    At this time you cannot buy a new iPhone. (

    This implies that Apple will CERTAINLY have a new release for us in June.

    I have seen similar shots of a black glossy iPhone and a white glossy iPhone ( Which implies that Apple may market the new offering similar to how they are marketing the lower end MacBooks. Basic white models and a better black model. I for one am hoping for a Product(RED) phone. CMON APPLE!!

    So, we WILL get a new iPhone in June. Or at least I will. . .

  7. If this thing is indeed coming in June, Apple really needs to give us some specs pronto. I don’t intend to upgrade mine right now, but if the new iPhone improves on literally every facet of the current one, I’d have to at least consider it.

    As I’ve said before, if the most substantial changes will be the addition of 3G and GPS, I’m not inclined to upgrade. But if the camera gets beefed up and adds video capture, if the storage capacity increases, if the battery life is lengthened, and if the cost is reduced, I’ll rethink my position.

  8. Small correction, Charles. Vodafone is no longer operating in Japan. They were bought out by SoftBank who, with Docomo, has been reported to have had negotiations with Apple.

  9. Cliff,

    Your facts are wrong. The ATT/Apple exclusivity agreement spans 5 years, from 2007 through 2012. By your logic we would not see a new iPhone for 4 more years – which is ludicrous.

    Secondly, it is public knowledge that the existing iPhone stock is being allowed to dwindle from Apple warehouses, and Apple is showing no signs of replenishing it. Either that’s stupid business planning by Apple (which is highly unlikely), or a sign of a new model around the bend to fill up those warehouses.

    Look to Job’s keynote speech at the WWDC the first week of June. We will see the iPhone by Xmas 2008… probably with 3G and GPS on board as well. A late June/early July release would not surprise me in the least.

  10. friends, anyone knows when the NEW IPHONE, wherever it means, come to the stores?….please tell me , because, i want to buy one, and if the new iphone arrive in two months….I WAIT.

    Hola Amigos, Queria saber si alguien sabe cuando saldra el NUEVO IPHONE, sea como sea este nuevo aparato, cuando estara disponible.
    por que la verdad me queiro comprar uno, pero si este nuevo iphone sale ahora nomas, esperare.
    porfavor respondame…MUCHAS GRACIAS

  11. I personally would like to see the 3G come out next month but with some added features not mentioned on this board. Much like several of my other friends who own iPhones…I’d like to be able to send pictures to another phone. Basically, multimedia SMS. I imagine that could be done with a software update and for whatever reason Apple is holding back. I’d still like video capture and bluetooth transfers.

  12. “Apple likes to make you replace the whole device”

    Some bias that goes beyond reality there: Apple will sell you a new battery and put it in free of charge.

    What they want is not for iPhones to die early, but to have them be ultra-compact and ultra-simple in appearance and function.

    I don’t know anyone who has actually had a phone battery (AND brand phone) die on them in any case. I realize it does happen, but it’s not like replacing batteries in a flashlight: it’s not a given.

    Not even for my iPod for that matter. It’s years old (4G) and and still plays for hours and days, even though I mainly use it to drive an FM transmitter.

  13. Stevie… you better put some removable batteries on this baby… other competitors are lurking to grab your business.

    FYI my wife gave me a new iPhone which I’ll be returning tomorrow to ATT. I will wait patiently with hopes that you will understand my frustration with this whole battery ‘boloni’… If you ignore (us who have used macs since the SE) I shall wait for a Androind device…


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