Apr 27

3rdgen_iphone

You can bet your MacBook Pro that Apple will release new iPhones this summer – and likely for many summers to come.  No one outside of Apple and their manufacturing partners knows with certainty what the 3rd Generation iPhone (or iPhones) will be, but we’ve got some guesses… for what it’s worth.

First, we don’t expect to see any radical styling changes, though the curvier profile seen in this concept graphic (artist unknown) would be nice.  It’s unlikely there will be any changes to the display, and though there are OLED rumors – we don’t think so.  Chances are, the 3rd Gen iPhone will be all about the guts.

Expect to see a faster processor, at least on one new iPhone model, in the 600 – 800MHz range and/or an updated graphics processor.  Also, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that there will be more internal memory, both in terms of system memory (RAM) and flash storage, with a 32GB option, or even 64GB; as far as support for additional storage cards, don’t hold your breath. 

Many rumors suggest that the new iPhone(s) will have a 3.xMP camera, and this seems quite likely. Chances are that updated camera will include support for shooting video.  There have also been rumors of a magnetometer, which is an electronic compass.  Maybe, maybe not.

Current iPhones will be able to upgrade to the iPhone 3.0 operating system, and the new iPhone will, of course, ship with this update. 

We don’t expect any shockers with the next-gen iPhones, but with WWDC ‘09 a little more than a month away, we don’t have to long to find out if we’re wrong.

Apr 19

iphone_sale AT&T is clearing out inventory, making room for the expected June release of Apple’s new iPhone model(s).

Would-be iPhone 3G users can now grab a refurbished unit for $99 (8GB) or $149 (16GB) from the AT&T Online Store or from AT&T brick-and-mortar stores.

These refurbished iPhones still require a two-year service agreement in order to get the quoted price.

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Apr 10

iPhone CPU Forbes posted an interesting article today.  In it, the author argues that the next-gen iPhone needs a more powerful CPU.

We agree.  But with reservations.

In iPhone Needs a New Brain, Brian Caulfield opines that the addition of a more powerful processor is all “that would really matter” about a new iPhone.  While we don’t agree this would be the only important thing the next generation Apple smartphone could offer (32GB of internal storage or a flash memory card slot would be nice), a better CPU is certainly at or near the top of our hardware to-do list for iPhone 3 – if done right.

The iPhone 3G is pretty so-so from a battery life standpoint, particularly if you live or work in an area with 3G network connectivity.  If a more powerful CPU were added to the mix, it would either have to be A) much more intelligent about how it uses power, or B) the battery would have to be increased to compensate, (which could make the next iPhone thicker or even generally larger) or C) some combination of the two.

The upcoming Palm Pre, which the author uses as a forward-looking comparison, does have a more powerful processor than the iPhone 3G, but the Pre is also about 33% thicker (0.64” v. 0.48”); some of this extra thickness is due to the Pre’s sliding keyboard, but some of it is also for battery space.  And we don’t yet know if the Pre’s battery life will be acceptable.

Mr. Caulfield is right in his main point.  We want iPhone 3 to have a better “brain,” too. But only if that brain provides more oomph without cutting down on the iPhone’s battery life or fattening up its svelte design – which in the here and now may not be feasible.

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Apr 09

Apple Loves NAND

Apple has placed a huge order for NAND flash memory chips, presumably for their upcoming iPhone release (or releases) this summer.  The authors of the DigiTimes story state that Apple has ordered over 100 million 8Gb (gigabit) chips, largely from Samsung, a quantity that represents a rough doubling of the number of chips ordered by the company this time last year.

We’ve known that at least one new iPhone model was coming this summer for months, and one of the most obvious areas for enhancement for such a device would be storage capacity.  Could the new iPhone come in 16GB and 32GB capacities like the 2G iPod touch?  Could a 64GB model be on the way?  We’ll have to wait and see.

One thing is certain: this massive order will limit the flash memory supply for some time, perhaps as late as June.

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