Rumors about Next-Gen iPhone Run Amok


If you own either an iPhone or iPod touch, then you've probably heard that Apple will release OS 3.0 sometime in June, along with new-generation hardware. Developers already have the beta  OS 3.0 SDK in hand and are picking it apart to discover unannounced features.

We scoured blogs and Web sites to find out what the rumor mill has been churning out. As much as we would like to give credit where credit is due, it's almost impossible now to figure out who first latched onto this or that hidden feature. All we can tell you is that the top tech and iPhone blogs started citing unnamed sources for this or that feature a day or two after the OS 3.0 announcement. The usual suspects include MacRumors, AppleInsider, Gizmodo, iPhonesTalk among many others.

Apple hasn't confirmed whether any of these newly discovered "features" will actually be available, so don't get your hopes up just yet.

One inside look at the 3.0 firmware suggests the iPhone and iPod will have support for 802.11n wireless (in addition to the existing support for 802.11b/g networks), based on Broadcom's BCM4329 chip. 802.11n improves on 802.11g with more bandwidth over greater distances. If your Wi-Fi router supports it, 802.11n will deliver data rates of more than 100 Mbps, about two times as fast as 802.11g.

The Broadcom BCM4329 also supports better power management and also has the ability to send and receive FM signals, which means you might be able to listen to FM radio and wirelessly send music stored on your iPhone or iPod touch to an FM radio. We already know OS 3.0 supports Bluetooth stereo, so that rumor certainly isn't far fetched.

Based on a job description Apple posted last week, seeking a "Camera Project Manager," some sites speculate Apple is prepping the camera in the iPhone for video upload and download and for rudimentary video editing functions. Again, we already know OS 3.0 supports Multimedia Messaging Service, so at least part of that rumor might not be off the mark, either.

Also last week, Digitimes, a Taiwanese trade publication cited market sources who said that Apple awarded OmniVision a contract for 3.2-megapixel image sensors for the iPhone and 5-megapixel image sensors for another Apple product expected to be launched later in the year.

There's also been talk that Apple may be planning to add a camera to the iPod touch.

Daniel Amir, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, and Ben Reitze, an analyst at Barclays Capital, released reports last week in which they predicted Apple is preparing a high-end iPhone with video, a better camera and 32 GB storage for American and European consumers and  a low-end model without video functions and Wi-Fi  for the Chinese consumer market.

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