The Next-Generation iPhone Rumors

As the season wears on, the next-gen iPhone rumors continue to spew left and right. But do any of them really give an accurate idea of what we’re about to see in Apple’s next handset? A lot of people were hoping there’d be some announcement (or even a strong hint) at Apple’s media event on Wednesday, but there was no word. Outside of Apple itself, no one can predict the future — but a lot of people have been trying! So as a public service, I created a short list of some of the gossip and predictions so far and offered a few notes on what I think their likelihood might be. (If I’ve overlooked any, go ahead and add them into the comments below.)

So if you’re saving every last penny to pick up a new iPhone, and are wondering whether it’s worth it to wait or not, take a look at the following and see if there’s a feature or spec that appeals to you. If so, you just might want to hold off a little while.

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Camera: Word on the street is that the iPhone will carry a 5 MP camera. Keeping in mind that the first iPhone had 2 MP, the iPhone 3G had 2 MP, and the 3GS has 3.2 MP, it does seem reasonable to expect a 5 MP camera.

Processor: The processor is one of the most important aspects of a device. When you tell the handset what to do, it has to process the command (like a tap on an application). If your device has a slow processor, you end up with delayed and laggy performance. The iPhone 3GS had a 600Mhz processor, which by no means is shabby. The rumors floating around suggest that the next-gen iPhone will have a faster processor, and we can all but put our money on that. Another rumor, however, suggests multiple cores (two or more processors) are going to be implemented.

(EDITOR’S UPDATE: Since Apple’s own branded chips are going into the iPad, some speculate that the same chipsets are heading to the next iPhone as well. The iPad processor, which hits at 1 GHz speed, might indicate a boost in speed, as well as battery life, if it were implemented in the next iPhone. Though some pundits believe this processor is dual core, Apple has not actually come out to confirm or announce that yet.)

Memory: When the first iPhone debuted in 2007, it came in 4GB and 8GB flavors. Now, 2 and a half years later, we’re looking at devices with up to 8 times the storage. The 3GS has a 16GB and 32GB model, and people still want more. Recently, it was announced that Toshiba has created a 64GB chip. Since Toshiba is the manufacturer of the current iPhone 3GS chips, it is a possibility that they will continue being Apple’s supplier, and put their new 64GB memory chips in the next iPhone.

4.0 Firmware: In the past, Apple has released new software with its hardware update of the iPhone. The iPhone 3G debuted with the 2.0 Firmware, and the 3GS debuted with the 3.0 Firmware. To me, it only seems logical that the next version will be accompanied with the 4.0 Firmware. Some sources say that the OS 4.0 will feature multitasking, something (un-jailbroken) iPhones lack and, I think, they are in serious need of. (And the new OS would have far-reaching ramifications on the just-announced iPad as well. The tablet’s lack of multitasking has been one of its biggest criticisms.)

Verizon iPhone: I know many people who switched to AT&T just for the iPhone. This current phone works on a certain type of cellular network called GSM (which AT&T supports). But for a long time, there have been rumors of a different version that will grace Verizon’s CDMA network. When reports surfaced of Qualcomm working with Apple to create a CDMA iPhone, which would work on Verizon, some people believed this was validation of the gossip — that, in addition to the stories that the carrier was investing in its network, so it could sustain iPhone users’ data usage. While this may look promising to many iPhone-hungry Verizon customers, the rumored CDMA iPhone is far from clinched. (Personally, I’m not convinced.) Another rumor, however, points to a dual-mode GSM/CDMA device, which would be capable of working on all the major carriers — both AT&T and T-Mobile (GSM networks), and Verizon and Sprint (CDMA networks). Talk about the best of both worlds.

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Which one of these rumors appeals to you most? Does a whopping processor whet your appetite, or does a Verizon iPhone? Not many of these rumors will pan out, but if even a few do, we are surely set for a great summer iPhone release.

By the way, if you’re curious about what a multitasking iPhone could look like, check out this concept video created by Ocean Observations. The company imagines a cover flow–like interface on it.

Via: 9to5 Mac, Laptop Mag, The Apple Blog, Redmond Pie, Nexus 404, SlashGear

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Special shout-out to Dave and Hollis for the edits!

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MASSIVE UPDATE:
If iPhone 4G rumors are what you’re after, have you checked out the latest? According to the latest predictions put out by some credible sources, many of these things may actually be headed our way. (Click here to learn more.) Not only that, but the Wall Street Journal reported at the end of March that there could be more than one version coming out — one of which could be heading for Verizon. Read all about it here.
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  • Adam

    I am looking forward to OS 4.0 the most, even more than a fast processor. After having tried jailbreaking (not anymore though), I know that the iPhone 3GS is more than capable of multitasking at least 10 applications at once, probably more.

    OS 4.0 should include:

    •Multitasking (the coverflow idea is really good)
    •Wallpaper on springboard (this might be in 3.2 cuz the iPad seems to have it)
    •A more refined notifications system. If you have jailbroken, you know of the LockInfo app. Apple should implement something similar to this.

    That’s really all I’m asking for. :-)

  • Dave

    Dude, I like your thoughts but you gotta do your research before you write!

    1. iPad features the first ever Apple-branded processor, a dual core 1GHz chip. How can you possibly think that the next iPhone would have *LESS* than that (800 Mhz, as you suggest)? Wrong. At least reference the new Apple chip in your article. This is a watershed moment, and clearly the next devices running iPhone OS will have Apple chips in them.

    2. I doubt any iPhone will have a dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip But if it does the odds of it being compatible with T-Mobile’s 3G network are slim to none, considering that T-Mo is virtually the only carrier in the world to use their particular AWS band. Wouldn’t make sense for Apple to create a one-off radio chipset just to accomodate T-Mobile US, the smallest US carrier. More likely Apple would create two separate locked iPhones – Verizon CDMA and AT&T/Global GSM.

    Decent article, nice new Website, but do your homework! Don’t sully the PhoneDog name by getting your facts wrong.

    Dave!

    • Adriana Lee

      Hi, Dave. To be fair, don’t blame the author. He was asked for the rumor round-up prior to the announcement on the iPad’s processor chip. I edited his post to make it more current, and didn’t revise that section, in anticipation of an upcoming dedicated post on what the iPad’s specs could mean to the next iPhone. So blame the editor, not the author.

      You do bring up a good point that since some people are discussing the possibility of Apple putting its own branded chip into the next handset, it’s worthwhile to bring up here. Thanks for calling us on that. An UPDATE line will be added to reflect this.

      As for Tmo — well, the current handset is quadband, so its compatibility is still in the realm of possibility. I’m no chipset expert, and if there’s one in the reading audience, feel free to weigh in on this, but I do have a hard time seeing iPhone network compatibility being downgraded. Frankly, I’m not sure about the feasibility of dual-mode compatibility either, but some hopefuls are still holding out.

      • Dave

        “As for Tmo — well, the current handset is quadband, so its compatibility is still in the realm of possibility. I’m no chipset expert, and if there’s one in the reading audience, feel free to weigh in on this, but I do have a hard time seeing iPhone network compatibility being downgraded.”

        The current handset does not support T-Mobile’s AWS band for 3G, was my point. No reason that a future one would, either, whether it was a dedicated chip or a dual-mode. I’m not talking about a downgrade — YOU’RE talking about an upgrade.

    • rhomaion

      In all fairness a chipset within a phone doesn’t have to have all the bands of a particular carrier to be able to work on the network although in this case T-Mobile’s bands are a bit different from AT&T’s.

  • hollis

    The original iPhone and the 3G both had the same camera at 2.0 MP. The 3GS has a 3 MP camera.

    • Adriana Lee

      Thanks for the good eye! This was updated.

  • daniel

    i defidently dont want the multitasking menu always on, i like that double press of the home button

  • PhxBlue

    My hope is in a new OS first and then a new handset.

    • http://TodaysiPhone.com Vladi Iotov

      Well, the OS and the handset should come out at the same time.
      If Apple somehow blows us away with things like MultiTasking (if they try really hard to make it work right) and a revamped OS, it may need new hardware to support it.

      Take Nexus One for example. The ‘advanced’ LiveWallpapers were introduced with the Nexus because it had the 1Ghz under the hood.

      If we are to get a new OS with advanced graphics and design, a weak 600Mhz processor may not be desirable to people who have the need for speed.

      • David U.

        No doubt. A good example is the 3G with 3.X software…sllloooowww!

  • Ashkan

    I’ve heard so many rumors about a removable battery for the iPhone.
    If iPhone turns out to be the same or just a little better than the Nexus one, then im going to have to go with google.

  • Darren

    I highly doubt Apple will ever produce a CDMA iPhone for Verizon at all. Although, I do believe the iPhone will make it’s way to Big Red regardless; only when it does it will employ Verizon’s newly released 4G LTE network with a revamped OS capable of multitasking. I’m in the technology business (okay I’ll name drop…Qualcomm is one of my customers, there!) and I’ve heard rumors that Verizon is scrambling to get it’s LTE network in place earlier than was previously communicated (CQ4 2010), mainly to support the iPhone. Now they expect to beat that goal by pushing LTE into ~30 major markets by the end of CQ1 2010, which would be quite a feat if they manage to pull it off. If they do, they would likely have LTE pushed to all areas of their “red” map by mid 2011. Of course, it’s all speculation at this point but the people I speak with usually know what they’re talking about .

  • EliTheGreat

    I think an iPhone compatible with T-Mobile’s 3G network would be awesome. what I also think would be great is if that same T-Mobile iPhone will also have a chip that allows it to work on the regular 3G Networks around the world.

    BTW: that coverflow-like multitasking is brilliant, it looks like something apple would do, and I think it would be an awesome addition to their 4.0 OS.

    I’m really just hoping the iPhone will come to T-Mobile, only since they’re a GSM company as well as At&t…as opposed to a far fetched CDMA version which rumor has it Apple doesn’t want to make.

  • Eric

    @Hollis, technically the 3gs has a 3.15 mp camera. Get your facts straight before you post.

    • rhomaion

      @ Eric

      If you still read up on your old posts please note this one is a fail. The iPhone 3GS camera is a 3MP auto-focus camera.

  • hrishikesh

    first of all nice concept (website) quite useful for all the apple info at one place
    i am from India
    i do understand that iphone is basically an american product and that is where it sells the most (i think)… but India is the largest mobile market in the world (way ahead in numbers as compared to any other country ASK NOKIA) .
    the point for stating this is that the 3gs is still not launched in india… and now with the rumors of the 4g i dont know if it will…
    it is utterly ridiculous that iphone does not get launched here as India is one of the largest markets
    this message i would like to put up here as it is a apple specific website (i think apple might take note of this website… at least lets hope they do)
    TO APPLE
    WHEN EVER YOU LAUNCH ANY PRODUCT ( IPHONE IN SPECIFIC)DO LAUNCH IT IN INDIA AROUND THE SAME TIME TRUST ME YOU WILL SEE MUCH HIGHER NUMBERS IN THE SALES COLUMN IF YOU LAUNCH IT HERE SPECIFICALLY WITHOUT A CONTRACT AND TIE UP TO A ANY ONE CARRIER…

  • Bori Rank

    I also heard of rumors (and ONLY RUMORS before everyone tackles me) of having video chat on the Iphone! Me, Personally don’t think that would happen due to the extra camera they would need up front but anyone else have anything on this?

  • Jack

    just a comment for the some of the commentators who keep saying the OS will get released with the new handset;

    Apple will more than likely unveil the new OS before the new hardware, that’s what they’ve always done with the iPhone (with the exception of the original), this is so the App developers have a chance to get new versions out in time for the handset release. True consumers won’t be able to get their hands on it for awhile still but, at least once apple unveils it the OS the we’ll be able to start forming solid guesses as to what the new iPhone will be like

  • Google lover

    Unless the new iPhone comes with an IGold app that actually makes gold, Im afraid it is not enough to compete with Android. And MS’s new “phone7″ does not count its really bad.

  • linsay

    as happy as i am for the new iphone but i dont like it i want new designs not like that for whole iphone starting in 2007 to now the same desing except different back covers thats not what i like man at lest mak then screen bigger better camera something come on

  • Jim H

    I would love to see an AMOLED screen, Multitasking with some type of notifications screen, a central email inbox, faster processor and a LED flash for the camera. Other nice features could be flash support for browser and more memory (ram for processes, not disk space for storage, i.e. apps, games & music). Would really love a new hardware design, possibly something along a macbook styling, i.e. sharper features, possibly aluminum casing.