There aren’t too many handset releases that have prompted excitement akin to the opening of a big summer ‘event movie’ or even the first day of the Next sale. But the iPhone, it’s fair to say, was one of them.
However, the level of hysteria that greeted the first Apple handset now looks set to be superseded by the iPhone third edition. What’s perhaps most amazing about the buzz, though, is that Apple is still refusing to even confirm the existence of the device. But far from dampening enthusiasm, this has fuelled a flurry of unsubstantiated rumours over the phantom phone's specifications.
Here, we’ll be taking a long, hard look at the ten most prevalent internet whispers and asking what they might mean for the handset’s chances if they prove to be substantiated.
1) It’ll have a 3.2 megapixel camera
Given Apple’s habit for incremental upgrades, it’s unlikely that the third-gen iPhone will see a huge improvement of the handset’s imaging capabilities.
While this means that it’s unlikely to compete with forthcoming dedicated cameraphones, such as the 12 megapixel Sony Idou, it’s easily good enough for good quality prints. Even if they’re up to A4 size.
2) There’ll be 32GB/16GB editions
32GB of storage space is double the onboard memory of the current top of the range current iPhone and is plenty for most people’s purposes. And in terms of veracity, we think this one is a given.
Alas, how much of a key selling point this will be when the new iPhone finally hits stores is another matter entirely. Not least because it’s set to be beaten to the title of the first phone to offer this much memory by the Nokia N97, which is due to land in the UK in June.
3) Network carriers’ existing price points will be maintained
Like most people, we’d love to believe this one is true. A crucial factor here is the forthcoming release of similarly powerful handsets such as the Palm Pre and the N97. And then of course there’s the ongoing challenge from the likes of the HTC Magic and T-Mobile, both of which offer application-based fun that was chiefly the exclusive preserve of the iPhone.
All this means that Apple is facing much sterner competition this time out. And we’d venture that a price freeze in these circumstances would make sound commercial sense.
4) Video recording and editing capabilities will be on offer
The omission of video recording from previous iPhone editions stands as one of the chief bugbears of owners over the last two years. So, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if Apple finally relented and gave them what they crave. This rumour was also lent a tang of veracity earlier this year when Apple Insider claimed a reliable source had confirmed that video was to be a feature.
Considering even fairly low-end and mid-range phones are now equipped with rudimentary video capture as standard, however, it’s hard to see this boosting sales of the new edition. But it would at least silence the carping from disgruntled owners of earlier versions. And, who knows, it might even significantly cut down on the number of people who JailBreak their Apple handsets...
5) Friday July 17th will be the release date
Certainly if Apple is going to meet this launch deadline, it’ll need to get cracking. But an appearance in July isn’t quite so fanciful as one might imagine. Especially when you consider that the last two iPhone editions both arrived on a Friday (June 29, 2007, and July 11, 2008, respectively).
Now we’re not saying that Apple is in any way fatalistic and chooses dates according to good things that have happened in the past. But it is a keen respecter of tradition.
That’s all for now. But tune in tomorrow when we’ll putting another five iPhone rumours to the truth test.