It’s barely six months since the iPhone 3G S brought faster processing, a 3.2 megapixel camera and smoother web access to Apple mobile phones. But already fanboys and tech sites are trading rumours as to what the next, 4G version of the phone has in store for us. Time then for Top10 to sift through the gossip in time-honoured top tenular form.
10 Better camera
According to the sober-suited types at financial news agency Bloomberg, an analyst at Goldman Sachs has posited that the 4G iPhone is likely to sport a five megapixel camera. Given Apple’s past form with camera upgrades, that sounds about right to us. Also lending this one a tang of veracity is that this would match the snapper on the Google Nexus One.
9 Early launch date
All three iPhone incarnations thus far have landed in June. But this time out it could be different. French iPhone site Challenge FR certainly seems to think so. This month it ran a report claiming that May will see the fourth iPhone announce itself to the world a month earlier in May. The rationale apparently is that in so doing it’d help head off the challenge from Google’s Nexus One.
Hmm. We’re not sold. It’s undeniable that Apple is facing greater competition that it has for years in the smartphone sector. But the failure of the Google Nexus One to make the sales splash that was predicted for it suggests that they’d be no need to bring the 4G’s launch date forward.
8 OLED screen
This originated in a news item from Korea Times which cited shadowy executives as its sources. Those with long memories will recall that an OLED display was also rumoured to be a feature of the 3G S, but didn’t make it in the end. Even so, Top10 is inclined to believe this one. After all, more and more smartphones have these nowadays, most notably the Nexus One. So why not the 4G?
7 Removable battery
We’ve got the Deep Throat-style mobile phone execs to thank for this one too.
The case for: Way back in Feb 2009, the Register unearthed some Apple patents pertaining to batteries. And then there’s the fact that the removable battery with the Palm Pre was one of its most lauded features, which could prompt Apple into following suit.
The case against: Try as we might we just can't see Jonathan Ive and chums allowing anyone to mess with their less-is-more design aesthetic…
6 Colour options & design rethink
Despite the lack of any news on this front, the blogosphere seems reluctant to give up on the idea we could get a choice of colours this time out.
Even the most ardent iPhone obsessive will concede that the phone’s visual impact has been lessened by the number of ‘Me Too’ handsets that trailed in its wake. But you don't need to be a regular MacRumours visitor to know that the Apple way is about evolution rather than revolution. And given that it’s still the most beautiful phone around, we anticipate that any aesthetic alterations will be cosmetic at best. If ain’t broke, don’t fix it…
5 Staggered release dates
If conjecture is to believed, South Korea could get the 4G as early as April - leaving us to look covetously on or pay silly prices on eBay. We'd be very surprised if this came to pass, mind. The last two iPhone editions were both simultaneous worldwide launches, so why not this one?
Having said that, the fact that LG and Samsung control 80 per cent of the domestic market in Korea and that Android is rapidly making inroads with consumers, suggests that it would make sense for Apple to up the ante for its rivals and head off any nascent challenges. But it still won't happen. It just won't, alright?
4 4G mobile internet support
This year will indeed see a number of 4G network roll outs across the globe. And as next-gen network support for the new iPhone goes, well it’s there in the name isn’t it? It’s got to work with 4G networks. Except it really isn’t there in the name at all.
Lest we forget, there’s been nothing official from Apple yet regarding the title of its next iPhone. Rather the 4G tag is a tech press and blogger invention that refers to the fact that it’s the fourth generation Apple phone.
3 Longer battery life
Up to twice as long, apparently. And natch this would be a fillip and a half for those of us who can’t leave our handset alone for long enough to charge it.
For what it’s worth, we think this one’s a given. Whatever Hip Hop firebrands Public Enemy might tell you, where this is concerned do believe the hype.
2 Dual core processor
A 2Ghz number, no less. Imagine it, eh? Proper multi-tasking and the end of having to close one app before opening a new one. It’ll be nothing short of mobile manna from heaven. And that’s before you even consider the potential for desktop quality gaming and video content in HD.
But will it come to pass? Apple won’t want to let Palm get one over it with its superior multi-tasking. So we’re saying yes.
1 64GB of memory
Moore’s Law is strictly observed around Cupertino, with each new iPhone doubling the memory capacity of its immediate predecessor. And adding credence to this one is the news that Toshiba has launched a 64GB embedded NAND flash memory module that offers this level of storage on a single chip.
The plot thickens when you consider that the only reason that the 3G S offers just 32GB is that the incorporation of phone related tech means there’s only room for one chip. Toshiba, as all good Apple fanboys know, is the NAND supplier of choice for the 3G S. So you do the maths…