O2's impending iPhone discount can only mean one thing; the next version of Apple's iconic smartphone will be available in the second half of June 2009.
On the 15th of April last year, they shaved £100 off the then £269 price of the 8GB iPhone. The deal expired in June and the iPhone 3G was then launched on the 11th of July. This year, the cut, roughly worth around the same amount, will happen at the beginning of April.
It is therefore high time to look into 10 features and specifications that the next generation iPhone is expected to have.
How will this iPhone be called? Well, no surprise here, expect it to be called the iPhone. No 2009, no 4G or iPhone 3.0. Apple's naming scheme has not and will not change.
(2) OLED Screen
An iPhone with an OLED screen is not to be discounted according to some sources and LG will possibly be the one building it. The new OLED display will apparently have an additional layer which will eliminate greasy finger markings.
(3) 32GB Internal memory
This is a certainty, a 32GB iPhone will be coming. It will be available for a premium and it is unlikely that the 8GB version will be on sale. The storage bump means that the iPhone will have significantly more memory than the competition. Only the Nokia N97 and N96 currently have inbuilt storage capacity greater than 32GB.
(4) The last of its kind?
We do not expect an iPhone Nano for this year. Based on what Apple did to its iPod range, we envisage that the forthcoming iPhone version 3 will be the last one launched alone. From version 4 onwards, Apple will be branch the iPhone out with Classic and Mini versions. But then again, we're in a deep recession and this might alter Apple's tactics.
More of the same. Apple is not in the business to lose money. Historically, the company has maintained a very strict "suggested retail price" scheme. Which is why even second hand Apple products still carry a premium and tend to depreciate less in value. The Cupertino-based company will certainly remain true to its nature. The same disclaimer as in part 4 applies though.
(6) Screen size
The iPhone screen size is expected to stay at 3.5-inch as this seems to be the ideal screen size. However, HTC, Acer and Toshiba's smartphones have upped the ante with 3.8-inch or bigger screen sizes. There is a chance that Apple will come with a 16:9 model (the current one has a 3:2 screen ratio) that is capable of displaying 800x480 pixels.
There will be a camera upgrade for the iPhone. Possibly as high as 5-megapixel but we expect it to stay at 3.2 for now without flash. Rather than concentrating on more pixels, Apple engineers will try to make an altogether great camera with better sensors and electronics.
(8) Focus on Features
The third version of the iPhone will see Apple focus even more on features rather than specifications. Why? It will bring in more revenues for the company and will provide a unique user environment. The iPhone is already an audio/video platform with iTunes, a software/gaming environment with App Store and fundamentally a voice device. What's next? "Platformitizing" the iPhone: Social networking and eBooks are still missing from the mix.
(9) HSDPA 3G
This is also another area where Apple is currently lagging behind the competition. Since the company has to make the iPhone foolproof for the next 12 months, it is highly probable that it will integrate HSDPA 3G speeds which would allow the iPhone to download content at up to a maximum theoretical speed of 7.2Mbps.
Macrumors apparently got a picture of the back of Apple's forthcoming iPhone back in February last month which had a noticeable difference to the last generation model. It was black matte. Now another matte lack phone is the Palm Pre. Pre engineers chose this material to make sure that the iPhone rival could grip the inductive charging base effectively. If Pre has done it, why not Apple?