(We have just published a follow up article to this one which discusses other potential features that Apple will introduce with the iPhone next year; you might also want to read the rest of our iPhone articles)
So the iPhone 3G S is finally out in the UK and we can look forward for the next version now. Like a Swiss watch, Apple will almost certainly release the fourth version of its celebrated and revered smartphone, the iPhone in June 2010.
And unlike other mobile manufacturers, it is quite easy to guess what Apple will add to every new version because there's only one version of the iPhone released every year (so they better get it right).
Now that the iPhone 3G S has been outed, let's have a look at what the next version of the iPhone may bring in next year.
(1) 64GB Storage
That's a dead cert. Every year, Apple doubles the storage size of the top end iPhone model. This is set to happen in 2010 as the price of Flash memory drops down and manufacturers move to 32nm mass production.
Whether this will influence the buying decisions of customers remain to be seen though as many potential buyers may choose to stick to cheaper, lower capacity models.
(2) 5-megapixel camera with flash
By June next year, 12 megapixel camera phones will have already conquered the top end of the market, leaving the iPhone's 3.2-megapixel lagging well behind. Expect Apple to boost the pixel count to 5-megapixel and to add a flash as well.
That said, the manufacturer could also decide to stick to the same resolution but significantly improve the quality of the camera by adding features found only on standalone cameras.
(3) Higher Screen Resolution
The screen resolution of the iPhone remains stuck at 320x480 and has been so for 3 years already. Could the iPhone 4G bring in 800x480? Maybe. A number of iPhone competitors, notably the Toshiba TG01, the HTC Touch HD and a couple of Acer, already offer this resolution.
Even the cheap Nokia 5800 XpressMusic comes with a 640x360 resolution screen. Obviously, a higher screen resolution will mean more content displayed, support for high quality videos and sharper images.
But it will have a negative impact on the battery life. That said, the iPhone could also have an OLED screen, a rumour that has been circulating around since last March.
(4) Touch Charging
Palm has introduced touch charging for its Pre smartphone and this is one cool thing that is sorely lacking from the iPhone. It is not that expensive to produce - Crunchgear puts the price of components at $5 - and will certainly be replicated by other manufacturers before the next iPhone is out.
(5) More "Feature" Peripherals
We dearly hope that Apple decides to build a coherent peripheral ecosystem around the iPhone. The App Store is working wonders and MobileMe does its job.
However, wouldn't it be wonderful if the company launched something like the wireless HDMI base unit our April fool was based on.
Feature peripherals - which would add more features to the iPhone - could significantly add firepower to the iPhone and help it finally crack the couchpotato market where the Apple TV had limited success.