We have just heard from our source in China, that there are iPhone prototypes on the way! Be warned that as with all China-based sources, we cannot accurately proof this to be absolutely true. However, from previous experience, it can be said that Apple is not keeping secrets as well as they used t0. So as usual, we are the first to bring you the latest scoops.
First of all, let us take a look at some of the physical features (or lack thereof) that have kept Apple fans wanting for more:
– Poor Battery when using 3G
– Lack of front-facing camera for Video Conferencing
– Lack of support for volume controls with new in-ear headphones
Well, now that we have seen some of the problems, take a look at what our source has been able to gather.
Of the many software improvements that Apple has released, a few of them have actually addressed this issue in a variety of ways. These include improving the overall energy efficiency of the Core OS, as well as increasing the maximum allowed voltage into the device to increase charging time. However, the biggest problem faced by Mobile phone manufactures lies with the fact that most 3G chipsets and radios available in the market are not power efficient by themselves. Those that are actually energy efficient tend to be more expensive, and thus, impractical for companies to use in their products.
Things are about to change ladies and gentlemen. Our source tells that according to an anonymous tipster, an unnamed Chinese battery pack supplier has made claims of a cheap yet energy efficient battery that ” will be able to power an iPhone 3G for up to 8 hours of talk-time on 3G and 15-20 hours on 2G.” The tipster also boasts and incredible claim of 450 hours of stand-by. If any of these claims are true, I’m sure Apple will garner a lot more faithful fans. Our source claims that the prototype model utilizes this pack.
iChat and Video Conferencing
When word of the iPhone 3G hit the rumor mill, the most anticipated of all features was the front-facing camera. There is a common misconception among many people around the world that if a phone is 3G enabled, it comes with video-chatting capabilities. In fact, 3G merely refers to the type of high-speed connection that the phone has access to. The iPhone in this case, did not have the front-facing camera.
However, we have been heard differently. It seems that the prototype model does in fact have a front facing camera. In fact, the camera, dubbed iSight, appears on the prototype just like it does on the current iMacs and UniBody MacBooks. The camera is located on the right, just next to the speaker. Another cool thing about the camera module manufactured by Altus Technology is that its actually a 3 megapixel camera. The mystery here is that 3G networks does not support videos of such high resolution. The answer that our source provides says that the video chat software uses a lower resolution capture during a conference. This leads me to only one conclusion – the forward-facing camera may be triggered by a setting in the “Camera” application to shoot self-portraits. We currently have no news of the Video Chat application.
The lens of the front-facing camera is tastefully hidden beneath the clear glass that covers the face of the iPhone and houses the multi-touch display. There is however, no lamp indicator to show that iSight is running. I am assuming that wouldn’t be necessary seeing as to how the iPhone OS does not support the camera being launched in the background. The only problem I for-see with this setup would be the need for the user to keep the glass above the iSight clear and free of grime as this would affect the clarity of the chat.
Other Hardware Upgrades
Other juicy details that our source revealed to us include upgrade to many hardware feature sets in the iPhone. Samsung apparently manufactured a low-power consumption Flash Nand chip. The capacity used in the prototype is a whopping 128 GB. However, it is highly unlikely that the final version will include such a capacity as it is highly impractical, given the current cost of high-capacity flash chips. It would be safe to assume a 64 GB version, however.
Our source also gives us the news that the prototype iPhone does indeed support the volume controls on the new generation Apple In-Ear Headphones. On the other hand, I do not think that new iPhone will ship with the in-ear headphones, but it could be an optional upgrade.
It also seems that Sharp has been kept quite busy by Apple. The prototype apparently has a native display resolution of 840 by 560 pixels. That’s pretty huge for a mobile device. The new multi-touch panel, built under specifications from Cupertino, boasts high energy efficiency levels as well as a brighter as crisp display. We cannot tell for sure about this one, but HD Videos for the iPhone will be a killer. Our source tells us that the software used in the prototype is one that has not been seeded even to developers. It supports the resolution independence technology that is currently being developed for Snow Leopard. This means that games and apps developed for the other iPhones would easily be run on the prototype. Our source did not elaborate on the rumor of a dual back-light system for future iPhones.
With regards to cameras, not only do we have the smashing forward facing camera, we also have news from our source of a 5.0 Megapixel camera mounted on the back of the phone. There is still however, no news of flash for the iPhone. But the word from our source is that the picture quality has indeed been improved. Darker conditions are apparently no longer an obstacle as well.
Last but not least, running such wonderfully upgraded systems will definitely require a faster and more powerful processor. Well, not exactly new. The Infineon Technologies chip used in all of the iPhone and iPod Touch devices is used in the prototype as well. However, with a major adjustment to the clock-speed. This may be due to the different firmware being used in the prototype device. The new clock-speed of the iPhone prototype stands at 600 MHz. It is common knowledge that the iPhone’s ARM processor supports speeds of up to 640 MHz. Once again, this clock-speed may not see the light of day when high device temperature and battery life become and issue with performance and customers.
Well, folks. That’s the news that we have so far. We have no information on the dimensions of the new phone, but we do have a picture to leave you with. How many of these features in the Prototype will make it on the final product? No one knows. We are not even sure if the new phone will be released in 2009. There are still many countries that are yet to receive the iPhone.