Fifteen Things We Still Don't Know About the Next iPhone

By  |  Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 1:28 am

I think we can definitively say that Gizmodo has put a massive crimp in Apple’s existing publicity plans for the next iPhone. When Apple announces the phone, the Reality Distortion Field may be a tad less potent than usual. But even if we assume for the sake of argument that the phone Apple releases will be identical to the one that Gizmodo bought from a barfly, there’s plenty that we may not know until Apple has its say–and , just as important, until reviews and consumers get their hands on real, fully-functioning units.

Such as:

1. How fast is it? Gizmodo didn’t have anything to say about the CPU inside the phone. Seems like there’s a pretty good chance it’s something at least vaguely akin to the Apple-designed A4 inside the iPad. Given how zippy the iPad is, that could be as big a deal as anything Giz was able to divine.

2. How’s battery life? Gizmodo did note that the phone’s battery was bigger than the one in the 3GS. That, plus a new CPU, plus any general power-management improvements Apple has come up with might lead to a phone with that claims better battery life than the 3GS.

3. What are the storage options? Engadget, which saw photos of the new iPhone but didn’t take possession of it, said it appeared to have 80GB of storage. Weird, but not impossible. Absent that evidence, the logical guess would be that the next iPhone will be available in 32GB and 64GB variants, doubling the capacity of the 3GS.

4. Just how good is the screen? For what it’s worth, Giz says the “Connect to iTunes” display looks fabulous. John Gruber says the screen is 960-by-640–packing four times the pixels of the 3GS, and beating high-res phones such as the Nexus One–and that the effect should be something close to that of ink on paper. He also says he doubts it’s an OLED screen.

5. Will it still be AT&T only? My guess is that the mythical Verizon Wireless iPhone will arrive someday, but not as part of the announcement of this particular next-gen iPhone.

6. It’s not going to be a 4G phone, is it? Seems unlikely–neither AT&T nor Verizon is truly going to be done with their 4G service rollouts during the life of this phone. My guess is that this will be the last 3G-only iPhone rather than the first 4G model.

7. What sort of software goes with the front-facing camera? Ever since the first iPhone shipped without iChat, folks have been waiting for it to show up. This would be a good time, no?  But is AT&T ready to pump live streaming video over its network?

8. What sort of software goes with the improved camera on the backside? Apple’s already mentioned some imaging improvements in iPhone OS 4 (such as digital zoom). Will the new camera bring any cool features that the ones in previous iPhones can’t match?

9. Oh yeah, how many megapixels is the camera on the back? Not that megapixels are much of a benchmark of anything (the 3MP iPhone 3GS camera takes better pics than the 5MP model inside the Motorola Droid).

10. Is it a better, you know, phone? I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that the iPhone hardware deserves some of the fury usually aimed at AT&T for less-than-spectacular signal reliability. The new iPhone seems to be made of an interesting material that isn’t plasticky plastic, possibly in part to help reception.

11. Will Apple announce any iPhone-related services? If the new iPhone is going to be “one more thing,” something else new needs to precede it at the rollout. How about  cloud-based iTunes service based on Apple-owned Lala?

12. How much is it going to run? Obvious guess: Apple will stick with the $199 and $299 price points, and play up the fact that you’re getting a much better phone for the bucks. Unless price pressure from other smartphones–the Droid and Palm Pre Plus can be had for fifty bucks–prompts Apple to knock down prices at least a little.

13. Whither the iPhone 3G? It’s easy to forget, but it’s still a current phone–the 3GS’s $99 little brother. I guess we can assume it will be saying its goodbyes. But will the 3GS take its budget-priced slot in the lineup? Or might there be a $99 next-gen iPhone?

14. What’s the name? Inevitably, the names iPhone 4G and iPhone HD are being bandied about. The first only makes sense if it is, indeed, a 4G phone.

15. What else don’t we know? I like surprises, so I’m hoping we still get some of them…

Got any answers–or additional unanswered questions?


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15 Comments For This Post

  1. Jared Earle Says:

    The fact that the US is the only place in the world that has call problems on the iPhone should point to AT&T as the weak link in the call quality. The iPhone works great as a phone here in Europe.

  2. Bouke Timbermont Says:

    nice list, and point 15 is a great example of the difference between “things we know we don’t know and things we don’t know we don’t know”, which made me chuckle ^^

  3. Stilgar Says:

    Pardon my French, but the Gizmodo crew are a bunch of dbags for the way they’ve handled all this. Outing the guy for losing his iPhone prototype at the bar? We’ve all done dumb crap before. But calling this guy out the way they did on their Web site is low. It doesn’t sound like the guy’s lost his job, but I’m sure he was reprimanded at the very least. I hope they think getting the scoop on a PHONE was worth all the trouble this is going to cause.

    They they have the nerve to claim that when they bought the phone they didn’t know it was stolen. Yeah, because Apple has a habit of selling prototype hardware to sites that propagate rumors.

    I hope the DA nails Gizmodo over apportion of lost property and receiving stolen property.

    I’ll never be clicking through to Gizmodo again.

  4. B-easy Says:

    Gizmodo didn’t really do anything outside the realm of legal, and I hardly think Apple would persue charges of any sort (Not that they would hold up well) because if you ask me, Gizmodo didn’t really leak anything crazy. Besides, is this really going to cause trouble? Did Apple leak it on purpose, hoping to hook everyone? I know that I’ll be holding off on my upgrade (Due this month) to get whatever might come next. Everyone should just sit back, relax, and let Apple make their release whenever they’re comfortable. Oh, one more thing, what would make you think they knew the phone was stolen? Or that it was stolen at all? Just a thought. . .

    -Thanks for reading.

  5. jltnol Says:

    I really don’t think this affects the reality distortion field that much…. this will be another significant improvement on what was before… more evolution than revolution, but the revolution is over, and Apple won. Regardless of if this was a planned stunt, or a weird accident, the bottom line is there will be lines to buy this new phone when it comes out.

  6. ediedi Says:

    16. we don’t know if we will care so much about it

  7. Paul Judd Says:

    B Easy,
    According to California law, there are very specific statutes regarding items that you found in public – one of them is that you cannot sell them – otherwise it is classified as theft unless you jump though certain hoops to identify the owner (usually filing a Police report) and wait several months before it is considered abandoned. Check the statutes and you will find them to be quite clear.

    The price that Gizmodo paid is indicative that they knew that the item was not theirs to buy in the first place.

  8. bud Says:

    Didn’t the tear down identify the back camera chip as 5 Mp?

  9. B-easy Says:

    Hey Judd, You’re completely right. I did not see that they had paid that much (which is crazy, and would suggest there’s more to it), that’s what I get for not checking all of my facts. To think, I’m a Criminal Justice student. . But I don’t think Apple will seek out charges, they have what they want back, however, if they discover there is more to how the phone was actually ‘found’, it wouldn’t surprise me to see more legal action taken. Thanks for checking me, I can’t wait to see what unfolds. I’m going nuts without my iPhone though, and I don’t know how long Apple will keep us waiting. To get a 3gS now or to not get a 3gS now, that is the question. =[

  10. Stilgar Says:

    “Gizmodo didn’t really do anything outside the realm of legal” I think you could argue that they did.

    The law of “apportion of lost property” says that if you find something and you treat it as if it’s your own property, it’s the same thing as theft. So Gizmodo didn’t take it themselves, however, the guy who sold it to them for $5k did. His counterclaim would be something along the lines of, “I saw the guy get up at the bar and I said, ‘hey, you forgot your phone.’ He said, ‘no I didn’t.’ See? I tried to give it back to him.” I don’t know if a jury would believe that’d be sufficient as making an attempt to give it back. So what does he do? Starts taking it apart and mailing out pictures of it. Then he sells it to Gizmodo. Pretty sure that’s illegal.

    Now, I’m sure Gizmodo knew that this wasn’t a legit item they were purchasing. Has Apple ever leaked information before? There’s no history of that which I’m aware of. They’ve also never allowed prototype hardware to be sold before. Gizmodo’s own stories say, “It was found lost in a bar…camouflaged to look like an iPhone 3GS.” They clearly knew it was a pre-production device. If he “found” it, and then is selling it to Gizmodo, sounds like purchasing stolen property to me. Then they take the thing apart and divulge it’s (potentially trade) secrets. Gizmodo never had the right to disassemble the device because they were never the owners; the guy who sold it to them never had the right to sell it, because he wasn’t the owner.

    I also can’t believe that people think this is a PR stunt. Why? Apple isn’t selling enough iPhones already? They want to let people know a new phone is coming out to hinder sales of the 3GS? There wouldn’t be adequate excitement over a new iPhone without a leak? It’s illogical.

  11. B-easy Says:

    Yeah dude, the correction was made, I didn’t check all my facts. I hope you feel like you accomplished something. Thanks though. Anyone can argue anything right now, to some extent, and the whole idead of this possibly being a PR stunt is pretty farfetched, but you even said something that can back up the PR idea, ” Has Apple ever leaked information before? There’s no history of that which I’m aware of”, So why now? Haha, just an idea. The world revolves around thoughts and theories, thouhg I’m not entirely sure if info. has ever been leaked, it’s probably safe to assume it hasn’t. I believe it’s just one big screw up, but either way you go, I’m glad it’s happened, it kind of gives us a better idea of what’s coming next. Which is way better than reading in to everyone’s speculation as to what’s coming (Everyone taking a guess as to what they’d like to see). Hmm, is that settled now?

  12. Stilgar Says:

    @B-easy No hard feelings. I wasn’t responding just to your comment, but other things I hear around the tubez 🙂 <- using a smiley face makes everything ok.

  13. B-easy Says:

    Thanks. =]
    Would it be safe to get a 3gs now? With the innevitable ‘next gen’ iPhone coming, eventually. I just hate not having a phone, espescially not having an iPhone. . . What’s the earliest date anyone can forsee Apple releasing this phone??


  14. kidTruant Says:

    @ B-easy… It sounds like you had but now don’t have an iPhone and want a new one. You didn’t leave it at a bar, didja? 🙂 My humble opinion… don’t buy a 3GS now. Wait for the new one this summer (June/July). Looks like it’s enough of an upgrade in performance & feature set. But that’s easy for me to say, I have my 3GS. cheers mate!

  15. B-easy Says:

    @kidTruant Yeah, I’m going to wait, but in the mean time I think I might look for a cheap used one, if not I’ll keep living iPhoneless.. Which hurts. Oh, and yes, I had the 3G, the the 2G, and now… Nothing. Well, enough said. Thanks for the input bud.

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