As Rumors has previously reported, numerous indications from within the source code of iPhone OS 3.0 Beta releases….industry leaks from suppliers….and Infinite Loop itself as well as reports from reliable sources all over the planet all converge on a few relatively widespread fact-based predictions:
*At least three distinct 2009 iPhones: “3Gx2” or “3.5G” high-end model with enhanced specs & full support for AT&T’s new 7.2Mbps “Enhanced 3G” cellular data network….an entry-level model more or less the same as today’s iPhone 3G with mostly cosmetic changes and a few tweaks (possibly Bluetooth 3.0, among others), and a third “International” model designed for certain markets such as China which have unique cellular networking standards/requirements.
*Within each model family, there will be at least two pricing/value tiers based largely on storage space (but possibly also storage performance, in some cases); in approximate terms, 8GB 3G $99 — 16GB $149 (3G)/$199 (3.5G) — 32GB 3.5G $299, with a possible additional 64GB tier at $399.
*All, or nearly all, new 2009 iPhones are expected to include a set of common features supported by OS 3.0, notably: Magnetometer (“Digital Compass;” determines direction/orientation of the device to allow dynamic Street View within Maps.ipa), auto-focusing 3.2 Megapixel (or better) video-capable CMOS imaging sensor with up to 720P HD video in one or more models, new low-power GPS chip with faster accuracy calibration curves, and an overhauled enclosure with a scratch- and crack-resistant matte paint job, matte (not silver as on previous designs) screen bezel, and light-up Apple logo.
*This new enclosure, while not dramatically different in appearance — instead focusing on many subtle tweaks and refinements — has been exhaustively stress-tested and is designed to perform far better under rough treatment than its predecessors. “No case necessary” and “Looks like a Sportscar, takes a beating like a Tank” were among numerous similar promotional phrases considered in recent weeks to promote the tough new iDevices.
The new high-end iPhone’s expected “enhanced specs” are generally believed to include:
-New, faster ARM processor targeted at competitive or superior performance as compared with the Palm Pre (roughly 2X current 412MHz ARM11 2007/2008 iPhones).
-More, faster system memory; likely 256MB of DDR SDRAM. Twice as much, twice as fast.
-802.11n Dual Band (2.4 & 5GHz) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and possibly also an FM Radio Tuner on a single Broadcom chip. 5X faster Wi-Fi; 8X faster Bluetooth! Superior range for both, less interference with new 5GHz radio band.
-Sync over Wi-Fi, thanks to the huge increase in bandwidth & range.
-Advanced new “PowerVR” graphics processor with multiple cores — each of which is at least as powerful as the single PowerVR GPU core in today’s iDevices! 4-5X+ faster graphics and high resolution Anti-Aliasing/Anisotropic Filtering (AA/AF), massively increasing visual quality in games or other 3D rendering
-Support for not only video recording, but also powerful editing tools as well; powered by the new faster CPU, GPU & main RAM, this will utterly leap-frog the competition in countless ways and really wow the crowd at WWDC.
Other notable changes in the 2009 iPhones are expected to include improved battery life under heavy activity/loads (particularly wireless data usage on 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc), faster NAND Flash memory storage performance, overall better cellular reception due to improved chipset & antennas, display backlights with a wider brightness range, improved speakers & microphone, and new tilt sensors with greater smoothness/accuracy for motion-sensitive applications and games.
Although the “entry level” iPhone 3G intended for the domestic U.S. market will not have the same “enhanced 3.5G” chipset as the high-end model according to sources, all 3G-capable models (2008 and 2009 alike) will experience improved cellular data bandwidth when the new AT&T 7.2Mbps service is ‘turned on’ in their area. In general, the difference will typically be a factor of 2X downstream, 1.5X upstream performance as compared with what users are experiencing in their areas at the present time.
We have much more WWDC coverage and rumor-monger updates on the way over the weekend and continuing all week long — with LIVE coverage on Monday during & after the Keynote address here on our Web site and via our Twitter feed @MacOSRumors — don’t miss the most exciting Apple Event of the year so far and all the tech/developer wonders that will follow throughout this momentous World Wide Developer Conference week….stay tuned to Mac OS Rumors!