Third-gen iPhone only a "modest" upgrade?

Third-gen iPhone only a "modest" upgrade?

Summary: A thread was posted on a Chinese Apple fan site from a member purporting to have used the upcoming third-generation iPhone hardware that's due to be announced next month at WWDC.In the posting "patapon200" claims that the next-gen iPhone will be almost physically identical to the current iPhone 3G, down to the familiar 3.

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iPhone MB717 screencapA thread was posted on a Chinese Apple fan site from a member purporting to have used the upcoming third-generation iPhone hardware that's due to be announced next month at WWDC.

In the posting "patapon200" claims that the next-gen iPhone will be almost physically identical to the current iPhone 3G, down to the familiar 3.5-inch, 480x320 display. He goes as far as calling it a "repeat."

While this latest iPhone rumor is sure to dash the hopes of many that were hoping that the next-gen Apple handset would have a radically slimmer design, all hope isn't lost.

According to AppleInsider the poster confirms some previous rumors about the next iPhone, specifically that it will include:

  • 16GB or 32GB of RAM
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus
  • an electronic compass
  • FM receiver

New information posted includes an internal identifier of "N88" and Apple model number "MB717LL" that haven't been previously reported. The tipster also claims that the new iPhone will ship with:

  • a 600MHz Samsung ARM processor (up from 400MHz)
  • 256MB of system RAM (up from 128MB)

The most salacious part of the report, however is the above screenshot which purports that the posters iPhone contains 32GB of RAM (29.3GB after formatting) and iPhone 3.0 firmware build 7A306. Apple released build 7A312g (a.k.a. beta 5) of iPhone firmware 3.0 to developers last week.

Will you be disappointed if the physical dimensions of the new iPhone remain unchanged over the current model? And what about that screenshot? Real or fake?

Topics: Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Processors

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13 comments
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  • It's Flash Memory, not RAM

    Re: 16GB or 32GB of RAM

    This dilution of hard technical terms is getting ridiculous.

    Any tech writer worth their salt knows that flash is not RAM. You can't even read or run directly from it like ROM.

    Flash is indirectly read or written serially in blocks.

    kdarling
  • Make 10% thicker and increase battery by 10%

    Battery life is by far the biggest complaint about the iPod Touch / iPhone.

    No one would notice a 10% thickness increase...
    croberts
  • RE: Third-gen iPhone only a

    I'm not expecting a significant change in the form
    factor. The current version works well, why change
    it.

    That said, making the CPU 1/3 faster and doubling the
    built in RAM would be a VERY significant and noticeable upgrade. The RAM would likely be a bigger
    factor of the two. Having 16GB and 32GB models would
    be great. The better camera would be a bonus, but
    honestly, if you're worried about photography, get a
    real camera. Assuming they can do this while somehow
    improving battery life, this will be a winner and
    stand up against anything else coming to market.
    Especially when you add the improvements associated
    with the 3.0 software.

    In short, I'd be pleased with this "modest" upgrade.
    techconc
    • I agree. The form factor is fine

      I agree that in an increase in memory and processor speed would be very nice. I don't need the dimensions to change. But I don't believe for a second that the iPhone will include an FM radio. No iPod ever has.
      mistergoodman
      • FM Radio

        FM radio doesn't mean it'll receive broadcast
        stations. More likely it'll be some cheesy
        'play on your car radio' crap. Perhaps allow
        users to use their iPhone in their car without
        the in-car bluetooth feature? Think about
        that.
        odcchaz
    • Nokia has been doing this for the last years...

      ...better CPU, more RAM, better camera, and yet. NOBODY considers these things as "innovations". Ofc, the apple zealots will consider them innovations.

      Call me when apple comes up with something real innovative in the mobile world, like a built-in projector..ups, samsung did that already : http://dailymobile.se/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/mwcbarcelona_1336.jpg
      Soulstorm
      • Huh?

        [i]"..better CPU, more RAM, better camera, and
        yet. NOBODY considers these things as
        "innovations"."[/i]

        Ummm... I hate to state the obvious, but
        perhaps nobody calls these things innovations
        because they aren't.

        [i]"Ofc, the apple zealots will consider them
        innovations."[/i]

        Really, I must have missed it. Which Apple
        zealot referred to these hardware upgrades as
        innovations?

        [i]"Call me when apple comes up with something
        real innovative in the mobile world, like a
        built-in projector..ups, samsung did that
        already."[/i]

        Don't confuse different with innovative. What
        purpose does a cheesy projector serve on a
        smart phone other than a poor display and
        instant battery drain? This is a feature that
        you won't see others copying... because it's
        not innovative, it's just silly. Innovative is
        when you introduce a multi-touch screen that
        makes your device significantly more usable
        than traditional devices with small screens and
        chicklet style keys. When everyone rushes to
        copy what you have, you probably have innovated
        something.

        Further, the reason the iPhone and the Palm
        Pre, etc. get so much attention is because
        software is where the major innovation is
        coming from. That's also why Nokia (Symbian)
        and Windows Mobile based phones are losing
        ground - their software was fine years ago, but
        by today's standards, they are sub-par. Little
        hardware gimicks aren't going to make up for
        lousy software on a smartphone.
        techconc
  • Design SHOULDN'T be radically different

    The overall design of the iPhone shouldn't change too much because it will break compatibility with previous iPhone Apps. Plus, there's nothing wrong with the size of the current iPhone.

    The right direction to go is faster, more storage, better camera, video camera, better battery life, wireless N WiFi, etc.

    It sounds like Apple is doing a lot of these upgrades and while it isn't revolutionarily different, I'd suggest that it shouldn't be: the current iPhone works better than anything on the market!
    Boulder_Bum
  • RE: Third-gen iPhone only a

    I hope there isn't too many changes and that they focus more on making it a stable platform. It's a phone, phones shouldn't crash or lock up.
    ~Obelix~
  • RE: Third-gen iPhone only a

    As an owner of the first gen iPhone, I continue to be amazed
    at its build. Even at 2 years, it is better than similar products
    coming out today. I don't feel like I have missed out by not
    upgrading yet. If the new iPhone has video recording and
    some of the other features purported, I may be encouraged
    to upgrade. :-)
    zxmac8384@...
  • same ARM chip or different?

    I read that the ARM chip inside the current iPhone is ALREADY a 620mhz chip that is purposely throttled back to 412 mhz on iphones and 523 mhz on the current iPod touch.

    So I wonder, different chip, or same chip just turned up to it's full power?
    dougit
  • RE: Third-gen iPhone only a

    The better camera would be nice. Yes for serious photography, a camera would be better, but it's for all those "I wish I had a camera" moments, but a picture you might be willing to share.

    Compass? I don't think so. A magnetic compass would not be useful in some parts of the world and there are already ones in the AppStore.

    FM radio? As odcchaz said, there has never been an FM radio on any iPod. I'd like to add that the FM radio band is not the same frequencies in different regions around the world. This is probably why the iPod hasn't had one, and you could get an aftermarket one, if you want radio.

    I think the throttled back processor speed is probably to keep battery life reasonable. So the CPU has to be lower consumption or maybe even different. I mean OS X can run on Intel and PPC and ARM, no reason it can't be a different chip.
    ManoaHI
  • RE: Third-gen iPhone only a

    I just want the release date. I am on T-mobile and have a G1. While I am pleased with my G-1 the Iphone is so compelling after watching the March rollout of the upcoming software update for the Iphone I have to have one. I think these minor tweaks to the existing phone will only make a great device even better. I don't see any need to change out the form factor of the phone. Don't fix what is not broken. All I need is the release date and hopefully that is coming VERY SOON!!!
    Iceman721