Apple’s upcoming iPhone uses an 802.11b/g radio, which won’t matter to a lot of people. But a friend, who has installed 802.11n routers in her apartment because of crippling interference in the 2.4GHz frequency range, mentioned this shortcoming the other day.
I suspect that Apple went with the older technology to wring as much battery power as possible from the new iPhone. The move to a faster 3G network was already a significant power challenge to Apple, and it didn’t need another. Also, I’m not sure that 802.11n chipsets for mobile devices are available yet. Companies such as Redpine Signals and Broadcom have announced 802.11n chipsets for mobile devices, but I haven’t seen the newer Wi-Fi technology in any phones, including the upcoming BlackBerry Bold and the Samsung Instinct. So it’s likely that Apple simply didn’t have a choice in Wi-Fi technology.
Anyway, it won’t matter to most people, since Wi-Fi hotspots use 802.11g Wi-Fi. But as 802.11n becomes increasingly popular, some home users may wish for the newer technology. Especially those who have a lot of interference in the 2.4GHz range.