The leaked information about iPhone 4 that has ripped around the web today has cleared up many questions about Apple’s newest iPhone.
Questions still remain, though. Since the phone Gizmodo obtained has apparently been remotely bricked by Apple (using that handy Remote Wipe feature, apparently), we know relatively little about the capabilities of the phone beyond what we can guess from pictures.
The question that’s on every American tech enthusiast’s lips is “Is the iPhone 4 going to be available on Verizon?”And the answer is, simply, that we don’t know. We’ve found ourselves blushing many times when we forecast the end of Apple’s exclusive US deal with AT&T, only to see it continue. The recent announcement of the iPad 3G’s AT&T data connection in particular springs to mind.
However, given Apple’s weakening relationship with AT&T, exemplified by the iPad’s data plan options, a Verizon iPhone seems feasible. Our first indication that this will happen will likely come in the form of a FCC filing, so we’ll be keeping our eyes firmly on the government’s filing database.
Apple’s branched out from their previous relationship with Samsung with the iPad. All previous iterations of the iPhone and iPod Touch had run on Samsung-made ARM chips. However, with Apple’s acquisition of P. A. Semi in 2008, Apple began designing their own chips. Interestingly, their relationship with Samsung continued, as Samsung makes the A4 processor found in the iPad for Apple.
Given that we’ve now seen Apple’s success in designing a bespoke chip for their own devices, it’s highly unlikely that Apple will revert to another manufacturer’s chips. The question, really, is whether Apple will use the iPad’s A4 in the new iPhone, or if they will use another bespoke chip. It’s tough to know, but it would seem like they would stick with the A4 for simplicity’s sake.
The pictures we’ve been seeing all day have shown us one big missing piece of information, the new iPhone’s storage. On the back of the recovered phone’s case, the storage is listed as “XX GB.” It’s easy to assume that this just means that the new phone won’t break the 100GB barrier, but this might not be true.
The iPod Classic line has long offered 120 and 160GB models, and the next hardware revision of the iPod Touch will likely break the 100GB barrier too. So why shouldn’t Apple do something bold and offer a 128GB iPhone? Given that apps are now breaking the 1GB barrier, a 128GB iPhone would be a welcome addition to the iPhone lineup. However, high flash memory prices will likely keep this dream from becoming reality. Expect a 64GB iPhone, but pray to the gods of Apple for a 128GB model.
Apple’s current iPhone design doesn’t jibe with Apple design language at all. This led us to one of two conclusions. Either Apple was moving towards the monochrome glossy plastic and chrome look across their product range or the iPhone’s design language would eventually be updated to match Apple’s brushed aluminum and glass look. It seems that the latter has finally happened.
But the question remains, will this design language extend to the rest of the iPod range? Will we see a wafer-thin iPod touch made out of glass and aluminum? Will the iPod Nano get squared-off edges again? It’ll be interesting to see if this becomes Apple’s PMP design language as well.
iPhone 4G in more ways than one?
The rumor that many people have been bandying about is that the newest iPhone will include a WiMax or LTE chip to be activated when AT&T roll out 4G in early 2011. Unfortunately, folks, this feature will almost certainly miss this hardware revision. Given that the chip would lie dormant for at least six months, it’s essentially guaranteed that this feature will miss the boat.
Given that the new device is packing a front-facing camera, as well as an improved rear camera, iChat on the iPhone seems like a lock. What we all want to know is how well it will work.
Apparently, according to descriptions of the prototype’s screen, users will be able to see the person they’re chatting with in very high definition (for the screen size). Guesses peg the screen resolution at at least double the current 3GS. It’s entirely possible, in fact, that the screen’s resolution is nearly the same as the iPad’s XGA screen.
The app itself is another thing we’ve been wondering about. People have been mocking up their own ideas about iChat for iPhone since the first iPhone came out, but it’s tough to know whether iChat will keep the phone app’s aesthetic, the messenger app’s aesthetic, or come out with something completely new.
While certain aspects of the new phone seem almost set in stone, there are certainly some parts of the phone that Apple’s strategic bricking left up in the air. With the phone soon to be safely back in Apple’s hands, these bits of information will likely stay under wraps until launch day approaches. We’ll be sure to keep you posted with anything we know or find out.
However, given what we do know, and what we can speculate, the newest iPhone looks like it will be a real winner when it is announced at the end of June. Based on what I know now, I’d certainly pick up the highest capacity model as long as its price doesn’t make my eyes water. What about you? Given what you know, would you buy iPhone 4?
Thanks to Gizmodo for the pictures.