When folks find out that I still use a first-generation Apple iPhone for my primary handset, the first question out of their mouth is usually, "why didn’t you upgrade to the iPhone 3G?" I’ve covered that before but as a quick rehash: adding 3G and true GPS capabilities didn’t appeal much to me for a few reasons. First: I spend $599 for the handset, although I did get $100 back that I put towards the purchase of Leopard. Second, I purchased and pay a monthly fee to Verizon Wireless for a USB 3G adapter… I’d rather have the 3G to use on my other larger screened and more capable devices. Third, AT&T’s 3G coverage in my area was spotty at the time. Finally, I felt it was safe to assume that Apple would boost the processor at some point. From the sounds of it, they might have done just that in September, only they did it with the iPod Touch.
Since the CPU is actually capable of running at 620MHz, it’s not yetclear if Apple has reduced the underclocking to achieve any performanceboosts.
However, it shouldn’t be huge surprise that the ARM CPU on thisplatform is getting a boost one way or another from the original 412MHzclock-cycle to 532MHz. It even makes sense that Apple added theturbocharge to the iPod Touch platform prior to the iPhone. While the iPhone is becoming a leader in market share,the Touch appeals to a wider audience is and is slowly building itselfup as a challenger to Nintendo’s DS and Sony’s PlayStation Portable. Myson owns both of those devices and while I’d argue that the PSP offershigher quality graphics, controls and gameplay, that may not matter inthe end. You could correctly use the same argument against Nintendo’sWii when compared to Microsoft’s Xbox 360, but guess which console ismore in demand? The lower-resolution Wii with less computing power.
At some point in the near future, perhaps even in the first quarterof 2009, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Apple adopted a faster CPUor boosted the current one in the iPhone handset. Ideally, anadditional hardware feature or two would put me over the edgepersonally, say a better camera sensor for example, but a faster CPUalone might do it for me. AT&T and built up the 3G network in myarea now and if they allow for 3G tethering as expected, you’d certainly find me in a line to upgrade from my lowly first-gen iPhone. Of course, with great power comes great responsbility: how much does a faster processor affect battery life?