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Once again, the future is being told in code. Firmware code, specifically. MacRumors has discovered evidence that suggests a major hardware revision is in the works for the iPhone line.
They arrived at this conclusion after finding a section of code in the latest iPhone firmware that makes reference to an “iPhone 2,1” model. Apple uses this kind of naming to identify their hardware in code. The iPhone 3G is identified by the tag “iPhone 1,2”, while the original is dubbed “iPhone 1,1”. The numbers don’t change at all for storage bumps, so a new number means a significantly updated device.
Before you go thinking that this is just a case of a site that deals in speculation chasing ghosts in the code, consider that the iPod touch, originally referred to as the “iPod 1,1” in iPhone firmware code, became the “iPod 2,1” when it received its recent major update. Considering the iPod got a built-in speaker, volume controls, a faster processor, microphone support, and a built-in Nike+ receiver, it seems like a good bet that the “iPhone 2,1” will boast a number of improvements. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on the processor boost for sure, and there are rumors of a multicore processor in the works, and possibly Nike+ integration if that many transmitters in one device doesn’t cause some kind of trouble.
Backing up the evidence found in the firmware are ad serving reports from Pinch Media, which now sometimes list an “iPhone 2,1” model in addition to those devices previously included. The numbers are still small, but it looks like Apple is at least live testing the device in-house. Might they be prepping for a June release, to mark the one year anniversary of the iPhone 3G?