We’re still more than two months out from the WWDC in June of this year, but already the rumor mill is going full-tilt, especially around what will no doubt be the star of the show, the next incarnation of Apple’s iPhone. We’ve already seen speculation about better camera capable of shooting video, and there have long been rumors of improved processors, and even GPUs and dual-core architecture. The latest speculation brings a lot of new features to the iPhone, in addition to better specs.
The first new feature hinted at is video editing capabilities, which, if true, would obviously confirm the iPhone’s ability to record video. Video editing possibilities stem from the discovery of a series of images with highly suggestive names like “UIMovieScrubberEditingRight.png” in the new iPhone 3.0 beta. None of the oddly named images seem to be used yet anywhere in the beta’s UI, which would suggest they are reserved for a feature not yet introduced. Even limited video editing ability would help Apple distinguish the iPhone even further from its competitors.
Both of the other new rumors which came to light recently have to do with the iPhone’s connectivity. First, there’s evidence (again in the new beta firmware) to suggest that the next-gen iPhone will be getting a low-power 802.11n chip for better Wi-Fi connection speeds. Among a whole host of features this would bring to Apple’s mobile platform (the iPod touch is reportedly getting the same boost), AppleInsider points out that this would allow the iPhone to use the 5GHz range, so that users with newer Macs would no longer have to use a 2.4GHz compatible network in the their homes, which reduces overall network efficiency because of heavy 2.4GHz interference.
Finally, there are claims that the same Broadcom chip that will provide the next-gen iPhone with low-power 802.11n will also give it FM transmit and receive capabilities. If that’s true, it means not only being able to listen to FM stations on your iPhone (which to me is pretty much worthless thanks to Internet radio), but also the ability to transmit to your car/home stereo on an FM frequency without wires or the need for additional peripherals. At the iPhone 3.0 event, Apple demoed what a potential FM transmitter app designed specifically for use with a peripheral might look like, but maybe they were actually giving us a preview of a standard app for the upcoming iPhone hardware refresh.
I think it’s time to start saving my shekels. I’m gonna have a hard time convincing my Canadian telco to let me re-up my contract for this new model after only a year, but if it’s packing half the features that are rumored, I feel compelled.