The new iPhone OS 3.0 did not only bring some great new features and improvements to the iPhone firmware, but it has now also been revealed that the new OS includes references to not one, but two new iPhone models, as well as new iPod Touch, and some yet unknown Apple products according to boygeniousreport.com.
There was quite a few people around the web, including me, that predicted that behind the new iPhone OS 3.0 there would be new hardware versions coming as well, but these latest revelations might actually be more than the most optimistic among us were hoping for, if the story is true that is, but it comes from the same source that predicted the MMS and tethering before the Apple iPhone OS event earlier in the week.
So what are we talking about here; apparently we are looking at two new iPhones coming off the back of the new OS, in which case rumors once again starts floating about the iPhone 3Gplus, or iPhone 3G Pro, as well as perhaps the much denied iPhone Nano. The references found in the iPhone OS 3.0 restore ramdisk includes references to iPhone 2.1 and iPhone 3.1. The current iPhone 3G is referenced as iPhone 1.2. Looking at how Apple has historically categorized their new hardware, 1.2 is considering a minor upgrade, while when changing to 2.1 or 3.1 it is considered a major upgrade, which it looks like we might be looking at in this case.
Again, this can not be taken as a true fact, but it has usually been right before, and following the many earlier revelations and rumors of next generation iPhone, i will predict that we will see the next upgraded iPhone by the end of this summer. Now the question is what new features will it include that makes it a major upgrade? Some have predicted that it will support faster internet connection, or so called 3Gplus, and probably improved processor speed to support background processing and perhaps even video conference calls, both features that were left out of the new iPhone OS due to taking up too much battery life.
Appleinsider had a good article looking at the evolution of the iPhone from a mobile internet development point of view as the graph below illustrates.
While the current iPhone 3G hardware only supports mobile downloads of up to 3.6 MBit/s, while AT&T that sells the iPhone exclusively in the US says their mobile networks should be able to handle download speeds of up to 20Mbit/s in the coming year.
Supporting a summer release of the next generation iPhone are also the rumors that mobile operators stocking the iPhone 3G is preparing to discount it to clear iPhone 3G stocks in advance of the next generation iPhone.
But the iPhone is not the only story hidden in the new OS, as there are also references to iPod 2.2, which would be an upgrade of the iPod Touch, with the latest one referred to as iPod 2.1. We might be looking at a minor upgrade to the iPod Touch in the coming year as well, perhaps on the back the additional new features available to the iPod Touch through the new OS. Personally i think it would be great if Apple could bring a camera to the iPod Touch, as well as built in microphone to make VOiP calling easier on the iPod Touch. We will keep monitoring the market for news about an upoming 3rd generation iPod Touch.
Last but not least, there are references to two so far unknown iPod models, referred to as iProd 0.1 and iFPGA. Some think that one of the references might be to the much talked about and rumored iPod Tablet, which is an overgrown version of the iPod Touch, and perhaps Apple’s answer to the success of netbook producers. At this stage this is just rumors, but the reference to them in the new iPhone OS 3.0 is a clear indication that these are products that Apple are currently working on and that will be running the new iPhone OS, so we are most likely looking at products that will be released into the market in the current year.
One thing is for sure, there is never a dull day in the life of Apple, and neither for us that follows their developments closely.