6.07.2008

                   
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UPDATE: iphone 2.0 rumors: look, apps, release date

Be sure to see the latest ways to pimp that new iphone here.

Updated pics, firmware and more rumors:

*A round up of spy pics on the web. Please note rumors say these pics are most likely fake or doctored:









* another update as of June 6th: Firmware update (thanks to Ryan Block) from Engadget:

All the dirty details:
  • Infineon PMB6952 / S-GOLD3 six-band UMTS / HSDPA transceiver (as we'd heard)
  • Murata LMRX3JCA-479 tri-band amplifier (we're assuming for the 3G)
  • Sony SP9T antenna switch for GSM / UMTS dual mode
  • ARM 1176JZF-S - Main CPU (same as in 1st gen iPhone)
  • Skyworks 77427 chip - UMTS / HSDPA tx 1900MHz, rx 2100MHz
  • Skyworks 77414 chip - UMTS / HSDPA 1900MHz
  • Skyworks 77413 chip - UMTS / HSDPA 850MHz
  • Internal build model number: n82ap (1st gen iPhone was model m68ap)
  • UMTS Power Saving option - on or off
  • Hooks for Global Locate Library (GLL), software that handles A-GPS related commands for the host processor


* Update as of june 1st: New iphone to be 22% thinner:



iPhone Rumors Gone Wild:
Plastic Case Photos, UMTS 'Test' In Austria And Chinese Handwriting Recognition


3gwannabephotos-080505.gif

The difference between iPhones one and two? Speculation. Steve Jobs showed off the original iPhone six months before it shipped. This isn't Apple's usual modus operandi. Usually the company's products are top secret until launch day.

The break with protocol was ostensibly to stop the design being leaked by the FCC approval process (although why this hasn't happened for iPhone 2.0 is still a mystery), but had the side effect of quelling the inevitable rumor-hysteria that would otherwise have overshadowed the launch. Sure, the free publicity would have been great, but as groundbreaking as the iPhone was, it couldn't have lived up to a device dreamed up by bloggers and fanboys.

The Second Coming is different, and shows us exactly what would have happened the first time around if Apple had gone all Secret Squirrel on us. The speculation is going wild. Here is a roundup of what the web says just this week (and we've only reached Tuesday). A lot of it looks like junk, but who knows?

Plastic Case

The picture above comes from Chinese website, WeiPhone. In it we see the much rumored plastic case. At first look, I called "fake", and it might well be. But remember the leaked pictures of the Fat Nano? We commented that it looked ugly, but once we'd seen it, we'd love it. So, while this plastic case might be a mockup, it could equally be a new, uglier incarnation of the iPhone.

And it makes sense for a few reasons. Plastic is lighter and shows less scratches. It also means that the iPhone could be offered in multiple colors (aluminum would do that, too, but the current rear plate would look a little odd). The projection of the bottom looks fine, although those four surrounding holes look like the iPod remote sockets of old. Extra accessory ports? We'll see, but the plastic case seems to be the most consistently reported rumor, with our Bryan Gardiner kicking things off for Gadget Lab back on April 5th. Just one thing calls this into doubt: Apple has been moving away from plastic in a drive to make its products more recyclable (a new MacBook could be fashioned from aluminum, for example).

Specs

You can't ramp up production for a huge product launch without some leaks, even if you're Apple. One such leak is that there is some kind of sensor next to the earpiece. ILounge speculates that this might be a second camera to allow video calls, something we've thought about here on the lab.

To be honest, though, apart from a new camera and a slightly different case, there's not much more to be done to the iPhone on the outside. All the action is on the screen, and changing that needs only a software update, not the retooling of an entire assembly line. Today's iPhone 2.0 software rumor is all about handwriting recognition, something that has been clunkily implemented already by a third party developer. Version 2.0 is said to include Chinese character recognition as well as input for western characters.


chinaiphone.jpg

These screenshots, from Chinese site Wretch.cc, show the input screen and preferences. The shots look terrible, but if this is indeed beta software we shouldn't take too much from the looks. The worrying part, though, is the name "Kenneth" where the carrier name should be. There are hacks to do this to the phone, but unless Apple is being paranoid and wants to discredit leaked photos (a possibility, certainly) then these pics have the smell of fakery about them. Even so, China is a potential market of two billion, so we won't discount some kind of special support.

UMTS iPhone in Austria

Lastly come the carrier leaks. According to Der Standard, T-Mobile made an official announcement at a press conference in Vienna, saying that a UMTS iPhone will be coming to Austria "soon". Apparently, Austria will be the "testing ground" for the 3G models. Yes, models, plural:

[I]t is also assumed that up to three new models for different target groups on the market.

This last comes from a source inside chip maker Infineon. Der Standard also reports that the 3G iPhone will sell unlocked, and contrary to widespread speculation, will actually be more expensive. Taken with the reports that AT&T will be subsidizing the new handset to the tune of $200, this makes a certain kind of sense. Instead of the subsidy making the iPhone cheaper, it could just be there to keep it at the same price if you sign up for a contract.

The only reality here is that of confusion. Trying to keep up with the rumors and make some kind of sense of them is a full time job (actually, my full time job). I really can't wait for the WWDC conference, the expected launch-pad of iPhone 2.0, after which we can take a brief vacation before the iPhone 3.0 rumors begin.

By Charlie Sorrel for Wired

And, another rumor about actual release date:
Last year around this time speculation was rampant about the launch of the iphone. And it was the fact that AT&T was canceling vacations between June 15th to July 15th that clued the industry in to an approximate time for the launch. It looks like we might be getting the same clue this year.

According to reports, just as last year, AT&T is asking for vacations to be rescheduled, and has said that no other vacations will be approved for the period deemed to be a "heavy selling period," June 15 to July 12.

Now, some are pointing at June 29th, which would be the one year anniversary of the iPhone launch, as the obvious day - but that happens to be a Sunday, so that's probably not likely.

Still, the timing is actually perfect, with WWDC this year running from June 9 - 13.

3 comments:

Jesse said...

I've decided that this will be my next phone - but I just can't figure out when it will be released...

alex in wonderL.A.nd said...

I heard through the grapevine that v.2 was going to have solar charging which was enough to make me toss my Verizon plan and sign up with AT&T. But I don't see any mention of it here..did I miss it or is it a rumor afterall?

Laura Sweet said...

Alex-
It's my understanding that the battery is thinner and will have an extended life, but no, it will not be solar charged.
-editor

C'mon people, it's only a dollar.
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