Apple 2.0

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New iPhone components falling into place

April 9, 2009: 10:53 AM ET

Video on new iPhoneNot much news leaks out of Apple's (AAPL) tight-lipped Cupertino campus. The suppliers and developers working on the new family of iPhones, however, are another matter.

Over the past few weeks, enough bits and pieces have dribbled out of the companies making parts and the programmers writing software for the new iPhones to put together a detailed -- if speculative -- picture.

Based on leaks from these sources, we can expect at least one of the new iPhones to have:

  • A higher-res camera. OmniVision (OVTI) has won an order to supply 3.2 megapixel CMOS image sensors for a new iPhone, according to DigiTimes. The iPhone 3G uses the same 2.0 megapixel camera that came with the first-generation model.
  • Video recording and editing. MacRumors has published screen grabs of video controls hidden in the beta version of the new iPhone operating system, and AppleInsider's sources say that the video processing power will be supplied by Imagination's (IMG.L) new multi-core PowerVR chips.
  • Lots of memory. A new report, via DigiTimes, that Apple has placed orders for 100 million 8Gb  NAND flash chips, mostly with Samsung Electronics, lends support to rumors that one of the new iPhones will come with 32GB of memory preinstalled -- presumably to handle those big video files.
  • Faster downloads. Wireless radio specs within iPhone OS 3.0 refer to a more powerful version of the Broadcom (BRCM) chip that supplies Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to the iPhone 3G. The new chip adds support for so-called 802.11n Wi-Fi networks, according to AppleInsider, including the ability to find and join networks in the 5GHz band. That should allow considerably faster throughput than the more commonly used 2.4GHz band.
  • More goodies. Among the other capabilities found in various configuration files of OS 3.0, according to MacRumors, are "auto-focus camera," "magnetometer" (i.e. digital compass), and "Voice Control."

It's all coming together now. According to a report carried by the Chinese- language Commercial Times -- and picked up by the English-language DigiTimes early Thursday -- Taiwan-based handset component suppliers have already begun shipping components and parts for the new iPhones.

We expect them to be unveiled on June 8 at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

See also:

[iPhone 3.0 screengrab courtesy of MacRumors.]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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