The Next Gen iPhone

Sure, it might be a little early for speculation, seeing as how the current generation of the iPhone isn't even available yet, but I'm going to hazard a few guesses here anyway.

Since the gadget itself really consists of two major aspects, software and hardware, I'll break up the predictions into those categories.

HARDWARE:

  1. 3.2 MP Camera: this was something surprising about the 2 MP cam in the first gen model – why would Apple be a me-too in this area? Most higher end phones are pushing for higher and higher MP counts. (I'm waiting for Sony Ericsson to release a new 4 or 5 MP camera phone any day now.)
  2. Thinner chassis: This is almost a gimme. It's the natural order of things, after all.
  3. Integrated GPS: I mis-reported in my first post regarding the iPhone; the current unit does NOT have a GPS tuner. The Google Maps integration is web based only. However, with the kind of partnership Apple has with Google for this device, I'm thinking a GPS version with Maps support isn't too far off.
  4. 3G: A lot of phone snobs are making a big deal about this. The current version utilizes Cingular's (AT&T's?) EDGE network for high speed over-the-air downloads. EDGE is so 2005. I think Apple made a good choice with leaving 3G alone for now for a couple reasons: One, 3G is only available in select markets; and Two, 3G eats battery like nobodies business. BUT, in the next two years, Cingular/AT&T will have greatly expanded their coverage, AND hardware manufacturers will figure out ways to make 3G more energy efficient.
  5. Better Battery Life: 5 Hours of talk time + browsing is OK. 16 hours of playback is longer than the current iPod lineup. But, as more and more stuff gets crammed into this device, this is a limiting factor on the gadget's usability. Better batteries are a must.

SOFTWARE:

  1. Adding a GPS tuner might give way to a host of location-aware applications. Maps is the most obvious example, but what about automatically geo-tagging pictures taken with the built-in camera? Or some kind of buddy finder so you can see the long/lat of the person on the other end of your current call.
  2. I'd love to be able to have the iPhone paired with my Mac via Bluetooth, and use a "capture-only" version of Delicious Library to scan bar codes using the built-in iPhone camera. Then, the desktop version of DL would accept that scan and then act the same way it would if I had just scanned something with a wired FireWire cam. Perhaps even a method to store those scans, and then sync them via Bluetooth at a later point in time.
  3. Exchange Support: This one is also kind of a gimme. Apple has already shoe-horned something like this into Mail.app on their desktop OS, so why not add it to a device that would clearly appeal to business users? Business users that probably work at companies that only use MS Exchange Server for their mail. 
  4. Video Recording: Since it comes with a camera, it only makes sense that this thing could shoot stills AND video. I'm placing this under software because I'm willing to bet that the current iPhone will be able to shoot video, if only via a software update.

I guess this list could go on and on, and who knows? Maybe we'll see some of this on the FIRST iPhone. 

 

 

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