Rumor: Next-Gen iPhone Expected to Include 5 Megapixel Camera

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Date: Thursday, December 24th, 2009, 05:37
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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If you’re hankering for a better camera on the iPhone, you may not have too much longer to wait.

Per a report on DigiTimes, Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to ship with an improved 5-megapixel camera.

According to the report, OmniVision Technologies is expected to see CMOS image sensor orders for Apple’s iPhone devices grow to 40-45 million units in 2010 from 20-21 million estimated this year, according to sources close to the story. These figures include 5-megapixel CIS orders for the next-generation iPhone model according to those sources.

The company currently supplies the 3.2-megapixel CIS found in the iPhone 3GS.

A next generation iPhone is predicted to be available possibly by June next year with other rumors pointing towards iPhone OS 4.0 testing evidence emerging on the web logs of various larger web sites.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Epic Games Demonstrates Working Version of Unreal 3D Game Engine on iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009, 03:02
Category: iPhone, News

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If you wondered where the iPhone might be going as far as a gaming platform, you might be surprised.

Per AnandTech, Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games, creators of the Unreal Engine, demonstrated a working proof of concept to the web site with a playable demo of Unreal Tournament. The game ran a modified level from the popular first-person shooter and employs dual-touch controls.

The game has a virtual thumbstick on the left side of the touch screen to control character movement. Using their right thumb, users can aim and shoot at enemies on screen.

The demo employs Open GL ES 2.0, which is only available on the iPhone 3GS and new iPod touch. The PowerVR SGX GPU has been found to make the hardware, in some cases, to be twice as fast as its predecessors.

The report noted that the game ran with a smooth framerate and the controls worked well. It added, however, that the demo clearly needs polishing, but that it is “just a starting point.”

“Epic isn’t announcing any sort of iPhone engine licenses nor are they entering the iPhone game market,” the report said. “Porting UE3 to the iPhone is simply one of many projects being worked on inside a newer, more svelte and innovative Epic Games (wait till you see what’s next…).”

As Epic Games does on the PC side, the company apparently intends to license its Unreal Engine to third-party companies for use on the iPhone and iPod touch. This will allow an advanced framework for companies to build original games around. Epic, at the moment, has no plans to release any games for the platform.

Rein also told AnandTech that Unreal Engine 3 will be demoed on another mobile platform at CES 2010 in early January. The company reportedly intends to take its plans beyond the iPhone and iPod touch.

“This isn’t a platform specific thing,” the report said, “it’s about bringing Unreal Engine 3 to the entire portable market.”

Recently, Apple exhibited signs that the company may be looking to get more directly involved in game development, the company posting a job opening for a game and media software engineer for its iPhone and iPod touch team. Apple has traditionally backed off from first-hand game development, so some degree of change may be in the air.

Because You Always Wanted to be a Unicorn

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Date: Monday, December 21st, 2009, 06:39
Category: Fun, iPhone

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There is no good way to explain this, except for the fact that software developer mono has recently written and released Youngicorn, an iPhone application that can turn any image into a unicorn.

Based on the principle that everyone looks better as a unicorn, users can import a photo, then add sparkles, rainbows, and an array of space-themed scenes. Once complete, simply add a glowing horn and you’re done.

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The application retails for 99 cents and requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later to install and run.

And since a picture’s worth a thousand words, here are the developers enacting a real life version of their app:



Probable WWDC, iPhone Announcement Rumored for July

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Date: Monday, December 21st, 2009, 06:21
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Rumors make life interesting and a calendar listing for San Francisco’s Moscone Center has led to speculation that Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference will coincide with the three-year anniversary of the original iPhone’s launch. Per AppleInsider, San Francisco’s Moscone Center Calendar lists a “Corporate Event” from June 28, 2010 through July 2, 2010 in the Moscone West hall. Previous Apple events have been reserved with the same title.

This year, WWDC 2009 ran June 8 through June 12. In previous years, the event has marked the introduction of new iPhone models. This June, Apple introduced the iPhone 3GS.

If WWDC 2010 does take place on June 28, 2010, it could be booked to coincide with the expiration of the current contract with wireless carrier AT&T. Recent reports have suggested that Verizon, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., could offer a CDMA compatible iPhone next year.

For their part, Verizon officials said last week that their network would be capable of handling the added bandwidth from the addition of the iPhone. They did not, however, imply that the handset was coming to their network.

Another option could be T-Mobile. While the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S. does not have the size or stature of AT&T or Verizon, it is a GSM-based network, meaning compatibility with T-Mobile would be simple to accomplish with the existing iPhone hardware. Given the simplicity of such a move, some have predicted it to happen in 2010.

Apple Approves iVideoCamera App, Allows Video Capture on 2G, 3G iPhone Models

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Date: Wednesday, December 16th, 2009, 06:56
Category: iPhone, News

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It may not be the video capabilities of the snazzy iPhone 3GS, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The Apple Blog is reporting that Apple has admitted the iVideoCamera app to the iTunes Store. With this app, iPhone 2G and 3G users can now legitimately record, share and save videos without having to jailbreak their handsets.

There are currently some significant limits to the app, and it is not helped by the camera installed in 2G and 3G iPhones. The app itself can only capture video at a maximum of three frames per second… far behind the 30 frames per second capacity of the 3GS. Quality is, therefore, limited as is the resolution which comes in at 160 x 213, compared to 640 x 480 on the 3GS.

On the upside, whilst there is no opportunity to share on Twitter yet, videos can be quickly uploaded to YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo from within the app itself.

Development team Laan Labs, creators of the iVideoCamera app, promise improved frame rates and quality in forthcoming releases.

iVideoCamera retails for 99 cents and requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later to install and run.

Toshiba Announces 64GB Flash Memory Modules, iPhone Likely Candidate for New Component

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Date: Tuesday, December 15th, 2009, 06:20
Category: iPhone, News

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Electronics manufacturer Toshiba has announced its new 64GB embedded flash memory modules (created via a 32nm process technology and featuring a dedicated controller) which should become available in the first quarter of 2010. The chips seem likely to find their way into a future model of iPhone.

The new chips are available for sample now, and mass production of them is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2010. Per AppleInsider, Toshiba said the product will be used in smartphones, mobile phones, netbooks and digital video cameras.

Likely to be a customer is Apple, which has doubled the maximum capacity of the iPhone with a new release every summer. Given the current 32GB iPhone 3GS, next year’s iPhone is likely to offer 64GB of capacity.

In addition, the new 64GB iPod touch, introduced in September, uses a pair of 32GB NAND chips to achieve its maximum capacity. Toshiba’s new chips would allow Apple to release a 128GB iPod touch sometime in 2010.

Toshiba said its new 64GB chip offers up to 1,070 hours of music at 128Kbps,8.3 hours of full-spec high definition video, and 19.2 hours of standard definition video. The chips are said to be 30 micrometers thick, giving them the highest density of NAND flash in the industry.

Rumor: Foxconn Tapped to Build Next-Generation iPhone for Mid-2010 Release

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Date: Friday, December 11th, 2009, 08:56
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Taiwanese manufacturer and Apple favorite Foxconn has reportedly received an order to build the next-generation handset, likely to arrive in mid-2010. Per Mobile Review editor Eldar Murtazin’s Twitter post on Thursday: “Foxconn received order for next generation iphone.”

The timing makes sense, as Apple’s first three iPhone product debuts hit a June launch.

Despite there being some time yet until the next-generation iPhone debuts, there are plenty of rumors surrounding the anticipated device. In November, the first signs of a model “iPhone 3,1″ was tracked by a developer in its software usage logs, suggesting Apple was testing a new handset.

Apple has indicated it intends to overhaul its iPhone maps application with in-house developers. The company’s purchase of worldwide mapping company Placebase over the summer would likely play a part in any new features.

Reports have also said Apple is testing RFID swipe support in next-generation iPhone prototypes. Such technology would allow the phone to sense embedded chips without making direct contact. The feature could allow swipe payments with the phone at checkout at a store, or obtaining information from kiosks.

Apple is also expected to build its own proprietary iPhone chips based off of ARM’s A9 reference designs, thanks to the US$278 million purchase of chip designer PA Semi in 2008. The new iPhone could have multi-core ARM chips powering it.

Finally, the question of a Verizon-capable CDMA iPhone has surfaced. Conflicting reports have differed on the possibility of a dual-mode CDMA and GSM world phone debuting in 2010, though Verizon and chipset maker Qualcomm are said to have been in talks.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

AT&T Releases Mark the Spot App to Help Report Network Troubles

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Date: Tuesday, December 8th, 2009, 07:59
Category: iPhone, News

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On Monday, wireless carrier AT&T released its Mark the Spot application, a free app which allows users to report any network shortfalls or missed calls on their iPhone.

The application requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later to install and run.

Now whether AT&T will actually pay attention to the network issues reported via the app, that’s another story…

Kaufman Bros. Analyst Predicts Apple, Verizon Alliance Less Likely Than Anticipated

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Date: Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009, 06:27
Category: iPhone, News

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Even if Apple is striking a deal with Verizon (currently the largest carrier in the U.S.), competitors T-Mobile and Sprint might be more likely to carry the iPhone in 2010, one analyst believes. Per AppleInsider, Verizon is the top prize in terms of the four major U.S. carriers. Apple is currently in an exclusive deal with the No. 2 carrier, AT&T, which has 82 million customers. But that agreement is believed by many to expire in 2010.

In a new note to investors Wednesday morning, analyst Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. said although many believe the iPhone will come to Verizon in 2010, it’s likely wishful thinking. The problem, he said, is both Verizon and Apple have found success by focusing on “customer control.” Their similarities are what he believes will keep them apart.

“Apple runs its own App Store and VZ has aspirations to do so,” Wu said. “Apple controls the media experience with iTunes and VZ with its V CAST service. Moreover, Apple gets very favorable economics with an overall iPhone (average selling price) of US$611 and at AT&T, we estimate it is higher at roughly US$700. RIM, who is by far VZ’s largest smart phone supplier, only has an ASP of $340. Palm’s ASP is US$436 and we estimate Motorola’s Droid ASP is roughly US$450.”

Because Apple and Verizon have conflicting interests, Wu said he believes that a deal between the two companies would take longer than many currently expect. That would make a potential 2010 deal unlikely.

Instead, Wu said that Apple could strike deals with both Sprint, which has 48 million wireless subscribers, and T-Mobile, which has 33 million customers. Both companies are more likely to be agreeable with Apple’s practices in order to offer the iPhone.

“While we believe VZ is likely inevitable at some point when 4G technology rolls out in 2012 or so, we believe Sprint and/or T-Mobile are more willing partners for Apple in helping maintain margins and customer controls,” he said. “From a technology perspective, we believe T-Mobile may have an advantage with a similar 3G UMTS/WCDMA network as AT&T.”

This marks the second time this week an analyst has predicted Apple will jump to T-Mobile in 2010. In terms of technology, T-Mobile would be the simplest choice: Though carrier’s high-speed 3G connectivity operates on a unique 1700MHz spectrum that is incompatible with the current iPhone, the addition of that frequency to a future hardware model would be much simpler than adding compatibility with Verizon or Sprint’s CDMA networks.

Recent rumors have suggested Apple is working on an agreement with chip maker Qualcomm to add CDMA connectivity to a new iPhone in 2010. But both Verizon and Sprint use a technology that, unlike the GSM network of AT&T and T-Mobile, is not widely used abroad.

Another possibility noted by Wu is that Apple could extend its contract with AT&T through 2011. The analyst said he believes AT&T’s agreement ends in the summer of 2010, but a last-minute extension remains a possibility. Earlier this year, there were reports that AT&T was working to extend the contract with Apple for one more year.

BBC Quashes iPlayer App Rumor

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Date: Tuesday, December 1st, 2009, 08:50
Category: iPhone, News

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The BBC network has moved to quash reports that a native iPhone BBC iPlayer application is in the works. Per Macworld UK, weekend reports suggested the BBC’s popular iPlayer might be coming to the iPhone after a mock-up was used on a BBC iPlayer Data Pack report, showcasing October’s facts and figures for the catch-up TV service.

However, BBC blogger Nick Reynolds in response to questions about the iPhone images used in the report wrote: “Antshez and AllAboutiPhone – the images are old images and should not be taken to mean that anything is likely to happen soon. Since the images seem to have provoked unnecessary speculation we’ll probably update the pack later today and remove them.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.