Posts filed under ‘iPhone’
Apple’s plan for a new type of media device has been uncovered by my iPod source. The new mid sized media player is certain to be a next generation Nano or Nano replacement, although it’s still early for the device to be designated a marketing name by Apple and my source is reluctant to call it a Nano. What lends enormous credibility to this plan is how well it coordinates with Apple’s desire to introduce an entry level iPhone and the time frame involved.
My iPod source had previously revealed that the physical interface in Apple’s mid sized media player would slowly be phased out in favor of a touch screen and that we could potentially see Apple market an upgraded Nano as well as a touch-screened version side by side; much like the strategy the company adopted in introducing iPod Touch and iPod Classic together in Fall 2007. The time frame mentioned for this scenario was between Fall 2008 and Macworld 2009. What was unclear at the time was how Apple planned to implement a multi-touch screen on a Nano-sized device and what sort of functionalities would be sacrificed due to a limited working space. The picture that is now beginning to emerge is a new take on the idea of touch interface which would address concerns unique to a small device.
My source describes plans for a device which is about the size of a first or second generation Nano but missing the click wheel. The entire face of the device is covered by 2 screens and navigation is said to be carried out using the lower 1/3 of the device. The plans call for a separate lower touch screen to display menu icons and positions based on currently selected functionality so music, photos, movies, and game navigation would each get their own unique menus and the user would select icons by simply touching them. This scheme is not entirely unlike the idea behind navigation on newer handsets such as the Samsung Soul or the Motorola ROKR E8, although those devices have touch pads. The advantages for Apple in using a partly touch sensitive screen instead of a larger touch-screen are twofold: Apple saves on the cost of hardware for implementing a smaller touch-screen with limited functionalities suited for a small device, and Apple retains distinct product differentiation across the Nano and Touch lines. Effectively, capabilities such as multi-touch and WiFi will continue to remain unique to the iPod Touch while a future Nano can still claim to feature touch navigation.
Another interesting tidbit here is the strong likelihood that Apple will use the same future Nano platform to build and release an entry level iPhone. My iPhone source had revealed some time ago that Apple has planned a three-tier iPhone product scheme and that multi-touch functionality on current iPhones will not be offered on a lower level product. Details of the new Nano seem to provide the missing piece of the puzzle: the iPod Touch and the iPhone share a common platform and so will a future Nano and entry level iPhone. Stay tuned as it should be an exciting September ahead.
Steve Jobs took the stage at WWDC ’08 and, as expected, delivered a new 3G version of the iPhone. Here are some of the feature highlights:
- ‘twice as fast, half the price’ means faster 3G downloads at $199 for 8GB and $299 for the 16GB
- black model in 8GB capacity, black or white in 16GB capacity
- at 12.3 mm, it’s thinner than previous model
- black plastic back, solid metal buttons, same 3.5 inch display, same 2.0 mega pixel camera
- flush 3.5 mm headphone jack, and improved audio
- improved battery life: 300 hours of standby, talk up to 5 hours on 3G and up to 10 hours on 2G, up to 24 hours of audio
- Assisted GPS
- new ultra-compact USB power adapter
- will sell in 70 countries total with more language support
Just hours before Steve Jobs is due to deliver his keynote address at WWDC ’08, Samsung is trying to steal the spotlight by announcing a new i900 touch-screen phone. Officially named Omnia, the handset includes digital media capabilities with up to 16GB built in memory, a 5 mega pixel camera and ‘aims to make internet browsing easier by running Microsoft’s Windows Mobile’! That last part must be a bad joke. Win Mobile doesn’t make browsing any easier based on my experience: It crashes just about every hour without fail.
A 3G iPhone seems a certainty at WWDC as just about everyone ( and their mother ) is predicting one and we should get an earful about the new App Store and iPhone 2.0 firmware plus a few native app demos but what surprises may Steve Jobs have for us? The top 3 likely candidates:
- NanoPhone – we know it exists and Apple’s keen on bringing it to market in order to expand the iPhone lineup. In fact, iLounge is talking about a 3.2 and a smaller 2.8 inch iPhones ready to be announced on Monday.
- Macbook Pro – this would be an ideal place to reveal an upgraded and restyled Pro machine as most developers need this kind of power. The new Pro machine should get higher capacity HDDs with a thinner profile. Macbook may be refreshed right around back to school time.
- Mac Tablet – I’ve reported on a tablet some time ago and several sites have confirmed that Apple’s working on one and some have even said it’s in the manufacturing process right now but I have my doubts on this thing being ready before fall.
A Chinese website called iDealsChina says it has obtained pictures of the case molds for the upcoming 3G iPhone. The molds are allegedly from Apple accessory maker Griffin’s case design and seem to show a substantially thinner profile for the second gen iPhone. The pictures also prove that Apple does indeed share its plans for next gen products with its key partners.
update – Exo also seems to have a 3G case already made.
With Apple making plans to introduce the next-generation iPhone in over 42 countries to a potential half a billion customers, it seems almost certain that we’re very close to a US launch. Several Apple fan sites are reporting that Steve Jobs will make the 3G iPhone announcement at the WWDC Keynote on June 9th and that units will be available for purchase immediately after the launch.
Telecom Italia top executive Luigi Licciardi, speaking at the International Electronics Forum in Dubai, has confirmed that Apple will bring a 3G model to Italy in June. This admission is the first by a top level executive associated with the 3G iPhone planned introduction which is most likely in June during the WWDC conference. Vodafone has already announced it will be the other iPhone carrier in Italy.
The multi-national carrier Vodafone has made a significant announcement that it’ll carry the Apple iPhone in 10 countries to include Australia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey. While no specifics are discussed, the most likely candidate for affluent markets would be the 3G iPhone while a lower priced model may be released in less affluent countries.
An anonymous tipster has sent me what appears to be a cropped promotional image from the upcoming Apple Nanophone. If the image is genuine, we can then conclude that:
- the Nanophone retains the metallic looking trim around the device
- the Nanophone is curvier than current gen iphone
- we are weeks if not days from the official unveiling
Apparently the device already has a name. Maybe it’s the iphone mini?
During the past two weeks, a number of Apple news sites have posted contradictory reports on the next gen Apple iPhone specs. Some have speculated that the 3G iPhone will have the same 3.5 inch touch screen as the current model while others say the device will get a smaller 2.8 inch screen. There’s also been wild speculations on the size and thickness of the model as a particularly dubious misinformation blog ( rumored to be run by circus rejected baboons ) has spread wild rumors that the new 3G model is thicker and heavier than the current model. In trying to dissect the truth from speculations, I’ve contacted my trusted iPhone source who has previously provided correct iPhone plans and features months in advance.
As I reported on a previous post reflecting the inside knowledge of my other iPhone source, the so called NanoPhone, or the smaller entry level iPhone model, is well into its design and testing phase with the distinct possibility of being released to manufacturer in late ’08 and introduced in early ’09. My second source, whom I’ve been in contact with several times during the past few days, corroborates the approximate time frame and confirms the 3-tier Apple product plans for the iPhone and adds that Apple wishes to introduce the current model replacement, referred to as the mid level model, in June followed by the NanoPhone just before the end of the year holiday shopping season in early November. I asked my insider regarding the rumors on 2 different screen sizes and have been reassured that the current model replacement will feature the same 3.5 inch screen while being marginally thinner and lighter. The NanoPhone will apparently get the 2.8 inch touch screen minus the camera and GPS ( which the new mid level model will now get ). As for the size and weight of the NanoPhone, it was described to me as exceptionally thin and light. As it stands right now, the NanoPhone is the entry level handset on the traditional 3-tier Apple product model, the current model replacement is the mid level, and my source maintains that the much talked about Apple UMPC/MID/tablet is the upper level model, featuring a substantially larger touch screen and 3G.