updated 11:30 am EST, Thu December 10, 2009
Company may need extended run-up
A long-time Apple manufacturing partner, Foxconn, has already received an order to begin building the next-generation iPhone, says Mobile Review editor Eldar Murtazin. While it is not known if Foxconn has begun the production process, the company could require a lengthy headstart to meet demand. The iPhone 3GS is already available in dozens of countries, meaning that any future phone would require millions of units to be ready for launch.
Features of the updated hardware remain relatively unknown. Thanks to the purchase of PA Semi, Apple is believed to be working on its own ARM-based chipset, possibly one using a dual-core Cortex A9 processor. The device could also incorporate an RFID scanner, which might simplify store checkouts, and even automatic configuration for Mac or AirPort Wi-Fi settings.
Apple may also be looking to add Verizon as an American iPhone carrier, which would require a new cellular chipset to support Verizon's CDMA- and EVDO-based network. The iPhone's Maps function may simultaneously gain first-party enhancements, as a result of the recent acquisition of Placebase. Google itself is likely to port over its Maps Navigation feature from Android phones.