Engadget’s quite confident they’ve got pics of what could be the next gen iPhone. I had some initial doubts, assuming Apple would have had them yanked and given the unexpected, but not unattractive, seams/gaps. But both elements can be explained away… Apple may not want to show their hand by having their legal staff write letters and word on the street is that this could be a hand-milled prototype.
As handsome as the device is, real or otherwise, the way it’s played out in the blogosphere has been unusual… in seeing Engadget’s original post revised a number of times and word that the “owner” has been shopping around a hands on for $10,000. Assuming this is a legit iPhone HD prototype, paying for info could open a legal can of worms. Dependent on who possesses the phone and how it was acquired. Also, unexpected is Gizmodo’s radio silence on the matter. Are they making a play at the device, do they believe it’s fake, or do they fear being frozen out of a review unit? Curiouser and curiouser.
We rarely speculate on rumors here and I don’t have the Apple sources Engadget and Gruber do. So, I’d rather focus on the sorts of iPhone enhancements it would take to get us to upgrade or switch carriers.
Honestly, on the hardware side I don’t have too many complaints. I could do without the shiny, slippery black plastic, having preferred the look and feel of the first gen iPhone. A potentially higher resolution screen sounds nice for a new model, but I’m far more interested in a higher resolution camera. While my iPhone 3GS has solid longevity, with push email disabled and moderate brightness, I’m sure no one would turn down the opportunity for better battery life. With both the iPad and iPhone, I’ve seen many clamoring for a front facing camera. Perhaps I’m a Luddite, but mobile video chatting doesn’t interest me in the least and I don’t see it taking off. Some sort of webOS hotspot functionality would get my attention, though. But my top two requested iPhone improvements are already being handled on the software side — iPhone 4.0 OS is bringing good-enough multitasking and folders for app organization.
My biggest iPhone complaint and Apple’s biggest US liability is still their carrier. Each time I’m ready to declare improvements in AT&T’s network, I experience a data blackout or dropped call. I was locked and loaded for the Sprint Nexus One. Except it’s MIA. And no pricing or timing details have been revealed for the 4G HTC EVO superphone. The next few months in the mobile space should be interesting.