Sources in Asia claim that Apple is planning a brand new iPhone with a bigger screen and a faster processor. What is not known is whether the processor is a new Qualcomm Snapdragon processor or a version of the Apple A4 processor found in the new Apple iPad.
The current model iPhone 3Gs has 256MB of RAM and a 600MHz CPU. This is a big improvement from the previous model, which had 128MB and a 412MHz processor.
The new HTC HD2 Smartphone running the Windows Mobile OS and the Google Nexus One running the Android OS have a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 448MB RAM and a 1024Mhz processor.
The current iPhone also has the PowerVR SGX graphics chip that supports OpenGL ES 2.0.
The combination of a larger screen and faster processor will help Apple boost sales, especially with consumers who did not upgrade to the new 3Gs iPhone say sources.
LG Display executives who told SmartHouse about the new iPad months before it was released have said that the new phone will have a larger screen similar to the HTC H2 Windows phone, which has a display screen significantly larger than the current iPhone.
Designed for a better gaming and video experience, the new Apple phone is currently being costed with several new manufacturers approached to supply components.
According to sources, the new model will be launched midyear and will also include a new iPod Touch in the line up.
To date, Apple has sold around 75 million iPhones and iPod touches; however, the company is concerned that sales could start to slow as new “larger screen” smartphones with faster processors are launched by competitors.
An HTC source in Taiwan said, “From talking to suppliers, we believe Apple will launch a new iPhone this year with a larger screen. We believe that it is looking at the possibility of selling ebooks for both the iPad and the new iPhone. This, coupled with a move to sell more video and movie downloads has resulted in the need for a larger screen. We have no direct knowledge of what Apple is doing other than via our sources in China and Korea, where they are sourcing their new display screen.”
A US source who works for an automation company told SmartHouse recently that Apple has been talking to IP-based automation companies about the integration of software applications that allow consumers to use their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to manage home networking systems. Apple, it appears, wants consumers to be able to easily download content and applications direct from the Apple application and iTunes store direct into home devices connected to an IP-based automation system.
During the December quarter, iPhone shipments grew 100 per cent year on year to 8.7 million, while iPod touch shipments grew slower at 55 per cent year-on-year, Apple said recently.
During the past year several vendors have launched Google Android based phones including, HTC, Motorola, Samsung and Acer. 54.5 million smartphones were shipped in the fourth quarter, 39% more than the 39.2 million shipped in the same quarter in 2008, IDC said recently.
Apple now ships the third most smartphones, behind longtime leaders Nokia and Research in Motion.
For all of 2009, vendors shipped 174 million smartphones, up 15 per cent from the 151 million in 2008. All told, smartphones accounted for 15 per cent of all mobile phones shipped in 2009, up from 12.7 per cent in 2008, IDC said.