Reports: Next-gen iPhone may be a major upgrade

Rumors are percolating about the next-generation iPhone, particularly after Apple offered a sneak preview< last week of its upcoming iPhone 3.0 software.

Apple's iPhone 3G.

Apple's iPhone 3G.

Rumors are percolating about the next-generation iPhone, particularly after Apple offered a sneak preview last week of its upcoming iPhone 3.0 software. If the reports are true, the upcoming iPhone may prove to be a major upgrade of the current model and will likely launch this summer, a timetable that's rapidly becoming an iPhone tradition.

The latest gossipy tidbits come from The Boy Genius Report, which attributes its speculations to a source "pretty high up in AT&amp;T's food chain." The iPhone will be faster, the report states, although it's unclear if that means speedier Internet access. AT&T has said that its 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless broadband probably won't appear before 2011, so we shouldn't expect an iPhone 4G in June. However, a "faster" iPhone with an upgraded 7.2Mbit chipset could indeed provide a speedier 3G experience. And since AT&T is upgrading its 3G network, this rumor sounds reasonable.

The new iPhone will reportedly add automation tools that allow AT&T U-verse users to control their home DVRs remotely. (U-verse is AT&T's version of Verizon FiOS, a fiber-optic service that bring high-speed data, video, and voice services to the home.) The iPhone/U-verse connection makes a lot of sense, particularly since AT&T officials have talked up the marriage of the two technologies before. If the iPhone's DVR tools are real, they'll likely be just the start of a series of U-verse-enabled goodies, including a variety of home automation features.

Meanwhile, Apple Insider believes the next iPhone will finally offer video recording, a prediction that seems reasonable considering that competing smart phones have had video capture feature for some time.

What's on your wish list, iPhone fans? A slide-out keyboard? A camera with more megapixels? Maybe a US$99 price tag? (OK, that last one is the least likely of the bunch.)

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Jeff Bertolucci

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