Rumor Has It

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by Darrell Etherington

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from “The Apple blog“, published: January 12, 2010

The rumor mill surrounding the Apple tablet is so intense as to possibly beat out the hype surrounding any other Apple product to date, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one being talked about. Today, a Korean source reported details about the upcoming iPhone revision, which many expect to arrive in late June or July.

Telecoms Korea reported on a story by South Korean local newspaper ETNews that details the hardware capabilities and some new software features of the upgraded device. The story also maintains that the iPhone will indeed by named the “iPhone 4G,” despite it not looking like it will support 4G network connectivity.

The newspaper article cites internal sources at both KT, the exclusive iPhone carrier in South Korea, and Apple Korea as having provided the information. I suppose it’s possible that Apple is more willing to authorize product leaks from internal sources in the Asian market, where competition from established veterans like Samsung can be especially fierce.

While the list of new features doesn’t get into specific detail about things like megapixels or processing power, it still provides a tantalizing glance at the future of Apple’s little smartphone that could. According to ETNews, the iPhone 4G will offer up to twice the battery life of the 3GS, something that will come as welcome news to those of us who seem to have their devices plugged into the wall more often than not. Two camera modules will also be used, one of which will be front-facing to make video calling a reality, and not just the one-way kind currently made possible by Fring.

Video calling will initially be introduced in the Korean market, according to the paper’s sources, probably because the network infrastructure already exists there to use it, so it makes sense as a test market. The phone will also possibly support mobile TV, which is popular in Asia but has yet to truly appear here in North American markets. Hopefully Apple is also working to bring this feature to handsets on our side of the world, as I would really love to have TV access while enduring especially long commutes.

Lastly, the article claims that KT will be offering test models of the new device to corporate customers in April or May, prior to the official launch. This is the one detail in this particular rumor report that strikes me as odd. As far as I know, Apple keeps a very tight leash on its pre-release devices, limiting their distribution mostly (if not exclusively) to internal testers and executives. I doubt very highly that it’d authorize one of its carrier partners to go handing out the hardware before it hits the street, whatever the intended reason.

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