It's been awhile since Apple's launched a product, so you'd maybe think the rumor mill is silent. Think again, fanboy. At the end of 2009, a number of rumors are popping up that point to an exciting 2010 for Steve Jobs and co.
First up is chatter about the next-gen iPhone. Apple, of course, has a long design-test-development phase before the release of new products, so it's no surprise to learn that the next-gen iPhone, in some version, is probably already a useable piece of hardware.
But it looks like Apple's making some serious tests of the prototypes, as several times now a device claiming to be "iPhone 4.0" has popped up in the logs of different Web services. The implication is that both the hardware and software are in existence, and Apple engineers are trying out the device to make sure it's fit. This sounds early, since the iPhone version 3—the 3G S—is only six months old, from a public point of view. But that doesn't necessarily mean the new one is going to arrive early. Another rumor that surfaced today, sourced at camera-makers Omnivision, suggests that the new phone will hit the shelves in the second half of 2010: About the same launch schedule as followed for the previous three iPhone launches.
But the more interesting nugget of info in Omnivision's rumor is that the iPhone 4 will have a 5-megapixel autofocus camera. That's promising, since many Android units already do, and you could even argue that the 3G S should have adopted the tech—though the unit's size at the current tech level, and Apple's love of design aesthetics probably precluded this. Omnivision's supposed order for the camera units also puts a sales figure of 40 to 45 million iPhones, and that's double the number predicted to have been sold in 2009: Apple's confidence is clearly running high.
Or is it more complex than that? Are some of those cameras destined for the iPhone's cousin: The still-fabled Apple Tablet? Such a large order just for the iPhone, representing a significant growth explosion for the already-successful device, sounds slightly out of kilter. And if a decent camera slots in the iPhone, then why not the Tablet? As you can tell, rumors of this device haven't gone away, and now some big players are adding their own spin. This time it's the Financial Times, which has heard that the Tablet's launch is imminent—possibly even after an announcement in January. Since Apple has made it clear it's not participating in the CES or MacWorld events that month, the Tablet would need it's own launch event. And that headline-stealing maneuver does sound very Appley. Finally talk of the iTablet's size is settling down onto a 10-inch display and a 7-incher: BoyGeniusReport is citing a "very connected" source that confirms the 7-inch size.
There's just one last thing to ponder: What are these gizmos going to be called? The last choice of "3G S" for the iPhone was horrid.