Second Generation, 3G, iPhone 2 Update – GPS and More – WWDC 2008

27 05 2008

This is the second part in a series of WWDC rumor articles to come, exploring the possibilities of the new second generation iPhone speculated to launch at WWDC 2008. Click here to look at the first article reviewing the possibilities for the new iPhone.

The next iPhone to have GPS built in?

Over the past week, the new iPhone has seen a fair share of new rumors, findings and speculation.

Today, AppleInsider is reporting that TeliaSonera just announced a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia later this year. TeliaSonera is the dominant carrier in those regions, with over 106 million subscribers. This adds to the ongoing list of new international deals for the iPhone:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Italy, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Slovakia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden, Romania, Turkey, United States and Uruguay.

ImportGenius last week believes the 3G iPhone may be enroute to the United States, if not already here.

“Since mid-March, Apple Inc. and its logistics partners have imported 188 ocean containers of a product type never before declared on its shipping manifests.”
“On March 19 Quanta delivered 20 ocean containers of merchandise, described on the Bills of Lading as “electric computers,” to Apple, Inc. Neither Apple, Quanta, nor any other company has ever used this product description for any shipments to the U.S.”

ImportGenius noted that the declaration of “electronic computers” is in addition to the regular shipments Apple receives of desktop computers (which haven’t decreased over these past few months), which means this is not just a renaming of a current Cupertino product for customs.

The GPS has been rumored to be put into the iPhone for some time now. Recently, findings by AppleInsider might hint at the existence of GPS in the upcoming iPhone model.

The latest iPhone 2.0 build new location findings, images from AppleInsider

The images, shown above, are of beta iPhone 2.0 firmware, build 5A292g, that was distributed to a select group of enterprise testers last week. The new shots show new preferences for location based services for the Camera and Google Maps applications, and user prompts for the permission to find their current geographical location. “”Maps” would like to use your current location” “Don’t Allow” or “Ok”.

The addition to the Camera application implies the addition of geo-tagging, which adds meta data to the photograph that includes the coordinates that the picture was taken. AppleInsider notes that the tipsters say that there seems to be no addition of geographical meta data to photos taken from the Camera application at this time.

The addition to the Maps application is even more interesting, however. In the current iPhone and iPod Touch firmware, Apple has added a “Locate Me” button which allows the user to be located by cell triangulation or through Wi-Fi hotspots. This could simply mean that Apple is re-integrating your location into the Maps application or that the addition of GPS hardware could enhance the application even more.

Finally, last Wednesday AT&T announced that it is wrapping up the deployment it’s 3G infrastructure.

“By the end of June, connecting to AT&T’s 3G mobile broadband service will be as speedy as logging onto the high speed Internet service that many consumers enjoy at home.”

By rolling out HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) and HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access); AT&T customers will be able to achieve 1.4Mbps download speed and uploads speeds up to 800Kbps. AT&T also notes that 75 percent of the phones sold by the company are 3G compatible; with “more 3G-enabled smartphones in the summer and fall of 2008”. The cell phone carrier has spent over $20 billion in network upgrades over the past few years.

It should be noted that the iPhone 2.0 firmware is intended to be released across both the current generation iPhone and the upcoming generation iPhone. Apple revealed in March the release date of June for the firmware, which could coincide with the WWDC 2008 conference starting on June 9th. The most hotly anticipated features of the iPhone 2.0 firmware are the App Store, which will allow for 3rd party applications; and the new enterprise features such as Exchange support and VPN.

Stay tuned for more rumors and predictions to come.



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