We are probably just two to three months away from a new iPhone. As the rumours fly, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of new hardware, but in reality much of what will make the next iPhone another worldwide hit has already been revealed as part of the iPhone 3.0 OS update.
Be that as it may, the current iPhone hardware could do with a bump. Here is my list of hardware changes that I’d like to see introduced with the next iteration of the iPhone legend.
1. 480p video capture
Those of you that are regular readers of Nokia Creative will know that the reason for my passion with those fantastic phones from Finland is partly because of their comparatively excellent video capture. It would appear that the current iPhone hardware is incapable of capturing video at 30 frames per second. I expect the next hardware to be more than up to the task. A 16:9 480p capture would be lovely, but I’ll make do with VGA if I have to.
2. Faster graphics processor
Whilst I do believe that the current iPhone is capable of PS2 quality graphics, only a handful of developers will ever squeeze that level of polygon performance from it. I’m expecting the next iPhone hardware to have – at the very least – twice the polygon performance of the current hardware. This would mean that the bleeding edge of home console polygon performance (circa 2004) would be available in the palm of my hand – quite a thought!
3. Faster CPU
Surely this is a given? CPU performance must increase at regular intervals. The current iPhone ARM CPU is clocked at 412Mhz, expect to see the next iPhone hardware pass the 600Mhz barrier. I’m hoping for something more spectacular, like dual core at over 1Ghz, but the more pragmatic side of me thinks that a bespoke CPU at those kind of speeds will have to wait until the middle of 2010.
4. Better screen resolution
This a really tricky one. On the face of it, upping the screen resolution is an obvious way to boast sales. But as Nokia will confirm, things are never quite that simple. There are now 30,000 iPhone applications that have been written specifically for the resolution of the current iPhone hardware, which has a screen resolution of 480 by 320 pixels. Upping the screen resolution in the next iPhone hardware will mean that those 30,000 apps will have to be stretched or centred (with boarders). Stretching the display will result in a soft image, and placing the application’s screen output in the centre of the new display will mean boarders of some sort. Neither option is perfect, and neither option is something that I can see Steve Jobs approving.
The screen resolution will have to improve at some point, so what are the options? The best solution that I can think of is to double both the vertical and horizontal resolution in one fell swoop! A 960 by 640 pixel display has two big advantages for Apple. First, those 30,000+ applications written for the previous iPhone hardware will look almost as good as on the original hardware – If you’re going to have to scale the screen data, then doubling produces that very best results. Secondly, Apple have been pushing video at 960 pixels wide as good alternative to 1280 pixels for quite some time. Though not a proper HD resolution, 960 pixels wide is certainly much better than the fabricated nHD standard that Nokia keep promoting.
5. Better battery life
If you are reading this there is a good chance that you have to charge you current iPhone at least once every 24 hours. Quite how Apple will increase battery life whilst decreasing the size of the iPhone hardware is beyond me. But then, that’s why Apple’s engineers are just about the best in their field. I expect to see at least another 20% battery life without any increase in the physical size of the iPhone.
What do you think? Have I missed anything? Would you expect to see a physical keyboard, or a much better camera in the next iPhone hardware? Be sure to let me know.