Regarding the new iPhone case, iLounge is reporting that the back design will closely follow the MacBook Air's tapered design and, like the Air, will be considerably thinner than the present model.
Functional changes are coming too, so accessory developers are also being told that the front of any new case designs must make room for a new third sensor, one that could possibly drive an extra front proximity sensor or even a video camera? This is in addition to substantial changes that are coming to the present back speaker grills and microphone.
One of the more interesting tidbits, was that of a possible new mini iPhone, with a 2.8 inch touch screen? There is no evidence to verify any of iLounge's reported details, so I will file these as merely interesting rumors and possibilities and nothing more.
Meanwhile, over at AppleInside, they are reporting that ARM may be about to muscle in some new type of advanced gaming graphics into the next version of the iPhone, and they state:
"The next generation of iPhone appears set to claim exclusive access to advanced graphics core and video decoding technology, thanks to a secret licensing deal between Apple, mobile graphics leader Imagination Technologies, and Samsung, the iPhone's ARM "system on a chip" manufacturer. The result may be an ideal platform for handheld gaming and high definition video playback."
Most mobiles, including the iPhone, currently use a version of Imagination's PowerVR MBX graphics processor core which supports the features of OpenGL ES 1.1. However, it is what Appleinsider reports next about Imagination that is really fascinating:
"Last July, Imagination announced a deal to license its "next generation graphics and video IP cores to an international electronics systems company under a multi-use licensing agreement." The electronics system company was not named.
The release stated that "the SoCs to be developed under this license agreement will be produced for this new partner by Imagination’s existing semiconductor partners and/or new chip manufacturing partners."
The fact that this "electronics system company" was both a "new partner" and not itself a chip manufacturer strongly suggests that the international electronics mystery company was in fact, Apple, Inc., which stands among very few other companies as new to mobile graphics core licensing yet dependent upon third party manufacturers who are already Imagination partners.
Combined with knowledge that Samsung is now licensing the next generation SGX and VXD designs for manufacturing, this indicates that Apple has secured unique Imagination technology for its own exclusive use, and is using Samsung to manufacture the new SoC parts for future models."
Interesting stuff indeed! It seems that the closer we get to the next iPhone model, the more frequent and the more interesting the rumors associated with it become. I find that the mysterious licensing agreement with Imagination as particularly interesting, and especially when you combined that with Apple's recent purchase of PA Semi, a small, independent, semi conductor company, which has sparked a lot questions and a lot of tongues wagging. Could this tie into the next and future versions of the iPhone? Most likely, but how so we have yet to find out.
It is always fun, for me at least, to read of rumors concerning Apple. Hey, there's a virtual industry concerning Apple rumors out there, and even though some of these turn out to be true, most of them don't. They are all interesting to say the least, but what I really want is for the next iPhone to just hurry up and get here already!
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Thursday, May 01, 2008.
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