With all the speculation about what the new iPhone will include, I’ve yet to see something mentioned that I think is critical, and what I’d probably like to see most.
First, keep in mind that a lot of the improvements people want in the iPhone (myself included) are software-based. Therefore, they do not require a new hardware generation. For that reason, features such as MMS reception, cut and paste, multiple email selection, etc. will not be covered here. I want them, but they could be delivered by Apple at any time.
From a strictly hardware standpoint, if you summarize the list of all the rumors the following are probably most commony specified:
- 3G: This is really the only one we know for sure, since there couldn’t be all those international iPhone deals without it.
- GPS: Maybe, maybe not. In and of itself it’s useless to me. Combined with some killer navigation software, however, and it just might be enough to make me get one.
- Smaller, lighter, thinner: These may be nice, but I think it matters a bit less for a device that is already easily handheld.
- Plastic back: This is one rumor I believe, because I think the various antennae need it. I suspect iPhone 2.0 will have better reception than 1.0 for this very reason.
- Camera Improvements: These run the gamut from upping the megapixels to adding optical zoom, video, another camera in front for video chat, etc. For all the railing against the supposedly weak iPhone camera, it should be noted that the much-vaunted new HTC phone only has 2MP. Personally, from a camera standpoint I’d like to see a true optical zoom more than any other feature at this point.
There are other things mentioned as well, such as new hardware buttons to control media playback, but the above are probably the most common mentioned.
While I acknowledge that 3G is clearly the most important for Apple — because the international roll-out requires it — there is one thing no one talks about that I want as bad as any other. Remember that the iPhone is a computer running a sophisticated and powerful OS. Frankly, it’s pushed pretty hard. What I want is more power. Simply put, upgrade the CPU, Apple. Please.
I realize phones are not at the point where touting a faster processor is a worthwhile marketing exercise, but I think we’re getting there. Whenever a laptop or desktop is revised, the faster processor is what we look for first. I mean, in many cases the primary purpose of a laptop/desktop refresh is better performance. I want that in the iPhone, too.
Much of the slowness of the iPhone is attributed to EDGE, but get the iPhone and your Mac on the same WiFi network, load the same page, and watch the iPhone crawl by comparison. Other activities can be sluggish as well. It needs more oomph.
I tend to think (hope?) some of the slow performance is software-based (since iPhone OS is a 1.0 release). Perhaps code optimization in the 2.0 software will bring speed improvements across the line (just as iterations of OS X on the Mac have done). That would be great, but if you’re doing a hardware revision, let’s get a faster CPU in there.
Sure, a faster processor taxes the battery, generates more heat. etc. But that’s true of laptops as well, and they get faster all the time.
I hear a lot about Intel’s Atom processors, etc., but I believe those are future items, I want something now. I don’t care if Jobs makes a big deal out of it or not (they currently don’t advertise the iPhone’s processer/clock speed), but I’d like to think that Apple can put something faster in there.
Bottom line is I believe CPUs have gotten so powerful in laptops and desktops that for most things people do they are rarely taxed. However, in the iPhone it is. One thing not talked about much is that bringing “desktop class” applications to a mobile device is hampered by the fact that it’s running them with something very short of “desktop class” power.