We have the iPad and iPhone OS 4.0. The only major item of speculation left for this year is the new iPhone. It is widely expected new iPhone hardware will be introduced at the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) some time this summer. Thanks to some digging by MacRumors and TUAW it now appears a bit more of the new hardware has been revealed.
High on the wish list of many tech pundits and Apple fans has been video conferencing on the iPhone. Many had hoped the iPhone 3GS would implement a forward facing camera but it ultimately did not. What MacRumors has discovered are references to the front facing cameras interspersed in the new 4.0 SDK. Independently, TUAW discovered a process running in the new code called iChatAgent. iChat is Apple’s video chat application that runs on Mac OS. These two pieces together would seem to suggest the long awaited video conferencing capability is on its way.
A dual camera iPhone would have important implications for both the general consumer and enterprise user. Mobile video conferencing would be a differentiating application no current competitor has. If it could be implemented on a more powerful iPhone with the same style and functionality all Apple products carry, it would certainly be another feather in the iPhone’s cap. Apple’s focus this year on adding hardware and software features to the iPhone is also indicative of their realization the competition is getting closer. While no one is yet ready to say Android and Android handsets are an equal of the iPhone environment, Android 2.1 is a world closer to being competitive with the iPhone than earlier versions like 1.5 and 1.6. Apple saw its edge in the 80s lost to Microsoft in the computer operating system space, it isn’t willing to lose the smartphone space to competitors like Android. Its good to see Apple respond instead of resting on previous success.
What do you think of Apple innovating the iPhone platform? Will the software and hardware features being built into the new iPhone allow it to remain the standard for smartphones? Would you be more compelled to wait and buy a new iPhone this summer instead of getting a phone available now? Leave us a comment and let us know.