That’s right. All the rumors and speculation sparked by iPhone 3G case manufacturers leaving extra room for a mysterious third sensor near the iPhone 3G’s earpiece have proven grossly inaccurate. Such is the rumor-game.
Rumors were pointing towards the third sensor as being a front-facing video-call camera, and there was even a skilled counterfeit of the iPhone 3G that circulated the interwebs showing a video-call in progress. Turns out, that was all a bunch of hooey.
The third sensor on Apple’s iPhone 3G has been revealed, and it seems that it’s nothing more than an additional proximity sensor. The proximity sensor on the original iPhone was used to detect close-contact with a user’s face – serving to turn off the display to prevent an accidental key-press and help extend battery life. Apparently, the single proximity sensor on the iPhone wasn’t enough to ensure consistent face-detection, so Apple decided to add another proximity sensor.
In the end, the lack of a front-facing camera really isn’t all that disappointing. Especially considering video-calling’s lackluster popularity and dearth of users.