As we wait for Apple to drop new iPhone hardware on us come this Summer, we can’t help but to try and make sense of the scraps of info we’ve gathered on the next-generation iPhone. The iPhone 3.0 OS betas have already yielded some juicy hints of two new iPhone variants coming down Apple’s product pipeline. Given their internal code references, we speculated that the hardware would be significantly different from each other. Now, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu cites supply chain checks as confirmation that Apple does indeed have two distinct iPhone offerings planned for this Summer.
We’re expecting one of the future iPhone variants to sport higher-spec processors and batteries befitting a higher-end iPhone “Pro” model, with a down-rated iPhone “junior” model bringing up the bottom end. And, Apple’s planning to move some serious volume. Wu’s sources are apparently indicating that Apple has build orders for 5-6 million of the new iPhones.
We’d previously heard that Apple has orders on tap for both 3.2-megapixel and 5.0-megapixel cameras – presumably for use in the iPhone and some other undetermined future hardware. Some believe that Apple is aiming at taking a swing at the digital camera game with a 5-megapixel iPod camera. But, it would also make sense for Apple’s iPhone “Jr” to sport the 3.2-megapixel camera, with the iPhone “Pro” rocking the higher-end 5-megapixel shooter. Of course, this is all speculation until we get closer to Apple’s launch date.
The launch window is still set around mid-Summer, and there’s also talk of AT&T preparing to offer tiered data plans. If the two iPhones are really all that different, it would be fair to offer a cheaper 3G data plan to the less-powerful iPhone variant. With cheaper unlimited data plans floating around out there, it wouldn’t surprise us to see AT&T giving its customers a break as well.