It’s a bit early in the year to start with next generation iPhone rumors, but we’re not complaining. New rumblings along the iPhone grapevine suggest that Apple is working to add support for the faster 802.11n WiFi standard in its next iPhone – we’re calling it the iPhone 4G for the time being. The rumor is rooted in an older Apple job listing for a “Wifi Software Engineer” capable of adding 802.11a and 802.11n standards to mobile platforms.
The job offers the candidate a chance to make significant improvements to “Apple’s mobile and phone products.” The 802.11n WiFi protocol is about four times faster than the 802.11g standard used by the iPhone today (in conjunction with 802.11b), but it draws much more power and requires larger components – two things that are usually considered contrary to mobile phone design. To that end, Apple’s job description mentions that:
“The position will require the right candidate to determine the appropriate compromise between several contradictory factors such as performance, power, efficiency, ease of use and security.” [emphasis ours]
Apple already employs a Broadcom chip capable of supporting 802.11n WiFi in the iPhone 3G. Strangely, the newer iPhone 3GS doesn’t support N-WiFi. The latest iPhone 3.0 OS also references support for a chip capable of low-power 802.11n WiFi, which bodes well for a new iPhone with faster WiFi hardware. With a little luck, we’ll know more before Apple’s expected iPhone announcement in mid-2010.
Check out Apple’s job listing here.