Apple Holding Second, 3GS-Like Next-Generation iPhone in Reserve?

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DigiTimes offers an interesting Q&A with one of its research analysts reporting several previously undisclosed details about the development of the fourth-generation iPhone expected to be introduced early next month at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. One of the most interesting tidbits included in the report is a claim that Apple had a second next-generation iPhone under development that more closely resembles the iPhone 3GS, a phone which Apple has been keeping in reserve in case unforeseen difficulties with the more significantly redesigned versions seen floating around in prototypes forced Apple to fall back to manufacturing processes with which it is already familiar.
The leaked iPhone 4G had a tag that said "N90," which is the internal development codename for the iPhone 4G, and very few people outside the company knew about it prior to the leak.

On a side note, Apple initiated the iPhone 4G project at the end of 2008. According to our sources, Apple actually has another product codenamed N91 for the project, which offers less change from previous iPhones compared with the N90. It's a parallel product to back up the N90 in case there are major delays due to significant modifications in casing, display resolution, digital camera support and so forth.
In fact, it seems possible that there may even have been a third version of the next-generation iPhone floating around Apple's labs, as details found in the iPhone SDK 3.2 back in February revealed a device, presumed to be an iPhone, carrying an "N89" internal model number. The iPhone 3GS carries internal model number "N88".

The report also claims that a Verizon-compatible iPhone scheduled to be produced by Pegatron instead of Apple's existing iPhone manufacturing partner Foxconn will not enter mass production until at least the second half of this year, if not 2011.
Pegatron will indeed assemble an iPhone, but the manufacturing cooperation is still at the EVT (engineer verification test) stage. There are two more stages - DVT (design verification test) and PVT (process verification test) - before mass production. Though there were reports that shipments for this particular device will begin in the second half, we believe 2011 is more likely.
Finally, the report notes that Apple did investigate the possible use of OLED screens in the next-generation iPhone, but ultimately decided against adopting the technology due to insufficient production capacity, cost, and performance issues.
According to our sources, Apple had spoken with Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) about the possibility for AMOLED panels since the development of the iPhone 3GS, but production capacity remains a big issue. SMD only has the capability to fulfill 50-60% of iPhone orders at the moment even it dedicated all AMOLED capacity to Apple.
DigiTimes has had a spotty record in the past with a number of inaccurate product claims over the years, but does seem to have a better handle on the pulse of Apple's Asian suppliers and manufacturing partners than most other sources.

Article Link: Apple Holding Second, 3GS-Like Next-Generation iPhone in Reserve?
 

treyjustice

macrumors 65816
Jun 14, 2009
1,144
42
TX
hmm

Very interesting. I hope they don't keep the same design. It is getting old and isn't strong enough for me. I've had to get 4 white 3GS's replaced because of stress fracture cracks along the top and bottom. New design seems sturdier!
 

Crb

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2010
38
0
Ohio
I hope they don't revert back to the 3GS looks....Call me crazy but I actually prefer the new look to the old.
 

Goldfrapp

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2005
4,952
5,910
It'd make more sense to label the re-designed iPhone as N91 and the back-up model as N90.
 

huntercr

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2006
1,039
0
I bet the 89 model will still happen

Who wants to bet that the 89 model will still happen? It will become the "cheaper" model with an updated Apple A4 cpu but otherwise the same as the current 3GS. So the public will think it's the same, and for all extents and purposes it will be but the chip supplier will end up being different.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,712
592
Seattle, WA
I certainly hope that we get the newer design. It does look better than the original, plus I like the fact that it is using a ceramic material on the bottom side instead of a plastic.
 

MikeyPJ

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2010
2
0
plymouth
i want a green one

but anyway they had best not release the old shape....how else will people know i have a better phone than them?
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,362
1,278
I hope they don't change the new look of the iPhone....Call me crazy but I actually prefer the new look to the old.
Agreed I like the redesign. I am not a fan of those seams, but I can live with them and the design overall is great. :)
 

Bokito

macrumors regular
May 29, 2007
194
424
Netherlands
Doesn't seem like we get an iPhone 4G, but an iPhone G4. Quite a few reasons: There isn't much 4G support around the world and Apple could use the year to further improve their 4G iPhone. Some competitors do have 4G phones, but Apple isn't likely to face heavy competition in the next few months while a lot of people will need to renew their contract. Next iPhone will be either iPhone G4 or A4, certainly not 4G.
 

wjlafrance

macrumors 6502
Dec 23, 2009
359
1
Madison, WI
The old iPhone is too bubble-shaped for my liking. The new one is slick.

I'm not sure what the article is saying. If N90 crashes and burns, everyone returns it and gets a N91? I don't get it.

Bad news on the Verizon front though. I was hoping for July/August.
 

Cod3rror

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2010
1,745
36
Add me to the list of people wanting the new design, it's awesome IMO, I love it's exact minimalistic industrial design, it's "squareness" and that it's very thin.
Having the whole front(and back) as basically a screen is awesome, without being encased and surrounded with a bezel or anything else.

All hail!

 

JohnnyQuest

macrumors 65816
May 25, 2006
1,442
188
I just want new hardware. The current design is tired. This would not be a smart move for Apple.
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
If you concatenate a wide range of rumors, what seems likely to me is 3 new iPhone families.

AT&T and existing style world phone. Black and white, high and low capacity.

Chinese variant.

"Other carrier" variant which may offer voice capabilities for carriers such as Verizon, but even more likely will be a data only phone which uses VoIP for voice so it is carrier agnostic.

Rocketman
 

lionheartednyhc

macrumors 65816
Jul 13, 2009
1,024
3
I called this a while ago. This is Steve's revenge phone. Because of the leak, no new design this year.

Thank Gizmodo
 

cvaldes

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2006
3,237
0
somewhere else
Frankly, I think DigiTimes' track record is too spotty for anyone to take this seriously.

For entertainment purposes only, let's say that this rumor is based on a shred of truth.

The new design might be a lower cost device based on the previous generation's technology and/or fewer features. Apple could be considering making an iPhone Lite (for lack of a better name), let's say an iPhone with no camera, no GPS, no compass, no 3G chip (GSM voice and WiFi data only), in essence an iPod touch with a GSM chip for calls.

This second design wouldn't be a "backup" for the next-generation iPhone.

The more plausible explanation is that the N89 design is simply a reworked, lower cost 3GS that will become the new entry-level model. For example, it could have an underclocked A4 processor.

A CDMA iPhone at EVT probably means another six months before it hits store shelves. I doubt if Apple would try to rush it.
 
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