iPhone Announcement Imminent

When Steve Jobs hits the stage at the Worldwide Developers Conference tomorrow in LA at about 10am local time (3am AET Tuesday morning), he is going to make an announcement. There is little speculation as to  what it is going to be – it will be the next generation iPhone.

Apple has always been coy about what it will be releasing, but if I was a betting man I'd say an iPhone, and will be interesting to see what they come up with. When the first-generation iPhone hit the shelves back in July 2007, geeks all over the world salivated at its functionality. Even Apple skeptics thought the touchscreen technology, applications and overall cool design would usher in a new era of mobile phone – and it did. Other manufacturers tried to catch up in the aftermath, but most failed – initially.

Over the past 12-18 months, most handset manufacturers have not only caught up with Apple, but it could be argued, some have surpassed them. Some pundits believe the likes of HTC's Google Android handset, the Desire, has surpassed the iPhone in functionality, and in two short months already has almost half the number of apps available that Apple has had for almost two years.

Never keen to take a back seat to anybody, and seeing himself as a trendsetter, no not follower, Jobs is bound to have a few tricks up his sleeve. If reports of a now famous incident (well, in the tech journo fraternity), where Apple software engineer Gray Powell lost a prototype iPhone, turn out to be true, then it could certainly lift the iPhone above the fray. Maybe.

When Powell 'lost' the 'prototype' in a German beer bar in California, Gizmodo bought it off a third party for US$5,000, and as any journo in their right mind would do, tore it apart looking at the technology. So what is on the horizon tomorrow? Well, if rumours are to be believed, there will be a few things different about this iteration. There are a few minor things that are niether here nor there, such as:

  • Camera Flash
  • Split buttons for volume
  • Front-facing video chat camera.

However, there also some more specific changes that could be in the air, such as:

  • Micro-SIM instead of a Standard SIM (which will bring it into line with the much-hyped iPad
  • A smaller screen, but with better resolution
  • And probably most importantly, a bigger battery. One of the biggest complaints about current iPhones has been the poor battery life.

Bear in mind these features are rumours, but they are founded on reasonable evidence. Knowing Apple, there will a couple more 'Wow' factors, but we'll have to wait for Jobs' speech to find out what they are and the date it comes out queues will be forming at local Apple stores.