The fourth generation iPhone has already been spotted in the wild. It will debut on June 28. It will have a 5-megapixel camera. And it will contribute to the 40-45 million iPhones that Apple plans to sell next year.
Or so says a flurry of recent reports.
From MacRumors comes word than one iPhone developer has spotted a reference to "iPhone 4" in their Pinch Media analytics report. Pinch Media supplies devs with info that, among other things, tells them upon what operating systems their mobile apps are running. The appearance of iPhone 4 - an ID first reported last week by The Boy Genius Report - indicates that some Cupertino engineer out there is walking around with a next-gen iPhone.
Of course - as MacRumors is quick to concede - such reports and logs aren't difficult to falsify. But the timing is just about right for test units to be out and about. Mark us down as cautiously intrigued.
Last year, the event calendar at San Francisco's Moscone Center gave the first hints as to the dates of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which has been the coming-out party for iPhone upgrades.
This year, the same calendar lists a "Corporate Event" for June 28 through July 2. A) that vague event title is what Apple used last year to ineffectively mask its WWDC dates, B) the month is iPhone June, and C) the length of the event is appropriate for WWDC.
Although next to nothing has been mooted about the next-gen iPhone, a Wednesday report by the Taiwanese market-watchers at DigiTimes gets the ball rolling. According to DT's "industry sources," the manufacturer of the 3.2-megapixel camera in the iPhone 3GS has secured orders from Apple for 40 to 45 million 5-megapixel cameras for the next-gen iPhone model which, the rumor-mongers monger, "will hit shelves sometime during the second half of 2010."
A 5-megapixel camera would be a nice step up, but note for a moment that 40 to 45 million figure - that's double the 20 to 21 million 3.2-megapixel cameras that the supplier, OmniVision, sold to Cupertino this year.
While the iPhone's popularity is certainly growing, a doubling in sales in the next year may be a tad optimistic. It's entirely possible that some of those tens of millions of digital cameras will find themselves homes in another device - perhaps the increasingly inevitable iPad. ®