Following what was easily one of the biggest tech leaks in quite some time, the weeks leading up to Apple’s official next-generation iPhone announcement will take a much different path than had been previously expected.Thanks to Gizmodo’s efforts, ethically questionable or not, we know a lot about Apple’s forthcoming iPhone refresh.
We know it will have a completely redesigned case with a flattened back that may be removable. We know it has a larger battery. We know it will cram more pixels into a slightly smaller touchscreen display. We know it will have a front-facing camera and an upgraded rear camera with a flash. We know it will utilise a MicroSIM chip. We know it will have a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. And so on.
Yes, we know plenty about Apple’s next inevitably successful smartphone.
Even before Apple’s upcoming refreshed iPhone was revealed to the world, various websites had taken to calling it the iPhone 4G. You know, “fourth-generation”. “4G”!
I’m sure this improper moniker helps out with Google juice, but as everyone with even the slightest knowledge of wireless technology knows, the term “4G” means something very specific.
4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards, potentially providing much faster cellular data speeds compared to 3G and 2G. “4G” is WiMAX. “4G” is Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-Advanced). “4G” is fast and furious.
“4G” is not the name of the next iPhone.
Whether or not the next-generation iPhone had leaked ahead of its June announcement, there is still at least one thing we would all know with near certainty: it won’t support 4G.
Sprint is the only major carrier in the U.S. with a deployed 4G network. It is also the only major carrier that will launch a 4G-compatible cell phone in 2010. Verizon Wireless has announced its intentions to launch 4G by the end of 2010, but the service will be available solely to data-only devices initially. As far as major U.S. carriers and 4G-ready cell phones are concerned, Sprint is the beginning and the end in 2010.
As much as I love the nation’s number three carrier, Sprint is about as likely to carry Apple’s next iPhone as Appalachian Wireless.
While Apple did popularise the ridiculous trend of naming handsets after a cellular standard, and it will likely some day launch an “iPhone 4G”, it won’t be this year. Considering AT&T won’t even begin rolling out 4G until some time in 2011, we might not see an “iPhone 4G” next year either.
Apple will get there, but give the company some time — it hasn’t even mastered 3G yet.
Call Apple’s next smartphone the iPhone HD, as rumours suggest it might be named, or simply call it the fourth-generation iPhone. Call it next-gen, 3GSS or iPad nano. There are plenty of things you can call Apple’s next smartphone — just stop calling it the iPhone 4G.
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