Friday, May 30, 2008

iPhone 2 expectations

I'm really amused by all the breathless predictions and anticipation regarding iPhone 2.0, which will be announced and ship in the next couple of weeks.  It's not like the first one, where all we had was a Jobs demo, with details trickling out over the last few weeks to release in a controlled fashion.  This one will have very few surprises at all, and if there are any I expect them to be at the margins.

We already know almost all the details of the software - betas have been coming out fast and furious and they all get dissected as they hit.  We know that ActiveSync support is included.  We also know that .Mac services will be souped up (and maybe renamed) to support OTA sync as well.  GPS support is built into the software now, geotagging is now an option for pictures, and we can do a selective search for contacts.  I assume that notes will now sync to the Mac as well - this was a "left-out" feature in 1.0.

The hardware is almost as well-known.  The form factor will be similar to the existing model.  It may support video in from the screen side (for videoconferencing), we don't know that for sure yet.  We know it'll support AT&T's 3G network in the US, and it'll work overseas as well.  Apple is now doing lots of low-key announcements.  The new iPhone will be available pretty much worldwide (except for Russia and China at this writing).  Since GPS support is built into the new software, expect it in the new hardware.  And the look will change some, even though the form factor stays the same - maybe a plastic shell on a steel frame to save weight (the battery will probably be a little bigger).

The only real question extends to the pricing model.  Will the device be sold the same way the old one was, or will we get carrier subsidies?  Unfortunately, that's not the kind of question that get the hearts of Mac fanbois racing.