Looking forward at iOS hardware

Over the last five years the iPhone has gone through numerous designs, both physical design and hardware design. Here is a quick look at the specs of each iDevice (Note that the iPhone CPUs are underclocked):

iPhone Original412MHz (ARM JZ(F)-S)128MB2MP
iPhone 3G412MHz (ARM JZ(F)-S)128MB2MP
iPhone 3GS600MHz (ARM Cortex-A8)256MB3MP
iPad1GHz (Apple A4)1024MBNone
iPhone 4800MHz (Apple A4)512MB5MP
iPad 21GHz (Apple A5 Dual-core)1024MB0.7MP
iPhone 4S800MHz (Apple A5 Dual-core)512MB8MP
The New iPad1GHz (Apple A5X Dual-core)1024MB5MP

So, what can we draw from that? My guess is that we need to establish whether the iPad or the iPhone is Apple’s lead device. Although the iPhone was launched first, it has recently been revealed that the iPad was conceived earlier. Also, since the iPad launch in 2010, it has set the way for the hardware specs of the iPhone later that year.

I think with the launch of The New iPad we will see a New iPhone. My estimation is that this years iPhone will drop numbering in the name and it’s specs will possibly be as follows:

The New iPhone1GHz (Apple A6 Quad-core)1024MB10MP

I think we’ll see a switch to the iPhone leading the hardware specs. The last iPad/iPhone release was around seven months apart, making the tech inside the iPhone 4S roughly seven months old, if they flip the leader then that would make the iPad have five month old tech. I would certainly be disappointed if The New iPhone gets an Apple A5X chip. So what other fun things might be included in The New iPhone? Contactless communications? I’m not sure we’ll contactless payments, but something like programmable RFID might be an interesting partner to iOS 6s Passbook feature. Perhaps enhanced position hardware for mapping features? Who knows…

So, when could we see this new iPhone?

iPhoneJanuary 2007June 2007
iPhone 3GWWDC June 2008July 2008
iPhone 3GSWWDC June 2009June 2009
iPadSpecial Event January 2010April 2010
iPhone 4WWDC 2010June 2010
iPas 2Special Event March 2011March 2011
iPhone 4SSpecial Event October 2011October 2011
The New iPadSpecial Event March 2012March 2012
The New iPhoneSpecial Event October 2012October 2012

NOTE: This post was originally written in late July. This is being published before the Apple Special Event today (12/09/12) where it is widely rumoured that the New iPhone will be launched.