Possibly Audacious Semi-Speculation about 2G/3G iPhone

April 27, 2008

Apple’s acquisition of P.A. Semi Conductors had the MacBreak Weekly crew people guessing they intend to use these PowerPC based processors in the 3rd or 4th generation of the iPhone, or maybe the 1st version of a handheld Mac.  However, I’m halfway wondering if we’ll see this processor in the 2G/3G iPhone?  

David Ciccone reminded me in his latest Mobility Today podcast of how adamant Steve Jobs had been post 1G/2G release, that from a battery life perspective relative to the mobile device processors available, a HSDPA packing iPhone simply wouldn’t make sense.  Dave also then surmised that something “has to have changed” on this front since all indications point to a 3G iPhone’s release in the next few months.  

How are we to know Apple didn’t guess long before 6/29/2007 that improvements to the Samsung processor in the current iPhone weren’t going to get them there?  How are we to know they haven’t been working with P.A. Semiconductors as a customer all along and were so impressed by their engineering talent they bought it? 

Engadget recently reported the 3G iPhone is already in testing and “only slightly thicker” than the current gen model and will not only have a 3G radio, but also GPS.  That radio combo is a recipe for pitiful battery life unless you also pack in a thick battery, and that doesn’t sound like the strategy Apple took or would take (as they seem to like their designs thin you know).  

I think Ciccone was dead on and I can’t wait to see if we’re right.  However, even if we are right, and the 3G iPhone has fantastic battery life, and even with Exchange Active Sync embedded in the 2G OS, as R.I.M.’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridus recently opined, typing on glass still sucks.

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