Over the weekend, a pair of reports from Apple-watching industry blogs delivered tantalizing news to the iPhone-obessed, both involving details of new mobile devices. One report claims a T-Mobile iPhone is in the works, and it will also include the powerful new A5 processor. The A5 is a fast, dual-core chip designed to outperform its predecessor, the A4, especially when it comes to mobile gaming.
Another report out now claims that the seemingly mythical white iPhone is due to launch this week.
T-Mobile iPhone Prototype Leaked
According to the popular mobile blog BGR, Apple is testing a iPhone prototype with T-Mobile USA 3G bands. The internal model number for this phone is N94, a higher model number than the Verizon iPhone, the N92, and the GSM (AT&T) iPhone, the N90.
A follow-up report from 9to5Mac.com confirmed that the iPhone prototype also includes the A5 processor, the same processor powering next-gen iPhone hardware already in the hands of select game developers. This test hardware is being called the "iPhone 4S," but it's unclear if that's just what the leaker of this news chose to call the device, or if that's what Apple itself is calling it.
9to5Mac emphasizes that these prototypes are not "the next iPhone," per se. They are test devices only. The phones run iOS4 on the upgraded hardware, allowing developers to build new apps that take advantage of the forthcoming technical advances in hardware, prior to the official launch of the new iPhone, presumably being called the "iPhone 5."
The addition of a T-Mobile iPhone is not surprising, given that T-Mobile is one of the top mobile carriers in the U.S. Although the planned merger of AT&T with T-Mobile, pending regulator approval, could eventually bring the iPhone to T-Mobile customers, Apple may not want to wait the many months, if not years, it would take to do so.
This move seems also seems more likely given Verizon's apparent confirmation of previous rumors that indicated the next iPhone will be a "global device," meaning one that works on both CDMA networks like Verizon as well as GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile.
White iPhone Cometh?
What's more surprising, perhaps, is the newer report which reveals an actual launch date for the white iPhone.
Months after the iPhone 4's June 2010 launch, Apple admitted that the white models were more difficult to manufacture than originally expected, and would be delayed. Since then, spotting the white iPhone online, by way of mistakes from Web admins updating online inventory or other such blunders, led to sighting after accidental sighting of the increasingly mythological device.
Whether the current report is accurate or just another rumor is still unknown. At any rate, this report contains a deadline for the device's launch: April 27th.
According to AppleInsider, citing "people familiar with the matter," Apple's U.S. stores began receiving promotional material related to the white iPhone, which is expected to arrive on both AT&T and Verizon "within the next week." In-store shipment notifications point to a launch date of Wednesday, April 27th, it's being reported.
Late April 2011 fits with Apple's promised timeline for the launch, said to be "spring" of this year. We hope that this time, at long last, the report is true.