iPhone 3G S: How true were the rumours?

The iPhone 3G S has arrived, and it's all we wanted and more... or is it? We've rounded up our favourite rumours to see who saw what was coming

So the WWDC keynote is finally over: iPhone 3G S is here , putting an end to the frenzy of speculation that saw tech hacks, fanboys and fans of blurry screenshots from Chinese forums getting themselves into a right palaver. So let's take a look at some of our favourite rumours, and see whether they came true.

Improved camera

The iPhone's fixed-focus 2-megapixel camera has long been a source of disappointment, so the world and his wife wanted better.
Truthiness: High! Cameraphiles will be pleased with the new autofocus, automatic exposure and white balance, and neat auto-macro and tap-to-focus features. It's only 3-megapixels, though. Sigh. At least you can now MMS your snaps.

Front-facing camera

Italian site iSpazio seems to have been first with this one.
Truthiness: Low. No video conferencing for you.

iPhone 3G S

Video

Just about everybody reckoned video was on the way. As long ago as March, Engadget Mobile had spotted a video support screen in iPhone OS 3.0.
Truthiness: Spot on! We got 30fps VGA video with in-camera editing and direct upload to YouTube and the like.

Matte backing and light-up logo

iPod observer showed off a photo of the matte casing back in March. The light-up Apple logo -- or the 'mugger beacon', as we like to call it -- was covered by just about everyone.
Truthiness: Shame neither of them were real. In fact, the 3G S is virtually identical to the current model.

OLED screen

AppAdvice reckoned there was an OLED screen in the works.
Truthiness: It was never going to happen, was it?

Faster 3G

Electronista reported that AT&T was upgrading its entire 3G infrastructure to keep up with the updated iPhone.
Truthiness: Apple reckons the 3G S is two or three times faster than before thanks to HSDPA support. SimCity will load 2.4x faster too. Woo, and indeed, hoo.

FM radio

Apple Insider reported that the new iPhone would include an FM transmitter and receiver, for radio and for beaming your music to your car stereo.
Truthiness: Worse than FM reception at the bottom of a well, which is where you must have been to avoid the iPhone for the last few weeks.

iPhone 3G S compass

Compass

AppleInsider reported that Japan's Asahi Kasei is supplying a magnetometer for the new iPhone, to soup up GPS and location-based features.
Truthiness: 50/50. The 3G S includes a digital compass: we've yet to confirm whether that's hardware or some kind of GPS or software thing.

Budget model

The Financial Times reports that there will be a 'budget' model costing just $149 or $99.
Truthiness: Kiiind of true. If we were playing word association with the Apple brand, we'd be there for a long time before we came up with 'budget'. So instead of a new, affordable model we get the existing 3G model with a price cut to $99 (UK pricing is yet to be confirmed).

Multiple versions

It's been a pretty safe bet that Apple would bump storage to 32GB, with all the big sites citing assorted sources. A Dutch T-Mobile site showed four new models: 16GB and 32GB, both in black and white.
Truthiness: Absolutely right. A 32GB model joins the new 16GB version, with the 8GB 3G model costing £340 on pay as you go.

Oh, and one more thing...

Steve Jobs to show up

Just about everybody was hoping for the man in the turtleneck to appear, perhaps stooped and unwell, before throwing off a blanket and bounding across the stage like James Brown, announcing a 3G S iPhone that had a 25-megapixel camera and rocket boosters and turned into a three-bedroom Soho loft apartment with retro-minmalist furnishings and a Swedish supermodel girlfriend when you held down the home key.
Truthiness: But he didn't. Keep telling yourself: he's just a guy, and it's only a phone...

So there you have it: iPhone 3G S has arrived. We can all relax, put our feet up and be happy in the knowledge that the phone we all wanted is here -- what's that? You were hoping for Flash support? Heck, it's been five minutes: time to start thinking about iPhone 4.0. To the rumour blogs!

Tags:
Phones
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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