Rumours are circling that the next iPhone will run considerably faster than the current model. As plausible as the rumour appears, a significant bump in iPhone processing power could spell trouble for iPod touch users
Why, you ask? Well currently, the difference in processing power between the iPhone 3G and the iPod touch is very small, although the iPod touch, interestingly, has the edge. As a result, applications and 3D games from the can be run on either device. But if developers really had a more powerful device to write for, it could result in either a poor experience for iPod touch users running the same program, or the app simply being sold as iPhone-exclusive.
The App Store is key to the iPhone 3G's success, and gaming on the iPod touch is a big enough selling point for Apple to commission TV ads solely to promote it as the "funnest iPod ever".
So what can you draw from this? Firstly, assuming the next iPhone does get a significant speed bump, expect the next iPod touch to as well (probably in September). And secondly, assuming both iPhone and iPod touch do get speed bumps, don't expect apps that can take advantage of it until both new models are on sale towards the end of the year.
Incidentally, I believe a speed bump is likely, and that a less power-hungry OLED display would come with it. More speed (either by not underclocking the current CPU any more, or by using a whole new chip) comes at the cost of battery, but Apple could offset some of this by using a better, more energy-efficient screen. And that's exactly what OLED is. It's also being used inside Samsung's new'Omnia HD' handset (well, it's AMOLED actually, but y'know...).
Or maybe the boring option is true, and that the speed bump will just align the iPhone and iPod touch's processing powers. But I'm hoping for the first option.