iPhone Pro in June 2009?


Ok, it was a year ago now that I started making noise about the iPhone Pro that I expected to arrive, based on the underwhelming iPhone 3G launch.

I, of course, thought that the iPhone Pro would make its appearance by Macworld in January (not the iPhone Nano thought other people were suggesting would be introduced), but neither was released as Apple announced that the iPhone was on a June annual release cycle.

Now it’s February. The speculation is mounting on what Apple might release in June. Some people are theorizing that Apple will introduce a new $99 iPhone.

I can see a $99 iPhone happening, but I’m not sure I can see Apple investing in building an entirely new design to sell at that pricepoint, given the limitations that the iPhone 3G already has.

Apple will definitely introduce a new iPhone in June, but I still believe it will be a new high-end design, not a new low-end design. If there is a new low-end design it will, in my opinion, only be modestly different than the current iPhone 3G.

Instead, Apple will be looking to reclaim its design leadership with some new capabilities to delight customers, and to provide application developers with some new possibilities. In the past year the Blackberry Storm, the 3-megapixel Sony Xperia X1, the 5-megapixel Nokia N97, and the 8-megapixel Samsung Memoir have all come on the scene to provide attractive alternatives to the iPhone.

I still believe the main new features will be a 5-megapixel swivel video camera (or a front/rear facing camera combo) and a video iChat application for the iPhone Pro.

As a recap, here are the features that I predicted almost two years ago for the third version of the iPhone (noting those achieved), which I now believe will be the iPhone Pro that will launch in the June timeframe:

  • 5-megapixel swivel camera (or paired with a 2-megapixel screen-side video-enabled lens)
  • Video iChat capability (iChat AV)
  • Next generation Bluetooth
    • DONE – Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR

  • A slightly bigger screen (every millimeter counts) – if the bevel can be reduced
  • 16gb or 32gb of flash memory
  • Hopefully a faster 3G or WiMax network connection
    • DONE with 2nd version

  • 802.11n WiFi
  • Faster processor with lower power needs
  • Improved battery life
  • Lower price – $299 or less
    • 2nd version hit $199-299 – I now think iPhone Pro will also be priced at $199-299 and the iPhone 3G will drop in price to FREE-$99

So, who thinks I’m right?

Note: These are purely my opinions based on my understanding of technology and of strategy, and are not based on any inside knowledge. For someone else’s view on possible specs, see here.

@innovate

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Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Director of Innovation and Human-Centered Problem-Solving at Oracle, a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, helps companies build innovation cultures and infrastructures, and plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.

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