Here's a trio of reports that festered over the weekend. First covers news of Foxconn's contract to build the 3G iPhone, second shows that the next iPhone will support true GPS, and the last tells us that the next version of the iPhone will have microvibration feedback -- otherwise known as haptics.Foxconn and 3G: The Taiwanese Chinese-language newspaper, Commercial Times is reporting that good old Foxconn scored the contract to build the 3G version of the iPhone, and that the company will have 3 million of them ready to ship by June. What's more, Foxconn is expected to make 24 to 25 million units of the device before the next generation is ready to roll. This comes from a source at Foxconn, which is the company that currently manufactures the iPhone. The company was told to have the 3G version of the iPhone ready by the end of May, which coincides with the proposed launch date of June 9.
GPS, Baby! NaviGadget says that the iPhone SDK includes code that suggests the next version of the iPhone can support GPS. It writes, "The device emulator included with iPhone SDK for application developers includes hints that the company has added support for GPS to the platform. We have no way of telling whether this would be an add-on device, an embedded GPS chip, or an A-GPS chip from Qualcomm but whatever it is the software is ready for it." The current version of the iPhone supports a very general type of location-based service with Google Maps' My Location feature. My Location uses a combo of Wi-Fi and cell tower information to triangulate position. It is not very exact, though. Since many other high-end phones, including a myriad of BlackBerrys, come with GPS these days, it is a feature the iPhone really should add.
iPhone Goes 'Buzz': This one is good news for people who dislike the iPhone's lack of physical buttons. Haptic feedback is tiny microvibrations that are sent throughout a device that let you know you've pressed a button or activated a feature. Some devices do it better than others, with some vibrating the entire phone, and others providing more localized feedback, such as on the new Motorola RKR E8. The E8 has the best use of haptics I've ever encountered. The reason this rumor has come to light is because Apple has recently met with a company called Immersion. It's met with Immersion twice, in fact. Immersion is a company that provides haptic technology, and even helped develop it for Samsung's Instinct. Whether or not this technology will be used in the next version of the iPhone is unknown, but it would surely be appreciated.