Faster iPhone with advanced camera on the way?

Chalk this one up to speculation - make that informed speculation - but new signs point to a September debut for a faster iPhone with what would be a killer camera.

The report, carried by the Bloomberg news agency cites a couple of sources said to be familiar with the product. (Bloomberg also reported that Apple is testing a new iPad with a screen resolution screen equivalent to that featured in the iPhone 4.)

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If you're considering the purchase of a new smartphone, how should you treat this latest report? To be sure, when it comes to Apple the rumor well seemingly never runs dry. But this latest apparent story may have something more to it. As the Bloomberg piece correctly points out, the iPhone has become Apple's biggest-selling product, kicking in about half of the company's sales during its last quarter. Even though it retains a special cachet in the marketplace, the iPhone still remains a minority choice - accounting for around 18% of the global marketplace, according to IDC. With Apple facing a bevy of new competitors in in the handset market who use Google's Android OS, anything that can help its device load apps more rapidly would offer a timely marketing advantage.

According to Bloomberg's sources, the upcoming device will include:

  • A more powerful A5 processor (the same one Apple added to the iPad 2 this year)
  • An 8-megapixel camera (compared with the current 5-megapixel model in the iPhone 4)

But just to scramble your brains that much more, there's also a report out there that Apple intends to release the iPhone 5 later in the summer. That one treat with caution as the sourcing in the report is thin. Still, it speaks to the intense interest around how Apple intends to map its smartphone strategy in an increasingly tough market.

One point to recall: During Steve Jobs' first turn as Apple's CEO, the decision was taken to keep the Mac's computing architecture closed. That let Apple develop a series of technically sleek computers, but it also doomed the company to minority status, effectively ceding the market to MS-DOS, and later, Windows. Even if a new and improved iPhone hits the market - any time within the next few months - Apple's smartphone strategy against Android is likely to mirror the same one it used against the PCs: Choose us because we offer a better computing experience.

We'll see how that plays out, though we ought to remember that history has a particular habit of repeating itself in the tech world.

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