Rumor Roundup: 3G iPhone

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With seven days to go before WWDC, the 3G iPhone rumor mill is pretty much on fire. Some of the rumors are pretty bonkers, but most of the more popular ones are pretty darn reasonable. In the name of science, we’ve pushed all of the rumors through our FCF (Fanboy Crap Filter), and rated the more likely rumors on the PKL (Pre-keynote Legitometer) scale. Lets take a look:

Rumor: It’ll be announced during the WWDC keynote
PKL Rating: 10/10 – With just about everyone expecting the announcement, Apple’s gotta do it. Not doing so would be a bad move for their stock.

Rumor: It’ll ship on the same day as the announcement
PKL Rating: 5/10 – As nice as this would be, I can’t imagine how they’d manage to keep the secret. Maybe if it were limited to Apple stores on launch day, but it’s crazy to think that the employees at some of the one-or-two-people-per-shift AT&T shops could fight the temptation to crack open the boxes and fire off pictures to everybody they know. People regularly risk being fired to leak info on much smaller news items. Giving it a full week to get shipped all over the country, I’d expect it to hit around June 16th.

More after the jump..

Rumor: Front-facing Camera
PKL Rating: 7/10 – One of the primary reasons for a front facing camera is video calling, which has been floundering around untapped for years now. It’s entirely feasible, and a number of handsets have it implemented to some degree – especially outside of the US. Unfortunately, it remains stunted by the absence of a handset not only popular enough to make it commonplace, but also technically capable on the hardware and network side. The 3G iPhone would be a mighty fine platform to pave the way – it’ll be plenty popular, be on a fast enough network, and Apple’s got plenty of proven experience with video communication after iChat AV.

Rumor: It’ll have GPS beyond the current Wi-Fi solution
PKL Rating: 8/10 – People’s view on this one tends to vary greatly based on where they live. Major city dwellers see no reason for it, with the Wi-Fi based GPS doing the job for them just fine. Talk to anyone who lives or travels where WiFi density is abysmal, and they’re hurtin’ for something else. My guess? It’ll be a combination of the current SkyHook WiFi solution and aGPS, falling back on the latter to boost accuracy when WiFi signals aren’t adequate.

Rumor: Stereo Bluetooth support.
PKL Rating: 9/10 – That stereo bluetooth (A2DP) support hasn’t been on the iPhone from day one is crazy. Sure – between random tempo changing and poor quality, it’s something that a good majority of handsets screw up – but come on, Apple. Music and wireless are your things, now. They go together well, so lets get this stupid wire out of my face while I’m running. With Leopard coming out of the box with A2DP support, Apple’s at least warming up to the idea.

Rumor: 3 megapixel Camera
PKL Rating: 10/10 – That is, it oughtta be at least 3 megapixels. The current iPhone rocks a 2 megapixel camera. The SGOLD3 chipset rumored to be in use on the 3G iPhone supports up to 5. Any thing less than a full megapixel bump would be underwhelming.

Rumor: It’ll be 22% slimmer
PKL Rating: 8/10 – Totally reasonable. 22% sounds like a whole lot, but it only shaves it down to around 9.1 mm – still a bit thicker than the iPod touch. Slimming things down between revisions is by no means a new addition to Apple’s bag of tricks.

Like any good speculation, these are all just best guesses made after a good amount of consideration. Think we’re spot on? Think we’re way off? Drop a comment!

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