Next-Gen iPod Touch, iPhone to Have 802.11n

Earlier reports indicating faster Internet access for the new iPhone were vague as to exactly what that meant, cellular or wi-fi, and now it appears to be both.

AppleInsider reports that resource files for a third-generation iPod Touch included in the beta iPhone 3.0 firmware indicate a new Broadcom chip, BCM4329 (changed from the current BCM4325), which supports low-power 802.11n and Bluetooth.

Of course, while AppleInsider theorizes the same upgrade may be coming to the iPhone, that's not indicated in any configuration or resource files in the beta firmware.

Current models of the iPod Touch and iPhone support 5.0Ghz 802.11a and 2.4Ghz 802.11g. Earlier this month, however, Apple introduced a new Airport Extreme router that supports simultaneous dual-band 802.11n, with both 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz bands supported.

It would make sense to add 802.11n support to the iPhone and iPod Touch because of that, but there's no guarantee that a mention of 802.11n for a third-gen iPod Touch means anything for the next iPhone.

At the same time, Lazard Capital Markets has indicated that two, not one, new iPhone models will be introduced, a high-end phone to be sold in North America and a low-end model for fast-growing emerging markets.

That actually makes sense when one remembers the firmware strings revealed in the 2.2.1 and 3.0 beta OS configuration files, which noted an iPhone2,1 and an iPhone3,1 model. According to the analyst, the upscale North American model will have video support, a better digital camera and 32GB of memory, while the low-end model will lack video support, have less storage, and perhaps lack wi-fi as well.