iPhone 3GS keeps Apple ahead of the curve

Apple iPhone 3GS hardware stacks up favorably against Palm Pre Rapid Repair says
  • (Network World)
  • — 23 June, 2009 08:07

The iPhone 3GS's internal hardware indicates that Apple is still at the leading edge of smartphone innovation, say the electronics repair specialists at Rapid Repair.

The 3GS so far has generated very strong sales figures, as Apple says that it has sold more than one million 3GS models since its release in the US on Friday. Aaron Vronko, the cofounder of Rapid Repair, says that the 3GS lives up to the hype it's received as the phone is a significant improvement over the original iPhone 3G in terms of processing power, storage, memory and battery life.

The phone's main processor is a Samsung S5PC100 that runs at 600MHz and includes a central processing unit, a graphics processing and a memory controller. Vronko says that these functions are typically stored on different chips, but that the S5PC100 creates a more efficient device by placing them on the same chip. In this way, the iPhone 3GS is similar to the Palm Pre, which was the first smartphone to use he first to use Texas Instruments' OMAP 3430 processor that also runs at 600MHz and integrates several different functions.

"The processor they use is capable of going up to 833MHz," says Vronko. "Apple chose to implement it at 600MHz. To put that into perspective, the previous version ran at 412MHz, so it's nearly 50% faster than the older version."Vronko says that the upgrades to memory represent the biggest improvement in the iPhone 3GS as the 256MB of RAM doubles the original 3G models 128 MB of RAM. And with storage options of 16GB and 32GB, the 3GS easily bests the Palm Pre's maximum storage option of 8GB.

The other big upgrade comes in the realm of battery life, as Rapid Repair estimates that the 3GS battery will support up to ten hours of video and nine hours of data, while the original 3G model will support only seven hours of video and five hours of data. Vronko says that the efficiencies in battery life come despite a significant improvement in the device's touchscreen display, which now displays video at an HD-quality 720p.

Although the 3GS does not yet support multitasking in the same way that the Palm Pre's webOS does, Vronko says that it could have those capabilities in the future if Apple decides to implement them in an operating system upgrade. And while the 3GS is very similar to the Pre in terms of its hardware, Vronko says that Apple's headstart in allowing developers to create a wide range of applications for their device will give it a significant edge in the market. Additionally, he notes that Palm doesn't plan on releasing a Pre software development kit to third-party developers until the end of the summer.

"I think it'll be around six months before you'll see a real uptick in the number of applications the Palm Pre can support," he says.

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Brad Reed

Network World
Topics: Apple, iPhone 3G S
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