MacRumors reports that Apple is already testing the next-gen iPhone, which if history is any indication, should hit store shelves sometime this summer. As for the source of the report, iBART developer Pandav noted that they found some usage records on their app for an iPhone model categorized as 3,1. The current iPhone 3GS is referred to as 2,1. As a quick refresher, when Apple makes significant hardware upgrades to a product, it ups the first digit by one. Minor upgrades result in the second digit increasing. So the original iPhone was 1,1, the iPhone 3G was referenced as 1,2, and the iPhone 3GS as 2,1.
The first reference to iPhone 3,1 was spotted all the way back in early August in data strings found in the iPhone OS 3.1 update. But as MacRumors points out, this is the first time that a reference to iPhone 3,1 has been found in the wild, and indicates that Apple has already begun field testing the 4th gen iPhone. We should also point out that the iPhone OS 3.1 update from August also lists a product refered to as iProd 1,1, a mystery product which some speculate may refer to the rumored Apple tablet.
In any event, the fact that Apple’s working on a next-gen iPhone is hardly a secret. A few months ago, a Foxconn employee in China committed suicide after he reportedly lost a 4th generation prototype he was responsible for. As for what goodies the next-gen iPhone may bring, speculative reports suggest we can expect to see multi-core functionality, while others are still hoping for some sort of front-facing video camera for video chatting. Also, a number of sources are reporting that Apple is planning to release a CDMA capable iPhone on the Verizon network sometime in late 2010.