New Buzz Builds Around Next-Gen iPhone, iPod Touch

Since the unveiling of Apple's new iPhone 3.0 software update last month, modern-day gumshoes have been poring through the code to find clues about future devices that could follow. While the virtual trail of bread crumbs is far from a firm road map, it does help feed our insatiable appetite for Apple info -- and today, we have some tasty new morsels to munch on.

New iPhone Rumor #1: The FM Transmitter

Apple's next iPhone and iPod Touch may both include an updated chip called the Broadcom BCM4329, the sharp eyes over at AppleInsider assert. The chip would add support for 802.11n wireless capabilities, compared with the current models' slower 802.11b/g support. That change could lead to better power management, faster and more reliable Wi-Fi connections, and even the ability to transmit over FM radio signals.

In theory, such a system could let you not only listen to the radio but also send your own signal, making it possible to play tunes on your car stereo without an expensive adaptor. Still, even if the chip is present, there's no guarantee that Apple will actually include the radio transmission ability -- so don't go tossing out your car adaptors just yet.

Whether FM transmission makes the cut or not, the inclusion of ramped-up Wi-Fi would no doubt be a welcomed change (particularly for the more litigious users who get really, really P.O.'d about slow network speeds). It'd be a big boost for the iPod Touch, too, giving gamers a better foundation for multiplayer action and video watchers a better setup for buffer-free viewing.

New iPhone Rumor #2: Video Editing

A second set of clues uncovered in the iPhone 3.0 beta software is fueling speculation of built-in video editing in the next-generation device. The findings include a "Publish Video" button, along with what are described as functions for "editing, scrubbing, and clip[ping]."

In-phone video editing -- wow. And here we thought still-photo "sexting" was a problem.

Other Next-Gen iPhone Rumors

Don't forget the stack of past next-gen iPhone speculation, too. Already, we've heard talk of:

• A "Find My iPhone" option within MobileMe

• Support for iPhone-based USB tethering

• An iPhone and/or iPod Touch with HD support

As for a date for the still yet-to-be confirmed devices, it's anyone's guess. Some are pointing to early June, during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, as a likely time for such an announcement to take place.

If there's one near-certainty in all of this, it's the fact that we're bound to hear plenty more speculation between now and then -- and that Apple will coyly refuse to provide even the teeniest clue before its sure-to-be massive event.

Stay tuned.

Connect with JR Raphael on Twitter (@jr_raphael) or via his Web site, jrstart.com.

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