iPhone 5 in final testing, may lack 3G FaceTime on Verizon

Apple iPhone 4The next-generation iPhone hardware is reportedly undergoing final testing before production begins, and the device appears to be on schedule for a fall launch. While iOS 5 contains support for 3G FaceTime calls and over-the-air iOS updates, users on Verizon's network may not be able to use the feature in the fall. And additional evidence in the recently released developer preview of iOS contains hints that the next-gen device might still use a 5 megapixel camera sensor.

According to a source for 9to5 Mac, the next-gen iPhone hardware is currently in the "AP" testing stage. At this stage, the hardware has been finalized and the features of the software frozen. High-ranking Apple and carrier executives are reportedly using them full-time, as this prototype is pretty much what will come off the assembly line this fall. Assuming no major problems arise, production is likely to begin in late July for a planned September launch.

While iOS 5 is capable of making FaceTime video calls over 3G networks—a major improvement over the previous WiFi-only limitation—it will apparently be up to individual carriers to support it. 9to5 Mac's source indicated that Apple and Verizon have not yet reached a deal to enable it on its EV-DO 3G network. The same is also true for iOS 5's upcoming support for OTA software updates; it will naturally work via WiFi, but the "delta" updates promised at last week's WWDC keynote should, in many cases, be small enough to download comfortably over 3G. Reportedly, Apple and Verizon are "still working out the kinks regarding support" for the feature.

Finally, iOS 5 once again includes references two unreleased devices, codenamed N93 and N94, and still reference a 5MP rear-facing camera sensor. The next-gen iPhone has been rumored to have an upgrade to an 8MP sensor from OmniVision, Sony, or possibly both. It's hard to say for sure whether it will be 5MP or 8MP in the final shipping version—it may be an error or outdated information in the preview—but at least the 5MP sensor in the iPhone 4 is one of the best we've seen.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Apple, iPhone, mobile phones

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