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Next iPhone May Feature Better Camera, Video Editing, 802.11n

Apple is widely expected to introduce at least one new iPhone model by June to coincide with its Worldwide Developer Conference.

An upcoming iPhone model may feature a new camera, a faster networking chip that both receives and transmits FM signals, and video editing capabilities, according to information buried in various online documents.

Detail from Apple's patent, filed as U.S. patent 7,479,949.
(click for image gallery)

Though Apple has made no specific announcements about future iPhone releases, the company is widely expected to introduce at least one new iPhone model by June.

This would coincide with Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, with the anticipated release of its iPhone 3.0 software, and with the expiration of the two-year AT&T service contracts signed by iPhone early adopters following the original iPhone's release in June 2007.

Apple news site DigiTimes in Taiwan claims that Apple has contracted with OmniVision for 3.2-megapixel CMOS image sensors that will be included in Apple's next iPhone. Adding credence to that claim is a report from AppleInsider that the next iPhone will feature video capabilities.

What's more, as reported by InformationWeek's Alexander Wolfe, Apple in January filed a patent application describing a technique for videoconferencing on a mobile device.

In its current form factor, the iPhone would make a poor videoconferencing device because the camera is on the back of the iPhone while the screen is on the front, making it impossible to be recorded and view incoming video simultaneously.

Adding further weight to speculation about future iPhone video capabilities, on Monday reported that Apple's iPhone engineering group is seeking to hire "a Camera Engineering Project Manager (EPM) to drive the design, development, and integration of camera modules across iPhone and iPod."

The iPod Touch doesn't currently include a digital camera.

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