Mobile

iPhone 5 may get upgraded flash, T-Mobile says it has 1M unlocked iPhones

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 could get a revamped dual-LED camera flash, according to Taiwanese news site Digitimes. And in other iPhone news, T-Mobile revealed that it has over 1 million unlocked iPhones running on its network, according to 9 to 5 Mac.

The camera upgrade is seemingly minor, but if true, it will help the iPhone 5 better compete against other phones sporting brighter flash capabilities.

Digitimes says that Taiwanese LED firms Everlight Electronics, Lite-On Technology, and Edison Opto are being considered to supply the flash hardware. The news comes after Apple reportedly reduced its orders for Philips’ flash component, which is currently being used in the iPhone 4. Digitimes’ sources noted that Edison has a good chance of become Apple’s dual-LED supplier, after being tapped to provide flash solutions for other phones.

T-Mobile’s unlocked iPhone numbers are interesting because they show the lengths consumers will go to avoid AT&T. To work on T-Mobile’s network, consumers need to jailbreak and unlock their iPhones, then plug in a T-Mobile SIM card. The company tells 9 to 5 Mac that most of its iPhone customers are using older iPhone models. Some have also bravely cut down their T-Mobile SIM cards to fit in the iPhone 4’s Micro-SIM slot (the carrier doesn’t yet offer Micro-SIMs).

Unlocked AT&T iPhones on T-Mobile’s network don’t get access to the carrier’s 3G or HSPA+ 4G network, since it runs on a different frequency than AT&T’s network. Still, the fact that so many customers are content to stick with T-Mobile’s slower Edge network is worth noting. We already know that Apple is testing the iPhone on T-Mobile’s network, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up offering the iPhone on T-Mobile later this year.

As of last week, Apple began offering an official unlocked iPhone in the US for $649. But T-Mobile customers will still need to slice up their SIM cards and deal with slower network speeds to use it.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. We’re also accepting entries for our mobile startup competition at the show. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at sponsors@venturebeat.com.

Intel AppUp developer programClick here to download the VentureBeat Windows 7 desktop app. The Intel AppUp developer program is the official launch sponsor.

0 comments