Just as Google surprised surfers with a faster, yet more sophisticated set of search suggestion tools this week, Apple watcher John Gruber cut through the clutter of prognostication around the company’s presumed iPhone upgrades, to be announced at the company’s conference for software developers in early June.

On his Daring Fireball blog (the name is an inside joke), Gruber calls out the iPhone’s worst offense: Slowness when moving among applications, or when changing screens within the same app. I bought my first iPhone this week and immediately noticed what software developer call “latency,” periods where my shiny new toy does nothing for a frustrating second or two. Is it hung, I wonder, or is it thinking?

But good news, Gruber says. Rumormongers have told him the next iPhones will drop the current 400 MHz CPU for a 600 MHz model. A 50 percent faster chip usually performs tasks more than 50 percent faster, because of other improvements and enhancements between upgrades. Gruber explains the tangible benefits to non-techies:

Much of what the iPhone does now is constrained by its CPU. App launching speed, for one thing — faster app launching should make it feel more like switching between apps and less like quitting/relaunching them. Web page rendering is also significantly constrained by the CPU.  … I was amazed at how fast Safari on my MacBook Pro could render web pages using the iPhone’s cell network connection. Web page rendering on current iPhones is hindered at least as much, if not more, by the CPU than by the speed of the 3G network.

I get the feeling I’m going to have iPhone Buyer’s remorse in a couple of weeks.

[Photo by Bernard Zee]

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.