More surprises in iPhone 4? Apple asks FCC to keep details secret

Could Apple have more technical surprises in store for the iPhone? They've asked the FCC to keep photographs and details secret for 45 days, so who knows? We've already heard about the 512MB of RAM hiding inside, but Apple is still playing it coy:

"Although Apple has begun to market the device publicly, these documents reveal technical and design information that has not been publically disclosed in such marketing and that is protected by Apple as confidential and proprietary secrets."

Speculate away. Come next Thursday, there ought to be tear-downs aplenty to find out.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 59 comments. Add yours.

SJ says:

Sounds less like features secrets, and more like how the features announced work in particular, to me.

Mrjr says:

Oh, goodness. CDMA? Can you imagine?
What about the HD radio speculation?

Cubus says:

Credit card reader. Swipe it to buy a ringtone.

DrumMan says:

Yeah, I'm wondering if they put a Verizon radio in there? Would they have both GSM & CDMA in the same phone? That seems to me like the most likely reason. What other "features" would need to be so secret?

alf says:

But hasn't the phone already been torn down VIA the prototype? Should we already know?

DrumMan says:

The prototype isn't necessarily the final version that went to mass production.

alf says:

But in retrospect, its been claimed that it was mostly, if not fully 100% release ready. Minus the asthetics as far as the print on the back.
But what do I know?

Stheght1 says:

Yeah @ alf
that's what I was thinking, how the said features work will probably be the reason.

Rene Ritchie says:

Only chance of a CDMA radio would be that fancy QualComm dualmode chip we heard about last year. And there's not much chance of that in this version as it would add global cost to what's a US-only feature.
iPhone 3GS has an FM radio in its chipset, never turned on. What's inside is not always what we get.

alf says:

Either way, if there are some more hidden goodies past the 512mb ram, I'm psyched. I'm posting this from my droid, but can't wait till I get my iphone 4. I remember the 3g coming out and then the 3gs and the almost unlimited things you could do with them.
It was always a surprise, jailbroken or not. Iphones are amazing with the unlimited potential they have.

Josh says:

Maybe it's the long-rumoured glowing Apple logo.

alf says:

And lol @ Dionte w/ the StoneCutters reference.

Travisimo says:

Don't they do this every time they release a new iPhone? It makes no sense that there would be more features we haven't heard about. What makes more sense is that they just want to hold tightly to their hardware trade secrets so other companies can't immediately copy them.

ChrisJ says:

may be they do not want others to know phone specs so you buy their case and accessories. you can not get hands on iphone 4 case as they are not final. true specs do not exist.

firesign3000 says:

No CDMA. No FM/HD radio. Most likely nothing we'll even notice.

GinoDotCom says:

3gs had a fm radio that was never turned on? Wow first time I ever heard this one. If so, surprised no jailbreak app ever got to exploit it.
I doubt there's any left surprises In the new phone. That's just my opinion.

behrlover says:

No clue, but let's hope its due to the fact that we will get more than what we were told about.

alf says:

@chrisj actually you can get a hold of the case needed to repair the iphone 4 already,
Here's the drop test on the new iphone 4, took 4 drops from 3.5 feet. I'm pretty sure I won't be dropping mine just for kicks.

BNV6 says:

Apple has installed technology within the iPhone 4 that allows one to cure cancer. That's the big secret everyone.

DrumMan says:

@Travisimo They did it with the 3G. They unlocked stereo bluetooth with one of the OS updates as well as some other hardware stuff I can't really remember.

ChrisJ says:

i do not no if that is real. look close. glass looks very thick like broken class on top of something else, yes?
anyone had true schematic specs? exactly how far is flash from camera, and how far from edge (left and top)? how large is volume buttons?

Redshirt says:

I don't see why they would have a CDMA radio in there and not have talked about it already.

Calculus II says:

I was hesitant to reserve my iPhone because of the things I didnt know, like internal specifications. But after the 512mb RAM revelation and this little tidbit I'm glad I did. Its probably nothing but I hope its that the A4 is clocking in above 1ghz. Most likely its the opposite though.

mullrat says:

Super secret 4 g radio maybe? Wimax hopefully? This would only prove me right that the next network for the iPhone is sprint.

brownat89 says:

Don't know what's in store for those of us anxiously awaiting the new phone. I do however find it funny that the confidentiality papers have been made public...

vantheman169 says:

STFU about CDMA you verizon fan boys! Verizon BLOWS the iphone is not getting CDMA so get over it already, keep dreaming as you have been since the original iphone!

behrlover says:

Verizon want's to control to much of the iPhone instead of just being the carrier for the wireless service.

Travisimo says:

All of the rumors about Verizon point to a separately manufactured version of the device, so I highly doubt there's a CDMA radio in the version we're getting on the 24th. Furthermore, don't expect any announcements about other carriers in the US for at least a few months at the earliest. It would be a horrible PR move to announce it so early after current AT&T iPhone owners locked themselves into another 2-year contract. On the other hand, it would make pure business sense to withhold information about a Verizon (or other carrier) iPhone simply to maximize sales. It would certainly be in AT&T's benefit. However, Apple's going to sell iPhones no matter if it's existing AT&T customers upgrading, defectors to another carrier, or customers of another carrier upgrading to iPhone. So it would NOT be in Apple's best interest to withhold information about other carriers if they were going to happen any time soon.

LonerATO says:

vantheman169: Tell us how you really feel

Duvi says:

@Paulo pereira - you're the first loser. Ha. Try again.
I would if it's internal only or external as well. Indicator light for the win?
"Cellular Radio Schematic" being withheld is very suspect IMO. Not thinking of a Verizon iPhone either... just very suspect.

Duvi says:

I wonder if it's internal...*

SciTeach3 says:

I bet there is something cool coming. This would be the ULTIMATE "one more thing"!

GinoDotCom says:

The surprise will be A much improved cellular reception and boost of wifi signal via the phones new external attenna. (wishful thinking).
Hopefully the battery in iPhone 4 will be underrated the same way the ipad's battery suprised everyone with better than advertised results :)

icebike says:

This is STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE with any new device going thru FCC certification people.
Calm down.
Here is an example for the B&N Nook EReader:
Everybody does this. Its not an indication of anything new or earth shaking. The Nook was a standard Android device, no big secrets there.
It is a temporary secrecy request and all documents submitted for FCC cert become public info after a specific time.

Rckstar86 says:

The secret is that the phone teleports you to the person your calling so you can have face-time, but don't tell anyone else, it's our little secret.........

FPMiv says:

I'm guessing it's that the A4 is underclocked...

J. Connor says:

Inside will be mankind's only hope for survival against all current and future devices being infected by what they call Droid. In the near future, it will be known to all as Sky___.... [transmission terminated]

msul says:

It's only a matter of time before the iPhone comes to another carrier. I honestly don't know why AT&T customers get so defensive about this topic. An iPhone on another network could possibly free up AT&Ts network a little bit. Its no secret that their network has all but cracked under the pressure of its 15+ million iPhone users alone, not to mention other data using smartphones.
I am personally a huge fan of Apple and would put up with AT&Ts network if their service was available in my region. I have had Verizon for a long, long time and can't remember a call ever being dropped. There is also significantly less congestion on the towers in this region, however, than in the larger metropolitan areas.
The iPhone 4 looks amazing, sounds amazing, and will likely BE amazing. Maybe at Christmas I'll be holding a Verizon iPhone 4 in my hands.

iPheuria says:
You know, the Verizon iPhone rumor mill just won’t let up, but this time we are paying a bit more attention. According to Digitimes, Apple has put in orders to have a CDMA iPhone 4 manufactured. If that is the case, that really could only mean that the iPhone is coming to Verizon and/or Sprint. Of course, we won’t know if any of this means anything until Apple tells us it does.
Never say Never

Redshirt says:

No Ipheuria, it doesn't only mean that. It could mean that they're pushing into China (also CDMA). China's a significantly larger market than Verizon + Sprint combined.

Glenn#IM says:

Same thing with the iPod touch 2gen. Bluetooth chip inside. What was it, two or three updates later it was turned on? Who knows. May be it's the 100 other features besides the known 7 they want to keep quiet about.

ennTOXX says:

maybe it's that they have placed all GSM frequencies on one chipset
looks like TMO is getting this stateside after all

rmb74 says:

Maybe it has the 1700mhz bands for T-Mobile USA, I think its AWS.

arck says:

its coming to Sprint.. wait and see.

hahhahhaha says:

take out all periods cept where they belong
iphone 4.0 on 3gs....ur welcolme!!!!

Alex says:

Apple always with there stupid secrets.

Chris says:

If anything it's going to tmobile. Verizon doesn't allow voice and data at the same time and that defeats the point of half of apples commerials. I will go with standard operating procedure or they don't want a company like htc who can crank out and android device like scrabbled eggs. More so a concern around the release of the iPhone. It might just be as simple as wanting to create the hype. Wants people like us to get more excited.

Chris says:

They said last year and even before that Apple has placed an order for CMDA chips. Apple doesn't do more than one release a year because they like to sell quality and reliability. they also know that people wait until the time when they get their iphone. If they were going to release another iphone even if it was for china, they would of announced it already at their conference. they aren't going to hold another conference or secretly release a verizon iphone, they want the world to know.

BSUNesto says:

Why would they sell CDMA iPhones stateside when Verizon & Sprint are getting ready to switch to LTE. I wouldn't buy one knowing that the changing technology is only a year away.

Macboy74 says:

What's with all the hate towards AT&T. Dam. AT&T smokes any carrier where I live. I had big red and had dropped calls and " no service" on my bb and dead zones. Verizon is not reliable everywhere people just as AT&T is not reliable everywhere. All depends on where you live. They both have the same amount of subsribers So there both doing sething right. I think verizon has a little more but no matter.

BBCurve9300 says:

Possibility of iChat and Steve was holding that back. If not it's Facebook intergration

HahahaHo says:

take out all periods cept where they belong
iphone 4.0 on 3gs….ur welcolme!!!

RestlessHerbalist says:

I strongly suspect it has something to do with a vastly improved reception due to the new wraparound antenna design. Mention of any performance gain has been suspiciously absent from the iPhone 4 marketing campaign. The 2-3 product has gained such a reputation for horrible phone reception that they may rather let word of mouth promote it than advertise the difference because it would be a tacit admission that it was the phone's fault not the carrier's.