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Over the long holiday weekend, evidence was uncovered that a new model of iPhone is being field tested in California, along with a new Apple job listing that promises to bring Maps to “the next level.”
Earlier this year, an iPhone with the hardware identifier “iPhone 2,1” was spotted browsing online, which hit stores in June as the iPhone 3GS. According to AppleInsider, history is repeating itself as a new device identifying itself as “iPhone 3,1” has started to appear.
“iPhone 3,1” was tracked by PinchMedia usage logs in November for its San Francisco public transportation application, iBART.
Such a reference is usually an indication of a new iPhone model with major hardware changes. Historically, the first digit of a product’s identifier string changes only with significant upgrades. 2,1 indicates the current iPhone 3GS; the original iPhone is identified as iPhone 1,1 while the iPhone 3G — which had only modest changes from the original — is tagged as iPhone 1,2.
Apple has also been busy recruiting new hires, including a recent job posting seeking a full-time employee in Cupertino to work as a software engineer on the iPhone Maps application.
“The iPhone has revolutionized the mobile industry and has changed people’s lives and we want to continue to do so,” the listing reads. “We want to take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We’ve only just started.”
Together with Google bringing turn-by-turn directions to Android 2.0 and Apple’s purchase earlier this summer of a Google Maps competitor named Placebase, this new job listing could indicate that Apple intends to go in a new direction with iPhone Maps.